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New Lord Mayor takes on role

The Lord Mayor being fitted with her chain of office in the Town Hall

LEICESTER’S new Lord Mayor has been handed the chains of office at a ceremony in the city’s Town Hall.

Cllr Dr Susan Barton, who has served as a city councillor since 2011, currently represents the Braunstone Park and Rowley Fields ward, having previously represented neighbouring Western Park.

Leicester born and bred, she attended Hazel Primary School before going to Newarke Girls School, on the site of what is now Fullhurst Community College.

Following a difficult childhood, which included at age 11 a whole term spent in an open-air school in Switzerland recuperating from a long-term illness, she left school at 15 but went on to educate herself by reading books during her breaks at a printing factory where she worked making labels for Dairylea cheese.

Cllr Barton went on to gain GCSEs and A levels, a degree in history, a masters degree in computing, a PhD in social history and became a lecturer at Charles Keene College and Hinckley College, as well as writing and publishing 10 books ranging from local heritage to the history of working-class tourism and travel.

She is currently an honorary visiting research fellow at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University, and her main research interest is now the history of winter sport.

Cllr Barton’s hobbies include dancing and local heritage.

Her two grown-up children will accompany her in the role – her daughter, research scientist Dr Marie Weston, will take on the role of Lady Mayoress, while her son, videogame producer Max Barton, will be Consort.

Cllr Barton said: “I’m looking forward to the role. It’s quite exciting but also slightly daunting – as well as going out to visit the wide range of community groups across the city, I’ll be acting as an ambassador representing the whole city.”

Outgoing Lord Mayor, Cllr George Cole, will serve as Deputy Lord Mayor, with Cllr Manjula Sood taking on the role of High Bailiff.

Cllr Barton is pictured with civic attendant Chris Rhodes (left) and outgoing Lord Mayor Cllr George Cole (right).