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US mayor visits Exeter to build collaboration and friendship

Published: 10 October 2023

US mayor visits Exeter to build collaboration and friendship US mayor (third from right) visits Exeter

The Mayor of the City of Laurens in South Carolina, USA, has taken part in a fact-finding visit to Exeter to learn more about its history and how it is building for the future.

Mayor Nathan Senn was visiting the UK to learn more about links to his hometown and the UK whilst discovering more about the shared interests and aspirations of the two countries. He discovered Exeter and South Carolina both have links with Henry Coleton and General Monck – founder of the Coldstream Guards.

In a letter he said: “Your rich history and vibrant culture have captured my interest.

“Your leadership and expertise have undoubtedly played an important role in shaping Exeter’s successes. I am particularly interested in learning about innovative urban development projects, sustainable practices and community engagement initiatives.”

After arriving in Exeter he took part in a walkabout of the city centre – followed by a traditional fish and chips lunch with the Lord Mayor and Consort.

Later he attended the Chairman of Mid Devon Civic Service along with the Lord Mayor, where they met other mayors and chairmen from around the county, as well as the Bishop of Crediton who is also the Acting Bishop of Exeter.

Mayor Senn also met the Council’s Leader, Deputy Leader and senior officers before taking part in a tour of the historic Guildhall, before enjoying a tour of Exeter Cathedral with the Dean of Exeter, the Right Reverend Jonathan Greener.

Lord Mayor of Exeter Cllr Kevin Mitchell said: “It was a real pleasure to meet Mayor Senn and his consort during his visit.

“Exeter and the City of Laurens face different challenges but we also have a lot in common and have shared interests. I am therefore very grateful for the very warm hand of friendship that has been extended to Exeter and I am hopeful that our friendship will grow in the years to come.”

Council Leader Phil Bialyk said: “I very much enjoyed meeting Mayor Senn and hearing about life in South Carolina, I thank him for his visit.

“It was an excellent opportunity for us to highlight the good things that are happening here in Exeter, and how we are collaborating with our partners in the city to ensure Exeter remains a great city with a great quality of life.”

Mayor Senn presented the City with a Resolution and a Key to the City of Lauren. It is the first time a key has been presented outside the United States and only the fourth key the city has presented. The first was to a local leader during the Civil Rights era, the second to a police chief who became the US Marshal for South Carolina and the third to a 100-year-old Second World War veteran stationed in England who assisted in preparations for D-Day.

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