Cllr Denise Jones has been sworn in as Mayor of Christchurch at the annual meeting of Christchurch Borough Council.
Denise was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire but moved to Lancashire with her parents hen she was five. From a very early age Denise wanted to teach and, having gained a BA with honours in History at Liverpool University, she went on to achieve her Teacher’s Certificate.
At the age of 24, she became one of the youngest Heads of History in the country when she was appointed at Elmslie Girls’ School in Blackpool.
In 1981 she married David, also a History teacher, but unfortunately she developed multiple sclerosis and had to take medical retirement. In time she became involved in local issues, becoming Secretary of the local Conservative Ward Committee, and led the fight for a new hospital in the area.
When David’s job brought them south in 1990 she kept her interest in politics and fought Grange Ward in 1999 and again in 2003. In 2007 she was elected Councillor, and was re-elected in 2011. She is well-known as an active campaigner and has inspired the community to work together and with partners such as Sovereign to prevent unacceptable development, provide much-needed but well-designed housing, and to establish a new Community Centre which is due to open in June 2014.
Denise has always been passionate about heritage and from her time at Liverpool University saw the merits and great potential of conserving the country’s industrial heritage. Other causes she has championed include the problems faced by the disabled and the elderly.
Her consort will be her husband, Cllr David Jones.
Cllr Denise Jones said: “I would like to thank the Council for electing me. I consider it a most tremendous honour. I will work to promote Christchurch to the best of my ability during my mayoral year.”
Her nominated charities are The Royal British Legion Christchurch branch, Dorset Cancer Centre and Somerford Arc, a new community centre.
Cllr Nick Geary was elected to serve as Deputy Mayor.