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Who's who: Outgoing mayor on dressing up and dropping the chain

PUBLISHED: 18:53 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 19:04 13 May 2019

Mayor of Islington David Poyser at the Menorah lighting ceremony. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Mayor of Islington David Poyser at the Menorah lighting ceremony. Picture: Siorna Ashby

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The outgoing mayor of Islington will miss dressing up in the comfy red robes - but he'd sooner forget dropping the "expensive" gold chain.

The Mayor of Islington with Nasra Abubakar, left, and Race Hassan. Photo by Islington CouncilThe Mayor of Islington with Nasra Abubakar, left, and Race Hassan. Photo by Islington Council

Cllr Dave Poyser (Lab, Hillrise) has been a constant at community events across the borough over the past year, but, as per convention, his deputy Cllr Rakhia Ismail will replace him at the council's annual reshuffle on Thursday.

Cllr Poyser hopes to be confirmed as the next chair of the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee at the same ceremony.

Reflecting on his time as mayor, Cllr Poyser said: "I realise more and more how much I love the borough for being so creative, artistic, and Islington: as an adjective.

"The worst moment was with the Islington chain, which has a proud and long history and I'm honoured to wear. On two different occasions someone has pointed out that the chain has broken and we have had the undignified sight of the mayor searching the ground for the expensive piece of jewellery."

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He said another honour of being mayor was attending memorials, for example to commemorate soldiers killed in the First World War and "victims of the Finsbury Park terrorist atrocity". During the centenary ceremony he was also "extremely proud" to wear his grandfather's war medal.

"I'm very much looking forward to getting my time back," joked the mayor, whose packed schedule often includes weekend events.

"And I'm looking forward to not having a chauffeur because I was getting fat and part of living in Isilington is walking and waiting at bus stops."

But Cllr Poyser has become close friends with Certan, who drives the mayor about in a Toyota Prius - and he will miss their chats.

Another thing he'll miss is the mayor's ceremonial dress.

"I have loved dressing up in fancy costumes all my life," said Cllr Poyser. "It's not why I became mayor - but there is less opportunities for blokes to dress up than women... unless you become mayor."

Each mayor has their chosen charities and Cllr Poyser has support Freightliners City Farm, which bring a free barnyard experience to inner city kids, and Caris Islington Cold Weather Shelter Project, which helps up to 100 homeless people a year. Celebrated contemporary artist Grayson Perry last month held a charity gig at Union Chapel to raise money for these causes.

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