The last mayor, Irene Walsh, was involved with that, and she invited me to be part of it.
“It’s something that we want to introduce into the city. There’s a memorial at the side of the cathedral, but we want something more public, where people can go and pay their respects.”
This too has a personal significance for Keith, as his father Bill was in the Territorial Army.
“He was called up at 12pm, an hour after war had been declared and was in France that evening,” Keith said. “He was in Dunkirk and was awarded the military cross.”
As mayor, Keith’s role this year is non-political. However, he insists this won’t bother him, as this is not necessarily how he sees himself anyway.
“I don’t see myself as a politician,” he said. “I see myself as independent, representing the voters of north ward and subsequently the city. “They are the most important people.”
Earlier this year, however, Keith was making headlines for his political activism.
He and fellow councillor Charles Swift wrote to the Prime Minister and leaders of the major parties about the problems caused by mass migration in Peterborough, and the letter, and the issue of immigration into Peterborough, made the national media.
However, Keith believes that his position and beliefs on this issue are simple, and less controversial than people may think.
“I’ve had all nationalities supporting me,” he said. “I have had Asian and Lithuanian residents say to me they believe that the Government should have tighter controls on immigration.
“Everybody is saying that immigration is an issue. All we’re saying is that the Government, having said we’ve got more migrant workers, should sit down and discuss how we’re going to deal with that, and make sure that we are funded correctly.”
Such issues will take a backseat for Keith for the next year, however, as he will spend his time in a more ceremonial role, out meeting and greeting and attending different functions.
He has a very clear vision of what kind of mayor he wants to be, hoping to spend as much time as possible away from the town hall and get out and about in the community.
“I want to be a hands-on mayor,” he said. “Doris and I want to be mixing in the community. We want to be part of the community, we want community groups to write to us and invite us.
“We want to be more involved, to be out there in the streets with the people, so please can they get in touch.
“I’m eager to be meeting people and be part of the community. Let’s educate people about what the role of the councillor is and hopefully we’ll get people voting.”
MAKING A SPLASH: City Mayor Cllr Keith Sharp officially opens the Lido pool for the summer season.
OFFICIAL: Keith takes his seat as mayor at the mayormaking ceremony.