New St Albans Mayor pledges to support district’s young homeless

PUBLISHED: 06:00 03 June 2016

St Albans Mayor Cllr Frances Leonard

St Albans Mayor Cllr Frances Leonard

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New St Albans Mayor, Frances Leonard, has chosen Herts Young Homeless as her charity for the year.

Mace Bearer John Hills, the Mayor Cllr Frances Leonard and Deputy Mayor, Cllr Gill ClarkMace Bearer John Hills, the Mayor Cllr Frances Leonard and Deputy Mayor, Cllr Gill Clark

Cllr Leonard, who has represented Sandridge ward for nine years, took over the role from Cllr Salih Gaygusuz at a full meeting of St Albans council last week.

Current Deputy Mayor, Cllr Gill Clark, will continue in the role.

The new Mayor, the 473rd in the city, said: “It’s a great honour to be elected Mayor. I am looking forward to representing the council and highlighting the work that it does.

”Most of all, I am keen to meet and support the many volunteers, charities and community groups that do such important work for the St Albans district.”

Outgoing Mayor, Cllr Salih Gaygusuz and new Mayor Cllr Frances LeonardOutgoing Mayor, Cllr Salih Gaygusuz and new Mayor Cllr Frances Leonard

The daughter of a postwoman and quarry worker, Cllr Leonard grew up in Warwickshire and was the first member of her family to go to university.

She studied pharmacy at the University of London where she met her husband, Dr Graham Leonard, who will be the Mayor’s Consort. The couple have a son and daughter and two granddaughters.

After working in north London, Cllr Leonard moved to St Albans in 1974 following her marriage and has held a number of jobs in the area.

She worked at Harperbury Hospital, Hemel Hempstead General Hospital and at Spire Harpenden Hospital where she manages the pharmacy department. She was also a committee member of the local branch of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for 25 years.

In her spare time, the new Mayor has been a bell ringer at St Albans Abbey. She has also supported a number of causes, including the Stroke Association and breast cancer charities, with sponsored bike rides and runs.

She enjoys taking part in environmental projects in her ward and helps to organise the annual Rose Walk Big Lunch street party.

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Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

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