Former deputy leader Cllr Janet Burgess sworn in as Islington mayor
- Credit: Em Fitzgerald Photography
Long-serving councillor and former deputy leader Janet Burgess was sworn in as Islington’s mayor for the next year at last night’s annual council meeting.
The Junction ward councillor takes up the role after serving on the council’s executive for a decade, and as deputy leader since 2013.
She stepped down from these roles earlier this month, and takes over from Cllr Rakhia Ismail, who has served as mayor since May 2019.
Cllr Burgess said: “Becoming Islington’s mayor is an honour and a privilege. I have been so fortunate to have been able to call this borough my home for more than three decades, and I can’t wait to learn more about the contribution that Islington’s inspirational residents make to our incredible community.
“On behalf of my fellow councillors, I would like to thank Cllr Ismail for the wonderful work that she has done during her time as mayor, especially during the coronavirus pandemic that has made this year an extremely challenging one for so many people across Islington.”
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After spending many years working for Members of Parliament, Cllr Burgess was first elected as a councillor in 1997, serving until 2002. She was re-elected in 2006, and joined the council’s executive in 2010. As the executive member for health and adult social care, one of her proudest achievements was ensuring the London Living Wage for those working in domiciliary care.
Her years of public service were recognised in 2015, when she was awarded an MBE from the Queen for services to local government and the community.
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Each mayor chooses a specific charity to support and raise funds for throughout their time in office, and Cllr Burgess has selected Age UK Islington.
The charity in Manor Gardens provides support to older people, and helps those who provide care for a partner, relative or friend - a cause close to Cllr Burgess’s heart given her previous role in the executive.
She said: “Age UK Islington does such incredible work for local adults of all ages, and to help the carers who do such amazing, often unseen, work in our community.
“Although the coronavirus pandemic will mean that opportunities for fundraising are more limited than usual, I’m determined to use this platform to support Age UK Islington and highlight the selfless, dedicated work of the borough’s carers.”