Ramsey nominates first UKIP mayor in country
RAMSEY’S new mayor has already hit the headlines as she is the UK’s first UKIP member to hold the office.
History was made on Thursday in a modest little ceremony which saw Ramsey’s mayoral chains of office pass from long-standing incumbent Pat Taylor to mother-of-six Lisa Duffy.
With a majority of nine seats out of the 17, Ramsey Town Council has also become the first UKIP-controlled authority in the country.
But Councillor Duffy, who was only elected on to the council on May 5, is taking it in her stride.
The 42 year old has been in politics since 2004 when she started taking the minutes at UKIP party meetings.
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Now a party director and chairman of the North-West for the party, Cllr Duffy looks as set to eclipse her long-term partner Peter Reeve on the political scene.
Though the Meadow Walk resident shrugs off any suggestion of competition between her and Cllr Reeve, a Cambridgeshire county councillor and Huntingdonshire district councillor.
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She said: “He is happy. We work very much as a team. We both give each other the support that each of us needs. We both support each other.”
Politics is a way of life for Cllr Duffy’s household.
Her mother-in-law Shirley Reeve has joined her on the town council after also winning a seat and even the four children, still living at home, spend their time leafleting and helping with community projects.
Cllr Duffy said: “We have got a very strong family network. We are very lucky to support each other. We work together to achieve things. We get on with it. Having children doesn’t stop you.”
But having made history where will Cllr Duffy go now? Banning European products and calling for Ramsey’s withdrawal from the EU, will not be the first step, she reassured the Hunts Post.
In fact Cllr Duffy is keen to use her position not to promote national politics but to improve her community.
As a youth worker with new group Kids In Their Element (KITE), she already has a keen interest in promoting youth causes.
One of her first initiatives will be to help create a youth town council.
“I want to get four children from each of the schools elected by their peers to form the council. I want to get young people involved in democracy. So for example if they want a new swing in the park, they will have to get together and work out how they are going to raise the money for it.
“It will also help the town council to make their decisions for young people if there is a youth town council.”
The emphasis will be on local empowerment with binding referenda promised on major decisions.
Though, town councils currently hold little decision-making powers, as funding for public services is slashed, town councils like Ramsey will have to decide whether they want to step into the breach.
Making their role much more significant in the future.
Cllr Duffy said: “I was bowled over when I was asked to be mayor. It is a real privilege. I will work incredibly hard on behalf of Ramsey residents.
“UKIP has shown the people of Ramsey we do deliver what we say. I believe that is why we were elected. Ramsey residents believe we are the right people to help get things done in the town.”