New Mayor of Rotherham sworn inPublished Monday, 22nd May 2017
Cllr Eve Rose Keenan will be the new Mayor of Rotherham for 2017/18.
She takes over from Cllr Lyndsay Pitchley, and as such will become the third woman in successive years to hold civic office – a first for the town - after being officially sworn in as the Mayor of Rotherham before Full Council on Friday 19 May.
Born and raised in Rainham, Kent, Cllr Rose Keenan moved to Leeds in 1982 where her work for a church youth project helping victims of child sexual exploitation inspired her to become a member of the clergy. She attended The Queen’s Foundation Theological College in Birmingham and trained to become a priest for the Church of England, graduating in 1999.
After a short curacy in Leeds, Cllr Rose Keenan became a fully ordained Church of England priest at a ceremony at Ripon Cathedral in 2001, going on to become a hospital chaplain at the Humber NHS Foundation Trust in Hull from 2004 - a position she still fulfils.
Whilst working as a hospital chaplain, Cllr Rose Keenan became a parish councillor in Hessle, Hull, in 2011, before moving to Rotherham shortly afterwards. Elected initially as councillor in Swinton in 2015, Cllr Rose Keenan changed wards to represent Rotherham West where she lives in the elections of 2016.
Cllr Rose Keenan hopes to bring vibrancy and enthusiasm to her role in a town she “fell in love with” after moving from Hull four years ago.
“I really love people here, and to be the Mayor is a bit like being a parish priest – it’s about spreading the love as much as possible and helping people in a very visible way, and representing Rotherham which I have fallen in love with.”
The new Consort will be her husband Pat, a former British steelworker and lifelong Rotherham resident, whom she celebrates her three year anniversary with this month.
Cllr Rose Keenan will be supported in her role as Mayor by incoming Deputy Mayor, Cllr Alan Buckley.
The new Mayor’s chosen charities are five local causes within Rotherham; Shiloh; a charity for homeless and vulnerable people, Thornberry Animal Sanctuary; a rescue home for neglected and mistreated domestic and farm animals, community cohesion group, Love is Louder; arts and drama charity, Open Minds Theatre Company and Rotherham United Community Sports Trust.
“My charities are ones which I’m very passionate about and ones which I’ve done work with in my time as Deputy Mayor. I was keen to focus on smaller, local charities which do wonderful work within the community and these five are perfect – best of all they’re communicating with each other already so I’m hoping they’ll all benefit from each other and grow during my time in office.”
Asked how she has prepared for office after a year as Deputy Mayor, she added: “I’ve learnt that I can spend every day with Pat, my best friend and never get bored. Knowing that I’ll be doing everything with him as my partner, my consort and the man I love, is something I can’t wait to do.
“I’ve been to brilliant places and met brilliant people and learnt that Rotherham is a thousand times better than what I already knew it was. I can’t wait to get started.”