Councillor Joanne Potter was chosen as the 43rd Mayor of Surrey Heath at the Surrey Heath Borough Council Annual Meeting on 20 May 2015.
Cllr Potter was born in Frimley, grew up locally and has been a Borough Councillor for Deepcut and Mytchett since 2011.
Determined to have a career in the entertainment industry as a performer, Cllr Potter attended evening drama classes, singing lessons and dancing classes which led to a varied career including pantos, working with some of the top stars in show biz, as well as summer magic act shows at most of the seaside venues. She followed this by setting up her own entertainment's agency, then running a successful pub / restaurant / music venue, and went on to open a dance club teaching American line dancing. This led to her having female and male line dance champions plus a champion Line Dance team at the Nashville Championships.
Cllr Potter will be escorted throughout her mayoral year by her sister, Mrs Jackie Piper.
Her chosen charities for her Mayoral year are Alzheimer Café Camberley, Sebastian's Action Trust and Parity for Disability and Cllr Potter "hopes to raise as much as possible for these worthy causes".
Duties of the Mayor
The Mayoralty has for a long time been recognised as being, in the Borough, second only to Royalty and The Queen's Deputy, the Lord Lieutenant. On Surrey Heath premises the Mayor takes precedence over all except The Queen. This high standing is mainly one of honour and dignity, rather than actual legal powers.
The primary duty of the Mayor is to chair meetings of the Full Council. A Mayor chairing at any meeting of the Council will have a second or casting vote. The Mayor's decision on a point of order shall be final. It is the duty of the Mayor to ensure that the Council meetings are conducted in a seemly manner and in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Council's Standing Orders.
The Mayor takes the lead in all matters that concern the Civic life of the Borough, including appeal for funds for a local, national or international charity or disaster fund, making representations to the Government or celebrating the success of an individual or team of the Borough.
In addition the Mayor will also have a number of formal civic duties and will also receive a number of requests each year to support local organisations and activities.
The Mayor is a non-political post.
In accordance with the Local Government Act, the Council must appoint from amongst its Members a Deputy Mayor or Vice-Chairman. Similarly the Deputy Mayor may chair meetings of the Full Council in the absence of the Mayor.