New Mayor and Deputy nominated

New Mayor and Deputy nominated

Cllr Geoff Hipperson will be nominated as Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and as Chairman of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk for the coming year at the mayormaking ceremony on Thursday 16 May at King’s Lynn Town Hall, with Cllr Margaret Wilkinson being nominated as his deputy.

Geoff Hipperson was born in 1948, one of three children. His mother was from Derbyshire and his father a former Royal Air Force pilot. While attending Shouldham primary school Geoff was fortunate to be a pupil of an exceptional headmaster, David Johnson.

Now semi-retired, Geoff previously worked in a local farming partnership. Married to Rose since 1973 they have lived in Shouldham and have four children and a several grandchildren.

In addition to family commitments and farming, Geoff has been involved in several local organisations including Downham Market Young Farmers, secretary of the Pelicans Hockey Club, parish councillor and school governor.

Elected to the borough council in 1999, Geoff is a former cabinet member for the Environment, a member of the planning committee and the resources and environment panel. He was a member of the original Freebridge Community Housing Board. More recently Geoff has helped with the re-opening of the King’s Arms community pub in Shouldham, and is a member of the management team.

Geoff is especially appreciative of being chosen as mayor having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012. He asks that no one think any shaking, shuffling or loss of balance is caused by too much time in the community pub!

Following a fascinating year as deputies , Geoff and his Mayoress, wife Rose, are anticipating meeting even more residents and attending many additional events. One of Geoff’s themes is to visit the more remote areas of this large borough to help include residents in the whole community.

Geoff has chosen West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled Association and West Norfolk Mind as his charities for the year.

Geoff is very pleased that Cllr. Margaret Wilkinson has agreed to be deputy mayor and is looking forward to working with her representing the council and borough during the forthcoming municipal year.

Margaret Rose Wilkinson (nee Farrow) was born on 14 October 1940 in Edmonton, North London. After surviving the ravages of the wartime bombing, Margaret suffered the dreadful loss of both her parents when she was just 9 years old. Her older brother took on the role of guardian to keep the family together.

Margaret left school at 15 and worked in London for Aquascutum, the luxury clothing retailer. This was followed by a stint at Burberry. Regrettably, she could not afford to buy the expensive clothes but enjoyed trying them on. Visits to the nearby jazz clubs were a lunchtime highlight as were the riverboat shuffles at the weekend. It was at a jazz night at the Cooks Ferry Pub in Edmonton that Margaret met Peter Wilkinson. This was April 1958 when Peter was on leave from the Merchant Navy. They were married in December of that year. Their daughter Louise was born in 1961 and David followed in 1962.

Margaret then joined the NHS and worked for Tottenham Hotspur’s Doctor in the mid 1960’s. In 1967 she and Peter visited friends who had moved to King’s Lynn and they liked the area so much they moved here the same year. One reason was to escape the smog of London as it was causing health problems for their daughter. Margaret worked in the first doctor’s surgery on the Fairstead estate when it was situated in a house.

In 1983 Margaret was elected as Borough Councillor for the Fairstead ward, a role she has continued to date. Her 36 years of unbroken service make her one of the longest serving Councillors. When the Labour Group controlled the council, she undertook several high ranking positions including Chair of the Environment Committee. As portfolio holder for Environment she was proud to oversee many initiatives which we still benefit from today. She introduced the black waste bins and the green boxes, oversaw the construction of the award winning toilets in Baker Line, King’s Lynn, and the refurbishment of the Tuesday Market toilets. The first clean up teams in the borough were also introduced under Margaret’s direction.

In 1990, whilst working full time and serving on the Council, Margaret was approached to stand as a Justice of the Peace. There followed 20 years on the bench of King’s Lynn Magistrates Court, a challenging role which Margaret performed to the best of her ability. Margaret has also been an active member of the Unite Trade Union for more than thirty years, receiving a special award for her long and valued contribution.

In spite of her busy life, Margaret still finds time for her favourite pastimes of knitting and gardening.

Margaret and Peter are very proud grandparents to their grandsons, one of whom lives locally. Unfortunately due to health reasons, Peter is unable to accompany Margaret in her mayoral year. They are both pleased that Sandra Collop has agred to act as consort and provide the necessary support.

Margaret is looking forward immensely to her year ahead supporting the mayor.

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