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Friday, 13 July 2012

Mayor of Cheshire East

mayor

The fourth Mayor of Cheshire East Council, Councillor George Walton, says he is determined to build on the success of his predecessors in highlighting all the good work being done across the Borough.

Councillor Walton, who took up the post in May, said: “Whoever you are, if you think that your achievements need shouting about, get in touch with me. My role is all about recognising this good work, celebrating it and encouraging others to follow suit.”

Cheshire East Council leader, Councillor Michael Jones, added: “The role of Mayor is extremely important in Cheshire East’s civic life and presents a wonderful role model and a symbol of authority.

“Mayors date back to the Normans and are a reminder of our great history and the progress that we have made to improve community life.

“The Mayor works tirelessly week-in-week-out to build a strong relationship with the local community and at around 350 engagements each year – what fantastic value for money!

“What better to way to celebrate community achievements than to invite the Mayor along and add some colour and history to an event?”

  • To enquire about booking the Mayor, please contact Nicola Carberry on 01270 686475 or fill out a booking form at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk (scroll down to ‘meet the Mayor’ and click on ‘Mayoral invitations’)

The man behind the Mayor

For the man whose biggest inspiration is his wife Veronica, being involved in family life and the community comes as second nature to the Mayor, although this wasn’t always the case.

As an only child growing up on the outskirts of Burnley, against the back-drop of the Second World War, it was his own imagination that kept him company over the long school holidays.

“I was a bit of a loner to be honest, mainly as a result of being an only child. I’d spend hours exploring the farmland around my house and using my imagination to keep me company.

“I remember seeing prisoners of war painting pylons nearby and hearing the drone of bombers passing over in the night, then seeing a red glow in the distance, which was Liverpool Docks burning.”

George attended Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, which was welcome news for his proud mum and bank manager father, but it was too far away from where he lived for him to make close friends.

His focus was on school work instead and, when the first 20th Century machines began to dig for coal in Burnley, George was watching and taking it all in.  He said: “I was at the forefront of the machine revolution and I knew I wanted to be involved.”

He studied civil engineering at Loughborough University and went on to have a successful civil engineering career with Sir Robert McAlpine  & Sons in 1963, after leaving school. He retired in 1996.

With the luxury of time on his hands, George began getting really involved in the community for the first time in his life. He took part in protest marches, alongside the infamous ‘Swampy’, against the second runway at Manchester Airport.

He said: “I was very passionate about it and one day, in 1999, I was encouraged to stand for a seat on Knutsford Town Council to represent Bexton Ward. I soon learnt to canvass and persuade people to vote for me.”

In 2001, he became the Mayor of Knutsford and in 2003, was elected on to Macclesfield Borough Council, again representing Bexton.

In 2008 he was elected to the newly-formed Cheshire East Council, representing the Bucklow ward. In May 2011, he was re-elected following the Boundary Commission review to the new Chelford ward.

Since becoming Mayor, his chosen charities are East Cheshire Hospice, in Macclesfield, and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) - in particular the Crewe and Nantwich and Congleton branches.

“My life is so full and busy these days”, said George. “I’ll always be delighted to be invited to events that are happening around the community, so please get in touch if you would like help publicising your event.”

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