Brighton and Hove Conservative Association held an event to celebrate the appointment of Dawn Barnett, Vanessa Brown, Mary Mears and Dee Simson as Alderman of the city for their long histories of serving their communities as local councillors.
The council says being made an alderman is ‘regarded as a mark of recognition for the work and commitment given by a former councillor to the authority, their ward and the city.’
Dee Simson, councillor for Woodingdean from 1999-2023 and Mayor of Brighton from 2018-19, said being mayor was an experience she ‘never could have imagined.’
Dee said she is still ‘busy in the community’ every day, helping out with a café, charity shop and taking her grandchildren to school. ‘I never have a day where I do nothing.’
Dawn Barnett was a councillor for Hangleton and Knoll from 2004-2023. She has long been known in her community for her work as a carer and formerly running a grocery. Dawn said ‘I enjoyed having a rest for 2 months, but I’m still out in the community helping people.’
Vanessa Brown, councillor for Hove Park (and formerly Westbourne Ward) from 1995 -2023, said she came from an education background and found it very ‘exciting’ being a councillor when many new schools were being opened in Brighton and Hove.
Mary Mears was a councillor for Rottingdean’s Coastal Ward from 1992 to 2023. Mary was later Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council 2008 to 2011.
If you are inspired by Dawn, Dee, Mary and Vanessa’s years of public service, get in touch today to see how you can be involved and perhaps become a councillor yourself one day.