Carlisle City Councillor Jessica Riddle has been appointed Carlisle’s first citizen for the Municipal year 2018/2019.
Councillor Riddle has taken on the Mayoral role after serving a year as Deputy Mayor to former Mayor, Cllr Trish Vasey. Sworn in at today’s Mayor Making Ceremony (Monday, 21 May) in the City Council Chamber, the Labour Councillor for Belle Vue recited the ancient Mayoral Oath giving her allegiance to the city and its citizens. Councillor Marilyn Bowman was sworn in as the Deputy Mayor.
Cllr Riddle has called the city of Carlisle home since 1972. Born in Falkirk, she completed her Scottish Highers exams and began working in a medical laboratory in Stirling Royal Infirmary.
In 1958, she moved to Winnipeg, Canada, working in a medical clinic before returning home after a few years to work in the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, where she also gained qualifications in Microbiology and met her husband Peter.
Later, Cllr Riddle and her Husband Peter moved to Galashiels in the Borders, where they both worked at Peel Hospital until the birth of their two children. In 1972, the family moved to Carlisle, where after the birth of her third child, Cllr Riddle completed her degree in the Social Sciences.
For 19 years she served as a Director at Age Concern Carlisle, from 1985-2004. During this period, she also brought her expertise to North Lakeland Healthcare NHS Trust, serving as a Non-Executive Director from 1993-1997 and Impact Housing Association, where she was a board member from 1984-2001 and Chair from 1992-1994. Cllr Riddle has also been a member of the Carlisle Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) for 20 years from 1985-2005, serving as Chair from 1995-2005 and Cumbria wide Chair from 2003-2004.
Not long into her retirement she began her political career after always having a love for politics. She was elected as a Councillor for Belle Vue in 2006 and still represents the ward today.
During her time as a Councillor, she has been a member of the Executive holding both the Communities, Health and Wellbeing portfolio and the Communities and Housing Portfolio. Cllr Riddle has also been both the Chair and Vice Chair of the Business and Transformation Scrutiny Panel. She has also been member of various committees including Audit Committee; Employment Panel; Community Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Standards Committee and Development and Control Committee.