ROTHERHAM welcomed its new mayor on Friday as the chains of office were handed to Valley councillor Dave Pickering.
Coun Pickering was installed as mayor at the annual meeting of Rotherham Council and takes over from Shaun Wright.
Elected onto the authority in 2002, Coun Pickering is the current chairman of the council’s planning board and has lived and worked in the Rotherham borough all his life.
Born in Herringthorpe, he left Thrybergh Comprehensive to take up an apprenticeship as an electrical engineer at Backer Electrics.
He then retrained as a motor engineer working in local garages until redundancy gave him the chance to change track.
He then resumed his education on an agriculture course at Rother Valley College, before taking a Land Based Studies option. This gave him the opportunity to help out at Rother Valley as an instructor and following encouragement from the staff he then took a Further Education teachers certificate, which resulted in him becoming a part time lecturer.
His new-found love of learning resulted in him taking a university degree in education.
This degree took four years to complete but in turn this coincided with the development of the college and he became a full time lecturer until he retired. Coun Pickering: “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 and 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. We have both lived in Rotherham all our lives and I still live in East Herringthorpe, which is part of the Valley Ward that I have represented since 2004. We have felt no desire to move from this area as we are surrounded by nice people and good neighbours.”
“And it is a real privilege to work with the people on my doorstep and becoming Mayor will only add to that. After being born, brought up and working in Rotherham, it is an absolute honour to become the borough’s First Citizen.
Being the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress gave us a real taste of the role in front of us and so we are looking forward to the year ahead.”
Coun Pickering is a also a Dalton Parish Councillor and a governor at three local schools. He is also a member of the Improving Places Commission, the authority’s Fostering Panel and is an advisor to the Cabinet Member for Town Centres, Economic Growth and Prosperity.
Sue Pickering, the new Mayoress of Rotherham, is a fostering social worker with Rotherham Council.
The couple who have been married for 26 years, have four grown-up children between them - and ten grandchildren, the majority of whom live locally.
Their chosen charities are Rotherham and Barnsley MIND; Children, Young People and Families Service; the Jennifer Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy; Rotherham Holiday Aid and GROW.
The new deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Rotherham will be Coun John Foden and his wife, Kath.