We ask you... what should St Albans Mayor Annie Brewster do next?
PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 March 2014
She has been described as the mayor with the mostest, the most dynamic and glamorous first citizen that St Albans district has ever seen, but what will happen when Annie Brewster steps down from her role in June?
Traditionally, the office of mayor has been assumed by councillors from alternating parties who have served the community for a certain period of time, which often means the more senior members have found themselves in situ with no guarantees of the extent of their activities during the year.
But the whirlwind tenure of Cllr Brewster has taken everyone by surprise, changing perceptions of the mayor both locally and further afield and injecting an adrenalin-charged shot into the arm of the establishment. Whether it’s testing out the district’s new beach volleyball courts, plunging into St Albans lido or joining in a cross-country charity relay, there’s apparently nothing she won’t do.
So what happens when Annie steps down in a few months time and hands over her chain of office to a hitherto unknown successor.
Perhaps she should become an ambassador for St Albans, dedicated to the promotion of the district and actively pushing the positives to the wider world? Providing the duties and responsibilities of such an office were clearly differentiated from that of the mayor, and there is only a minimal expense from the council coffers, it could be the perfect role for her, and ensure she remained an active campaigner for St Albans.
We asked some key players in the district for their opinions on Annie’s tenure as mayor and any potential role in the future…
Executive director of St Albans Chamber of Commerce Lisa Bates said: “Annie has such a genuine interest in local people and St Albans at large that is truly inspiring. Her genuine ability to engage with all sections of the community is very special and her achievements with community projects during this last year has been so impressive and selfless.
“She is a great champion of everything St Albans and a great asset to our city – we need more people like her around making our city a better place to live, work and enjoy.”
Warren Bacci, principal of local talent agency Top Hat Stage School, said: “I couldn’t think of any mayor who has does so much for us as well as St Albans. I would back the Brewster all the way!”
Leoni Kibbey, director of St Albans Film Festival, said: “Annie Brewster is an incredibly driven person with a passion for St Albans. With her endless energy she brightens up the city by actively working to make it a better place and attending many events no matter how large or small. It is fantastic to see the smiles on people’s faces when she has attended their event and their sense of pride that she has recognised the great work many people are achieving around this wonderful city. Annie really cares and is a wonderful role model and would be such an asset to the city if she were able to carry on her great work.”
Richard Marrett, general manager at St Michael’s Manor said: “Cllr Brewster has been absolutely fantastic during her mayoralty year and certainly leaves a strong legacy. Her involvement with the community has been second to none, embracing the city and district with encouragement to businesses, charities and community spirit. I wholeheartedly give my vote for her to be elected into a new role of St Albans ambassador in order that she has a platform to continue her great work so far.”
Lawrence Levy, co-owner of St Albans City FC, said: “I feel Annie has been a breath of fresh air as mayor this last year. She would be a great candidate to continue in a mayoral-type role post May. She has exceeded expectations and has worked tirelessly to be involved with as many parts of the community as possible – not just cutting the odd piece of tape here and there!”
Sophie Banks from St Albans-based tourism marketing agency Loudbird PR said: “Annie is an enabler – she gets things done, and always with a smile and sense of fun. She is brilliant at communicating the unique personality of St Albans to visitors and embodies a lot of what is so wonderful about the city. We can’t think of a better ambassador for the area. Annie would help take St Albans to a whole new audience, and in the long term, benefit the businesses and the local economy.”
Zoe Hancock, principal of Oaklands College, said: “We have been really delighted with the support we have received from Annie. She has been a pleasure to work with in her term in office and I have seen first-hand on many occasions the positive impact her welcoming and engaging style has had for our students and staff.”
What do you think? Vote in our online poll, send your comments to email@example.com or tweet @hertsad using the hashtag #AfterAnnie.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.