New Lord Mayor takes chains of office

Published on 21 May 2015

LEICESTER’S new Lord Mayor has taken on the chains of office at a ceremony in the city’s Town Hall.

Cllr Ted Cassidy MBE, who has been a city councillor for 15 years, has been handed the role from outgoing Lord Mayor Councillor John Thomas, at a ceremony on Thursday, May 21.

Children’s mental health and wellbeing is the focus of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Appeal. The first two charities which will benefit from this appeal will be The Spark Arts for Children, and Place2Be, which provides support services for children’s mental health.

In addition to having served as a local councillor in Saffron Ward (1990-1999) and Fosse Ward (2011 to present), Cllr Cassidy has also played an important role in economic development, culture and sport roles across the East Midlands over the last 30 years or so.

Originally from Clacton in Essex, Cllr Cassidy qualified as a youth and community worker and developed the first residential, educational and day care centre of its kind, in Northampton, helping to prevent young people going into care or custody.

He then qualified as a social worker and came to Leicester in 1983 as a senior lecturer in social work at Leicester Polytechnic, now De Montfort University, where he went on to work for nearly 30 years.

In 1995 he founded the Saffron Young People’s Project, and in 2009 he chaired the Special Olympics Great Britain Summer Games in Leicester.

Cllr Cassidy is currently involved in managing the renovation and development of St Peter’s Church and Community Centre in Highfields.

He has also held numerous roles within the city council, including that of assistant city mayor for economic development, High Bailiff and Deputy Lord Mayor.

His extensive work also sees him involved as a trustee with both the National Space Centre and the Carlton Hayes Mental Health Charity, as a board member of LeicesterShire Promotions and member of Leicester Cathedral Council.

He’s also been closely involved with Phoenix Arts, Leicester Theatre Trust, Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, the former East Midlands Development Agency and a range of sports, community and arts projects.

He was awarded an MBE in 2008 for services to the community and the arts.

He said: “I’m very much looking forward to my term in office as Lord Mayor, and I’m hoping I can really make something of the role.

“I am committed to supporting the area of children’s mental health and wellbeing as my appeal, which is something that often goes below the radar and doesn’t get noticed.

Cllr Cassidy was proposed as Lord Mayor by City Mayor Peter Soulsby, and seconded by Assistant City Mayor for jobs and skills, Cllr Sue Waddington.

He will be joined in his role by his consort, Mrs Vijay Sharma, the former head of the BBC Asian Network.