Bedford Borough’s newest female Councillor, Jade Uko, was elected Speaker of Bedford Borough Council at the Annual Meeting on Wednesday evening.
At the meeting, Cllr Doug McMurdo was elected as Deputy Speaker.
Serving her first term as a councillor, Jade was elected in May 2015 to represent Goldington Ward.
In the two years since her election, as well as helping residents with local issues, Jade has served on the Planning Committee, Environment & Sustainable Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee, and is presently the Labour Group Spokesperson on the Adult Services & Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee.
Jade said: “The role of Speaker may have traditionally gone to a more experienced member of the Council that has been around for a long time, but I don’t feel we should limit ourselves to those with experience.
“I will bring a fresh perception and idea of what a councillor can be to a role which is little understood by the public.
“I carefully considered whether to put myself forward as I wanted to feel sure that I had something to offer.
“I also want to reach out to a group that often feels marginalised by politicians - young women with families - and demonstrate to them something that I feel passionately about and aim to convey to others positions of influence are up for grabs, for you and for anyone.
“If you care about your community and the future of our Borough, you can get involved.”