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Mayor's News

Mayoral Musings for July

Mayoral Musings for July

The Policy & Resources Committee has the privilege of awarding grants to local community organisations that benefit people who live in Okehampton.  We live in a very rural area and have a wonderful network of volunteers who give up their time, energy and skills for the benefit of the community.  By providing grants, the Town Council is thrilled to be able to play some part in supporting those groups.  On Monday 1st July I was delighted to present the Manager of The Museum of Dartmoor Life with a grant to go towards their community activities and the running of the Visitor Information Centre.

The Mayor is traditionally invited to hold the position of President of the Okehampton Friendly Circle.  They meet on the first Tuesday in the month and had their AGM on 2nd July which I was unable to attend due to a prior engagement.  The Deputy Mayor, Cllr Michael Ireland, stepped in and did an excellent job.  I understand that he discovered he had a hidden talent for playing Bingo!

One Sunday early in July, I popped across to Great Torrington as an invited guest to the Mayor's Civic Service.  It was held in the recently re-furbished Town & Community Hall and was a lovely afternoon.  When attending Civic Functions outside of their home towns, all Mayors wear their official chains which requires a substantial jacket to pin them on to as they are rather heavy.  Whilst this lovely summer sunshine is glorious, it does make it rather hot!  Did you know that a group of Mayors is collectively known as the "Chain Gang"?  A couple of days later, I was invited to join the Mayor of Holsworthy in celebrating the St Peter's Fair which included the annual "Pretty Maid" Ceremony followed by a very welcome bite to eat and then it was a quick dash back to Okehampton to go along to the AGM of Tor Support Services.  They are a remarkable charity that  provide free counselling services to the young people who attend Okehampton Primary and College.

Thursday 11th July saw me at an incredible Art Exhibition at The Museum of Dartmoor Life.  Some very, very talented children from Okehampton Primary School are holding an exhibition called "Floral Wonder".  It runs from 11th July to 1st September and I thoroughly recommend a visit.  The standard is amazingly high and the creativity and skill is phenomenal.  The following Wednesday, I went along to the Cream Tea in the Charter Hall in aid of Cancer Research UK.  What a wonderful team of volunteers who served the teas.  All their hard work paid off with the enormous sum of 200 being raised - a huge thank you to everyone involved.

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Mayoral Musings for July (2)

Mayoral Musings for July (2)

My next event was attending the Okehampton & District Community Transport AGM.  They do wonderful work in providing transport for those who are unable to drive or use public transport.  They are always looking for more volunteer drivers, so if this is something you think you could do, please do give them a shout.  In the evening, I was invited to be the guest speaker at Okehampton Rotary Club.  Again, this is another fantastic organisation in the town that does so much in terms of fundraising and support to other local groups.

We are all very much aware that there is a Climate crisis and Okehampton is no exception.  On Tuesday 23rd July, there was a public meeting in the Ockment Centre called "Climate Crisis - what can we do?"  This was called by a group of like-minded volunteers who are extremely concerned about the environment and it was very well attended.  Okehampton Town Council has signed up to the Devon Climate Declaration and will be seeking to work with others on this vitally important matter.  The Council itself has been taking steps over the last couple of years to identify and reduce its own carbon footprint and to work in a more environmentally friendly way and will continue to do so.

The Mayor sits on various trustee boards within the town as part of the role.  The Charities of Holditch & Others, an ancient local charity within the town, has met its aims and objectives so the decision had been taken earlier in the year to wind the Charity up.  On Wednesday 24th July the Okehampton Times came along to take a photo of the final presentation of cheques to those organisations who would benefit from the final grants.  Congratulations to the Okehampton & District Community Transport Group; Age UK; Tor Support Services and Okehampton College who were the recipients.

My final event for July was attending the Bideford Regatta as the guest of the Mayor.  The weather was glorious and it was lovely to be able to spend a rare afternoon sitting and watching the boats go by.  Having said that, one or two hats blew off in the breeze and went into the river much to the amusement of the passers-by.  They were all safely rescued with no harm done to the wildlife, hats or humans!

I had a meeting with the Plume of Feathers who are looking to put on a Folk Evening as a fundraiser for OkePADS on 2nd November.  It has been fantastic to have so much support for the Mayor's Charity and it looks like it will be an exciting evening.  More details to follow!

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