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Young are a priority for new Lord Mayor
6:00pm Monday 4th March 2013 in News
OXFORD’S new Lord Mayor is hoping to use her time as the city’s first citizen to engage with its young people.
Labour’s Dee Sinclair is currently serving as the Sheriff of Oxford and has spoken of how excited she is at meeting as many of the city’s residents as possible.
Her background as a teacher means she is particularly interested in tackling issues relating to the younger generation.
She said: “There is a problem with trying to get young people engaged with local politics, but in Oxford there are some quite significant issues for young people in terms of educational attainment.
“Sometimes you feel they have not been given a fair crack of the whip.
“Primarily this role is about meeting as many people that live and work in the city as possible. I am looking forward to it.
“I didn’t know whether I was the sort of person for this because I am quite happy working in the background but, having been Sheriff, I found I quite enjoyed it.”
As Lord Mayor, Ms Sinclair will choose two charities to support during her time in office. She has already chosen cancer centre Maggies Oxford as one but has not yet selected the other.
She said: “I am looking for a charity which works with young homeless people because housing is critical in Oxford and it impacts on young people particularly so if anyone has a suggestion then they could get in touch.”
In May Ms Sinclair, 66, will take over from Alan Armitage, whose time in office has been marred by allegations that he made inappropriate comments to a schoolgirl last June.
Last night she said it would not be appropriate to comment on whether she felt this had tarnished the post or whether she had work to do to regain people’s confidence in it.
Ms Sinclair has represented Quarry and Risinghurst since 2002 and she has three children and grandchildren.
She was born and brought up in Headington Quarry before going to Millham Ford School in Marston.
During her teaching career she worked mainly in Blackbird Leys, teaching humanities at Peers School, now Oxford Academy, until she retired.
As well as Sheriff, she is currently Oxford City Council’s board member for crime and community safety but this role will be passed on when she takes up office.
The first recorded Mayor of Oxford was Turchillus, who served from 1122 to 1123. In 1962 Queen Elizabeth II awarded the holder of that position the title of Lord Mayor.
Lib Dem councillor Tony Brett will be the city’s deputy Lord Mayor while the current holder of that post, Mohammed Abbassi, will become Sheriff of Oxford.