CHICHESTER’S new mayor got off to a flying start with fundraising for 2015.
Peter Budge was walking towards Chichester City Council for the mayor-making ceremony last Wednesday (May 20) when he was struck by a thought and stopped at a shop.
“When I was walking here I bought two buckets and put them at the back of the hall, inviting donations for the mayor’s charity,” said Cllr Budge.
By the end of the night there was nearly £100 in there.
“I want to thank all the people who contributed – let’s hope there’s more to come,” he said.
His two charities for the coming year are the Chichester Boys’ Club and the newly-formed Bell Tower Youth Drop-In centre.
Cllr Budge takes over from John Hughes, who with his wife Cherry had served as mayor and mayoress since January, 2014.
“The thing about John was he was always calm and collected, he knew what he was doing,” said Cllr Budge. “That’s a hard act to follow. I’ve got to emulate that and add some gravitas to myself and become a mayor in person and not just in name.”
Cllr Budge’s wife and mayoress Philippa was also elected to Chichester City Council in May.
They moved to Chichester in 1976 and both their children, Timothy and Andrew, were educated at Jessie Younghusband Primary School and Chichester High School for Boys. The mayor and mayoress are now grandparents to four.
Cllr Budge is the first Conservative mayor of Chichester in 35 years but said he was hoping to make the city council less of a political place.
“It would be one of my hopes to de-politicise it,” he said.
He said he was looking forward to the year ahead.
“I was very pleased to be chosen,” he said, adding the mayor was there to look after the people of Chichester.
“One of the things I would like to do is make the people of Chichester aware that they have a council that is accountable to them.”
He added to the people of Chichester: “Thank you very much and I hope that you will enjoy my year as much as I will.”