Labour councillor Shan Braund is to be York's next Lord Mayor.

Coun Shan Braund:

'a great honour'

She will take over the role when Peter Vaughan's term of office ends on May 25.

She will be only the sixth lady to hold the post, the first being Edna Annie Crichton in 1941-42 - a woman who so impressed that Clifton street Crichton Avenue was named after her.

The most recent was Councillor Ann Reid in 1993.

Coun Braund said: "I am looking forward to becoming Lord Mayor.

"It is a great honour and I intend to do my utmost to make sure I represent everyone in the city."

But the news was tinged with sadness for the circumstances which led to her nomination.

Peter Dodd resigned from City of York Council because of ill-health. His decision meant he is unable to become Lord Mayor, despite being chosen for the post.

Coun Braund, 49, is married to Martin, head of biology at Huntington School, and has two children aged 20 and 17.

She has been a member of City of York Council since its formation in 1995.

She had represented Heworth on North Yorkshire County Council since 1989. Her work has included chairing the Disabled Persons' Advisory Group in York. She was instrumental in introducing Shopmobility to the city, greatly improving access for the disabled.

Born in Aberystwyth and a Welsh speaker, she arrived in York in 1974 when her husband was employed at Huntington School.As well as a councillor, she is a qualified teacher and an Equity card holding actress.

As a tribute to Mr Dodd, Coun Braund will be keeping his choice of Barrie Ferguson as Sheriff.

Popular Labour stalwart Ken Cooper, received a standing ovation last night after being made an honorary alderman of York.

The former councillor for Bootham ward, who resigned recently from City of York Council because of ill-health, received the prestigious honour for 37 years service.

A special council meeting, chaired by Lord Mayor, Coun Peter Vaughan, voted unanimously to appoint Mr Cooper as the 11th existing alderman.

Mr Vaughan told him: "We thank you for all your services to York."

Council leader Rod Hills gave a moving tribute to his close friend and mentor.

He said: "Ken is a man of principle who fights for what he thinks is right. A man who would never stoop to personal attacks, a man of courage above all, both physically and mentally. "Without his vision we would never have built the Barbican Centre."

Mr Hills also praised his achievements in developing Comprehensive education and links between trade unions and businesses. He added: "One of Ken's greatest legacies is in putting people back to work."

Mr Cooper, 80, who was present with his wife of 53 years, Dorothy, was overjoyed at receiving the appointment.

He said: "I always thought one day I would be made an Honorary Alderman but it has come ten years too early. My only criticism is that the most important person is not on the scroll and that is Dolly. Without her I wouldn't be here now."

In a distinguished political career Mr Cooper served as Lord Mayor between 1984 and 1985 and served on all major committees, chairing some of them. He was appointed Sheriff of York twice. A by-election for the Bootham ward will take place on May 11.

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