LAST year I wrote in this column: “The new mayor, Cllr Peter West, is taking an interesting and novel approach to his charities. Rather than selecting two or three who would benefit from his fundraising efforts, he has decided to work with a total of 27 charities.

“While the Mayor’s Charity Committee traditionally organises events throughout the year, mayor West will be supporting events organised by the charities themselves. Will this approach be better or worse?

“I think it is certainly worth a try even though it breaks, in some way, with tradition. If the 27 charities each raise £3,000 with the support of the mayor, that would raise £81,000, itself beating Lynda Hyde’s record.

“As one of the 27 charities chosen we will use this opportunity to raise as much as possible.”

The approach taken by Pete West was questioned at the time. With the benefit of hindsight it can be seen as an unambiguous success.

Cllr West has attended almost 1,000 events, and supported so many initiatives organised by his charities. He has been very generous with his time in supporting Brighton Housing Trust and with his support we have raised far more than the £3,000 mentioned above.

After Pete West handed over the chains of office to his successor Councillor Mo Marsh yesterday, can I say he has been a truly wonderful mayor of Brighton and Hove, and Geraldine Keenan has been a fantastic mayoress. I am sure others will follow his lead in years to come.

  • Andy Winter is chief executive of Brighton Housing Trust