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Youngest ever Dorset mayor vows to bring fun to the job

Bournemouth Echo: Councillor Simon Gibson, 23, has begun his new role as Verwood Town mayor Councillor Simon Gibson, 23, has begun his new role as Verwood Town mayor

IT’S known as the most senior post in the town but Verwood’s new mayor is just 23 years old.

Councillor Simon Gibson is thought to be the youngest ever mayor in Dorset and he says he aims to bring some “fun” throughout his next year in post. He took over the reins from Cllr Toni Coombs on Monday and has had a busy week visiting all the local schools to hand out mugs to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Speaking of his new role, Cllr Gibson said: “I was the youngest councillor for Verwood and now the youngest mayor.

“We believe I am the youngest mayor in Dorset.

“There are a lot of young people involved in the community with sports clubs or groups and this is just my way of getting involved in what is going on.”

Cllr Gibson, who represents Stephen’s Castle ward, joined Verwood Town Council in May 2007 when he was 18 to gain experience for his political studies. In recent years he has served on the Active Games for All steering committee and has taken a keen interest in Verwood becoming a Fairtrade town. In 2011 he was elected on to East Dorset District Council where he sits on the community committee and ethical governance committee.

Cllr Gibson says he has a number of personal aims during his time as Mayor.

“I would like to engage with those parts of the community that don’t normally get reached as well as supporting my charities Julia’s House and Woofability.

“I also want to make sure it is fun.”

Cllr Gibson was born in Belfast but moved to Verwood with his parents Mark and Heather and identical twin brother Carl when he was 11.

The Emmanuel Middle School and QE school pupil studied politics at A-level, which gave him a passion for local and national government.

He later went to Loughborough University to study politics but stopped to pursue his council work.

He hopes to complete the degree some time in the future.

When he is not serving his parishioners, Cllr Gibson works behind the bar and in the restaurant at Crane Valley Golf Club in Verwood.

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