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Area’s youngest ever mayor is back in pole position

PUBLISHED: 14:29 22 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:06 07 September 2010

By Charlotte Newton ALAN DOBBIE is now the youngest and second youngest mayor the borough has ever had, after being re-elected as Haringey s First Citizen on Monday night. Mr Dobbie, who is a Labour Cllr for Noel Park, was first elected as mayor in 1990,

By Charlotte Newton

ALAN DOBBIE is now the youngest and second youngest mayor the borough has ever had, after being re-elected as Haringey's First Citizen on Monday night.

Mr Dobbie, who is a Labour Cllr for Noel Park, was first elected as mayor in 1990, when he was just 29.

And on Monday night, the Labour councillors - who have a majority on the council - re-elected him.

Labour councillors Sheila Peacock and Catherine Harris nominated him for the role. Cllr Peacock told the chamber that when Cllr Dobbie was 29, he was "more than capable" of carrying out the duties the office demands - attending more than 400 meetings.

She said: "He is a loyal, hardworking councillor who will do the very best for Haringey and will be seen wherever he goes as an excellent ambassador for the people of Haringey."

Leader of the opposition Cllr Robert Gorrie nominated Bounds Green councillor and former journalist John Oakes. In his speech, Cllr Gorrie attacked the winner-takes-all political system for depriving West Haringey of the chance to have a Lib Dem mayor.

"The Liberal Democrats should have half the civic representation of the borough. Yet we continue to be faced with the undemocratic and unjust situation where both civic roles remain with the party opposite," he said.

The Labour councillors voted for Cllr Dobbie and the Lib Dems voted for John Oakes.

In his acceptance speech Cllr Dobbie spoke of his pride at having worked in the NHS - which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary.

He said: "I am very proud of the NHS and of its founding principles of being free at the point of delivery. Tonight, I call on those who can, to think about delivery of service to patients and not about hitting targets and saving money to make ends meet."

He added that if the government can pay for a war in Iraq, then it can pay for a "revitalised NHS."

Mr Dobbie is also a representative of the Greater London Reserve Forces and Cadets' Association which will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year.

He has chosen to support Different Strokes, a Haringey group which supports younger stroke survivors during his mayoral year.

He recounted to the chamber how a close colleague called Cathy, with whom he had worked for 20 years, had a stroke.

"Every day 85 people suffer a stroke. Many think of people af-fected by strokes are older people. This is not the case. Cathy was 29," he said.

Cllr Sheik Thompson, outgoing Mayor of Haringey, said it had been an honour to be elected "mayor of this extraordinary place, our common home".

"Haringey may not be the richest place in the world in terms of material wealth. But it is surely one of the richest in terms of the diversity, energy and human resources of our community," he said.

Once the formalities were out of the way, the councillors enjoyed fish and chips, wine and a demonstration of Irish dancing at the mayoral reception.

charlotte.newton@hamhigh.co.uk


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