Council, I am once again humbled and overwhelmed that you have bestowed this great honour upon me today and I thank you all. If I can be as good an ambassador for Newcastle as the former Lord Mayor, Councillor Ian Graham and Margaret, his Lady Mayoress, I will do well indeed and I thank them both for a successful year in office, I know they enjoyed it very much.
I could not have achieved any of this without the support of my family, friends and the residents of Benwell and Scotswood. Anyone who knows me, knows I strongly believe that by working together you can achieve so much more in all aspects of life. With this in mind, my theme for the year will be just that, "Working Together". It's a pity our football team did not follow that mantra! Never mind we look forward to next season's results in positive anticipation!
In this special 800th Mayoral Anniversary year my nominated charities will be Charlie Bear Cancer Care, the Firefighter Charity (Tyne & Wear), Arthritis in Children (at the Great North Children's Hospital) and The Dog's Trust - as you would imagine all are close to my heart.
My Chaplains for the year following the theme will be: Reverend Juliet Wrigglesworth currently at Westerhope and formerly Denton Burn Methodist Church, Father Simon Lerche from St Bede's Roman Catholic Church, Denton Burn, Reverend Tim Woolley from Denton Burn Methodist Church and Chair of Newcastle District Methodist Churches, Reverend Stephen Lindridge, again, illustrating my theme of working together.
Continuing the theme, my Consort and companions will be: Trevor and Andrew Stephenson and Patrick Cooney. My Lady Mayoresses will be Kate Stephenson, Aldermen Isabel and Margaret Cooney, Paula Jardine, Fiona and Victoria Bainbridge, Susan Scott, Melanie Wallace and Councillor Sophie White and Georgina and Mrs Clare Hodgson - all family and a number of friends and I think some of them might get a surprise on hearing that. I really really mean what I say - sharing and working together and yes, this year you will all get a job to do... definitely, that's a promise. I have many friends here today and some who have already been referred to, whose ages, may I be so bold, range from Georgina Charlotte at 2 months of age to Reverend Jim who is a dear friend of mine, who is 101 years young (and some of you may have seen him on Songs of Praise actually at Wembley wearing the black and white strip). And how wonderful it is that we can all share together today's celebration.
I would like to thank Councillors Beecham and Forbes for their nominations today and also Councillor McCarty for her kind words last year, all valued colleagues and friends of long standing.
The very first Mayor of Newcastle was Daniel son of Richard, a recent former recipient of the Lord Mayor title was Terence son of Patrick. 800 years ago no female was able to achieve this honour. In this special and historic year, we in Newcastle, have not one but two females holding positions of First and Second Citizens of the city and both daughters of former Lord Mayors, again, working together.
Council, I promise to do my very best and always always be myself in all that I do in my new role as Hazel, daughter of Terence, Lord Mayor of this great City of Newcastle. I thank you.