Wirral’s outgoing civic Mayor praised the “splendid madness” of Eurovision as the new Mayor takes over.
Cllr Jerry Williams, who represented Bebington and now Upton, was elected as the new civic mayor, taking over from the previous Mayor Jeff Green with Cllr Cherry Povall as his deputy.
The Mayor’s role includes chairing full council meetings, representing the council at fundraising events, and carrying out official functions on behalf of the council. The election of a new Leader and Deputy Leader of the council, two political roles, will take place next week.
Cllr Jeff Green will now take over the Conservative group on the council but in a speech reflected on his time as Mayor which saw the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, her death, and the coronation of King Charles III. He said those events “demonstrated how much the Royal Family means to the residents of Wirral.”
Cllr Green added, “Wirral is a very big society. I’ve seen first-hand so many groups and volunteers far too many to name tonight across Wirral making a great effort to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of their fellow citizens.”
He said his “final reflection is of course what fun it is to be Mayor of Wirral.” He said this included meeting Prince William and Kate Middleton, welcoming Ukrainian refugees, and putting a first shovel in the ground with Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram at Wirral Waters Miller’s Quay development.
He finished by adding, “Of course the splendid madness that is and was Eurovision so it wasn’t all hard work and duty.”
In his speech afterwards, Mayor Williams said he wants to focus on smaller charities that will “propel Wirral and Merseyside to new horizons” with his chosen charities being Autism Together, a Bromborough based charity and the Friends of Birkenhead Kennels, a stray dog charity.
He told the LDRS, “Community politics has always been my key ethos in all my years on the council,” adding: “I worked for disability charities for 20 years, I ran community operations so issues to do with disability are very near to my heart but also with the Kennels, it’s just how important pets are to people and families.
“I also want to concentrate on small charities because they do so much on the Wirral.”
Mayor Williams will also remain the council’s Heritage Champion and said Wirral’s history and culture was a key passion of his, particularly with Birkenhead Park’s current UNESCO World Heritage Bid and the recent Eurovision Song Contest.
About the new Mayor
Cllr Williams was first elected to Wirral Council in 1996 as a member for Bebington, but now represents the Upton Ward.
He has served on many Council committees and has also represented Wirral on the Liverpool City Region Transport Committee.
Born in Birkenhead in 1952 the Mayor has lived in Wirral all his life, taking his first job as an administrator at Cammell Laird, before moving into the construction industry and then to become a fundraiser for the Wirral Association for Disability (which became known as WIRED), where he ran Shopmobility operations.
Passionate about heritage and local history – specialising in World War II aviation and the Battle of Britain – he has been the Council’s heritage champion since its inception and has lectured in several countries around the world.
His other main interest is running, completing 34 marathons and over 100 half-marathons. Married to Irene for 47 years, they have two children and five grandchildren. Irene grew up in Rock Ferry before moving to the Woodchurch Estate, attending Woodchurch High School before taking a secretarial course at Birkenhead Technical College. Irene has had a number of jobs, including with a local estate agent for eighteen years.
Irene became a Councillor for Bromborough ward in 2010 and held the position until retiring in 2022 to spend more time with her family.
Cllr Williams announced that the Mayor and Mayoress will support and raise funds for:
- Bromborough-based Autism Together which has provided specialist support for autistic people for more than 50 years.
- Friends of Birkenhead Kennels which is a registered charity providing care and shelter for any lost or abandoned dog and helping reunite lost dogs with their owners and finding forever homes for dogs in need.
The Mayor’s Special Charity Fund will also make contributions to other Wirral-based charities and voluntary groups at the end of the Mayoral year.
Images: (L-R) Outgoing Mayor Jeff Green and new Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Jerry Williams. Credit: Ed Barnes