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Be positively proud of Boston

Boston's new Mayor has made a plea for enriched community spirit and greater pride in Boston to be at the heart of all the borough council does in the year ahead.

Cllr Alison Austin made an impassioned first speech after donning the red robes and chain of office and re-entering the council chamber as Mayor for the first time.

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She said: "Boston is a good place to live and we should be positively proud of its people."

She spoke of the "great honour" bestowed upon her and thanked her husband, Cllr Richard Austin, Mayor's Consort for the year, for his support and encouragement and the residents of South Ward who elected her as a councillor. She also made reference to her late father, Dr Hardwick, of Kirton, and the influence he brought to bear, rich in community spirit.

Councillors and council staff were urged to do all they could in their daily work to strengthen community spirit and promote a positive message about Boston.

She had praise for outgoing Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr Paul and Mrs Pam Kenny, who, supported by outgoing Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress, Cllr Paul and Mrs Angie Goodale, had worked tirelessly for the people of Boston.

Cllr Austin was proposed by Cllr Kenny and seconded by Cllr Stephen Woodliffe, who said he had known her for 26 years, working alongside each other as maths teachers at Boston Grammar School.

Her charities for the year will be Boston's Centrepoint Outreach, where she works as a volunteer, and the Gateway Club, part of Boston Mencap.

Cllr Helen Staples is the new Deputy Mayor and Sue Still the new Deputy Mayoress.

The new Mayor's Scout is Callum McNulty and the new Mayor's Guide is Sophie Ash.

Cllr Kenny said he and his wife had thoroughly enjoyed their year, despite the challenge of them both working full time. He had special praise for the community spirit displayed in the aftermath of the December flood and for the younger generation, especially young musicians from Boston Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Boston Youth Pop Choir. He gave a vote of thanks to the retiring Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress, his friends for 20 years, and his charities committee for all their hard work.

Cllr Paul Gleeson gave a vote of thanks for all the hard work Cllr Kenny had put in, attending more than 200 civic engagements.

Cllr Carol Taylor, seconding the vote of thanks, also praised the couple's energy and efforts in raising more than £8,500 for the Salvation Army and the Citizens Advice Bureau and drawing in a further £15,400 in other donations.