20 June 2024

New mayor takes part in first official event

by Ray Duffill

The election of the 677th mayor of Hedon took place on Thursday, May 23.

Following his formal election and having been invested in his chain of office, Councillor Colin Billany undertook his first official public function as mayor by officiating at the Hedon Penny Throwing.

This involves the town’s children scrambling for pennies and other coins “thrown” by the mayor and civic guests.

It is one of the most peculiar events in Hedon’s civic calendar. Steeped in history, it is a parody of the days when Hedon was a “rotten borough” with people being offered money to vote for a particular mayoral candidate.

Following their appointment, the incumbent mayor would pay off his supporters.

These days, it is a family-fun event that marks the otherwise serious process of electing the town’s mayor.

Cllr Billany said: “I am honoured to be the 677th mayor of the historic and ancient town of Hedon.

“This is officially my second term, even though I was mayor for an extra year due to Covid. During the year I will promote the historic town through all the civic events I attend.

“I am particularly looking forward to the town’s celebrations for the 80th anniversary of D-Day on June 6 – from 7pm on Market Hill – and visiting local schools during the day.

“Also, Hedfest takes place on July 21-22, when I will lead the carnival parade through the town, which has an Olympics theme.

“This year I want to engage with local communities as much as possible and find out what the mayor and the town council can help them with. I want to show that we, the town councillors, are a group of people who care about the town of Hedon and its residents.”

The mayor’s consort is his wife Yvonne Billany, and the deputies who stand in for the mayor when necessary are Cllr Jason Brindley and consort Cllr Sarah Rommell.