Dedication to serve this community

Mayor's Civic Service

It feels like the past few weeks have seen growing numbers in our town centre. Walking around as Mayor attracts fascinating conversations with both those who live here, as well as our much welcomed visitors. Comments, almost overwhelmingly, are encouraging and positive.

There are sometimes complaints too, for example the lack of toilet facilities, which I can then pass on to the appropriate council department responsible. Knowing someone is listening mean a lot to people. Feeling welcome leads to repeat visits that help build our town’s economy.

What a day my Mayors civic event was. We were joined by The Royal British Legion, Second Leek Scouts, Police, Mayors and consorts from local towns, and the Chair and Vice Chair of SMDC.

We were also honoured to welcome a very supportive Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Barbara Hyde, and her husband John, who had a wonderful time with us and praised our town’s enthusiasm. Our own Town Crier Bill Lomas was Master of ceremonies, local musicians played, a friend wrote a moving poem just for me!

The service at St Edwards was led by the Reverend Nigel Irons, who worked with my chosen theme of caring and community, a theme which I believe is at the heart of our town’s success.

Representatives of this year’s Mayoral charities, Borderland Voices and Family Action, also enjoyed the day and I will be working through the year to raise money for them to contribute to their local efforts on our behalf.

We held the event at the recently refurbished Maude Institute, where the transformation looked stunning, The Foxlowe Arts Centre providing a beautiful traditional afternoon tea.

Thanks to everyone for making it a day my family and I will always remember, particularly my Grandsons, Elijah and Jacob.

I very much hope that Leek will be able to hold a parade again for Remembrance Sunday and I welcome the new partnership with SMDC in making this both safe and respectful.

The Christmas lights will be switched on in the town on Friday 19th November. We are hoping to run an event that evening. It will be smaller than usual, but I hope that many of you will drop in and enjoy the lights, music and stalls. Not forgetting the fair in its usual spot in High St.

We can all enjoy these outside events if we are careful. Please take a lateral flow test before attending, avoid very crowded areas, and wear a mask if at all uncertain.