Ipswich’s next mayor knows she’s in for a busy year as first citizen
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich’s next mayor is starting to prepare for her new role – and is well aware that she has a hard act to follow!
Solicitor Jane Riley, a partner in the law firm of Kerseys, is due to become at May’s annual meeting of the council taking over from Sarah Barber who has enjoyed an energetic mayoralty.
Ms Riley was born in Ipswich and has lived in the town all her life apart from when she was away at university.
She was in the last year of the old Northgate Girls School and is a member of the “Seahorse Club” because all those who left in the last year of the school were presented with a badge with its crest – a seahorse.
She said: “I have lived in the town and I feel I know the town, but I know from talking to former mayors that you find out far more about the town and its people than you thought you would – so that is something I am really looking forward to.”
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Ms Riley joined Kerseys as a trainee after leaving university and qualified as a solicitor in 1988. After taking a break to have children and work part-time she returned to Kerseys in 2000 and became an equity partner at the company in 2016.
Her Mayor’s Consort will be her husband, Adam Rae, and she is aware that they are facing a busy year once she has taken on the role.
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She said: “It is a bit daunting. I work full time so combining the two roles will be a challenge – but many people have done that before. Sarah has done a great job while working full time, so I know it can be done.”
As well as her work and role as a councillor, Ms Riley is also chair of the trustees of the Ipswich Film Theatre Trust.
She said: “Films are a passion for us and it is a very hands-on role. As well as chairing the trust I work with the other volunteers on the box office and practical things like that.
“I fear there will be a bit less time for that next year, but we still hope to get along when we can.”
She has not yet decided exactly what her three mayor’s charities will be – but knows that one will be the Suffolk Law Centre.
She said: “As a solicitor I know how important it is that people have access to the advice they need and this is just getting established. As well as raising funds directly I would welcome the chance to raise its profile to hopefully get more support over the year.”