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Councillor becomes mayor after 17 years’ service

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 08:31

By Alison Stephenson, local democracy reporter

Cllr Debo Sellis succeeds Cllr Lynn Daniel (Right) (Image: Alison Stephenson, Radio Exe)

"It's a great honour"

A councillor who has served as town, borough and county councillor for Tavistock for 17 years said it is “a great honour” to be elected as West Devon’s  mayor.

Cllr Debo Sellis (Con, Tavistock South East) there is “heck of a lot of work to do” this year but it will also be fun.

She takes over from outgoing mayor Cllr Lynn Daniels (Green, South Tawton).

Elected as a town and West Devon Borough councillor in 2007 and a Devon County councillor two years later, Cllr Sellis, a former critical care nurse, said she entered local politics to help people and would continue to do so as mayor.

Her charity work will support Scouts and Brownies.

She said achieving the Queen’s Guide Badge when she was 13 or 14 stands her in good stead.

“The laws of the Scout movement still make me what I am today. The simple promise – that I promise I will do my best to serve other people – is one I still do now.”

Council leader Mandy Ewings (Ind, Tavistock South West) who proposed Cllr Sellis for mayor said: “She has waited a long time for something like this and will do an admirable job for West Devon.”

Cllr Neil Jory, who seconded the proposal, said Cllr Sellis is a valuable and experienced councillor who had always worked effectively and with great enthusiasm.

She was a founder member of Tidy Tavi, a litter picking group, and the West Devon Health and Wellbeing Alliance, and was a key player in the campaign to stop Devon County Council implementing a plan for parking meters for Tavistock and other Devon towns, he said.

Cllr Paul Vachon (Ind, Okehampton South) was appointed as deputy mayor.

Deputy leader Cllr Mark Renders (Ind, Dartmoor) congratulated outgoing mayor Cllr Daniels on her “tireless work” and remarkable efforts to raise money for Devon Wildlife Trust, her chosen charity. He said she had brought “humour, grace and glamour to the role” and done a “sterling job” with the introduction of a mayor’s green award for environmental excellence a highlight.

Cllr Mandy Ewings and Cllr Mark Renders were elected to serve another year as leader and deputy leader, and the chairs of the main committees were confirmed as follows: Hub – Cllr Mandy Ewings (Ind, Tavistock South West), audit and governance – Cllr George Dexter (Lib Dem, Okehampton), development management and licensing – Cllr Ric Cheadle (Ind, Buckland Monachorum), overview and scrutiny – Cllr Patrick Kimber (Con, Hatherleigh).

The council is made of 20 members of the West Devon Alliance, which consists of Independent, Liberal Democrat, Labour and Green councillors, and 11 Conservatives.

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