Cllr Ian Geldard, who has lived in in Spennymoor all his life, is also General Manager/ Managing Director of Spennymoor Town Football Club, having previously served as Community Impact Manager for the club Chairman’s group of businesses.
As well as his affiliation and affection for the football club, Cllr Geldard was made Life President of Spennymoor Cricket Club in 2014 for his tireless work as a volunteer, and is a trustee of Tudhoe Community Centre and a Committee Member of Spennymoor Youth and Community Centre.
Taking up the chains of office from retiring Mayor, Cllr Dean Ranyard, at a ceremony in the Town Hall, Cllr Geldard said: “This is a proud moment and I’d like to pay homage to the work of not only Dean, but the six sitting former Mayors, and other Councillors, who I’ve been fortunate to work alongside for 10 years.
“In 2013, I was the youngest Councillor elected to this authority and I think I may be the youngest of the 55 people ever to hold this mayoral office too.
“The past decade has brought much change. I have lived here my whole life surrounded by a fantastic family which supported me, and I am delighted that my mam, dad and my brother Dan were in the gallery alongside some of my closest friends for the Mayoral Ceremony.
“I live-and-breath our fabulous town and I will dedicate as much of my effort to this great office as I do my current work across our parish.”
He grew up on Durham Road, attending King Street Primary School and then Tudhoe Grange before going to Durham Sixth Form Centre and finally studying for a degree in Computing at Durham University.
Cllr Geldard was inaugurated at the Spennymoor Town Council Annual Meeting on May 24 and has selected three local charities to support and raise funds for during his term.
Part of the funds raised from his appeal this year will go towards the Special Care Baby Units at University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital, which Cllr Geldard selected following a resident request to light the Town Hall purple for World Prematurity Day, which meant so much to a number of Spennymoor families.
The second is The Learning Library, based in Spennymoor. Cllr Geldard’s brother Mark was diagnosed with severe Autism in the early 90s, aged three, and his family relied on the support of The Learning Library, which provides a unique service loaning out activity items, specialist equipment, sensory items, toys and games to people who have additional needs.
His final charity will be Moors in the Community, which works with a variety of people and groups across the town, with a key focus on enhancing the physical, social and mental wellbeing of children and teenagers.
Cllr Geldard added: “My aim for my chairmanship of the council is to provide unity, ambition and hope. Several political groups are represented on the council, but we all want the best for this fantastic town. I will help members do what we were elected to do, regardless of what colour rosette we wore at the ballot box.
“This Council has come in for criticism – some just, some unjust. We must change work to make it the best it can be, with new ideas and initiatives. Work together to achieve more and leave this place in a better state than it currently is.
“There is potential for us to do so much for Spennymoor. I want our Annual Meeting to be a reset of this authority – a time to take stock, plan for success, and implement the changes needed to bring this Council back to where it should be, and beyond.”
Cllr Derek Taylor will serve as Deputy Mayor.