Meet Worcester’s new Mayor
A new Mayor of Worcester was voted in at a virtual meeting of the City Council this week (Tuesday 19 May). Cllr Jo Hodges has taken over the chain of office from the outgoing Mayor, Cllr Allah Ditta.
This will be Cllr Hodges' second mayoral term in office; the first being in 1999 – 2000.
Cllr Stephen Hodgson is Worcester's new Deputy Mayor.
"It is a great honour and privilege to be elected Mayor. This is the 399th year there has been a Mayor for Worcester, but this is the first to be agreed in a remote way and we hope that it will be the only one," said the new Mayor upon taking up her appointment.
"The present situation is frightening and worrying and is full of daily difficulties. It is fitting in Mental Health Awareness Week to choose mental health awareness as my mayoral theme for the year. My concern is for all those with mental health difficulties - especially our young people."
Jo says she knows that this year will be very different from the previous time when she was Mayor – but is ready to face the challenges that a mayoral year in these unusual times will bring.
Her nominated mayoral charities are the Worcester Community Trust (www.worcestercommunitytrust.org.uk) and Light Box (www.stpaulschurch.co.uk/lightbox), a charity which provides a safe meeting place for young people in the city.
Jo Hodges was born in Worcester and has lived here all her life. She is married and has three children and eight grandchildren. Jo enjoys spending time with her family as well as travelling, reading, going to the theatre and immersing herself in local politics.
Jo spent her professional life working as a High School teacher. She was also a Magistrate for 34 years, retiring from the bench two years ago.
Jo joined Worcester City Council in 1996 and has represented the Warndon area of the city for her entire 24 years with the Council. She is a trustee for Worcester Community Trust and chairs the Warndon Forum. She is also interested in international friendship and served as Chair of the Twinning Association for five years. She will now become President of the Association, in her new role as Mayor.