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.

Comments (9)

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10:45pm Sat 2 Jun 12

Rustyfootballer says...

23 year old university drop out barman, is there a shortage of people wanting to be a councillor?
23 year old university drop out barman, is there a shortage of people wanting to be a councillor? Rustyfootballer

11:29pm Sat 2 Jun 12

rotcoddam says...

I thought the mayor of a town was meant to be a respected experienced citizen. Who was given the honour in recognition of a long and distinguised service to the town.

I can only say that giving such a position to a totally inexperienced kid,, says a lot about this town and how desperate they must be for worthwhile councillors.
I thought the mayor of a town was meant to be a respected experienced citizen. Who was given the honour in recognition of a long and distinguised service to the town. I can only say that giving such a position to a totally inexperienced kid,, says a lot about this town and how desperate they must be for worthwhile councillors. rotcoddam

12:42am Sun 3 Jun 12

s-pb2 says...

I like this, why should age be a barrier to being mayor. If he can do the ceremonial job well, then why not.
I like this, why should age be a barrier to being mayor. If he can do the ceremonial job well, then why not. s-pb2

12:00pm Sun 3 Jun 12

MikeFrench says...

Congratulations Cllr Jones, good to see someone young in place and not 'fuddy duddies' who quaff brandy etc etc.
Is it possible that you could give EDCC a 'nudge' about the shocking state of the uncut verges in our town? - It looks a disgrace.......
Congratulations Cllr Jones, good to see someone young in place and not 'fuddy duddies' who quaff brandy etc etc. Is it possible that you could give EDCC a 'nudge' about the shocking state of the uncut verges in our town? - It looks a disgrace....... MikeFrench

2:21pm Sun 3 Jun 12

Bournefre says...

s-pb2 wrote:
I like this, why should age be a barrier to being mayor. If he can do the ceremonial job well, then why not.
I agree - where does it say the mayor of a town has to be a crusty old coffin dodger with their hands in the till? Despite what crusty old coffin dodgers such as rotcoddam will tell you not all youngsters nowadays go around spraying graffiti on walls, stealing cars and mugging little old ladies; some take an active interest in wholesome activities such as local politics.
[quote][p][bold]s-pb2[/bold] wrote: I like this, why should age be a barrier to being mayor. If he can do the ceremonial job well, then why not.[/p][/quote]I agree - where does it say the mayor of a town has to be a crusty old coffin dodger with their hands in the till? Despite what crusty old coffin dodgers such as rotcoddam will tell you not all youngsters nowadays go around spraying graffiti on walls, stealing cars and mugging little old ladies; some take an active interest in wholesome activities such as local politics. Bournefre

5:23pm Sun 3 Jun 12

Allan Whitehead says...

Here we criticise young person for all kinds of things. However, here we have a youth who took an interest in politics, and some still find unsavoury comments about his achievements. First, he became a Councillor, and must have gained the respect of his councillor friends from all parties.

His parents, teacher, and those who voted for him to become a Councillor, should all share in the pride of the office that he has been elected too for the ensuing mayoral year. Councillor Simon Jones, has been a Councillor for 5 years, and must be in his second term of his council duties.

Less criticism and more support is required for your first citizen of Bournemouth. He deserves more support for taking on such a worthwhile task as being a representative for all his constituents. He is what most Councils require, new blood. Well done Simon.
Here we criticise young person for all kinds of things. However, here we have a youth who took an interest in politics, and some still find unsavoury comments about his achievements. First, he became a Councillor, and must have gained the respect of his councillor friends from all parties. His parents, teacher, and those who voted for him to become a Councillor, should all share in the pride of the office that he has been elected too for the ensuing mayoral year. Councillor Simon Jones, has been a Councillor for 5 years, and must be in his second term of his council duties. Less criticism and more support is required for your first citizen of Bournemouth. He deserves more support for taking on such a worthwhile task as being a representative for all his constituents. He is what most Councils require, new blood. Well done Simon. Allan Whitehead

6:21pm Sun 3 Jun 12

tanya3012 says...

Shame on you all who are criticising Cllr Simon Gibson on his new role as the Verwood Town Mayor. I know Simon through my other half and whether you may THINK he is 'inexperienced' or 'too young' for his new role, he has been voted as a councillor. I believe that Simon will do Verwood proud and that more positive comments will encourage Simon to contribute some new and fresh ideas to Verwood's community.
Shame on you all who are criticising Cllr Simon Gibson on his new role as the Verwood Town Mayor. I know Simon through my other half and whether you may THINK he is 'inexperienced' or 'too young' for his new role, he has been voted as a councillor. I believe that Simon will do Verwood proud and that more positive comments will encourage Simon to contribute some new and fresh ideas to Verwood's community. tanya3012

6:23pm Sun 3 Jun 12

tanya3012 says...

And how lovely it is to see the comments that are so supportive!
And how lovely it is to see the comments that are so supportive! tanya3012

6:43pm Sun 3 Jun 12

Allan Whitehead says...

tanya3012.
Anyone can criticise. However, being supportive actually takes due consideration of what the Author wishes to say.
He will do a marvellous Job, and no doubt, his charity will aid the young,
I hope your wonderful other half, tells Simon to have a pie and peas’ night
For his Mayors Ball.
tanya3012. Anyone can criticise. However, being supportive actually takes due consideration of what the Author wishes to say. He will do a marvellous Job, and no doubt, his charity will aid the young, I hope your wonderful other half, tells Simon to have a pie and peas’ night For his Mayors Ball. Allan Whitehead

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