New South Yorkshire mayors pledge to raise cash for charities

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CEREMONIES have taken place to swear in the new mayors of Rotherham and Barnsley.

Coun Dave Pickering has taken over from Shaun Wright as Mayor of Rotherham.

Valley ward Coun Pickering, a retired college lecturer, was first elected to the council in 2002. His wife, Sue, a fostering social worker, will serve as Mayoress.

He said: “Both myself and my wife are ‘people persons’ who like working with Rotherham people and for Rotherham people. That is why we have chosen locally-based charities to benefit from our year of office - we want to try to make a difference.

“And that is why Sue and I are both really looking forward to our year in office - for the chance to meet as many people as possible right across the borough.”

The couple’s chosen charities for the year ahead are Rotherham and Barnsley MIND, the Children, Young People and Families Service, the Jennifer Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Rotherham Holiday Aid and GROW.

Coun Dorothy Higginbottom has been elected Mayor of Barnsley, replacing Coun Karen Dyson.

Coun Higginbottom, of Great Houghton, was the town’s longest-serving magistrate until retiring and has been a volunteer worker for 45 years.

She has been a parish councillor for 45 years and has represented the North East ward on Barnsley Council since 2004.

Coun Higginbottom, whose daughter Dorothy Parkin-Coates will serve as Mayoress, said cash raised by her charity fund this year will support mental health charity MIND and Barnsley Blind and Partially Sighted Association.