Mayor’s Speech Town Gathering 15th October 2010

Mayors Speech 15/10/10 TOWN GATHERING

A very warm welcome to everyone.
So much of our recent news has centred on cut backs. Govt. cutbacks which in turn has led to Unitary Council cutbacks so I do hope you will not be too surprised to hear that I has tried to keep in line with this. So please forgive me if this year’s speech is somewhat shorter than last year. The good news is that this gives more time for mixing, talking and the refreshments.

The Town Gathering is a Celebration to thank all the Voluntary Groups and all that makes B on A such a vibrant town It is the people that make a successful Community. Bradford on Avon has riches in abundance in this respect. A huge range of clubs, covering a really wide range of interests and needs. It is because of the superb organisation of their meetings, events, activities and social occasions by all of the volunteers who are involved, that we as a town are such a strongly supported community. A Community pulling together makes for a strong Community, There are so many to thank for all the hard work, energy, time, expertise and enthusiasm that is so freely given to make all of this happen.

To all of you an enormous THANKYOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DO FOR THE PEOPLE OF B on A. and thankyou for coming here this evening to give us the opportunity of expressing our deep appreciation for all your efforts and input. I would also like at this point to welcome our new MP Duncan Hames. CONGRATULATIONS Duncan. And we wish you a very long and successful political career.

The TC will be facing new challenges over the next year and Cllrs will be looking at these challenges and how we can manage them; at our annual day Conference next weekend. In the BIG SOCIETY powers will be devolved to Communities and the Unitary Council will be seeking to devolve some services to town and Parish Councils. Already we have heard that the Swimming Pool is under threat in 2017. It is absolutely vital that the Pool remains open and that the whole Community gets behind future Community plans to make sure this happens.

The Plans for a New Bridge are in a Stakeholder Review Process as a result of a Town Poll asking for the bridge to be put on hold. An alternative design has been put forward and the information will be checked by the TC before further decisions can be made.
So far there has been agreement on the landing position on the Kingston Mills Site and therefore the Foundations on that site which are being paid for by Linden Homes as part of the legal agreement, CAN go ahead.
Kingston Mills is fast developing and the first occupancy is due at the beginning of December.

St Margaret’s Hall Improvements are on the table and will be subject to further discussions and to Consultation with the Public.

Due to Unitary and Local Elections not taking place until 2013 Your Cllrs originally elected for 2007 to 2011 will have 2 further years on the TC.
Being a Cllr YES is challenging but also a very interesting and positive role in the Community.

Every year there are new exciting events. A celebration of the Marcus Cars and Moulton bicycles. We also had the Romans are Coming a gloriously colourful and exuberant event.

We had A Fringe Festival alongside the Arts Festival which itself had yet another new Theme . THE BIG SPLASH. I continue to marvel at the wealth of creativity in the town.
There was a Family Sports Weekend in May which included a Sprint Triathlon with the swim in the River.

There was a Photo exhibition of working Bradford in the West Barn with 40 pictures. Along with others that have been taken it is hoped to produce a book of working Bradford photos. In the Comments book, a couple from London wrote, We knew B on A is a historic town but had not realised that it has such a diversity of work and vibrant activities. We are now hoping to retire to this very buzzy town.
2 St Laurence students with expert support made a Film in a day on the Festival Sunday and this was shown at the exhibition.and also at a Recent Film Society Evening, A Lions Trail throughout the Town was organised by the C of C . from June through to the beginning of October. This was an extension of the Bath Lions Trail and there were 3 Large plus 40 smaller lions all decorated by local artists. Another new attraction for residents and visitors.
In September the Town Vegetable and Flower Show was re-started. It was last held in 1989.A real fun Community Day. I am sure there will be fierce competition next year as much was learnt by new comers to this event.

The TC has put some energy improvements in place thus supporting the target to be a Carbon Neutral Town in 2050.There are many other town initiatives in process led by CFB and the Green Streets Award group.
Also WC are looking at ways to conserve street lighting energy output.
The Historic Core Zone Plans initiated by Priority for the People has had approval by WC but it could be a while before these plans become reality. Lets hope it is not too long. It is aiming for B on A to be a people friendly and safe Town .
At last we have a Zebra Crossing in Silver Street and this is already giving confidence to many who have previously felt so vulnerable when crossing to and from the Shambles. Twinning signs are also now in place. There has also been much needed road resurfacing.

There are so many other wonderful events that I could mention but I have promised a shorter speech.
Please know how much we all appreciate ,acknowledge and admire all of you who have been involved in all our town events and especially to those who support the more vulnerable in our Community.

The Year ahead will present new challenges to our TC and Community . Localisation is a forefront term and the continued support of the Voluntary Groups will be so important to both the success and appearance of our Town.
Bradford in Bloom has encouraged participation in how the town looks to both residents and visitors. It would be wonderful if more Community Groups were able take ownership responsibility for parts of the Town. There are some groups already doing this for example Attending to Various flower, plant borders and trees in and around town.and keeping some areas as litter free as possible Thankyou to those groups. It could be one of our future aims to enter Wiltshire in Bloom.

I would now like you to join with me in thanking the people who make this event possible. The Office staff, The Hall staff, The Flower club , and the Caterers. To all of you a really Big Thankyou

I would also personally like to thank all my fellow Cllrs for the time and preparation they put into meetings ,events and as representatives on outside groups. And for the often hard decisions we all have to make.

I have enjoyed the challenges of the past year. I have had the pleasure of meeting many new people, and of attending a wide variety of events as a representative of Bradford on Avon in fact many of your events. Being the Mayor and Chairman of the Council is a Big responsibility which requires total focus on decision situations and addressing Community Concerns but it is also a priviledge and it is coupled with a mix of fun and completely new experiences which is very stimulating.

In conclusion I quote from Porlock Church Magazine.
There will be a Supper on Sunday at 5 o clock

Prayer and Medication will follow.

We may need a few prayers to see us through the year ahead. Let us hope we do not need too much medication.
Enjoy the Rest of the Evening. (We now move on to the Presentations.)

Cllr Isabel Martindale