I started April with a cheque presentation, on the 6th, to the Poverty Action Group, gratefully received, on their behalf, by Janneke Blokland.
Then, later that day, I went to a viewing of works by local artists at St Peter’s Church, we certainly have a thriving local art scene.
On the 8th I went around to the Community and Youth Centre to see the Boundary Walk, organised by the Lions, off on its way. It is good to see this tradition of “beating the bounds” revived in Marlborough.
On the 15th the Mayoress and I went to the Mayor’s charity ball in Chippenham, hosted by Mayor Mary Norton, who has done a sterling job this last year.
On Wednesday 18th April, 4 MI Battalion came to Town for some extreme circuit training. They had a stall on the market to sell mementoes and set up a circuit in the Court Room of the Town Hall, then proceeded to do eight full circuits each while collecting for charity. It looked exhausting stuff but they were well rewarded with donations totalling over a thousand pounds to share between the Mayor’s Charity Fund and the Army Benevolent Fund.
Later, that evening, we held the now traditional Peppercorn Rent ceremony where the Merchant’s House Trust paid their annual rent to the Town Council in the form of a real bag of peppercorns. It was also an occasion to formally declare the new Town Museum open and to give everyone a preview. For this our Lord Lieutenant, Sarah Troughton, was in attendance.
Monday 23rd April saw our Annual Parish Meeting, an open Council meeting where we give an account of our activities over the last year and have some public discussion. This year’s topic was the proposal to have 20mph speed limits in the centre of town, which generated a healthy debate both for and against but generally in favour of the measure.
On the 24th it was off to Trowbridge with Cllr Loosmore to try and persuade Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet to let us have some of its land for parking, partial progress was made but there is still someway to go.
On Saturday 28th April it was my pleasure to open the Rotary Club Spring Fayre, in the Town Hall, aimed at raising money for the Brighter Futures Charity, a very worthy local cause.
On the week beginning 30th April, the Deputy Mayor, Lisa Farrell and I gave a talk at St John’s school assemblies each day, working through a different year group each day. This was a very rewarding experience and we managed to speak to around 1,200 pupils about a range of topics affecting young people in the town. Because of the forthcoming exams we were not able to speak to Year 7, but we will be returning on 25th May to do this.
On Tuesday 1st May, 4MI Battalion were back in town, this time to play a Charity football match against Marlborough Town FC. It was an exciting and close game which 4MI managed to win 3-2.
On Thursday 10th May we welcomed the BBC to the Town as they start researching for the programme Britain in Bloom in which Marlborough will feature next year. Filming will take place on a number of days over the course of the year.
Finally, on the 14th May we come to Mayor Making, when I get to retire as Mayor. It has been a very interesting and rewarding year to serve as Town Mayor and the time has gone very quickly. A big thank you to the staff of Marlborough Town Council and my fellow Councillors for supporting me throughout. I now look forward to having a bit of a break but will still serve as Deputy Mayor for this coming year and I give new Mayor, Lisa Farrell, my best wishes in her new role.