New Mayor of Taunton Deane takes office

The new Mayor of Taunton Deane has begun her year in office after being selected by fellow councillors at the annual meeting of the borough council.

Councillor Hazel Prior-Sankey, who succeeds Councillor Vivienne Stock-Williams, said she was “proud” to be elected to the role.

She added: “[I] am looking forward to supporting a wide range of organisations and individuals at events throughout the year, as well as raising funds for my two chosen charities.”

The Deputy Mayor for the year is Councillor Catherine Herbert.

The Mayor of Taunton Deane, Councillor Hazel Prior-Sankey (r) and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Catherine Herbert

Mrs Prior-Sankey was elected to Taunton Deane Borough Council in 2003 representing the Blackbrook and Holway ward.

She will be supported in her duties by her consort, Adrian Prior-Sankey who was a former Mayor of Taunton Deane in 2002/2003.

Mrs Prior-Sankey’s charities for the year ahead are Stand Against Violence and Hestercombe Gardens Trust.

Taunton-based Stand Against Violence works with young people to prevent violence through a variety of workshops and talks, focusing on personal safety, anger and aggression, basic life support and the awareness of choices and consequences.

The charity was set up by Adam Fouracre in memory of his brother, Lloyd, who was beaten to death in Taunton in 2005. Donations will help to deliver anti-violence workshops, self-defence and first aid lessons to young people, and allow the charity to develop new educational resources for combating violence in our communities.

Cheddon Fitzpaine-based Hestercombe Gardens Trust aims to restore, preserve, and enhance the gardens and buildings for the education and benefit of the public.

It relies on the support of individuals and organisations to continue its award­-winning restoration, maintenance and development of the historic gardens and buildings. All money raised goes directly towards the upkeep and restoration of Hestercombe.