The new Mayor of Cheshire East is Councillor George Walton. He was invested with his chain of office at last week’s Mayor Making Ceremony in the Tenants’ Hall, Tatton Park.
Councillor Walton, took over as Mayor, following a year as Deputy with his consort and wife, Veronica.
Brought up on the outskirts of Burnley, in Lancashire, Councillor Walton was educated at the Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, followed by Loughborough University, where he read Civil Engineering.
His early interest lay in farming at a time when mechanisation transformed the rural scene and his fascination with farm machinery, tractors and earth-moving equipment encouraged his interest in civil engineering. His other life-long interest is Burnley Football Club.
Councillor Walton started work in 1963, when he started employment with Sir Robert Mcalpine. His first task involved the construction of a 13-mile stretch of the M1 motorway in Leicestershire.
He took early retirement in 1996 and was elected to Knutsford Town Council, representing the Bexton ward in 1999. In 2001, he became the Mayor of Knutsford and in 2003 was elected on to Macclesfield Borough Council, again representing the Bexton ward.
He was elected to the newly-formed Cheshire East Council in 2008, representing the Bucklow ward. In May 2011, he was re-elected following the Boundary Commission review to the new Chelford ward.
Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cheshire East’s Cabinet member in charge of prosperity and economic regeneration, proposed Councillor Walton for the office of Mayor. He was seconded by Councillor Steve Wilkinson.
Councillor Macrae said: “Councillor Walton’s commitment to his roles as Chairman of the Environment and Prosperity Scrutiny Committee, Strategic Planning Board, the many task groups together with appointments to many external bodies representing the Council, have relied upon George’s ability to schedule, organise and manage a very busy diary, whilst keeping that all-important family-life balance.”
He continued: “It is fitting for George and Veronica that the ceremony takes place here in the Tenants’ Hall at Tatton Park. His association with Tatton goes back over many years, as a volunteer, an accredited guide to the Japanese garden and most recently, chairing the Tatton Board. Tatton is an historic asset, which benefits and is enjoyed by so many.”
Councillor Dorothy Flude was elected as Deputy Mayor. In proposing her for the office, Councillor Chris Thorley spoke of her achievements. “It is a position that she will hold with enthusiasm, commitment and good humour; I know that she will work hard to further the interests of the whole borough.
“Dorothy has been a member of this Council since its creation; before Local Government Reorganisation three years ago, she was a member of the former County Council. In those roles she has worked tirelessly to serve the community and her appointment as Deputy Mayor will be a very appropriate recognition of that service.”
Councillor Flude’s appointment to Deputy Mayor was seconded by Councillor Janet Jackson.
Councillor Walton has chosen East Cheshire Hospice in Macclesfield and the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA), in particular the Crewe, Nantwich and Congleton branches.