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Northumberland Heath councillor Peter Reader chosen as new mayor of Bexley

PUBLISHED: 11:18 25 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:24 25 May 2017

Bexley council offices

Bexley council offices

Archant

He was elected on Wednesday night

Councillors elected the new mayor of Bexley last night, to follow in the footsteps of departing mayor Eileen Pallen.

At a meeting of the council, Northumberland Heath ward councillor Peter Reader was elected, with Brampton ward councillor John Wilkinson chosen as deputy mayor for the year ahead.

Bexleyheath resident Cllr Reader has taken his wife of 30 years, Irene, as his mayoress, while Cllr Wilkinson chose his wife Carol as deputy mayoress.

Growing up, the borough’s new mayor attended Normandy Primary School, Barnehurst Junior School, Brook Street Secondary School and North West Kent College before joining the Merchant Navy.

Failing eyesight forced the councillor to end his career on the seas, and he eventually set up his own accountancy practice, where he worked with his wife until their retirement in September last year.

The self-confessed bookworm and Charlton Athletic fan’s first spell in politics came in 1968 when he was elected to the council, serving until 1971.

Cllr Reader’s latest stint has seen him represent Northumberland Heath since 2006.

Following his appointment as mayor on Wednesday night, the new mayor has selected the Bexley and Dartford branch of Parkinson’s UK as his charity for the year, after losing his mother to the disease in 2000.

The branch offers information and support to local people with the degenerative brain disease, as well as their families and carers.

Cllr Reader says he is looking forward to meeting new people and discovering more about the borough’s local organisations.

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