Long-standing magistrate 'immensely proud' to be elected new civic mayor of Gateshead

The newly elected civic Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Kathleen McCartney
The newly elected civic Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Kathleen McCartney -Credit:Gateshead Council, Steve Brock Photography

Gateshead councillors have elected a new mayor following the local elections.

Gateshead Council’s ruling Labour group has selected Coun Kathleen McCartney of Crawcrook and Greenside to act as the authority’s first citizen for the next municipal year. Mayor McCartney has had a variety of roles throughout her life aside from a councillor, including a foster carer, an NHS worker, and a long-standing magistrate.

One of the first acts of the newly-elected mayor was to announce her charity of choice to raise funds for the next year, NE Youth. The outgoing mayor, Eileen McMaster announced the council had raised over £4,000 towards her chosen charity, Feeding Families, over the last 12 months.

Mayor McCartney said: “It is an absolute honour to be here today and I'm so proud to represent the borough of Gateshead. I would like to congratulate Eileen for the completion of her year in office and for all the hard work she carried out.

"I have always been immensely proud to be a member of the council and to represent the people of Crawcrook and Greenside. During my time here I've seen real positive change in our local area even at this most difficult time.

“I look forward to meeting as many people and community groups as possible over the next 12 months”.

Gateshead Council’s Lib Dem opposition proposed that one of their own, Coun Marilynn Ord, be elected as the new deputy mayor. The former leader of the Gateshead Lib Dems’ councillor Jonathan Wallace argued this would demonstrate the civic, not political, nature of the role and end a 50-year run of mayors chosen by Labour.

In response, Gateshead Council Leader, Coun Martin Gannon said that the roles of mayor and deputy mayor are civic and as such, the labour councillors are not acting as Labour party officials. In addition, Coun Gannon said that the choice was ultimately up to the party with the largest majority, while acknowledging Coun Ord as a valued colleague.

Following the alternative proposal for deputy mayor, Labour councillor Frieda Geddes of Ryton, Crookhill and Stella, was appointed the new deputy mayor by a Labour majority.