A NEW mayor for Penarth has been elected by its town council.

Cllr Laura Rochefort, who is the Labour representative in Cornerswell ward, has been elected mayor for 2022-23.

Cllr Melissa Rabaiotti, of Plymouth ward, has been appointed deputy mayor.

The town's mayor is elected each year by members at the council’s annual general meeting.

Previously Penarth's deputy mayor, as mayor, Cllr Rochefort will become the ‘First Citizen’ of Penarth, which means performing ceremonial duties, acting as the public face of the council, and representing the council at official and community events.

Speaking shortly after her appointment, Cllr Rochefort thanked all for her nomination and said she felt “privileged and honoured to represent the Town Council as the mayor of Penarth.”

Penarth Times: Cllr Laura Rochefort is the new mayor of Penarth for the year 2022/23. (Image credit: Penarth Town Council - Lewis Prosser)Cllr Laura Rochefort is the new mayor of Penarth for the year 2022/23. (Image credit: Penarth Town Council - Lewis Prosser)

Cllr Rochefort also thanked her predecessor, Cllr Ian Buckley.

“I think we would all agree he has done an amazing job,” she added.

“He has been truly involved in the community, whilst also adding fun and wit to every meeting.”

On accepting the nomination, Cllr Rochefort said: “Penarth has many great attributes, and we want to continue to offer the best for the community, young and old, and for our visitors, far and wide.

“We also want to continue to work with our local businesses for them to thrive in these trying times. Penarth is a beautiful place to live, and our community is an essential part of that beauty. Once again, thank you for the nomination, it is a great privilege, and I’ll do my best as your new mayor.”

As well as dedicating time to civic activities, the town mayor is also responsible for raising money for charitable causes of their choice. At the meeting, outgoing mayor Cllr Ian Buckley said: “I would like to thank Laura for not only her kind words but also all the support she has given me as deputy town mayor over the past year.

“Despite losing half the year to covid restrictions and purdah I’ve still had a busy year. With the help of the community, I managed to raise £8,156.26 for my chosen charities: Woody’s Lodge and Amelia Trust Farm.”

For her mayoral term Cllr Rochefort has chosen to raise money for Marie Curie Hospice, a charity which provides care and support to people living with a terminal illness and those close to them.

The mayor’s first civic engagement will be the lighting of the Jubilee beacon on Thursday, June 2, at the Cliff Tops followed by a special fireworks display.