New Mayor announced for Harrogate’s biggest year

NADV 1303032AM4 Cllr. Jim Clark. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1303032AM4)
NADV 1303032AM4 Cllr. Jim Clark. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1303032AM4)

The next Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Jim Clark said he is looking forward to a busy year representing the district with the ‘eyes of the world’ on Harrogate’.

Council leader Coun Anthony Alton announced that Coun Clark is set to take over the role of Mayor from May/June.

NADV 1303032AM8 Cllr. Jim Clark. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1303032AM8)

NADV 1303032AM8 Cllr. Jim Clark. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1303032AM8)

The Conservative councillor told the Harrogate Advertiser: “”It is going to be a very busy summer.

“We have the Tour de France which is the biggest show on earth with the eyes of the world on us.

“On top of that there is the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival which I am looking forward to as the chair of Harrogate theatre.

“There is also the commemoration of World War 1 events and of course the Great Yorkshire Show.

“There is so much going on in the district this year, the world’s eyes are on Yorkshire and Harrogate is the heart of Yorkshire and we are the only place that has the Tour de France twice.”

Coun Clark moved to Harrogate in 1996 from Edinburgh following his retirement from Ernst and Young and started his career in politics shortly after.

He has consistently held a seat on Harrogate Borough Council since first winning a seat representing the Harlow Moor Ward in 2000.

In 2007/08 Coun Clark acted as Deputy Mayor to Coun Cliff Trotter.

Coun Clark said: “That was a busy year as well, it was the year the Royal Hall was reopened after refurbishment and when the town hosted the Europe in Bloom ceremony.”

Next year Coun Nigel Simms will take on the role of Deputy Mayor of Harrogate and Coun Shirley Fawcett will act as Coun Clark’s consort.

“Shirley has been Mayor of Harrogate before, she has been a councillor for longer than me and will keep me right.”

Aside from his political work, Coun Clark is actively involved in conservation work. He sits on the board of trustees for the Friends of the Valley Gardens, The Pinewoods Conservation Group and is a supporter of the Harlow Hill Community Centre green Hut.

He said: “The open spaces are very important to Harrogate so we have got to be careful and work to protect them especially in the face of new housing applications.

“Harrogate is a place that faces change really well and has come through the recession well but there is a lot of people struggling and there are huge numbers of volunteers in the area whose help is invaluable.

“Being mayor gives me an opportunity to thank these people and recognise the work they do.”

Coun Clark will be made mayor of the Harrogate District at a ceremony in June taking over the role from Lib Dem Coun Mike Newby.

“He has done a great job as mayor, he will certainly be a hard act to follow.

“It is a real honour to be chosen to be mayor, I do think Harrogate will have a fantastic year ahead.”