Neal Davey returns as Tiverton mayor, pledges community focus and support

Tiverton welcomed a new mayor on Monday, May 20, as Councillor Neal Davey was elected at the full council meeting.

Councillor Tim Bridger, who nominated Cllr Davey, highlighted his previous term as mayor in 2012, where he served with ‘distinction’.

Cllr Bridger said: “Cllr Davey has served as mayor previously, in 2012, he served with distinction at a time when there was some upheaval for the council, and he became a well-respected voice of calm and knowledge.”

Cllr Davey's extensive involvement in the community was also praised, with Cllr Bridger noting his roles in the Portas Group, the Moorhayes committee, and as a trustee of Tiverton Adventure Playground.

Cllr Sue Griggs was elected deputy mayor and expressed gratitude to outgoing mayor Wally Burke, stating, “This was his fourth term as mayor, and Tiverton is all the richer for Cllr Burke and his wonderful respect for the flowers and plants that he brings to the town every year, and we love you for that. Thanks to Ann as well, your wife, who has supported you throughout the year.”

Cllr Davey appointed his wife Libbey as mayoress, while Cllr Griggs’ husband Danny was named the deputy mayor’s consort. The beadle remains Alan Burnett, with Bill Zarrett and Alan Newsome serving as macebearers, and Reverend Christian Hill continuing as chaplain. Notably, James Hargreaves, was chosen as the cadet with a Royal Marine taking the role for the first time.

In his maiden speech, Cllr Davey addressed the council saying: “You’ll be pleased to know I haven’t prepared a long speech,” he began, adding: “as mayor, my role is to serve Tiverton, chairing full council meetings and taking a leading role in the council as well as supporting organizations in the town, attending events, and I will do my best to attend as many of those as I can.”

Reflecting on his previous term, Cllr Davey shared, “I was mayor ten years ago and I found out so many things about many organizations. I will do my best to serve you as a council and you as the people of Tiverton.”

One of the key initiatives Cllr Davey announced was the revival of the mayor’s community fund. He explained: “I am reviving the mayor’s community fund which we have had in the past, so funds raised don’t go to one particular organization. It’s designed to fundraise and then be distributed to voluntary organisations or charities that run activities based in the town.”