Youthful look to new mayoral office in Wigan

New mayor Coun Steve Dawber with consort son Oliver Waite
New mayor Coun Steve Dawber with consort son Oliver Waite

The mayoral office certainly has a youthful air to it following the election of the latest first citizen.

Coun Steve Dawber, representative for Wigan West ward, was formally elected at full council meeting in Wigan Town Hall and unveiled his 18-year-old son Oliver Waite as his consort - the youngest the borough has ever had.

New mayor Coun Steve Dawber with consort son Oliver Waite, the mayors cadet Joseph Roberts, 17, and family and friends

New mayor Coun Steve Dawber with consort son Oliver Waite, the mayors cadet Joseph Roberts, 17, and family and friends

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And Coun Dawber has selected to youth projects as his charities.

Born and raised in Wigan, Coun Dawber was elected to Wigan Council in 2008 as a Wigan West councillor.

He has been an active member within the local community for a number of years as a governor at St Andrew’s Primary School and Hawkley Hall High School.

He sits on the finance committee at both schools and is involved in funding allocation, facilities management and budget monitoring.

Coun Dawber is also a member of the former Transport and General Workers’ union (now known as Unite) and was previously a "companion", which allowed him to accompany members in meetings at their places of work that do not have a recognised union.

After former mayor Coun Sue Greensmith handed over the reins, Coun Dawber said: “I love being a councillor and have a great relationship with residents. I hope to continue with this work while I am Mayor of Wigan Borough and will do my upmost to support the community and their fantastic work.”

Part of the mayor’s role is to select a charity to raise money for throughout the mayoral year. Coun Dawber has chosen two charities to serve during his time in office; The Willow Project and Wigan Youth Zone.

Coun Dawber said: “My chosen charities have been somewhat influenced by my son Oliver.

“Promoting the achievements of the borough’s young people and highlighting the opportunities available to them is a key priority for me.

“I strongly believe that the future of Wigan borough is bright and positive as a result of the fantastic creativity, willingness to thrive and determination that is shown in our young people.

“I consulted with members of youth cabinet to gain a deeper understanding of what is important to local young people and spoke with the mayor’s charity committee. Following these conversations, I decided to support The Willow Project and Wigan Youth Zone during my time in office.”

Coun Michael McLoughlin, who represents Wigan Central ward, was elected as deputy mayor.

The new mayor and consort will not host a Civic Sunday service this year.

Coun Dawber’s first official mayoral event was at the British citizenship ceremony on Wednesday at Wigan Town Hall.