MAYOR and Mayoress Mick and Elaine Stowe step back from their duties today after a year of dedicated service - and they woke up ‘smiling every morning’ throughout.

The departing pair admit that Coun Stowe couldn’t thank everyone, or detail everything he’s done over his ‘eye-opening’ year wearing the chains.

With unforgettable moments like getting dragged onto stage during the Civic’s pantomime in December, being unable to stop laughing to himself as he thought back to jokes made by local comedian Carl Barma, and working with members of the community to support his two chosen charities - Barnsley Blind and Partially Sighted Association and Barnsley Hospice, who he helped raise £20,000 for - it goes without saying that being mayor has been an honour for the Hoyland Milton councillor.

“It has been absolutely fantastic,” he told the Chronicle.

“I’d describe it as a treasure hunt, because I’ve been finding little gems all over Barnsley.

“It’s opened my eyes because there are all these places out there that I wouldn’t usually get to see.

“What I’ve always found comforting though is that I’ve got Elaine besides me, and I’ve got a team with Vicky Warboys and Glen Brain behind me.”

He admits that all of the achievements he has been able to oversee comes back to the local community who made it possible.

In Text Promo Image

“The community is the jewel in our crown,” he added.

“It’s that community spirit of the people in our borough, their generosity and how welcoming they are that’s helped with the regeneration of our town centre and villages.

“But I knew going in that it only lasts one year and I think that’s significant - it’s a commitment and you shouldn’t put your name in if you’re not ready for that.

“So I think I’ve shown my commitment this year, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”