The new Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Derek Mortimer was elected at the Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) Annual General Meeting on Saturday 21 May.
The AGM was held at Maidstone Town Hall when Derek, who previously served as Deputy Mayor of Maidstone, received his chain of office from outgoing Mayor, Cllr Fay Gooch.
Cllr Mortimer moved to Maidstone in 1978 with his wife Sally, and has two sons, a daughter and six grandchildren. He formerly worked for British Telecom for 23 years from an apprentice through to a lecturer in telecommunications. Since then, he has been involved with several family businesses.
Derek became a member of Tovil Parish Council in 2007 and in 2010 became a Borough Councillor as he wished to broaden his horizons. He has served on many MBC Committees and was the Chair of the Communities Housing and Environment Committee for three years. One of his proudest moments as part of that Committee was supporting the Council’s homelessness policies through a prevention and intervention programme so no one is left on the streets for whatever reason. This is supported by the continuing provision of temporary accommodation and building our own properties to alleviate our country’s housing crisis.
Derek also introduced and promoted the first neighbourhood plan in the borough for the North Loose Resident’s Association which now gives the NLRA a formal voice on all planning applications in their patch. He is Trustee of the Hayle Park Nature Reserve which manages and owns 52-acres across the Loose Valley area since its inception in 2015, as well as a Trustee for twelve years with Maidstone YMCA at Loose and Tovil. One of his main passions is the creation and improvement of many play areas, footpaths, open spaces and nature reserves, which in turn support the health and wellbeing of residents.