THE new Mayor will be welcomed this morning at a Mayor Making ceremony at the town hall.

Councillor John Clarke JP will be formally elected as the Mayor of Barnsley during the annual full council meeting.

Coun Clarke will be joined and supported during his mayoral year by his wife, Mrs Doreen Clarke as mayoress. Cllr Clarke JP has represented Worsbrough Ward since 2010.

For the last year, he has also acted as Barnsley’s Deputy Mayor.

Coun Clarke has announced the two local charities which he will support during his mayoral year.

Age UK Barnsley: An independent local charity dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of all older people living in the borough. The charity aims to ensure that every older person feels valued, supported, and empowered. They offer a wide range of services including support and activity groups, shopping support, a handyman and gardening service, wellbeing treatments and a free information and advice service.

The Well, Barnsley Hospital Charity: A complementary and beauty therapy service offered to all cancer patients in Barnsley. The Well offers packages of therapeutic care and beauty therapies including acupuncture and massages, brow stencilling and manicures. Other services include advice and tuition on scarf and headwear tying and yoga classes.

Coun Clarke said: “I am truly honoured and humbled to be appointed the 154th Mayor of Barnsley and to be given the opportunity to represent our wonderful borough. I’ve already had the pleasure of being the Deputy Mayor for the last year, so I’ve had some invaluable experience in the hot seat already.

“For the past 14 years, and counting, I’ve had the privilege of being elected local councillor to represent Worsbrough Ward and to now have the opportunity to represent and showcase our entire borough is such an honour.

“I am also grateful to have the opportunity to work with, and support two local charities, both of which are very close to my heart – The Well and Age Barnsley UK, meaning all money raised will be kept in our borough for local people. I pledge to raise as much money as I can for them during my term and hope the borough will join me in my fundraising efforts.

“My theme for the forthcoming year will be Kindness and Respect. Our borough prides itself on being a welcoming, friendly, and inclusive place, where everyone is treated equally and with kindness.

“I’m determined to make sure that we live up to this accolade by embedding this kindness and mutual respect within our communities and future generations. Of course, respect is not just about people, it’s also about the place and environment in which we live. We live in a beautiful borough, and I feel proud to call it my home. But we need to work together to make sure everyone shows it the respect it deserves to protect it today and always.

“I think the thing my wife and I are looking forward to the most, is to ‘bang the drum’ for Barnsley and its residents and broadcast to the widest audience imaginable, that Barnsley truly is the place of possibilities.

“Finally, I’d like to thank retiring mayor, Coun Stowe and mayoress, Elaine Stowe for all the fabulous work they’ve done over the last year and for giving me the opportunity to get some practise in. Thank you to everyone who has supported my journey to reach this honourable moment.”

At the ceremony, the retiring mayor, Coun Mick Stowe and mayoress, Elaine Stowe, will be thanked for their hard work and commitment over the last year and in recognition of the council’s appreciation, they’ll be presented with replica pendants. Coun Stowe will continue his role as local councillor representing the Hoyland Milton ward.

Retiring mayor, Coun Stowe, said: “It has been an absolute honour for Elaine and I to represent Barnsley as mayor and mayoress. The good people of Barnsley have been fantastic in supporting us throughout our year in office and I know they will continue that for the incoming mayor and mayoress. I wish them good luck and hope they enjoy their year as much as we have because it will give them fond memories to hold dearly forever.’’