IN WHAT was jokingly referred to as a record for Southampton, Conservative Councillor Les Harris was sworn in as the tallest mayor in the city’s history.
Introducing Cllr Harris, Cllr John Hannides said that at six feet seven, he was sure Les would “stand tall” for the people of the city.
And in another record, Cllr Harris and his wife Beryl are thought to be the only mayor and mayor’s consort who are also serving councillors – and both in Bassett ward.
Accepting his mayoralty Cllr Harris announced his chosen charities as the sea cadets, who he aims to help raise £30-40,000 for a new training centre on Vespasian Road, and the children’s hospital at Southampton general - which the Daily Echo has helped with the
Praising the outgoing mayor Cllr Cathie McEwing, Cllr Jacqui Rayment said: “We have had three very strong women – now we have Les and Stephen. They won’t cause the havoc or mayhem we have had from Cllr McEwing but they will do it in their own way.”
The city’s new sheriff was also sworn in. Cllr Stephen Barnes-Andrews thanked his wife Amanda for all the help she’s given him over the years in the “somewhat selfish pursuit” of councillor and also thanked his son Edward and daughter Jennifer.
Entertaining the audience were musicians from the Philharmagic Orchestra playing their arrangements of pop classics like Set Fire To The Rain and Abba’s SOS.