Councillor Kate Fennelly, Mayor of the borough for the civic year 2024/25

New Mayor of Erewash Kate FennellyNew Mayor of Erewash Kate Fennelly is a proud mum with a passion for horses – after working as a show rider in her youth at the American Adventure theme park.

The keen equestrian has fond memories of the Wild West attractions near Ilkeston. She was even invited to appear on Blue Peter before the white knuckle rides closed in 2007 after almost two decades.

Kate went on to join the RAF – and was selected to represent the air force in the international military horse team.

After seeing service in the Falklands and Germany she now works as a driving instructor and is councillor for Hallam Fields.

Kate was born in Derby. Her family lived in Sandiacre before settling in Ilkeston, where her mother Margaret became a well-known figure in the town. Margaret sadly passed away 12 years ago.

Kate is a former pupil at Field House who later attended Hallam Fields and Cantelupe schools. She studied at South East Derbyshire College before her theme park job. Her father Paul ran a very successful repair garage until his retirement.

Kate and fellow councillor Mark Alfrey are Erewash Borough Council’s Armed Forces champions. She has a love for military history, especially the Dambusters.

As well as being an active member of the local Royal British Legion, Kate does volunteer work for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. She is a life member of the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct.

Kate has chosen as her Mayor’s charity the recently-established Forces Veterans Afloat Charitable Trust – which provides canal boats for homeless ex-service personnel to live in. She will also be supporting a combination of good causes in the form of the Mayor’s charity fund.

Her son Mason, 15, will be acting as Mayor’s Consort during her year of office. Kate said proudly: “He is the youngest person ever to have held the title in Erewash.”

A delegation from a Royal Navy helicopter unit that the council has close links to was at Long Eaton Town Hall when Kate was presented with her official chain on Thursday, 16 May. This was so the members of 814 Naval Air Squadron – alias the Flying Tigers – could be granted the Freedom of the Borough to mark the 50th anniversary of the council.

Photo: New Mayor Kate Fennelly with Erewash council leader James Dawson, left, as members of the Royal Navy’s Flying Tigers receive the Freedom of the Borough of Erewash.