New mayor steps up

The new mayor signs in

One of the casualties of the virus lockdown was Rye’s Mayor Making ceremony in May and the town council remedied that during last Monday’s Zoom meeting by deciding with only two votes against to proceed immediately with choosing a new mayor – and the current deputy mayor, Rebekah Gilbert, was elected unopposed – and also becomes Speaker of the Cinque Ports Confederation as it is the turn of Rye’s mayor to fill that post – and Councillor Andi Rivett was then elected unopposed as deputy mayor.

Thanks were agreed to Rye Mutual Aid, Rye Food Bank and other individuals who had helped others in the community during the lockdown – and continued to help. Outgoing mayor Councillor Michael Boyd was also thanked for continuing to hold court in these difficult times.

A number of reports on the council’s finances, governance and audits were considered, noted and accepted without opposition, and the town clerk pointed out that audit costs would be reduced with the leasing of the Heritage Centre to a charity.

As it was the first council meeting to be “Zoomed” the mayor (Boyd) welcomed members to the “somewhat unorthodox” meeting and the town clerk explained (at length) how it should work.

Councillor Ian Potter commented later in the meeting that his internet connection was so bad that he would rather pull his own teeth out than do another online meeting, and the outgoing mayor said his connection had not been brilliant either.

Councillor Jonathan Breeds said at one point he was asked if he wanted to speak, but in fact he was voting on the previous item and his internet connection was incredibly slow, adding that internet connections near the Landgate were notoriously bad.

Nevertheless the rest of the council voted to resume the meetings timetable using online procedures for the time being.

[Editor’s note: As everybody is facing the camera, online meetings are actually easier to report than council meetings where councillors are often facing away from the reporter, and the historic acoustics in the council chamber can be as bad as some internet connections near the Landgate]

Andi Rivett, deputy mayor

Image Credits: Rye Town Council .


  1. I am haunted by your correspondent referring to ‘historic accoustics in the council chamber’. Does he hear voices from the past?


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