SOLIHULL’S new mayor says her selection proves ‘working-class’ residents can take up the role too.
Labour councillor for Kingshurst and Fordbridge, Flo Nash, was sworn in as the borough’s 65th mayor at a full council meeting on Tuesday.
She has left behind her ‘political’ responsibilities in order to ‘really get involved with the people’, she says.
She takes over from Conservative councillor Stuart Davis who will become deputy mayor for the coming year.
The new Solihull mayor has lived in Chelmsley Wood for 45 years.
She has served on the Fordbridge town council and remains a long-serving member of Chelmsley Wood town council.
Mayor Nash has a background working in retail but has taken up volunteering roles caring for children with special needs and has been a governor for Solihull Hospital.
She told us she has a particular interest in working with local schools while maintaining standards in the NHS.
She believes her selection as mayor is a symbolic achievement for someone from the north of the borough.
She said: “I think, to be truthful, my objective is to let people see that it’s not impossible for someone from the north to become the mayor of Solihull.
“But it’s also about getting involved with the all of the borough’s residents, the volunteers and all the different organisations.”
Of the mayoral charities she has chosen to represent she is particularly excited to work with Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Solihull Alzheimer’s Society – two institutions close to her heart.
She said: “In the community where I live in Chelmsley Wood I have become quite a well-known figure – I have worked in the community for more than thirty years.
“I became involved in local politics when I was very young.
“There wasn’t much to do for people in this area so I would go to the local parish council meetings.
“I have always been interested in doing things for people – and I would go to the parish council and put my case forward.”
She says she will be promoting the north of the borough but she sought to make clear she saw the whole of Solihull as a united place with good people.
She said: “I do believe both the north and the south are good places but I have had lots of people congratulate me and say we are glad to have someone from the north – someone working class if you like.
“Solihull is a fantastic council – it’s there for the residents no matter what and we have a responsibility to make sure everyone is treated equally.
“It is a privilege to be a mayor of Solihull – I thought it would never happen to someone like me.”