Longest serving Sunderland mayor since Second World War stands down after term extended due to pandemic

Sunderland’s longest-serving mayor since the Second World War has relinquished his chain of office.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 11:45 am
Former Mayor, Cllr David Snowdon, and his wife, Cllr Dianne Snowdon, make way for the New Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Henry Trueman, with his wife and Mayoress, Cllr Dorothy Trueman. Source: Sunderland City Council

David Snowdon a city councillor for almost a decade, stepped back from the honorary position last night (Wednesday, May 19) after two years in the post – double what he originally signed up for.

The extended term of office had been approved after the coronavirus pandemic saw much local authority business, including elections, put on hold.

But with the country finally beginning to reopen after a series of national lockdowns, the Shiney Row councillor handed responsibilities over to serving deputy mayor and former council leader Harry Trueman at a stripped back ceremony held at the Beacon of Light, rather than the traditional Civic Centre venue.

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Cllr Alison Smith

“During the last year we’ve seen what a great city we are and how great our people are as we all pulled together to get through the pandemic,” said Cllr Snowdon.

“Things have been different over the last year, we’ve had to be more creative to conduct the work of the council, but Sunderland led the way.”

Tributes were paid to the outgoing mayor from across the political spectrum, with Conservative Michael Dixon pointing out he had been the longest serving mayor since Myers Wayman, who was in the post from 1938-42, with both in place during ‘some very dark days for the city’.

Cllr Snowdon was supported throughout by his wife, mayoress and fellow city councillor, Cllr Dianne Snowdon, throughout the last two years.

The meeting was held at the Beacon of Light.

And his successor will be able to count on the same backing from his ward colleague in Washington West, Cllr Dorothy Trueman.

The new mayor, who nominated the Special Lioness and Hug in a Bag as his official charities, said he wanted to build on the ‘incredible experience’ he already has of different groups working in Wearside.

He added: “There are so many diverse groups that make up our communities, and during my term of office as mayor I look forward to continuing meeting as many people and organisations as I can.

“The civic role of the mayoral office encompasses everything from raising ceremonial flags to raising money for charity, and I will continue to work hard to raise the profile of Sunderland wherever I can.”

Cllr Alison Smith, who was elected to Sunderland City Council for the first time earlier this month (May 6) representing Redhill, was appointed deputy mayor.

It is believed to be the first time a councillor for the ward has held the position.

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