Preparations are underway to welcome Councillor James Michael Stowe as the borough’s new mayor for 2023-24. The official Mayor Making Ceremony will take place on Friday 19 May at Barnsley Town Hall, where Cllr Stowe will be formally elected as the Mayor of Barnsley during the annual Full Council Meeting.
Cllr Stowe has represented the Hoyland Milton Ward since 2012 and will remain in office until at least 2024. For the last year, Cllr Stowe has acted as Barnsley’s Deputy Mayor, putting him in great stead for the year ahead. In addition to his new role as mayor and local councillor, Cllr Stowe also sits on several council committees and boards, including the South Area Council and a number of regulatory boards.
Cllr Stowe, who will be joined by his wife, Mrs Elaine Stowe as mayoress for the year, has chosen to support and raise money for two local charities during his mayoral year:
- Barnsley Blind and Partially Sighted Association (BBPSA), who provide an advice and support service on all aspects of blind welfare for residents, their family and friends.
- Barnsley Hospice who provide specialist palliative and end of life care for adults living with a progressive life-limiting illness, and the people close to them.
Incoming mayor, Cllr Stowe, said: “I am thrilled to be appointed the 153rd Mayor of Barnsley – what an honour! I’ve been Deputy Mayor for the last year, so have already had some experience of life as mayor and can’t wait to take on my mayoral responsibilities.
“I’ve already had a taste of the fabulous things in store and the opportunities ahead to support, help and strengthen our borough. Barnsley is my hometown, so I couldn’t be prouder to represent the borough and our wonderful communities. I’m also excited to play a part in driving forward our priorities and ambitions for the future of Barnsley, the place of possibilities.
“My mayoral theme for the year ahead will be ‘Inclusive Communities’. I have chosen this theme to encompass all aspects of inclusivity, equality and diversity within our communities – whether that be race, religion and sexual orientation or financial and aspirational inequalities – all of which must be supported within our communities. We are living in a society which has been hugely impacted by austerity, Brexit and the economic downturn. We have a cost-of-living crisis that some of our families and residents are finding increasingly hard to manage.
“We’re seeing a polarisation between the have and have-nots. My theme of inclusive communities will focus on raising awareness of the opportunities and support that we as a council can offer, and highlight what support projects and initiatives our voluntary, community and charitable sector deliver to support all aspects of inclusivity across our wonderful borough.
“I’m also so grateful to have the opportunity to carry out charity work and raise money for my chosen charities and hope to make them both proud, as well as the people and borough of Barnsley. I am very much looking forward to the year ahead and to meeting many residents over the coming year.”
At the ceremony, the retiring mayor, Cllr Sarah-Jane Tattersall and her consort, Ethan Tattersall, will be thanked for their hard work and commitment over the last year, which has seen them play a part in some remarkable events and moments in history. In recognition of the council’s appreciation, they’ll be presented with replicas of their medallions attached to the chain of office for 2022-23. Cllr Tattersall will continue her role as local councillor representing St Helen’s Ward where she’ll remain in office until at least 2024. She will also sit on a number of boards and looks forward to her ongoing involvement and commitment across the borough.
Retiring mayor, Cllr Tattersall, said: “I have had such a wonderful year as the Mayor of Barnsley and am so honoured and grateful to have had this opportunity and to have been part of some truly memorable events. As part of my theme - Educate, Inspire and Deliver, I’ve had the opportunity to visit many manufacturing companies across Barnsley that are investing in our young people and the economy. I’ve seen the borough continue to build back stronger and better after the pandemic and I’ve celebrated and supported Barnsley’s equality and diverse communities. I’ve also been mayor during the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, her sad death and the recent Coronation of The King.
“Despite these momentous occasions, I’ve equally loved spending time at more local events within our communities - whether that be judging competitions, supporting coffee mornings or attending Eid celebrations. I’ve met many other local mayors across the region and am always so proud to talk about our wonderful borough and felt very lucky to be representing our wonderful communities. I’ve also had the opportunity to fundraise and am delighted to announce that we have raised over £8,000 for the mayor’s charity this year, which is just fantastic.
"I’d like to wish Cllr Stowe a fulfilling and rewarding year in his new role as the Mayor of Barnsley for 2023-24 and hope he enjoys it as much as I have. Also, a big thank you for all the support I’ve received from residents and colleagues over the year.”
Residents are welcome to attend the annual full council meeting, followed by the Mayor Making ceremony from the public gallery or view the live webcast from our website.