Councillor Richard Jones (Old Warley ward) is the new Mayor of Sandwell following a ceremony in the council chamber today (Tuesday 24 May). His consort is his partner Councillor Richard McVittie.
Councillor Jackie Taylor (Greets Green and Lyng ward) is the new Deputy Mayor of Sandwell. Her consort is husband Mr Marvin Taylor.
At the ceremony, votes of thanks were passed to the outgoing mayor former councillor Mushtaq Hussain.
The new mayoral team will be raising money for St John Ambulance, LGBT+ in Sandwell Community Group, and New Beginnings Baby Bundles. St John Ambulance, provides a range of services include delivering first aid, from Community First Responders to emergency response support. LGBT+ in Sandwell Community Group has recently formed to help support LGBT+ people in Sandwell by organising activities helping to relieve isolation. New Beginnings Baby Bundles provide essential baby items to vulnerable new mothers in Sandwell helping to provide a good start in life to those most at need.
Councillor Jones said:
“What a momentous occasion today is for Sandwell having just elected its first openly gay Mayor. I am extremely proud and honoured to become the Mayor of Sandwell along with my consort, my partner, Councillor Richard McVittie. It is especially poignant that this is happening 50 years after the first Pride protest.
“It’s also exciting that in my Mayoral year, I’ll be supported by the first Black African Caribbean woman in the role of Deputy Mayor so I would like to thank those councillors and minority community group members who have come before me - spearheading inclusivity, equality and diversity.
“I appreciate the support of each and every one of you but especially my supportive friends and family.
“I am really looking forward to the next year. Over the next few months we have some great opportunities to celebrate the people of Sandwell. I am looking forward to seeing and meeting the great people and communities of Sandwell. It really will be an honour.”
Read Councillor Jones's acceptance speech Here
The Mayor is the first citizen of Sandwell. While the role is non-political, the Mayor presides over meetings of the council. The Mayoralty attends events across Sandwell and also represents the borough at functions outside Sandwell involving local residents and organisations.
Email email@example.com for details on how to make a donation to the Mayor’s charities or to invite the Mayor to an engagement.