Handforth councillor elected as new mayor

Councillor Barry Burkhill has been elected as Mayor of Cheshire East.

He was sworn in at the annual mayor-making ceremony on Wednesday, 22nd May.

Cllr Burkhill has represented Handforth for 38 years and for 28 years was a member of Macclesfield Borough Council, of which he was elected mayor in 2007. Cllr Burkhill was elected as a member of Cheshire East Council in 2011. He has sat on a number of council committees, including planning, licensing and corporate overview and scrutiny.

His deputy, elected by members, is Councillor Steven Edgar, who represents Haslington, near Crewe.

The mayor is seen as the first citizen of the borough, carrying out civic duties on behalf of the council and residents of the borough, and can expect to attend many events during the civic year. These can range from fun events among communities and local schools to solemn occasions such as Remembrance Day.

The mayor chairs meetings of Cheshire East Council and can use his or her casting vote, if required to do so.

Cllr Burkhill, who has a keen interest in medieval history, music and his university subject of geology, was sworn into office, along with his wife Sue as mayoress, at a civic ceremony held at Tatton Park's Tenants Hall. The ceremony was attended by special guests and dignitaries from around the borough, including local mayors from town councils, Aldermen and members of Cheshire East Council.

Cllr Burkhill said on his election as mayor: "Although it has been totally unexpected to be asked to become mayor for the 2019/20 municipal year, it is nevertheless an honour and a privilege to represent the people of Cheshire East.

"These are difficult times and my wife, Sue, and I will be using the year ahead to highlight the prodigious voluntary work that is daily carried out throughout the borough. In particular, we look forward to visiting all centres which work with food banks and homeless people and support those of our number who face challenging times."

"I thank you all for your support and my wife and I hope to be very worthy successors to Lesley and David Smetham, the outgoing mayor and her consort."

Cllr Burkhill's first duty was to chair the annual meeting of the new Cheshire East Council later that day.


Councillor Barry Burkhill, Cheshire East's new mayor, and Mayoress Sue Bidwell,

Mayor Councillor Barry Burkhill with Councillor Steven Edgar, deputy mayor.

Cheshire East Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Roger Bagguley
Friday 24th May 2019 at 7:35 pm
Congratulations Barry. Excellent appointment. All the very best to you and Sue, your Lady Mayoress, for 2019-20.

Off to Cornwall mayor making now. My pal, another Independent, is the New Mayor of Truro.
Matt Sleight
Friday 24th May 2019 at 10:23 pm
Congratulations. Now can you get that planning decision you assured me would not be approved, revisited please?
Deleted Account
Saturday 25th May 2019 at 6:33 pm
Totally well deserved.

Barry Burkhill will make a brilliant new Mayor.

And all this Cheshire East good news in the same month !
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 29th May 2019 at 6:15 pm
Time for a change
Brian Tolver
Wednesday 29th May 2019 at 6:49 pm
Superb news! Handforth has been, for far too long, treated as second class, and this (along with the other changes at Cheshire East), will make a real difference.

He and Sue will be superb ambassadors for Handforh, as well as for the new-look Cheshire East.
Audrey Youngman
Wednesday 29th May 2019 at 7:02 pm
Wonderful news and very well deserved.
Jean Berman
Thursday 30th May 2019 at 12:39 pm
Congratulations Barry. Well deserved your a true gentleman.
Nick King
Friday 31st May 2019 at 9:29 am
Congraatulations Barry, best wishes for the coming Mayoral year and as always our thanks for what you do on our behalf.