This has been a very special year for me as firstly I was re-elected to both Shropshire Council and the Town Council at the May elections and then a few days later I was installed as Mayor of Oswestry.

I have been proud to serve as Mayor and have committed myself 100% to working on behalf and promoting the town of which I am so proud.

What has been so special was the opportunity to invite my daughter, Amber, to be the Mayoress. Amber has accompanied me on many engagements, and as well as being an ambassador for the town, she has been a shining light representing the young people of our community.

Having probably the youngest Mayoress in the UK has attracted a lot of very positive interest in Oswestry with local and national media. That recognition has helped highlight how important the views and aspirations are of our young people and how they should be encouraged and listened to. They are, after all, our potential civic and business leaders of the future.

Looking back in my diary at some of the events and people that I have met since May has made me realise just how lucky we are to live in a community such as Oswestry. There are many highlights but these must include our successful Food Festival, Oswestry Show, the Rotary Christmas Parade, our own Bonfire & Fireworks Evening and Oswestry Christmas Live. On each of these occasions our community and our visitors have come together in large numbers to celebrate, provide a welcome and a showcase for the town.

Being Mayor has enabled me to see first hand the amazing work that volunteers provide for this town. We are blessed with many individuals that work tirelessly to deliver services, events, fundraising and activities. Also we have a large number of people working below the radar to help improve the quality of life for the less fortunate. It has been humbling to meet some of the organisations and individuals that provide services, help and comfort to so many throughout each year.

From an economic point of view I have been pleased to be involved in opening and attending various exhibitions, welcoming new businesses to the town, and, meeting and greeting many visitors. Yes, as a town we still have difficulties to face but there seems to be some green shoots with growing economic interest in the town, empty shops slowly filling in the town centre and hopefully with that will come employment and a boost to our local economy.

My experiences and feedback are clearly evidencing that Oswestry is a very good place to live , work and visit. It has made me immensely proud therefore to be part of the Oswestry community and to work to promote and support the town in the respective roles of Councillor and Mayor.

I have had some wonderful experiences as Mayor since May and I thank everyone that has made the Mayoress and myself so welcome. I look forward to the rest of my term to continue to help, support, and promote all aspects of Oswestry life for residents and visitors alike.

On behalf of the Mayoress and all my colleagues at Oswestry Town Council, can I wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and healthy New Year.

Friday 22 December 2017

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