Sunderland gets a new mayor

Coun Lynda Scanlan takes over the ceremonial chains of office from Coun Doris MacKnight to become the new Mayor of Sunderland.
Coun Lynda Scanlan takes over the ceremonial chains of office from Coun Doris MacKnight to become the new Mayor of Sunderland.
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A new Mayor of Sunderland has been sworn in today.

Coun Lynda Scanlan, ward member for Millfield, was given the new chains of office during a full meeting of Sunderland City Council.

From left: Keith MacKnight, Michael Horswill, Coun Lynda Scanlan, and Coun Doris MacKnight.

From left: Keith MacKnight, Michael Horswill, Coun Lynda Scanlan, and Coun Doris MacKnight.

She will be supported during her term of office by long term family friend and charity fundraising colleague, Michael Horswill, who will serve as Mayoral Consort.

They have taken over the posts from Coun Doris MacKnight, and her consort Keith MacKnight.

The new mayoral team was joined at their inauguration ceremony by Coun Scanlan's children and their partners with her two grandsons, and members of Mr Horswill's family along with invited friends and guests.

Also sworn in by full council as Deputy Mayor of Sunderland 2018-2019 was Washington East ward member, Coun David Snowdon.

The new Mayor of Sunderland, who set up the family business Scanlan's Solicitors with her late husband Bill 31 years ago, has served on a number of committees during her council career including as chairman of the East Area Place Board and Deputy Portfolio Holder for Children's Services.

Mayor Scanlan said: “I have always been proud to serve my community, as a magistrate for almost 25 years and chairman of various training panels set to provide more opportunities for young people, and I’m honoured to have been chosen to take on this latest challenge representing our city as mayor.

“I’m looking forward to doing that to the best of my abilities, and using my role to help support the many community groups and charities who work so hard to help the vulnerable and young people of our city.

“Assisting me throughout will be my Mayoral Consort, Micky Horswill, who I’ve worked with for more than 20 years on our many fundraising activities. He’s well known and loved as a member of Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup winning team, and I’m certain we’ll work well together raising funds for our chosen charities.”

The Mayoral Charities this year will be the Sunderland and North Durham Society for the Blind, Sunderland based charity Hope Spring, which works with vulnerable young people in the community, and the local NCPCC Childline Service.

Coun Scanlan added: “We have chosen charities particularly close to both our hearts, which we are determined to raise as much money as we can to support."

Taking over the ceremonial chains of office for the year ahead Coun Scanlan also paid tribute to her predecessors, adding: “We’d both like to thank Coun MacKnight and Keith MacKnight for their support while we were deputies.

“They have both done a wonderful job promoting our city and I hope we'll be able to carry on their good work.”

Coun MacKnight said: “We both wish our new mayor and her mayoral consort the best of luck, and I’m sure Lynda and Michael will do a wonderful job.

“Myself and Keith have had a fantastic time during our term of office, met lots of interesting people and made lots of new friends.

“The mayoral role is one as ambassador for the city and the region, and our highlights include helping to celebrate our city’s close link with the military particularly the 4th Field Regiment and HMS Ocean. We were honoured to join her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at the decommissioning ceremony for our adopted ship, and to represent the city as she was withdrawn from active service after serving this country with such distinction all over the world.”

“I’d like to thank everyone for helping to raise more than £14,000 for my mayoral charities, the Phoenix Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital, Castletown Scouts and the Alzheimer’s Society, and of course ward councillor colleagues Coun Denny Wilson and Coun Stephen Foster for their support during my term of office."