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Harry Kemble, Reporter
Friday, June 6, 2014
Ashley Kissin, a Conservative councillor, will be confirmed as the new Mayor of Redbridge next week.
At a council meeting earlier this year, the Barkingside councillor was voted mayor elect.
He will replace Cllr Felicity Banks in the position at next week’s annual meeting at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.
The leader of the borough’s Labour group, Jas Athwal, privately confirmed the appointment to Cllr Kissin last week.
Speaking to the Recorder, Cllr Athwal said: “I believe there are good councillors in every party. I fundamentally believe the mayor should be rotated so that decent councillors do not get left out.
“Just because Labour won does not mean the mayoral position will go to Labour councillors.”
Cllr Kissin, a councillor for eight years, thanked his fellow councillors for making him mayor elect.
“I am absolutely over the moon,” said Cllr Kissin, who is a self-employed sales consultant.
Cllr Kissin declined to comment on his fellow councillors because he is to remain apolitical in his new position, but he added: “I feel very honoured that the vote went through unopposed from all the councillors.
“I am indebted to them for honouring me with this position.”
Cllr Kissin, an Ilford resident of 60 years, said he is most looking forward to “meeting as many people in Redbridge as possible.”
Cllr Paul Canal, the leader of the Redbridge Conservatives, supported the move to appoint “the appropriate person” rather than a councillor from the party in power.
He said: “It should happen in every borough that all councillors should agree on an appointment and the Mayor will then do the job in appropriate manner.
“I would like to think in Redbridge we will keep choosing the appropriate person.
“It is question of who has got the time and drive to do it - you are the ambassador for the borough - it is a full-time job.”
Cllr Canal added the position was both “an honour” and “a responsibility” for the incumbent.