A new mayor admitted it is "the honour" of her life after being elected to serve a coastal town.

At the annual meeting of Lowestoft Town Council this week councillor Nasima Begum was elected as the mayor of Lowestoft for the municipal year 2024/2025.

Councillor Elise Youngman was appointed as deputy mayor for the forthcoming year during the meeting held at Hamilton House on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft on Tuesday evening.

After being handed the Mayoral Chain by the outgoing mayor, Cllr Sonia Barker, and accepting the role of Mayor of Lowestoft, Cllr Nasima Begum, "It is the honour of my life to be elected as mayor of Lowestoft for this civic year.

"I have been privileged to have been deputy mayor for the past three years.

"I would like to thank everyone who has supported and encouraged me.

"I have always thought that a grassroots body like the Town Council should reflect the society it represents, so it is important to have councillors of all ages and backgrounds.

"As a young councillor, a woman, a mum and someone from an ethnic and religious minority I will try to use my time as mayor to support the Town Council in working on behalf of everyone in Lowestoft, and to show that young, working parents and other people who do not normally engage with local government can not only engage with it but can be part of it themselves.

"Thank you to my fellow councillors for putting your faith in me.

"I hope, with your help, I can do a good job."

On being appointed as deputy mayor, Cllr Elise Youngman said: "I would like to formally accept the role of deputy mayor and thank everyone who voted for me.

"I am looking forward to working with the new mayor of Lowestoft and all the other councillors and staff at Lowestoft Town Council during the next civic year, especially with a lot of up-and-coming projects and events taking place."

'Huge privilege'

Speaking at the start of the annual meeting the outgoing mayor Cllr Barker said: "It has been a huge privilege and honour to serve the people of Lowestoft as your mayor over the past 12 months."

Having attended 85 events and represented Lowestoft across Suffolk and Norfolk, Mrs Barker reflected on the importance of the role of the mayor in championing the local community, chairing the council, and on the large projects that have been delivered during her tenure.

She added: "I have been greatly impressed and humbled by members of our Lowestoft community who make such a difference to people’s lives.

"I am proud of what has been achieved over the last 12 months at Lowestoft Town Council and congratulate all involved."

Cllr Barker ended her speech by thanking her fellow councillors, Lowestoft Town Council staff and her husband Rod and daughter Charlotte who separately have been Consort "at so many events" in the past year.