New Leighton-Linslade mayor wants to encourage job creation

Mayor Stephen Cotter and deputy Syed Rahman
Mayor Stephen Cotter and deputy Syed Rahman

The new Mayor of Leighton-Linslade has vowed to focus his energies on encouraging job-creating business activities and ensuring infrastructure projects keep pace with the demands of the town’s growing population.

Councillor Stephen Cotter told fellow councillors, guests and members of the public at his installation meeting last night, that Leighton-Linslade had much to be proud off, with a great “team spirit” and well supported community projects such as the canal and Christmas festivals.

Stephen Cotter has taken over as mayor from Ray Berry

Stephen Cotter has taken over as mayor from Ray Berry

Speaking at the Astral Park Sports and Community Centre where he was formally installed as Town Mayor, Mr Cotter, councillor for the town centre Leston Ward, said supporting business ventures was the key to the future success of the town, matched by the need to ensure infrastructure projects, including roads, policing, schools and health services met the demands of the community.

“Much progress has been made, but there’s much to be done in the years ahead,” said Cllr Cotter, adding: “Fortunately, we have a good team spirit within the town council and a desire to help make things even better for our growing community.”

Cllr Cotter, 68, who has held senior positions in several major British businesses during his 50-year working career, also serves as a director of the NHS South Essex Partnership Trust which provides mental health and community services throughout Bedfordshire.

Leicester born, he moved to Leighton 35 years ago, and has been a Conservative town councillor since 2011. He currently serves on the Planning and Transport, Policy and Finance and Partnership committees and the Market sub-Committee.

Cllr Syed Rahman (Grovebury Ward) was also confirmed as Deputy Mayor at the meeting at which Cllr Cotter paid tribute to the work of his predecessor Cllr Ray Berry, who held office for two years, during which he raised £5,250 for local worthy causes.

He has donated £1,250 to the Narrow Gauge Railway project, £1,000 to Leighton-Linslade Scouts, £1,000 to the Leighton-based Kids Out charity and £2,000 to the Macmillan Cancer support team.

During his year in office, Cllr Cotter will be raising funds to support local organisations, including CLIC Sargent, a charity which supports the families of children with cancer or leukaemia; CHUMS, a charity which supports children in the area with emotional health issues and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

At the meeting, Cllr Ewan Wallace was confirmed as the Conservative group leader of the council, with Cllr Clive Palmer as deputy leader.