On Wednesday, May 17, the ward councillor for Washington West officially assumed the role of Mayor during a meeting of the full council.

Joining her in this new endeavour is her husband, Councillor Harry Trueman, who will be serving alongside her.

During the ceremony, they received the ceremonial chains of office from the former Mayor, Councillor Alison Smith, and her husband, David Smith, who served as Consort.

Additionally, Castle Ward member Cllr Allison Chisnall and her partner Alistair Thomson were sworn in as Deputy Mayor and Deputy Consort for the period of 2023-2024 by the full Council.

Councillor Dorothy Trueman, the newly appointed Mayor of Sunderland, began her professional career as an office clerk at Pyrex, where she had the pleasure of meeting her husband Harry. She then worked in various post offices and the Sunderland Crown office for a span of 20 years.

Cllr Trueman has two grown-up children and one grandson. She was first elected to the council in 2010 and has served on various committees, including as a member of the adoption panel for several years.

Mayor of Sunderland Cllr Trueman said: ” I am very much looking forward to the year ahead, celebrating and promoting the great people, businesses, charities, organisations, community associations and more based in this wonderful city we get to call home.”

The Mayor and Consort have chosen two local charities to support during their year in office – Special Lioness and Hug in a Bag. Special Lioness is a Sunderland-based charity started in 2020 that supports families with disabled children, and Hug in a Bag was founded in Sunderland in 2006, providing information and gift packs to people diagnosed with breast cancer.

The outgoing Mayor, Cllr Alison Smith, said: “It has been an honour to serve as Mayor of Sunderland and wonderful to work with Councillor Dorothy Trueman and Cllr Harry Trueman as deputy Mayor and Consort. I wish them all the very best for the year ahead.

“I will look back on this past year with fond memories, with highlights such as the Remembrance Parade, the Freedom of the City ceremony for Stephanie Darby, Gary Bennett and Jill Scott, and the Mayor’s Civic Ball. I was grateful to be able attend The Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace last year and take part in celebrations across the city for the Coronation of His Majesty The King this year.

“One of my greatest honours was to be the first to sign the Book of Condolence in Sunderland and pay respects to the late HRH Queen Elizabeth II and host the proclamation of The New King, it is something I will remember forever.

“Another thing which we are tremendously grateful for is that we were able to raise over £16,000 for our chosen charities Hope4All, Downhill Community Pond and Garden and Friends of Bunnyhill, all thanks to the generosity of the local community.”

The Mayor’s Civic Sunday Service will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Peareth Road, Washington on Sunday 11 June. Members of the public are welcome but are asked to confirm by emailing Mayor@Sunderland.gov.uk no later than Monday 29 May.

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