Graham is voted as Keighley mayor again

Councillor Graham Mitchell during his previous stint as Keighley Mayor

Councillor Graham Mitchell during his previous stint as Keighley Mayor

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A Keighley town councillor who served as mayor seven years ago will return to the prestigious role for the next civic year.

Councillor Graham Mitchell, who was mayor in 2006/07, was voted back into this office during a full meeting of Keighley Town Council.

Both he and the current deputy mayor, Coun Judith Brooksbank, had been nominated for the role.

Lawkholme and Showfield ward councillor Javaid Akhtar was the only nominee for the 2014/015 deputy mayor post.

Coun Mitchell was put forward by Councillor Margaret Ward and seconded by Coun Michael Westerman.

Coun Ward said: “Councillor Mitchell is a Keighley man and a founder of this town council, who has worked tirelessly for the town and his ward during the past 12 years.

“He is a man of the highest integrity, and has a great deal of knowledge about local government and its workings.”

Coun Westerman added Coun Mitchell had previously served as mayor with “dignity, loyalty and pride”, and that a vote for him would benefit the whole town, not just the council.

Long Lee and Parkwood councillor Judith Brooksbank was proposed by Coun Pauline Rogan and seconded by Coun Andrea Walker.

Coun Rogan said: “She has proved her value to the town council time and time again during her seven years on the council.

“She believes the council should only exist to serve the people of Keighley, and that councillors are servants of people, not the other way round.”

In a secret vote for the post, Coun Mitchell, who represents Oakworth, won by 18 votes to seven.

Addressing the chamber in his acceptance speech, he said: “You and most of the members know this is not a position that I was looking for, and not a position I expected at my great age.

“Nevertheless, I graciously accept your wishes and your decision, with my very sincere thanks to those of you who have sufficient faith in me to believe I can fulfil your hopes and aspirations.

“Whatever our critics may say about me does not alter the fact you know I’ve always done my best for Keighley, and I always will fight for Keighley, the town of my birth.”

Accepting his own selection as deputy mayor, Coun Akhtar said: “I’ve been on this council since the beginning, and it’s quite an emotional moment for me. Thank you for putting your faith and trust in me.”

Both councillors will be confirmed in their roles at a mayor-making event on May 15.

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