Gerri Bird reaffirmed as Cambridge mayor
The widow of the late Cambridge mayor Nigel Gawthrope has helped to put the chains of office back on Gerri Bird.
Cllr Bird was reaffirmed in the role on Wednesday (May 22), having taken it on following the death at 61 of Cllr Gawthrope on a diving holiday in South Africa in January. Jenny Gawthrope was present for the traditional mayor-making ceremony, which came two days after her late husband was honoured with a memorial service and a motorbike convoy.
Cllr Bird was re-elected unanimously by Cambridge city councillors, as was her deputy, Cllr Russ McPherson.
Cllr Bird said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be the mayor of Cambridge. It has been a sad time since Nigel passed away. He did a fantastic job and I will do my best to carry on from what he achieved. He was a great friend and colleague.”
She said that coming from having “no education” to representing the city as mayor for a second full term “shows what can be done if you strive and work hard”.
Cllr Kevin Price, who put forward the original motion to make Cllr Gawthrope mayor, said “It saddens me that Nigel is not here to learn what others have said of his mayoralty. Nigel took to the office of mayor like a duck to water. He did a great job of representing this city that he loved. He was a wonderful servant of this city and its residents, and we are all proud to have served with him.”
At the annual meeting, Labour leader Lewis Herbert said his group’s priorities were to tackle inequality, homelessness and climate change, while protecting services. Liberal Democrat group leader Tim Bick said the administration had become “muddled” and there was a gap between its actions and words.