January Mayoral Musings
In terms of attending official events, January has been a quieter month as everyone gets back in the swing after the Christmas break. We have a team of volunteer Mace Bearers, three of whom are new, so I took the opportunity to arrange a bit of a get together where we all met up and the two long standing Mace Bearers shared their experiences and passed some of their extensive knowledge on to the newer ones. On Saturday 18th January, the Town Council held a Climate Change Coffee Morning for members of the public to meet and talk with organisations who are responding first hand to the challenges we face as a community. A very generous member of the public had donated some raffle prizes for the Mayor's Charity so we held a raffle and raised £69.50 for OkePADS. On Monday 20th January I presented a grant cheque to Everything Okehampton on behalf of Okehampton Town Council which will go towards the installing and ongoing maintenance of the Christmas lights. I am sure you will agree that the display in Okehampton always looks absolutely amazing.
I had the opportunity to attend a meeting with a representative from NHS Property Services who own the hospital building on Friday 24th January. The purpose was to look at how the spare space within Okehampton Hospital can be utilised by the community. There are already a lot of clinics that run out of the hospital, so if you are referred to one by your GP do ask if you can be seen locally. I also met the new Community Responder on Monday 27th January, Will Britten, whose role is to provide more local policing within the community and also to offer more fire cover. He is able to offer free fire Home Safety checks for people to see if any fire prevention needs to be put in place.
One of the responsibilities of the Mayor's role is that of being a Trustee of Okehampton United Charities and Simmons Homes Charity - both of which do a tremendous amount for the community within Okehampton and the surrounding Hamlets. It is very encouraging to see the positive impact that both of these charities have - so many services that are provided through the voluntary sector would simply not happen or have far greater limitations on how much they can do if it weren't for the support of these two local charities.