COLCHESTER’S new mayor donned his robes as the council held its delayed mayor making ceremony.

Lockdown put a stop to this year’s traditional May ceremony at the Moot Hall.

In a departure from tradition a virtual ceremony was held in the Grand Jury Room at Colchester Town Hall.

Farmer and former Conservative group leader on the council, Robert Davidson, who represents Mersea and Pyefleet, has become the borough’s 188th mayor with his wife, Liz, as the mayoress.

In another break from tradition Mr Davidson will serve as mayor for 18 months.

Mr Davidson’s charities for that time are the Essex Air Ambulance, Rural Community Council of Essex, SSAFA, St Helena Hospice, East Anglian Children’s Hospice and Samaritans in Colchester.

Mr Davidson said: “Myself and Liz will look forward to upholding the tradition of mayoralty and hopefully once this terrible Covid pandemic is under control we will start being able to visit and meet people around the borough.

“We should be proud of how the borough has coped so far with Covid and we hope it is soon over.”

Labour councillor and former Labour group leader on the council Tim Young was elected deputy mayor.

Mr Young, who has been a councillor since 1992, was accompanied by his his partner, Nicola Goodchild as deputy mayoress.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • The live stream of the meeting on Wednesday night

No councillors from the Labour group attended the virtual mayor making ceremony and did not vote to elect either the mayor or deputy mayor.

Acknowledging this in his thank you speech Mr Young said it was “a shame” his colleagues had not attended but hoped to have their support in the future.

He said: “Between us, Robert and I have given nearly 50 years of service to the borough and that is what we are marking tonight.

“It is reward and recognition for that nearly half a century of service.

“We have worked well before and I am certain we will again over the next eighteen months.”

Outgoing mayor Nick Cope, who described his time as a “rollercoaster”, was thanked for his time in the role.

He stayed on in the role for an extra five months.