Published: 00:00, 07 June 2014
| Updated: 12:19, 07 June 2014
Hundreds turned out to watch as soldiers and Maidstone’s new mayor paraded through the town centre today.
Members of 36 Engineers were joined by cadets and veterans as they marched from Week Street through the High Street.
They then went past the town hall where the newly-elected Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Richard Thick, took the salute.
Hundreds turned out for the Civic Parade in Maidstone.
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The parade and mayor making ceremony are usually held on a Wednesday but Maidstone council opted to switch it to a Saturday morning so that more people could see it.
Cllr Thick’s appointment was then proclaimed for all to hear outside the town hall at 11am.
He then travelled with the Mayoress, his wife Rosanne, through the town in a horse drawn carriage to All Saints’ Church in Mill Street for the civic service.
Their carriage was followed by council members and dignitaries on foot. They included Cllr Annabelle Blackmore, who this week was elected leader of the Conservative group on the council and was also elected leader of the council at the annual meeting this morning.
With a number of changes in the make-up of the council, with the Conservatives not having an overall majority, and the introduction of a number of new councillors, including four Ukip members, it had been a tense vote in the council chamber to see who would be elected leader.
But with abstentions from the three Ukip members present, and other absences, Cllr Blackmore was voted in, with 25 votes, compared to 22 to Cllr Fran Wilson (Lib Dem).
The vacancy arose after Cllr Chris Garland (Con) stepped down last week to take a seat on the backbenches instead.
Cllr Thick replaces Cllr Clive English, whose mayoral year has now come to an end. His deputy is Cllr Daniel Moriarty, who represents Park Wood.
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