New mayor backs Barnet pandemic recovery
The new mayor of Barnet has pledged to help the borough recover from the coronavirus pandemic as lockdown restrictions end.
Alison Cornelius said she would be happy to lend her support as the borough “comes back to life” – particularly those areas that have been badly affected by the virus.
Elected mayor at the annual council meeting last week, Cllr Cornelius paid tribute to her predecessor, Caroline Stock, who served a two-year term.
During her speech, Cllr Cornelius said: “Barnet is an extraordinary place and very well served by numerous voluntary organisations, which is so vital to the smooth running of the borough.
“I am looking forward to meeting many volunteers and residents, while attending events and supporting organisations across the entirety of the borough of Barnet.
“As Covid restrictions end and the borough comes back to life – particularly in those areas which have been badly affected – it will be important that all of us continue to play our part in helping, and I will be very happy to lend my support whenever and wherever it is appropriate.”
Elected as a Conservative councillor for Totteridge in 2009, Cllr Cornelius has a background in the health and care sector, serving as a chaplain’s assistant at Barnet Hospital from 1998.
She is vice-chairman of Barnet-based charity the Eleanor Palmer Trust, which provides care home and sheltered housing accommodation.
On Barnet Council, Cllr Cornelius chairs the health overview and scrutiny committee, which oversees the NHS and other health providers. She is also a member of the environment committee and Chipping Barnet area committee.
In his nomination speech, council leader Dan Thomas said Cllr Cornelius had “consistently shown commitment to her local area and to Barnet as a whole”, describing her as a “vocal advocate of the care sector” who had “actively raised issues during the pandemic”.
Elected with cross-party support from Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors, Cllr Cornelius said she would chair council meetings in a “fair and equitable manner”, and the apolitical side of the mayoralty would be safe in her hands.
Saira Don, who represents West Hendon for the Conservatives, was elected as the new deputy mayor of Barnet.