Town council chooses new chairman for next 12 months

PUBLISHED: 06:10 21 May 2018

Cllr Lesley Cottrell handing over the chairmanship to Cllr Peter Mitchell. Picture: Tracey Fowler

Cllr Lesley Cottrell handing over the chairmanship to Cllr Peter Mitchell. Picture: Tracey Fowler

Tracey Fowler

A new chairman has been appointed to lead Portishead Town Council for 12 months in the run-up to next year’s local elections.

Cllr Peter Mitchell has served as the vice-chairman on the authority for the past two years, serving under chairman Lesley Cottrell.

However, on Wednesday at the annual town council meeting it was decided that, unusually, the pair would swap roles for the 2018-19 year.

Cllr Mitchell said he is truly honoured to be elected chairman of the town council and he will be working with the elected councillors and the greater community of Portishead with the aim to ‘instigate a formal town vision that has at the heart, the hopes and aspirations of the entire community’.

The move came just seven days after the town’s annual residents’ meeting was abandoned in extraordinary fashion after just six minutes by Cllr Cottrell over a dispute about her leadership.

At that meeting, held on May 9, Cllr Cottrell asked the electors present if she had their backing to chair the non-town council meeting, to which approximately 60 per cent objected, amid fears of potential impartiality.

She said legal requirements therefore meant it could not proceed and therefore closed it, adding it would be rearranged.

The new meeting, which Cllr Mitchell will now be responsible for overseeing, will begin at 7pm on May 30 at the Folk Hall.

Cllr Mitchell was elected to the town council in May 2015 and is a keen supporter of plans to redevelop playing fields at Bristol Road to create additional sports facilities.

Cllr Marilyn Koops, meanwhile, will replace Cllr David Oyns as chairman of the town council’s recreation and works committee.

But Cllr Peter Burden will remain chairman of the planning committee for the next 12 months.

Positions on the town council will be decided at elections on May 2, 2019.

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