That’s the message from the new first citizen of the borough, Coun Kate Wild, who took over as the 61st mayor of Solihull this week.
The former English teacher was handed the chains of office at the annual council meeting on Tuesday.
She represents the St Alphege ward and was formerly cabinet member for community services and the environment. She is also the first councillor to serve as mayor twice, having previously held the role from 2002 to 2003.
Coun Wild said: “Celebrating Solihull is a major theme for this year.
“I would like to meet as many groups as I can, such as the Round Table, Rotary, Lions, Friends of Solihull Hospital and smaller groups such as the Scouts and Guides.
“I am also keen to meet people who work tirelessly to make our borough what it is.
“And, as a former teacher, I look forward to meeting with schools and seeing their good work.”
Married to husband Jim, himself a former councillor, Coun Wild has three sons and eight granchildren and lives in Knowle.
The new mayor succeeds Coun Joe Tildesley and his wife Joan, who are the new deputy mayor and mayoress.
Splendid occasion to welcome mayor
A packed council chamber saw the official inauguration of the 61st Mayor of Solihull on Tuesday as Councillor Kate Wilde took the reins as first citizen – a role she held previously in 2002.
Invited guests including Solihull Police Commander Sally Bourner and borough fire Commander Jon Waterman, enjoyed the pomp and splendour of the ceremony which saw the encumbent Mayor, Councillor Joe Tildesley pass the chains of office to Cllr Wild.
The Mayor said: “A very, very warm welcome to all our guests and councillors. Cllr Joe Tildesly has been a superb mayor and has worked very hard to uphold his duties in office.
“Solihull is the best place in England to live – it’s been formally acclaimed by both the Daily Mail and the Guardian!”
“We have super residents, many of whom are volunteers who give instantly of their time to help others.”
I was Mayor 12 years ago and tonight is almost a rerun or a recycle!”
Coun Joe Tildesly was elected Deputy Mayor with his daughter Councillor Hannah Tildesley (Cons) Shirley West thanking his efforts on behalf of the chamber.
Her father followed with a speech proclaiming Solihull the finest place to live in the country as well as personal highlights of his year in office.
Leader of the council, Councillor Ken Meeson, bowed out at the meeting having announced in April this year that he would be standing down.
Councillor Bob Sleigh was formally elected as the next Leader until 2018.
The Mayor’s first official engagement was the opening of Shirley Library at the new Parkgate development on Wednesday.