Councillor Bruce Tennent has been invested as Mayor of the Borough of Eastleigh at the annual Mayor-Making ceremony.
It was an evening of ‘thank you’s’ and ‘goodbyes’ at the Kings Community Church, Hedge End as the outgoing Mayor Maureen ‘Mo’ Solllitt – who was leaving public life to retire overseas – thanked those who had helped her during her last year as Mayor and her 22 year of service as a councillor.
The two-times Mayor of Eastleigh also expressed her thanks to the following councillors who had retired at the recent local election: Sarah Bain, Mark Balaam Haulwen Broadhurst, Daniel Hatfield, Pamela Holden-Brown Elizabeth Lear, Clifford Morris , Angel Myerscroft, and Angela Rollins.
Mrs Sollitt had commiserations for those who had lost their seats in the election including her Deputy Mayor and fellow Independent Chris Thomas along with Jerry Hall, Trevor Mignot ,Vickieye Parkinson, Des Scott, Steve Sollitt and Anne Winstanley.
Newly Elected Councillors were also welcomed, although half of the new intake were missing due to prior pre-election commitments.
These were Councillors Ray Dean, Dr Richard Gomer, Tm Groves, Louise Parker-Jones, Rosemary Reynolds, Adrian Trace and Sarah Tyson-Payne who all stood to take a bow while fellow absent newbies; Alex Bourne, Steve Broomfield, Jepthe Doguie, Adam Manning, Lucy Jurd, Gin Tidridge sent apologies.
Cllr Tenent was proposed by Cllr Dr Richard Gomer; seconded by Cllr Wayne Irish and unanimously voted in. Councillor Darshan Mann, who represents Eastleigh South was invested as the Deputy Mayor elect for the year having been proposed by Cllr Paul Bicknell and seconded by Cllr Daniel Clarke.
Dr Nigel Paterson, of Kings Community Church was appointed as the Mayor’s Chaplin.
In his first act Mayor Tennent invited Cllr Irish to move a vote of thanks to Mo Sollitt. This was seconded by Cllr Tonia Craig and received a unanimous vote in favour. In response Mo Sollitt gave an emotional speech thanking her family and those who had worked with her both as a Councillor and as Mayor but particularly, she said, through the last few “difficult months.”
Concluding Mrs Sollitt added:
“It has been a privilege and an honour representing Eastleigh as a councillor for 22 years and as the mayor from 2001 to 2002 and during the past year. There is a lot more I could say, but not in this forum – I will save it for an investigation elsewhere.”
The new Mayor then invested several retiring Councillors, with the honorary title of ‘Alderman of the Borough of Eastleigh’. The recipients were Haulwen Broadhurst, Pamela Holden-Brown, Mo Sollitt, Angela Rollins and Roger Smith – the latter a posthumous award collected by Alderman Philip Spearey while former Councillor Anne Winstanley collected Angela Rollins’s honour on her behalf.
After the meeting ended, the newly invested Mayor and his guests retired to enjoy drinks and a cold buffet.
Smartly turned-out cadets from Eastleigh 1216 Sqn, Air Training Corps provided the Mayors with a Guard of Honour for the evening.
Who is the new Mayor?
The new Mayor Cllr Bruce Tenennt, represents West End North, he has been a Borough Councillor for 12 years,he has also been a West End Parish Councillor since 2007, a Hampshire County Councillor in 2009 and is also a Hedge End Town Councillor.
Bruce Tenennt was born in Plymouth in 1953; his father was in the Royal Marines, resulting in Bruce attending ten different schools. After leaving school at 16 Bruce took up a mechanical engineering apprenticeship with the Admiralty Experiment Works (AEW) in Gosport Dockyard and also achieved a Sandwich Honours Degree course in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Portsmouth Polytechnic.
In 1981, whilst working France, he met his Brazilian wife Mariah, and they married five years later in Brazil. They moved to the Borough and have lived in West End since 1994. They have one son, Alasdair, who works as a Geophysicist in Brazil.
After working for British American Tobacco in Southampton he took a career change from engineering and, in 2004, worked for Southampton City Council helping disadvantaged young people into employment. He then worked for Hampshire County Council, based in Eastleigh, for the Social Services Department.
“I’m really excited about my Mayoral year and I’m really looking forward to representing the Borough and promoting so many good things it has to offer.
“In particular, I’m looking forward to meeting local residents, organisations and businesses that make up this great Borough – and I’m also looking forward to promoting and supporting my nominated charities“.
This year’s Mayor’s charity appeal will be in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society (Tenennt revealed his Mum was a sufferer) the National Autistic Society South Hampshire Branch, Wildern Opportunity Group and Hedge End, and the West End and Botley Scout Groups.