A NEW town mayor has been elected for Bicester and he has promised to support three local charities during his time in the role.

Councillor Nicholas Mawer, a town and Cherwell district councillor, said he was 'honoured' to be elected as Bicester’s mayor and was 'proud' to take on the role.

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He was sworn in on Monday, May 17, at the council’s first face-to-face meeting for more than a year.

His wife Rebecca will be his consort and Councillor Alex Thrupp has become Deputy Mayor.

Father-of-two, Mr Mawer has pledged to support three charities over the next year. They are ARCh Oxfordshire, assisted reading for children, The Countess of Jersey Educational Foundation, and 1st Bicester Intrepid Scout Group.

Bicester Advertiser: Councillor Nicholas Mawer, Bicester’s new mayor

He wanted to focus on educational charities both in memory of his father, a former deputy head teacher, who died last year before the pandemic, and his own firm belief in the power of education.

He said: “I firmly believe that reading is the most critical thing that we can teach children as it is the basis for pretty much all learning. So I’m supporting ARCh as they are directly helping to improve children’s life chances.

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“At the other end of the learning spectrum, both of my daughters benefitted from grants from the Countess of Jersey Educational Foundation, which helps students with the cost of university and apprenticeships.

“Finally, 1st Bicester Intrepid Scouts is a great organisation with a strong civic sense of duty and are very active. I hope to be able to do some sponsored activities with them to aid in the fundraising efforts.”

In one of his first tasks as mayor, Mr Mawer, who works in marketing for an Aylesbury based audio visual company, announced which organisations across Bicester that are set to get a cash boost after Bicester Town Council approved a string of grants totalling £15,490.52.

Earlier this year local groups, organisations and charities were invited to apply for cash to support their community projects as part of the town council’s annual grants scheme.

Usually, the money is handed out by the mayor at the Mayor Making ceremony, which took place last Monday, but due to coronavirus restrictions only councillors were able to attend and the event was broadcast live online.

Among the organisations who will be receiving cash is Bicester Athletic Club, which will get £1,000 to help fund new track and field facilities; One Bicester, which will get £1,000 to help put on Virtual Bicester’s Big Lunch and Big Lunch 2022; and Graven Hill Community Ministry will receive £999 for a PA system.

Other organisations include ARCh which has allocated £720 to pay for duplicate material for distanced workshops; Bicester Good Neighbour Scheme is to receive £1,000 for online volunteer training; Bicester Spiritualist Church will get £408 to fund replacement chairs; Cherwell Theatre Company will receive £992 towards community outreach events; 1st Bicester Intrepid Scout Group will get £725 to replace doors; and 1st Kingsmere Beavers will get £496.25 to fund PPE.

Mr Mawer said: “As a council we are delighted that we can help local groups and organisations who do so much for the community.

“This year we have seen applications for a range of projects that will benefit people across the community from sport, Scouting, theatre, family support, outdoor play equipment and more. I hope over the coming year I will get the opportunity to meet some of the people behind these fantastic organisations.”

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