When I was asked to reflect on my year so far as Mayor of Beverley and Chair of Council and to consider the months ahead, I realised that it wouldn’t be difficult to recall so many of the events I have attended and the people I’ve met.
Some of these have appeared in The Mayor Meets column in this paper and there will be more of these in 2014. I recall in particular the events where the mayor gets a unique opportunity, such as lighting the bonfire on Westwood and hosting the food festival.
More recently in the run-up to Christmas I switched on the lights at the Market Cross with the Chair of the Lions and then throughout the town after listening to very talented children from our primary schools at each point.
In fact, music seems to have played a key role throughout the year and especially in this season.
I enjoyed excellent concerts by the Beverley Male Voice Choir at Toll Gavel Church and two in the Minster – Macmillan Cancer Support and the County Choir’s performance of The Messiah, which was joyful and vibrant.
I could go on – it has been a privilege so thank you to all those who have invited me and the Mayoress to their events and celebrations.
In terms of the next few months, what can we look forward to in Beverley and what will be the challenges ahead of us? There will be an official opening for the newly refurbished Memorial Hall with the hope that more and more people will use this prime facility now that it is accessible for all and fit for purpose.
The reworking of Saturday Market will be completed with new surfaces and electrics making it easier for shoppers to avoid getting their feet so wet.
We will all be looking to see that the setts are relaid with due care and attention. It was a hard fought battle to retain the majority of them so it’s worth seeing through to the end!
2014 marks the 300th anniversary of the erection of the Market Cross. Initial attempts to repaint this were unsuccessful but I have been working with ERYC officers and the Civic Society to ensure this is done in time.
Beverley continues to flourish as a “festival town” and this year will be no exception with events to mark the Market Cross and the start of the First World War as well as all the usual celebrations that bring the town together and attract visitors.
Perhaps we can look forward to the town being used more fully as a film set once the market area is finished, building on the recent success of the Guildhall being featured on BBC1.
Making budget decisions and setting the precept are an annual challenge and this year no less so. The Government has once again made money available to Local Authorities to help maintain the status quo with the recommendation that each town and parish council should receive a share but each LA has to decide how to pass this on.
ERYC Cabinet have decided to exclude Beverley from gaining any of this money and I’m sure there will be more on this topic in future issues of the Guardian after ERYC has met in full council.
We look forward to some progress about the replacement of the Multi-Use Games Area on Queen’s Road. Having given permission to replace it with high quality housing for the elderly we await news from ERYC of a replacement facility linked to the Leisure Centre.
Then there is the Flemingate Development and the continuing road network linked to the by-pass as well as the expected announcement from County Hall about plans for the Grovehill Site….
There seems so much to do and never a dull moment! Beverley has so much to offer its residents and visitors and we can all play a part in maintaining and improving the town. My thanks continue to go to my fellow councillors and all those who work so hard to ensure the continued success of the town.