New mayor and deputy make history at Nuneaton and Bedworth council

The new Mayor, councillor Bill Hancox and deputy Mayor, Cllr Bhim Saru, pictured front centre, have made history
The new Mayor, councillor Bill Hancox and deputy Mayor, Cllr Bhim Saru, pictured front centre, have made history -Credit:NBBC

Nuneaton and Bedworth's new mayor and deputy have become history makers in the borough. Councillors Bill Hancox and Bhim Saru were given the civic honours at the annual full council meeting at the Town Hall last night (May 15).

In doing so, both councillors have written their names in the borough's history. Councillor Bill Hancox has become the only person in the borough council's 50 year history to hold the position of Mayor three times.

His deputy Mayor, newly elected councillor Bhim Saru, has also written a new chapter in the council's history books. He is the first ever Nepalese councillor, and will eventually become the two towns' first ever Nepalese mayor .

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In his Mayoral speech last night, Cllr Hancox, who is a Bede ward representative, paid tribute to his wife, Sheila, who was unable to be there on the night, as well as his family. This includes his grandchildren, one of whom raised many smiles in the council when he put up his hand to vote for his grandad to become mayor.

"As Mayor and Mayoress, Sheila and I will do our best to be available to all residents, communities, businesses and charities," he said. "We want to highlight all of the positives within the borough.

"As a councillor and now Mayor, I absolutely value the support of Sheila and family members. All of them have had to, over the years, act as unpaid secretaries for me as well as suffering my absence at times due to council duties," the Coventry-born but now Bedworth living first citizen said.

He added: "Tonight is a new opportunity for everyone elected to this council to positively work together and to take Nuneaton and Bedworth forward into a positive new future." During his first time as Mayor, back in 2013, Cllr Hancox raised money for the George Eliot Hospital and this included becoming the first ever first citizen to take scale Snowdonia to raise money.

Then, during his last time as Mayor back in 2017, he bravely took part in wingwalk for his chosen charity - the Lymphoedema clinic which serves Nuneaton, Bedworth and much farther afield. He told the council chamber last night that he has yet to pick the charity who will benefit from his year in office this time round, but promised the decision would be made soon.

'Dream come true'

After the vote for deputy Mayor, which saw the opposing Conservatives put forward Cllr Julian Gutteridge for the position and the Green Party nominating Cllr Mike Wright, Cllr Saru spoke of his pride of being given the civic position. In accepting his role, the retired Royal Engineers captain told the chamber he was 'deeply honoured' to be serving the 'vibrant and diverse' borough, which he now calls home.

"This is a dream come true for me," the St Mary's ward representative said.

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