New Harrogate mayor's plea for unity across district

Harrogate's new mayor has pledged to be a mayor for the whole borough.

New Harrogate Mayor Coun Nick Brown.

Speaking at the Royal Hall at the Mayor Making ceremony, new Harrogate Mayor Coun Nick Brown said he believed the borough was not, and should not be, totally centred on Harrogate itself.The mayor said: “Across the whole of the district we have centres of excellence in the city of Ripon, with its great Cathedral church, and in the townships of Knaresborough, Pateley Bridge and Boroughbridge, each with their own history and their own mayors.“I would like to foster even greater unity, in a municipal context, across the borough. As the whole borough’s first citizen I hope to be a good ambassador for it, breaking down any perceived barriers and building better relationships.”The traditional Mayor Making ceremony saw Coun Nick Brown formally receive the chains of office from outgoing mayor, Coun Nigel Simms. Coun Brown is a semi-retired businessman. His wife, Linda has become Mayoress.Coun Christine Ryder became Deputy Mayor and her husband Chris became Deputy Mayor’s consort.During Monday night’s ceremony, Harrogate’s new mayor also showed a leaning towards the arts.Among the five local charities he will support are Harrogate Choral Society, Ripon Cathedral Concert Society and the Northern Aldborough Festival which takes place each year near Boroughbridge.The new mayor said: “I have a longstanding interest in the arts and music, in particular, which is an art form that I believe strongly enriches the quality of life in any community.“I believe the arts are fundamental to our humanity as they promote social inclusion and enrich our world. And, in a district renowned for its attraction to tourists from home and abroad, significant income is generated from cultural tourism and cultural activity.”Nick enjoys shooting, fishing and all country pursuits together with gardening and golf. Coun Brown serves with a number of charitable organisations where he is involved with fundraising and is currently self employed as a business and arts fundraising consultant.He has an eclectic taste in jazz, soul, opera and classical music and is a keen amateur choral singer with the Harrogate Choral Society.But the Harrogate Mayor’s remaining two charity choices also demonstrated wider range of interests - Saint Michael’s Hospice and The Harrogate Homeless Project.As the former managing director of his family business, the Brown and White Group of companies, Nick believes a strong, free enterprise economy should go hand-in-hand with philanthropy.Nick said: “I believe that good corporate social responsibility is an integral part of the wealth creation process.“I would like to encourage and promote philanthropy, from within the ranks of individuals, local businesses or professions, towards local charitable organisations.”Monday’s ceremony was attended by Harrogate Borough Council members, the mayors of Knaresborough, Pateley Bridge Boroughbridge and Ripon; Bill Cowling, deputy lieutenant of North Yorkshire; and High Sheriff, John Furness.Coun Brown thanked Coun Simon Theakston for proposing him and the pupils and staff of Harrogate High School for provided music and songs.He also wished a happy retirement to the mayor’s driver and the council’s macebearer, Alastair Findlay.

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