Thank you to all twelve members who turned out in-person to hear one of our member’s experiences of her year as Town Mayor, plus the two who joined on Zoom.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and our Town Mayor was very up-beat about all the good things the town has going for it.
She wore her mayoral chain, described the significance of the badges and arms on the medallion, and handed it round.
Her duties include chairing the main Town Council meetings and acting as an ambassador for Congleton.
It is an unpaid role, as is the case for all town councillors.
She is free to choose the elements of council responsibilities on which to focus her support – in her case many green initiatives.
Responsibilities of the Town Council are e.g. Streetscape (keeping town tidy), Tourist Information Centre, the Paddling Pool, organising extra community events, supporting shop owners and encouraging keeping the town centre attractive, as well as lobbying Cheshire East Council on town issues.
She told us she has enjoyed the licence to go out and talk to people, and the many events she has attended, plus links with other councils particularly Staffordshire councils which are so physically close to Congleton.
A highlight for her was lighting the bonfire in the park.
She admitted to being nervous when asked if she would take the role and did so because you should take the opportunities when they come your way.
Fund-raising events were fewer this year after that had been the focus in the 750th Charter year last year, though our Town Mayor’s innovation of a tea dance was a recognised success.
We have had a mayor since the Charter was awarded in 1272.
Each mayor has a cadet from the youth section of one of the town’s uniformed organisations to assist them.
We heard about the Lord Lieutenant role as the monarch’s deputy in Cheshire, their deputies (20 “worthies” currently) and the High Sheriff.
We touched on the difficulties arising from 2 organisational changes – from the division of Cheshire into 2 unitary authorities and from the funding shortfall from the recent revision of parish boundaries which includes the new housing (inside the Link Road) in rural parishes rather than the Town Council area.
We had a great host for the evening. It was lovely to chat over coffees afterwards.