TOWN mayor Tony Gardiner has pledged to visit every place of worship and school in Bognor Regis.
Cllr Gardiner said he was keen to meet congregations of every faith and schoolchildren around the town in the coming year. “I will also be meeting as many of the residents of Bognor as possible,” he said.
Cllr Gardiner was elected unanimously at Bognor Regis Town Council’s annual meeting on Monday.
He has been a Conservative member of the council for Marine ward for three years. But he has decades of prior political experience.
His proposer, Cllr Adam Cunard (I, Pevensey), told the council: “Tony moved to the area 11 years ago this week and I have known him for much of that time.
“He moved down with his wife Sandra to be with his daughter and grand-daughter. He will make a fantastic mayor for Bognor, a brilliant asset for the town and a good chairman of this council.”
His deputy mayor will be Cllr Jeanette Warr (LD, Hotham) She was proposed by outgoing mayor Cllr Paul Wells (LD, Hotham).
He said Cllr Warr, whose annual trips to Florida prompted controversy earlier this year, worked hard for the town in various campaigns. She was elected 8-0 with four abstentions.
Cllr Gardiner was born in Farnham in Surrey and lived for much of his life in Aldershot. He was a councillor for 23 years on Rushmoor and Aldershot councils and spent 20 years working as a taxi driver.
“He is a very experienced councillor and, during that time, served as the deputy mayor,” said Cllr Cunard.
He added Cllr Gardiner had proved a good chairman of the town council’s environment and leisure committee. Cllr Gardiner, 73, of Gloster Drive, Pagham, had been a volunteer at Bognor’s Regis Centre and a school governor among his community roles.
He has been married to Sandra for 51 years. They have three children and three grandchildren.
His good causes for the year will be RAFA and the No18 Project.