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Roger Weeks Fiona Cullen
The new mayor and deputy mayor of Gillingham, Councillors Roger Weeks and Fiona Cullen.

The new mayor of Gillingham, Councillor Roger Weeks, has pledged to communicate as ‘openly, honestly and effectively’ as possible with local residents.

Councillor Weeks said: ‘I will make every effort to make myself available to meet with residents at the Town Hall to listen to any issues concerning the town.

‘Whilst I may not be able to personally solve every problem, I will endeavour to find out who to put them in touch with, and who will be able to help. I will make every effort to try and communicate as openly, honestly and effectively as I can.’

The new mayor was speaking at the official mayor making ceremony at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening, where he and new deputy mayor Councillor Fiona Cullen were both formally installed in their roles for the coming year. Both were elected to their roles last week.

Councillor Weeks also called on residents to approach him and the council with any issues before resorting to social media.

‘We are an approachable town council and we look forward to hearing what you would like for Gillingham,’ he said. ‘We do not operate behind closed doors, and we pride ourselves in being as open and transparent as we can be.

‘Our plea to you is please don’t let us find out something is wrong when we see it on social media, we would much prefer you come and see us.’

Councillor Weeks, who said he was ‘truly honoured’ to have been elected, added: ‘I will do my best to represent Gillingham as a very special place to live and work as I journey through my tenure as the town’s mayor.’

Councillor Paul Harris, a former mayor who seconded Councillor Weeks’s nomination, said he had know his fellow councillor for decades and that he was ‘direct but compassionate’. Councillor Harris said: ‘He is sincere and gives of his best in whatever he does. I seconded the proposal because I know he can do the job well.’

At the start of the ceremony outgoing mayor Councillor Barry von Clemens paid tribute to both current councillors and those who stood down from the town council at the elections earlier this month, singling out David Walsh and Val Pothecary.

He told the past and present councillors: ‘I want to express my deep gratitude to each and every one of you for your dedication, your passion and your unwavering commitment to our community. It has been an honour to serve alongside you all. Thank you for making Gillingham the extraordinary place that it is.’

Roger Weeks Fiona Cullen consorts
Mayor Councillor Roger Weeks with, left, his mother Yvonne who will be his consort for the year, and deputy mayor Councillor Fiona Cullen with her mother and consort Jenny.
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