Published: Friday, 19th May 2023
Cllr Margaret Wilkinson has been elected as Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and as Chairman of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk for the coming year at the Mayor Making ceremony.
At the ceremony, which took place on Thursday 18 May 2023, Cllr Paul Bland was elected as the deputy Mayor.
Margaret Rose Wilkinson (nee Farrow) was born in Edmonton, North London. After surviving the ravages of the wartime bombing, Margaret suffered the dreadful loss of both her parents when she was just nine years old. Her older brother took on the role of guardian to keep the family together.
She left school at 15 and worked in London for Aquascutum, the luxury clothing retailer. This was followed by a stint at Burberry. In December 1958 Margaret married Peter, her late husband, who was in the Merchant Navy and they went on to have a daughter and son.
Margaret then joined the NHS and worked for Tottenham Hotspur’s doctor in the mid 1960’s. In 1967 she and Peter visited friends who had moved to King’s Lynn and they liked the area so much they moved here the same year. Margaret worked in the first doctor’s surgery on the Fairstead Estate, when it was situated in a house.
In 1983 Margaret was elected as borough councillor for the Fairstead ward, a role she has continued to date. Her 40 years of unbroken service make her one of the longest serving councillors. Margaret has undertaken a variety of positions, including chair of the environment committee, and she was proud to oversee many initiatives from which we still benefit from today.
In 1990, whilst working full time and serving on the council, Margaret was approached to stand as a Justice of the Peace, a role which she continued for 20 years. Margaret has also been an active member of the Unite trade union for more than 30 years, receiving a special award for her long and valued contribution.
In spite of her busy life, Margaret still finds time for her favourite pastime of gardening.
Margaret was Deputy Mayor for two years from 2019 and took on the deputy Mayor position again in 2022. Margaret has chosen two Consorts, Amani Habaibeh and Dawn Leigh, who will be by her side during her year in office.
The Mayor's chosen charities are the Pandora Project and Norfolk and Waveney Mind.
Cllr Paul Bland, Deputy Mayor of King's Lynn & West Norfolk
Cllr Paul Bland, elected as deputy Mayor, is a true Linnet having been born in King's Lynn and lived in west Norfolk his whole life.
After leaving school Paul gained an electrician apprenticeship with the Eastern Electricity Board and progressed to Chargehand ,Foreman, Estimator, Sales Engineer, and eventually Business Development Engineer.
He married his wife Marion in 1970, moved to South Wootton, and had three children who attended local schools. Marion will be the Deputy Mayoress.
Paul was appointed as a Magistrate and served the community for 32 years. He was also the Chairman of the West Norfolk Bench.
Paul's other interests locally are President of the Sea Cadets, Director of Festival Too, Trustee of Trues Yard, Parish Councillor, Vice President of Norfolk's Magistrates Association, and a verifier for the Duke of Edinburgh's award.
The Mayor making ceremony took place at 4.30pm on Thursday, 18 May at King’s Lynn Town Hall and is available to watch on the borough council YouTube channel.