Published: 15:38, 29 April 2021
| Updated: 16:05, 29 April 2021
Dartford councillors have appointed their next mayor to take over civic responsibilities for the forthcoming term.
Cllr Rosanna Currans was elected at a virtual council meeting held yesterday, having spent the past 12 months as deputy to outgoing Mayor Cllr Roger Perfitt.
She will be assisted by the deputy mayor Cllr Paul Cutler and has appointed Corinna Bailey as her escort for official engagements.
Her chosen good causes are The Arrow Riding Centre for the disabled in Darenth, The Healthy Living Centre and Home Start, a Dartford-based family support service providing a support to vulnerable isolated families with pre-school children.
Speaking at the meeting, she said: "I would like to thank the council and all the councillors for giving me the honour to be be able to be the Mayoress of Dartford for the year 2021. Thank you very much."
Cllr Currans was first elected in a by-election in 2014, and was re-elected the following year, representing the Brent ward. She previously served as town mayor during 2017/18.
A Dartford resident since 1983, Cllr Currans is married to husband Alan with whom she has three sons and three grandsons.
During a long and varied career, the incoming Mayor has held down an assortment of jobs, treading the boards before working as a circus girl, bar maid, and later performing secretarial work while raising her children.
Her interest in local affairs was sparked by a four day power cut in 2009 which affected tens of thousands of homes across Dartford, Bexley and Bromley.
She felt affronted by the offer of compensation from energy giants EDF and decided to mount a campaign which eventually led to them agreeing to pay £700,000 to the worst affected, as well as £750,000 community fund for local causes.
In addition to her duties as a councillor, Cllr Currans also helps to run the quiz night at the Dartford Conservative Club, and is a member of the Dartford Lions charity and the Dartford East Health Centre’s patient participation group.
She also regularly attends meetings of the Friends of Hesketh Park group.
Before last night's meeting a minute's silence was held as a mark of respect for love ones lost during the pandemic, including former council managing director Graham Harris who died of a heart attack last year.
The council also offered its thoughts and support to Temple Hill Cllr Alina Gaskin who last week announced on social media she was undergoing cancer treatment.
Leader of the council Jeremy Kite (Con) thanked outgoing Mayor Cllr Roger Perfitt who served an extended two year period of office due to the pandemic.
Cllr Kite praised Cllr Perfitt for his "good humour", adding he had represented them "extraordinarily well" in spite of the "technical" challenges posed by remote council hearings and Zoom calls.
"He has done us proud really," the Tory leader said. "I think these are never easy meetings to chair because you can't see everybody and pick up on nuances in the room."
Cllr Kite concluded the meeting by extending an invitation to members of the public to join them for a celebration, when permitted.
He said: "I think as a community it is important we start to come together unashamedly to become aware of what has happened to us in the last 14 months.
"I do pledge we will have a nice opportunity for us in the summer to gather together as real people in real places, together, to celebrate the fact we are a united, friendly and effective council."