A month of mixed emotions

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Tom and I attended the preview evening of the St Gemma’s Art Exhibition at the Grammar School Leeds, where we were entertained by a wonderful jazz duo while browsing the fantastic works of art on display, writes Wetherby Mayor Coun Norma Harrington.

These Art Exhibitions have raised a total of £350,000 over the years for the great work of the hospice. Artists had contributed paintings and photographs from as far away as Cornwall and from as near as Wetherby from our own very talented William Ellen.

I was honoured to be asked to go along to the Horsefair for the launch of the 2017 Poppy Appeal. We had a large contingent of Air Force Cadets, our Ghurka friends and ex-service personnel, the oldest being 90. Thank you to all who donated money and to all those who stood and collected money at Morrisons and Moto and all the other events around Wetherby in the two weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday.

Our thanks go to the organisers of the annual bonfire and fireworks display this year. The photos in the paper couldn’t do justice to the event, and we appreciate your efforts on behalf of the town.

I was invited to meet the newly appointed Bishop of Ripon at a service in the Cathedral. As part of the Leeds and Ripon diocese, the local Mayors from North and West Yorkshire get invited to many events at the Cathedral each year and it is always a pleasure to represent our town on these occasions. The Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley is an inspirational woman, coming back to England after working for some time in New Zealand.

I am always proud to attend Wetherby’s Remembrance Parade and this year was no exception. The number of groups asking to join the parade grows with each year, causing something of a logistical nightmare getting everyone on the bridge. It is fantastic to see so many local organisations wanting to pay their respects and for so many townspeople to come out and support them.

The Town Clerk and her team have been working hard to find playground designers who can bring to life the suggestions for improvement made by our school children and parks users in a survey carried out earlier this year. A display was put on in the Town Hall for everyone to look at the designs submitted by the prospective companies. This is a consultation process and final decisions about the exact design and the preferred provider will be taken by the Property Committee of the Town Council when all the responses are collated. The work will take place over a period of time as money becomes available. Thank you for your interest and comments.

On the question of the safety of the riverside area in Wetherby, I can confirm that while Wetherby Town Council is not the responsible authority, we have been in contact with several other agencies to find out who is responsible for the upkeep of the pathways. This issue will be considered at our Town Council Meeting when we receive a response.

I would ask that anyone involved in any incident involving the river reports it to the police so that the appropriate authority can be made aware at the time, and decisions can then be made about what action if any is necessary to avoid future occurrences.

I hope to see as many of you as possible attending the Christmas Lights Switch on tonight. An awful lot of work is put into this event, by the Elves of the Wetherby Christmas Lights team and the organising committee so please do come along and join in the fun!

I feel I must end this month’s news by paying tribute to Geoff Humble, the Chair of Wetherby in Bloom for over 25 years who sadly died on November 7.

I attended his Service of Thanksgiving to represent all the townspeople who could not be there to honour this truly committed and inspirational man.

The legacy he leaves is one of pride in our town, a wish to care for it and its residents and to provide beautiful floral spaces for all to enjoy. His team of volunteers will miss him greatly and our thoughts are with Mildred and all the family at this time.