Council votes for new Mayor of Lyme Regis

Councillor Michaela Ellis will officially take over as Mayor of Lyme Regis in May, with Councillor Stephen Miller as her deputy

COUNCILLOR Michaela Ellis has been elected the next Mayor of Lyme Regis.

Councillor Ellis, who currently serves as deputy mayor and previously served as the town’s first citizen from 2009 to 2011, was voted mayor-elect at Wednesday’s full council meeting. She will officially take the chains from current mayor, Councillor Owen Lovell, in May.

Councillor Ellis was deemed the only valid candidate for the role after councillors were asked to put names forward in advance of the meeting. A nomination for the council’s newest member, Councillor Jeff Scowen, was deemed “invalid” by Councillor Lovell, as it was handed in a day after the deadline.

Councillor Lovell said he had given the late nomination “great thought and consideration” but the council did try to operate within a timescale and rules.

Councillor Scowen argued he should have been given more information on the nomination process.

He said he had asked for nomination papers before going on holiday to Jamaica, but was told they were not yet available. When he returned and handed in the papers, he was told he had missed the deadline by a day.

“What am I supposed to do, fly back from Jamaica early just to hand the papers in?” he asked.

Town clerk John Wright said he had explained the process to Councillor Scowen and had made it “crystal clear”.

Councillor Lovell nominated by Councillor Ellis as mayor-elect, seconded by Councillor Stephen Miller. The only two to vote against were Councillors Scowen and Derek Hallett, who had nominated him.

Councillor Stan Williams abstained from voting, saying he felt those who had already had a chance to serve as mayor should step aside to let others have a turn.

Councillor Lovell then proposed Councillor Miller and the deputy mayor-elect, seconded by Councillor Richard Doney and agreed, with only Councillor Hallett voting against.

Lyme Regis editor & Colyton reporter | Francesca gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University before joining the paper full-time in 2011. She is now editor of the Lyme Regis edition, as well as a sub-editor on the East Devon and South Somerset editions, and reporter for Colyton.