THE 763rd Mayor of Salisbury was elected in a special ceremony at the weekend. 

Councillor Sven Hocking was appointed on Saturday, May 11, with more than 180 civic dignitaries including mayors from neighbouring towns and cities attending the event at St Thomas’s Church.

The day began with a civic procession across Salisbury, which included a fanfare played by Shrewton Silver band, arriving at St Thomas’s Church at midday.

The event was attended by over 180 civic dignitaries including mayors from neighbouring towns and cities.

Salisbury Journal: Mayor making on Saturday, May 11

After prayers led by the canon reverend Kelvin Inglis, chief executive officer Asa Thorpe called for nominations, before councillor Mr Sven Hocking was elected as the mayor of the city of Salisbury for the ensuring municipal year.

Cllr Sven Hocking said: “It is truly an honour to be elected as mayor of our amazing City. As mayor, I will continue to represent you the residents, promote Salisbury’s businesses and attractions to the best of my ability wherever the opportunity arises, without fear or favour, as I have endeavoured to do over the past eleven years as a city councillor.”

Cllr Atiqul Hoque, the previous mayor, was not in attendance, after he stepped down from his role after being suspended by his party for making alleged antisemitic comments earlier this year.

Chief Executive Asa Thorpe was invited to make a speech on his behalf.

Salisbury Journal: Mayor making on Saturday, May 11

He said: “With his direction, we witnessed progress and positive change. His energy and positivity are something we must acknowledge and try to take the positive from.

“He is not here today and has sent his apologies as situations conclude.”

He added that in councillor Hoque’s time as mayor, over £30,000 was raised for his chosen charities: Salisbury and Wilton Rotary, Salisbury Hospice Charity and Wilton Riding for The Disabled.

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Cllr Hocking announced that his charity for the 2024 – 2025 term will be the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance are a lifesaving charity providing an emergency service to the people of Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas.

Salisbury Journal: Mayor making on Saturday, May 11

Before the meeting was declared closed, the mayor called for nominations for the new deputy mayor. Councillor Mr Ed Rimmer was elected and presented with his ceremonial chains of office.

The event concluded with the procession returning to the Guildhall, via Silver Street and Blue Boar Row.

The mayoral party was preceded by the city beadles and sergeant-at-mace, as well as the Salisbury giant, followed by a macebearer and the others of the civic processional party.

The new mayor was presented to the public on the Market Square, while the band continued to play, before the congregation retired to the Guildhall for a reception.