Councillors are there to serve all of our residents

Wetherby Town Councillors. (S)
Wetherby Town Councillors. (S)

Wetherby Mayor and Wetherby News columnist Coun Harry Chapman explains the importance of the town council in his monthly column.

I think we have all had more than enough of election hype over the last few months so no more mention of it by me, although I suppose the next voting will be the referendum in 2017.

Four of your town councillors retired this year one after 42 years service. We celebrated their time and work with us with a meal in town which was enjoyed by all. Thanks to all four of them for their work over many years.

While mentioning town councillors it was put to me that a lot of the town’s people don’t know who the councillors are or what they do.

We do have a town meeting every year that we have to have by law. The idea being that the public meet the councillors and get to know them and so know who to ask when they need help.

The meeting is formal and we do have an agenda and the mayor chairs the meeting and goes through what has happened during the previous year. The meeting is then left open to the public to ask any questions.

Each year I have been involved I have been disappointed with the numbers of the public that turn up. We have a population of around 13,000 and we usually have just a handful of townsfolk.

I suppose that means we are doing things to the public’s satisfaction and so take heart from that. Why not give it a go next year.

All activities and details of the council and its members are on the council’s website ( and this also has links to many other things such as societies and clubs in the Wetherby area.

I am sure you will have noticed the plants and flowers in town. Another fantastic start to the year for 2015 and as the months go on it gets batter.

A lot of thanks needs to go to Wetherby in Bloom especially Margaret Dabel and Geoff Humble who have been around since the start of this important society.

They have good support from people in the Town but do need more. Come on lads and lasses if I can drive a tractor and do some watering once a month so can you. Details again on the website.

I had a call from Tempo FM last month asking would I do a monthly spot on the radio as Mayor.

The idea was that the DJ at the time would ask me questions relevant to what is happening at the time.

It’s going to be on the third Monday of the month at 7.15pm. We did give it a try last month and all seemed to go well so we are going to start it properly in July so listen in and let me know if it’s of use to you.

Jean and I did have another visit to Ripon Cathedral this month for the commissioning and blessing of Bishop James Bell as Bishop of Ripon Cathedral.

I have to say that the many visits I had last year to Ripon Cathedral and York Minster to see new Bishops installed meant that there would not be any more for a while but I have been proved wrong. I wish Bishop James all the very best from Wetherby.

In contrast I attended a presentation at St James Church who, having spent a lot of money on new heating, are now looking to improve the lighting, decorating and carpeting of the building.

The final result will, I am sure, be amazing and very well worth while to all of us even if not a church member.

The church is used for shows, concerts and many other non religious events.

The money needed is mainly raised through grants and those are given on evidence that the community wants the changes.

What I would ask is that if you agree you just email with your support and the church can then use that in any bargaining they need to do. Yes you thought I was going to ask you for money did you not.

On a very windy Saturday (June 6) myself and many others started on a charity bike ride to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.

What I did was a 35-mile ride and the more fit and younger the 64-mile ride. It was very windy but we did all arrive back safely.

The Mayor supports a charity each year and last year it was Guide Dogs for the Blind, and there is now a dog called Wetherby.

This year it’s to be the Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity so please help me when you can.