Devizes mayor to follow in her mum’s footsteps
When Sarah Bridewell is installed as the mayor of Devizes tonight it will be the first time a mother and daughter have served in the post in the town and in Wiltshire.
Coun Bridewell’s mother, Jane Burton, was mayor in 2008/09. She said: “I am so proud of Sarah.
“She has achieved so much on her own, without any help from me, and I think she will make a brilliant mayor.
“We are certainly the first mother and daughter to have been mayors of Devizes and I am pretty certain we are the first in Wiltshire. I am still investigating if we are the first in England.”
Mother-of-two Coun Bridewell, 41, was born at Devizes maternity hospital and attended Southbroom Junior School and Devizes School before beginning a career with Barclays Bank, 24 years ago.
She and her husband Michael, an RAF chief technician, moved away when he was posted to RAF Brize Norton and then RAF Odiham. But they moved back to the area in 2003, three years after their first son, Scott, was born. He now has a brother, Owen, who is eight.
Coun Bridewell followed her mother onto the town council at a by-election in 2010 caused by the death of serving mayor John Leighton. She said: “I was always complaining to mum about things that needed doing and she said, why don’t you have a go yourself?
“But I wasn’t a shoo-in. There were four or five candidates to represent Devizes Guardians in the by-election. I had to be interviewed with them.”
Coun Bridewell has chosen the charities to benefit from her mayoral appeal: the Devizes branch of the British Heart Foundation, Bag4Sport and the Devizes Food Bank.
She said: “I chose the BHF because my mother-in-law died suddenly from a heart attack. I am hoping to raise enough money to install two more defibrillators in the town centre.
“I like Bag4Sport partly because it is a local charity, but also helps groups help themselves. It takes in unwanted sports kit from groups and give them back cash for their own use.
“Devizes Food Bank is more and more in demand these days. Every day I meet people struggling to feed themselves. It is terrible to find this situation in Britain.”