“I am honoured and excited and I am still pinching myself and keep thinking have they really chosen me? – I am still getting used to the chain!”
These were the words of Burgess Hill’s new mayor Chris Cherry during an exclusive interview with the Middy.
I am going to work as hard as I possibly can – I will do my best.Town mayor Chris Cherry
The councillor of three years said she was ‘very excited’ for the coming months after being chosen as the new mayor.
She said: “I felt very honoured and extremely humbled to be asked because I have only been a councillor since 2015.
“Jacqui did a splendid job for two years, she was a lovely mayor.
“My fellow councillors and the people at the town council offices are such a great lot of people.
“It has been great over the past month. There is incredible people in Burgess Hill and it is going to be an honour to go out and meet these people and promote them.
“I am going to work as hard as I possibly can – I will do my best – and I really hope my residents will want me back so I can carry on doing this.”
Chris was made mayor on May 2. She was deputy to the town’s previous mayor Jacqui Landriani.
Originally from north London, she has lived in the town for the past 40 years with her husband Richard, who is also a councillor.
The couple have two children; Jonathan, 33, and Frances, 36.
They also have one grandchild; James, two, and another on the way.
Chris said she has three roles; meeting and promoting the work of community groups in the town; promoting Burgess Hill in general and supporting her chosen charities.
“It is immensely rewarding to meet the people in these groups that work so hard, she said.
“At the teddy bears picnic the other day a couple stood out to me that work at Kings Church – Stan and Ann Colby – they organise arts and crafts sessions in the church.
“Stan is 92 and Ann is 88. They were the most inspiring and energetic couple.
“All the preperation that they had done and they were great with the children and I thought how great is that.
“I have also been networking with other mayors and councillors – I think it is important that we support each other.”
Chris’ chosen charities are Woodlands Meed School, Signposts and Help for Heroes.
Money will be split between the three charities when events are held.
Chris said it was a ‘very exciting’ time for Burgess Hill with all the developments going on. “We are building a town for the 21st century while not losing the character that is still there,” she said.
“We are getting a £65million investment. I think it is the biggest amount of money any town has received in the country, and particularly in these days when we have various retailers having problems.
“We have this amount of confidence in Burgess Hill, it is very exciting.”