By Dan Santy 23/05 Updated: 23/05 10:31
RUGBY's new Mayor has spoken of her pride at taking the chains of office in what she called a year of 'wonderful celebrations' for the town.
Coun Kathryn Lawrence was made the new Mayor of Rugby at a special ceremony held at the town hall last week.
The Hillmorton Conservative councillor, born and bred in the ward she represents and lives in, took over from outgoing Mayor Gwen Hotten and told the Observer of her delight at being appointed Rugby's first citizen.
"I'm a Hillmorton girl, born and bred, so I'm very proud and privileged to be Mayor of Rugby," she said.
"It's a special year with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics, Rugby Festival of Culture and so many other events happening. We've got wonderful celebrations and a great Jubilee parade to look forward to."
Coun Lawrence, a former humanities teacher for 31 years and head of year at Guilsborough School in West Haddon, made her first foray into local politics when she was elected to Rugby Borough Council in 2000.
Her chosen theme for her year in office is to celebrate Rugby's past, present and future, while she has selected the Friends of St Cross Hospital as her charity.
Coun Lawrence said: "I chose the Friends of St Cross as I've been going there since I was a child. At that time all they had was a tea trolley.
"They do such a worthwhile job raising money for new items and equipment so I wanted to support their efforts."
And while she accepts there are tough times ahead, Coun Lawrence thinks Rugby is in a strong enough position to weather the continuing economic storm.
"Times are tough of course but I think we can still make Rugby flourish even while the economy is disappointing," she said.
"We're very fortunate to have so many great independent traders, restaurants, cafes and bars, and we also have the Rugby Festival of Culture to showcase what's great about our town."
In her spare time, Coun Lawrence volunteers for the National Trust as a tour guide and enjoys gardening, dining with friends, shopping and driving her sports car.
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