Cllr Brian White (pictured) made his promise as he took over as Mayor from Cllr Catriona Morris at a packed meeting in the Council Chamber on Wednesday evening.
In his acceptance speech Cllr White heaped praise on Milton Keynes – and the people who live and work here – for their pioneering and ‘can do’ attitude.
He said: "Milton Keynes is a city that is developing both locally and internationally. As one of the areas forecast to lead the country out of recession, we are ideally placed to take advantage of the new opportunities and create the jobs and skills our people need.
“I will use the Mayoral year to highlight the positive difference growing businesses -most of them small businesses -are making to enhance our local community.
"MK is already network central but innovative spirit will be an example to the rest of the country. The essence of MK is global and local together, not one or the other.”
Cllr White, originally from Belfast, moved to Milton Keynes in 1984, with his wife Leena, whom he met and married in Finland. He was elected to the old Milton Keynes district council in 1987 and has held many positions in the various incarnations of the council, including Deputy Leader.
In 1997 he was elected as one of the borough’s two MPs.
Together with the three group leaders, he led the warm congratulations to outgoing Mayor Cllr Catriona Morris for her work throughout the year, both locally and in promoting Milton Keynes to a wider audience.
Cllr Morris has raised some £50,000 for her chosen Mayoral charity the MK Dons Sport & Education Trust, and made more than 500 official visits.
SET presented her with a framed, signed player’s shirt, as well as her own personalised shirt bearing the legend ‘Old Mayor’ and a framed poem from Milton Keynes’ own Poet Laureate Mark Niel.
Cllr Morris said: “I have had the most amazing year, it has been an incredible experience.
“I have seen many dedicated hard working residents who make Milton Keynes the incredible community it is as well as welcoming more than 1,000 new British citizens to our area.
“As a year of Sport and Culture, it has been an amazing year for both Milton Keynes and the country.
“I have met so many fascinating, inspiring, and basically some very exceptional people that I will never forget.”
Cllr White’s chosen charities are The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Stony Stratford-based Ted’s Gang, which aims to raise awareness and research for Shwachman Diamond Syndrome, an inherited genetic condition that affects digestion, growth, immunity, bone marrow, teeth and skeletal development.
About 30% of those with SDS go on to develop AML, the worst kind of leukaemia. The charity is named after a local boy who has the condition.
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