New mayor keeps family tradition

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He went from community campaigner to councillor, now Coun Martyn Bolt has become the first person from Mirfield to take the chains of office as Mayor of Kirklees.

Coun Bolt was sworn in as mayor yesterday, and his first official engagement will be at a citzenship ceremony at Dewsbury Town Hall today.

He is following in family footsteps, his wife Liz’s grandparents, Harry and Stella Oldroyd, were mayor and mayoress of Dewsbury and Kirklees.

“Public service is a matter of great pride for the family,” Coun Bolt said, “And I am immensely humbled to have the opportunity to be First Citizen. I hope to be a credit to the borough and to Mirfield.”

Coun Bolt took his first steps into public life in 1987, when he was involved in a fight to stop the building of a link road between the M62 and M1.

The six-year campaign led to greater community involvement and eventually an invitation to be co-opted on to Mirfield Town Council in 1997. He was elected as a ward councillor the following year, and has sat on both councils since.

During his year in office, Coun Bolt will support grant-giving foundation One Community, and he will cycle one of the stages in the Tour De France in July.

Coun Bolt hosted a Civic dinner on Wednesday, where ticket-buying members of the public attended for the first time. Absent was new deputy mayor Coun Ken Smith, who held a separate celebration.