TAMESIDE’S new civic mayor may have taken office at a virtual meeting, but Cllr Janet Cooper’s work in the community is most definitely real.
In the weeks before becoming the borough’s first citizen on Tuesday (May 26), she was at the heart of several initiatives.
Cllr Cooper helped to set up the Mottram and Hattersley Covid Helpline Group, supplied books as part of the Tameside Loves Reading campaign to keep children occupied at the new Tameside and Longdendale Food Bank at the Grafton Centre in Hyde, provided colouring packs for VE Day and supported Mental Health Week by printing off paper ribbons for children to colour green.
She also joined her Longdendale ward colleague Cllr Jacqueline Owen in distributing certificates after the entire district was given a BBC Everyday Hero award and even received one herself.
What’s more, when Cllr Cooper was installed as the 47th civic mayor she helped to create a little piece of history. It was the first time the office changed hands at a virtual event and with no robes or physical transfer of the chain.
Because of the Covid-19 restrictions, the scheduled annual full council meeting had to take place remotely. There was no physical attendance and the agenda was pared back to only essential items.
Cllr Cooper said: “Naturally I’m disappointed the full council meeting couldn’t go ahead and that it will be some time before I can start my visits, but hopefully it won’t be too long until I can welcome small, socially-distanced groups into the parlour.
“If there’s one positive to emerge from lockdown it’s that it has brought out the very best in people. There have been some inspiring stories and I look forward to giving key workers and all the others the support, recognition and thanks they so richly deserve.”
During her year of office, Cllr Cooper will be supported by her partner, Dennis Fitzpatrick, as Mayor’s Consort.
Her chosen charities are Tameside 4 Good, Tameside Young Carers, the Tameside and Glossop Scanner Appeal, and Cascade Baby Bundles which helps families facing hardship.
The new Deputy Mayor of Tameside is Cllr Mike Glover who represents the Ashton Hurst ward.