I can’t believe it was a whole year ago when I was preparing for my Mayoral speech as the new Town Mayor for 2018/19. I’d been getting a bit nervous as I’m not big on public speaking and was practising and altering my speech for weeks up until the evening of the Annual Town Meeting. For the end of my Mayoral year it was quite different, I didn’t start thinking about my outgoing Mayors’ speech until Monday before the meeting Tuesday evening! I think this is because there were so many occasions during the year where I was called upon to speak that after 12 months of doing it, I think I got so used to it, I wasn’t getting nervous anymore! Now perhaps if I travel on aeroplanes more often, that will stop fazing me too…!
So the ahead of the meeting, I was met by Chris Brown and loads of the Militia at Allendale House for a guided ‘walk’ through town and up to the Town Hall. Arriving just after 7pm, I thanked the Militia for all their help and support (and body guarding throughout the year) and went up to the Council Chamber.
As usual by 7:30pm the Chamber was quite full – it’s the one meeting of the year where people do come to a Council meeting! I started proceedings with my outgoing Mayoral speech which included thanking those people that have been very supportive of me this year. They were Anthony Oliver, Chris Brown and the Militia – who have always been there for town events. I then thanked the Town Clerk Laurence Hewitt and my secretary Shelagh Fuller and gave them each a small gift.
Next my Guide Milly and Scout Matthew came to the front of the room to accept a small gift and to return they’re special Mayoral ‘sash’ (to be passed on to the new Mayor’s equivalents).
Finally I asked a representative from each of my charities to come forward to accept a cheque each for equal amounts of £1301.54. In addition to these contributions from the funds raised through a number of different fund raising activities this year, I have decided to donate further amounts from my Mayoral allowance to each of the charities for specific items that they would wish to buy as ‘nice to haves’ – taking the difficult decision making away from them about whether it’s okay to spend money on a particular thing (these types of decisions can be quite tricky for some charities). I am also donating a sum to Radio Wimborne.
It has been a spectacular year – I highlighted the Armistice events as being the highlight of my year but there have been many more memorable events – I’m just glad I did this BLOG so that I can remember them!!
I have also enjoyed being Chairman of the Council. I haven’t talked much about the Chairman role in this BLOG as this was really about the Mayoral side of the role, but being Chairman is time consuming and can be quite challenging too. I kept a log of time spent on Council activities throughout the year and it was averaging out to about 15-20hrs pw. But some weeks it could be quite a bit more than that! I hope to get some more time back in my life for a while though I was pleased to have been elected Vice Chairman and Deputy Mayor for this coming year. I hope to be able to carry on working on projects that are ongoing to provide that consistency of support to the Council and officers – as well as other Councillors.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my BLOG this year and it’s given you some insight to the life of a Councillor and Chairman of the Council! Please do get in touch via my Facebook page if you have any questions or feedback and thanks for reading!