Planning ahead for Christmas

NAWN 1212198AM1 W'by carol service. the Mayor of Wetherby Coun. Alan Lamb with members of the Wetherby Silver Band Carolyn Ramsbottom, Andrew Yeomans and Vanessa Yeomans.  (1212198AM1)
NAWN 1212198AM1 W'by carol service. the Mayor of Wetherby Coun. Alan Lamb with members of the Wetherby Silver Band Carolyn Ramsbottom, Andrew Yeomans and Vanessa Yeomans. (1212198AM1)

It’s hard to believe that we’re already hurtling through June.

This is now a most peculiar month for me as I have to start thinking about Christmas.

For those that don’t know, I run a small pub/restaurant on the outskirts of Wetherby and June is the month that I need to plan for Christmas and write the menus for the festive season.

I usually take a day out of my schedule, bake some mince pies and put on some festive songs to try and get in the mood and take some inspiration from somewhere. It has to be done as we’re already taking bookings.

A skim through my diary showed how many Mayoral engagements I already have booked in during December.

I’m not really a great planner ahead. if I had my way, I‘d think about what I have to do tomorrow when tomorrow arrives.

Planning so far ahead is slightly disconcerting but it has to be done.

Last week saw the latest meeting of the Youth Town Council. It is still early days and we could do with a few more members but they really are doing very well.

Their ideas are starting to take shape and once they get exams out of the way I think they will be firing on all cylinders.

There is an ambition of the City Council to make Leeds a child friendly city. One of the key aspects of this is ensuring that young people have voice and influence.

In Wetherby, we are leading the way and I’ve been contacted by people from many other parts of the city wanting to learn from what we’re doing.

We also had the latest meeting of the neighbourhood plan steering group this week.

This is a group of volunteers who are coming together to shape a plan for the future of the town over the next 15 to 20 years.

We will be trying to involve as many people as possible and make sure there are many opportunities for people to share their thoughts as the plan progresses.

Ultimately, there will be a referendum of everyone in the town to approve the plan. If it’s accepted it will be legally binding on developers and the city council to contribute to its delivery by passing a levy on any future developments to the Town Council who will be responsible for implementation.

The next consultation phase will take place in the autumn once an initial draft plan has been produced.

The draft plan will be based mainly on feedback from the 500 people who attended the initial consultation just before Christmas.

You may be aware that on Friday, travellers descended onto Mason’s Field off Hallfield Lane.

I was actually in the area shortly after they began arriving and immediately alerted the appropriate authorities to insist that they begin the process of eviction.

I have no problem at all with the travelling community, there is a legal encampment not far from us and I know a number of the residents who are decent people that pay rent and rates.

I’ve got to know a number of them quite well and have a lot of time for them.

What is infuriating and what gives the whole traveller community a bad name is when groups of them turn up and occupy land that they have no right to and then cause all sorts of nuisance before moving on and frequently leaving all their rubbish behind while contributing nothing at all to the cost of cleaning up.

To me, this behaviour is completely unacceptable.

Many people would have a different view of this community if they showed some respect for other people and their property and if they had the decency to clean up after themselves.

Please be assured that I and others do everything possible to remove those who are trespassing as quickly as possible and I have urged that penalty notices are served on all those responsible for littering.

I received a bit of stick in the paper last week from a reader for not attending an event in support of Help for Heroes when a group of war veterans stopped in Wetherby at the half way point of their journey from Edinburgh to London.

I am sorry that I didn’t attend, unfortunately, I wasn’t made aware that they would be in Wetherby on that day otherwise I would have made every effort to congratulate them in their efforts and wish them well on their journey.

Wetherby has a long and proud tradition of supporting our armed forces and their families.

While I am jumping the gun slightly, I can announce that we will proudly become a Hero’s Welcome town in November to coincide with this year’s Poppy Appeal and the Remembrance commemorations.

It will always be difficult for whoever is Town Mayor to attend everything and be everywhere.

It’s surprising how many people think the position is well paid with many perks. There is no salary or expenses and I think it should remain that way.

I will continue to do my best to attend every event that I possibly can,

it’s not always easy but if you’d like me to support an event, please get in touch and I will do my very best.