Fame and fortune for busy Mayor

President of the Harrogate and District Soroptimists Heather Shipman (left) hands over �100 to Wetherby Mayor Councillor Alan Lamby, watched by members, from right, Hilary Waddington, Mary Broussine and'Elsie Johnston. (S)
President of the Harrogate and District Soroptimists Heather Shipman (left) hands over �100 to Wetherby Mayor Councillor Alan Lamby, watched by members, from right, Hilary Waddington, Mary Broussine and'Elsie Johnston. (S)

The last week has been particularly busy even by my usual standards.

I chaired the monthly town council meeting, attended the youth council meeting, chaired the first neighbourhood plan steering group meeting, appeared on the national BBC news, received two separate briefings about children’s services issues, attended two political meetings and that was just Tuesday.

At our monthly town council meeting we began by paying tribute to John Midgley who was the very first Mayor of Wetherby.

Coun Midgley was first elected to what was the parish and town council in May 1970 and became the town’s first Mayor in 1974 when Wetherby became a town council and he served until 1978.

One of our current town councillors, Coun Derek Nicholson served alongside Coun Midgley and was his deputy from 1976 onwards.

I was delighted that Coun Nicholson led the tribute. He told us that Coun Midgley continued to serve on the town council until 1983 when he retired to move closer to his family in the south of England.

By all accounts he was an outstanding councillor and as the very first mayor he really set the standard for all those that followed in his footsteps.

Outside the council, he had his own haulage business – Midgley Transport which was based in Leeds and he was a prominent member of the Road Haulage Association.

My condolences and those of the whole town council go to his family who can be incredibly proud of the historic contribution he made to our wonderful town.

It was a great pleasure to once again attend the youth council meeting where they pressed on with enthusiasm and vigour with the priorities they’ve set themselves; providing a wider variety of sporting activities for young people in the town, putting together an annual summer fair and hosting regular events for older people in the town.

They are a fantastic group and while we still need a couple more members, they are incredibly focussed and realistic about their goals and I believe they are going to make a really positive contribution to the town.

I was delighted to accept a donation from Soroptimist International of Harrogate and District who last summer agreed that a sum of money should be offered to each of the five parts of the district - to support Jubilee projects. 

A sum of £100 was given to Wetherby. In the event money was also raised at the Jubilee Country Fair and club members would now like to support the establishment of a youth council in the town and put £200 to this.

Wetherby members were requested to present the cheque to the council and extended their very best wishes to the youth council working alongside Wetherby Town council and look forward to hearing of the progress of this initiative.

Another group of volunteers that has come together for the first time this week is the steering group for Wetherby’s Neighbourhood Plan.

I’ll write more about this and how you can get involved as things progress in the future but I’m really confident in the fantastic group of people that are coming together to get things moving.

You may have spotted Wetherby on the national news last Tuesday and I have to say that I thought the town looked fantastic.

A bit of hasty diary juggling took place as I was contacted by the BBC late on Tuesday morning to ask me to be interviewed.

Judging by how busy my phone was in the hours afterwards it would seem that quite a lot of people watch the 6pm bulletin.

I think that is my 15 seconds of fame over and unfortunately, much to my mum’s disappointment, my fleeting celebrity status hasn’t resulted in a call from Strictly Come Dancing!

We’ve also spent time this week putting final plans in place for Wetherby’s Annual Civic Service which takes place this coming Sunday at St James’s church at 3pm.

The theme I’ve chosen for this year’s service is the contribution of young people and I’m delighted that there will be performances and significant contributions from a wide range of young people from the town’s schools.

I hope lots of you can make it as we welcome distinguished guests from around the district and celebrate so much of what makes Wetherby such a fantastic place.

On Saturday night I was delighted to attend Wetherby Lions’ 47th annual dinner at The Bridge Inn at Walshford.

It was another wonderful reminder of the fantastic spirit of volunteering which is so alive in Wetherby.

It was a fabulous evening with great company, good food and some excellent live music.

It was easily the busiest week of my time as Mayor so far but also the most enjoyable.