New Bungay mayor pledges to promote the River Waveney

Olly Barnes during his time as mayor of Bungay in 2016

Olly Barnes during his time as mayor of Bungay in 2016 - Credit: Nick Butcher

Promoting the asset Bungay has in the River Waveney is a key aim of the town’s new mayor.

Olly Barnes was installed into the role at the annual Bungay Town Council meeting on Monday evening by outgoing mayor Sylvia Knights, and said he was thrilled to take on the role.

“It is a great honour, and I would like to congratulate Sylvia on her year of office that provided determination and sheer doggedness, and an ability to get the job done,” he said.

“My aim is for us to work as a team to promote Bungay not just as a place to live but one for people to visit and do business in.”

One of Mr Barnes’ priorities for the year is to promote greater use of the river.

The 45-year-old, who is in his fifth year as a councillor, lives on and enjoys the river, and has always taken a keen interest in what happens on and around the Waveney.

He said: “For too long Bungay has turned its back on the River Waveney and I would like us to turn towards it and promote it for leisure pursuits. I want enhanced use of the river.”

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Mr Barnes was born at Thurton and went to school in Norwich and Loddon before training as a boat builder in Oulton Broad.

After a spell working with boats in the Caribbean and South Pacific he returned to this country to work on traditional Broads yachts and cruisers at Trowse, moving to Bungay in 1997 when he became self-employed.

He and his wife Alice have two children, Hannah and Henry, and in his spare time he enjoys helping them with their swimming, football and sailing hobbies.

He also gets involved in other aspects of Bungay activity, and among other things built the new reception counter at Bungay Community Library.

On Monday he welcomed seven new councillors, and said if everyone worked together they could achieve much for Bungay. There was no town council election this year as there were 15 candidates for the 15 seats.

Judy Cloke, who was mayor in 2013-14, was elected deputy mayor.