MP James Clappison at Bushey ceremony

By Jay Grenby, October 14, 2010

Hertsmere Borough Council held its annual civic service at Bushey United Synagogue, where the current mayor, Cllr Linda Silver, and her husband Geoffrey, have been members for almost 40 years.

Joining the 200-plus gathering were fellow mayors from across the county, MP James Clappison and Hertfordshire Deputy Lord Lieutenant Stuart Nagler, himself a former Hertsmere mayor.

The service, which was led by Bushey minister and mayor's chaplain, Rabbi Meir Salasnik, featured the shul's choir and a choir from Hertsmere Jewish Primary. The guard of honour for the occasion - the first time that the shul had hosted such an event - was provided by Bushey's Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade.

In his address, Rabbi Salasnik referred to the cyclical nature of Cllr Silver's career in local politics. "There are few politicians who return to the same chamber after a 20-year gap. There are not many who have served as Deputy Mayor twice, with a break of over two decades in between, before becoming Mayor."

He also said it was fitting the service was taking place in the present shul building. Though the Silvers had celebrated their sons' barmitzvahs in the shul's former premises in Police Station Lane, he said, "in planning a purpose-built shul in these premises in the mid-1980s, Linda, then a local councillor, gave good advice to the community. And it is in her mayoral year, that these premises are being refurbished."

Donations made at the service went to Jami, one of the Mayor's two chosen charities for her year of office.

Last updated: 3:30pm, October 14 2010