Widow vows to carry on late mayor’s duties

The Mayor of Wakefield Councillor Brian Holmes officially launches the new British Heart Foundation (BHF) Wakefield Fundraising Branch. He is with Dr Mahendra and Mrs Manisha Patel as well as Mayoress Councillor Janet Holmes and Sue Hartley.(W531C331)
The Mayor of Wakefield Councillor Brian Holmes officially launches the new British Heart Foundation (BHF) Wakefield Fundraising Branch. He is with Dr Mahendra and Mrs Manisha Patel as well as Mayoress Councillor Janet Holmes and Sue Hartley.(W531C331)
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The widow of the late Mayor of Wakefield will take over his role following his sudden death.

Coun Janet Holmes will become the new mayoress in place of her husband, Brian Holmes, who died on October 7 after suffering a heart attack at home.

She has vowed to carry on his work with his chosen charities, the British Heart Foundation and Take Heart.

The Labour councillor for Horbury and South Ossett will be officially sworn in during a meeting of full council on Wednesday, November 13.

Coun Holmes said: “Brian went too soon. He was really enjoying his mayoral year and I and my family are still coming to terms with losing him.

“I am proud to step in his role for the rest of the mayoral year. I am sure it is what he would have wanted and means that I can continue the civic duties which meant so much to Brian.

“I especially want to continue to work with Brian’s two charities – British Heart Foundation and Take Heart.”

This will be the second time Coun Holmes has served as the Mayoress of Wakefield.

She carried out the role during 2004 and 2005 when her late husband served as her consort.

Coun Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, said: “While we are all still mourning the loss of Brian and will never forget him, I am very pleased that Janet has decided that she will carry on his work.”

Deputy mayor, Coun Laurie Harrison, is in line to take over as mayor next May.

A civic funeral service was held at Wakefield Cathedral on Tuesday, October 22, which was attended by family, friends, colleagues and MPs Ed Balls and Mary Creagh.

Mr Holmes served the same ward as his wife.

A by-election in Horbury and South Ossett will be held on November 28.

Nominations for prospective candidates close at noon today.

Voters need to ensure they are registered to vote, either in person, by post or by proxy. Call the Electoral Services team on 01924 305023.