HARWICH’s new mayor has expressed his pride at taking on the “privileged” role.

Ivan Henderson, who has represented Harwich at all political levels, including as its first and only Labour MP, said he now feels he has completed the package.

Having been elected to the town council in 1986, he went on to become a district and county councillor as well as serving as the town’s MP between 1997 and 2005.

“Up until recently it’s not been one of my priorities,” he said, “but now I’m feeling excited. I’ve been in most levels of Government but never a mayor before.

“I feel really proud and privileged to be taking on this role. To have the support of the councillors who have all put their trust in me to take the job on for the people is a real honour.

Gazette: The procession, in Church StreetThe procession, in Church Street

“I want to raise as much money as I can to support the charities throughout the launch of the Harwich Mayflower Legacy Fund – I want this to go on for years.

“I’m hoping people and businesses, big or small, will help to support it to help groups and organisations which work in the town and help encourage young people, children, and families.

“The main aim here is to highlight the good work they do and to ask people to show their appreciation, and help to support them.”

As part of this initiative, Mr Henderson has already pledged money to community groups in the town – Teen Talk, Home-Start Harwich and The Ark Family Resource Centre.

Mr Henderson took the chains of office today and carried out the famous kitchel throwing from the balcony of Harwich’s Guildhall.


Children stood below to catch the treats in time honoured tradition.

Mr Henderson also paid tribute to his family. He added: “I’m coming up to 30 years in public elected life and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the support from my family who, a lot of the time, come second to the things I am doing.

“My wife Jo, who will be mayoress, I couldn’t ask any more from.  “When I have doubted myself and my abilities she’s always been there to lift me up, she’s always given me the confidence. Without her, I probably wouldn’t be here.

“I must extend my thanks to the loyal and supportive Labour party members and the public who have put their trust in me over the past few years.”