Suffolk Coastal District Council’s new Chairman is Councillor Mark Newton.
Cllr Newton, who represents the Tower Ward, which is within the Parish of Rushmere St Andrew, will be Chairman for the next 12 months, taking on the post from Cllr Susan Harvey.
He officially became the district’s first citizen, when he was elected as Chairman of Suffolk Coastal District Council at its Annual Council meeting on Thursday, 26 May 2016.
Cllr Newton, who has lived in Rushmere St Andrew since 1981, was first elected to Suffolk Coastal Council in 2011. He is also a Rushmere St Andrew Parish Councillor.
Cllr Newton has served as chairman of Suffolk Coastal’s Licensing Committee since May 2015, a role he has to step down from to take on his new duties. But he hopes to remain as a member of the Licensing Committee, which he has served on for five years.
Cllr Newton said:
“I’m really looking forward to my year in office. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet the residents of Suffolk Coastal and to promote the area’s tourism industry,
Suffolk is now my home, where I live and work and play. I feel I’ve walked every inch of the district but I still keep discovering more beautiful places full of fantastic people.
I’m interested in finding all the places that attract visitors. I plan to spend my year in office experiencing and promoting everything that could remotely be described as tourist attractions within Suffolk Coastal.”
Cllr Newton has been married to Lesley for 47 years and they have two grown up children (a boy and a girl) and four grandchildren. He was born in Wakefield in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where his father owned a successful pharmacy business. He describes his own education as ‘uneventful and largely unsuccessful’.
On leaving school, he spent two years in the TV repair business which he left and joined what was then the GPO working on the construction and extension of telephone exchanges.
He worked for BT for the next forty years and secured a first-class pass in the Telecommunications Technicians Course. He moved to what is now Adastral Park in 1980 to work on the development of the new digital exchanges.
Being a lover of all living things, Cllr Newton will be supporting the East Suffolk and Ipswich Branch of the RSPCA during his year as Chairman. This branch has an animal home in Martlesham and a clinic in Ipswich and largely depends on donations for financial support.
The new Vice-Chairman of the Council is Cllr Chris Blundell, who represents the Martlesham Ward.