Mayor’s Blog – October 2018
One of the highlights since my last blog was attending the ECHO AGM, always a bright, colourful and vibrant event. Based in Leominster, ECHO work with people living with disability across Herefordshire. They have a great shop with partners Clever Betsy at the top of West Street, as well as the Eaton Barn Community Garden, allotments and outside classroom on Stoke Prior Lane. This year was an even more special event, as they said goodbye to Fiona Ritchie, their CEO of 26 years. A warm welcome to Mike Cook, who is taking over the reins.
Our own Town Council allotments on Ginhall Lane are also going from strength to strength. I spent a wonderful sunny afternoon looking round them and admiring the different styles, vegetables, flowers and occasional chicken that thrive up there. This visit was ahead of the annual allotments dinner and prize giving, a great bring-and-share meal with three award categories. Well done to all the winners, your hard work and green fingers certainly paid off.
I have made two trips to Ledbury, one for the Community Celebration in the parish church and one for the annual ‘Mop Fair’. Originally one of the hiring fairs (like our May Fair), this is now a well enjoyed family fun fair.
Another service with its roots steeped in history was the Shrievalty Service of the High Sheriff, held in Hereford Cathedral. The office of the High Sheriff is at least one thousand years old and is the Sovereign’s representative for the county in all matters relating to the judiciary. The county’s Cathedral civic services really are a spectacular part of our history.
Here at home in our parish I was happy to lead our small group of Town Councillors in the Ivington Harvest Festival, despite ‘Storm Callum’s’ best efforts to soak us to the skin. The festival service is a wonderful family affair, followed by a community lunch and auction in aid of the Ivington Church Fund. A great time was had by all. Thank you to everyone who works hard to organise this event every year.
Don’t forget, the Town Council Office at 11 Corn Square is open every morning. I am normally in from 10am to 12 noon on Friday mornings, if you want to contact the Mayor. The local Police Safer Neighbourhood Team also hold a regular surgery on Friday mornings between 10.30am and 11.30am. Remember this is subject to any call outs they may be attending, but they are here to talk to any residents who have concerns that they want to discuss face to face with a police officer.
Councillor Jenny Bartlett
Mayor of Leominster
MAYORAL BLOG - Septmber 2018
The weather continued to be fabulously sunny and hot well into the beginning of August. As I sit and write this now in mid-August we can definitely say we are getting the long awaited rains we need, but we have been very lucky. Many places across the UK experienced terrible moor fires or torrential downpours and flash flooding.
It was Hereford’s turn to host the Three Choirs Festival again this year. The opening ceremony was as full of pomp and circumstance as could be imagined, with many visiting mayors and dignitaries from all three counties and beyond. As in previous years, when it is Herefordshire’s turn to host the
Three Choirs Festival, Leominster Town Council has supported the Festival by enabling one of the concerts to take place in the Priory Church.
The school summer holidays are here and the long standing Priory Holiday Club was packed full as usual. I was very happy to be invited along on the final day to see their end of week show and some of the wonderful things they had made. This would not be possible without the incredible band of enthusiastic volunteers working so hard to make sure every youngster had a great week. The small grant that the Town Council gives each year creates so much value, keeping costs down so that no child is ever excluded. Much fun of a more grown up persuasion was had by all at the Peter and Janice McCaull Trust fundraiser at The Leominster Sports and Social Club. Great humour and a trip down musical memory lane and some top tunes from The Rebels and our home grown duo The Songbirds. Well done everyone on raising over £400 for the Trust to help the youth of Leominster.
As you know my charity this year is SHYPP and I am pleased to announce that we have two great fundraisers coming up in September. On Friday 7th September Swan Brewery is holding a free tasting day at their Leominster Brewery. From 8pm ‘Hobsons Choice’, Europe’s Most Inland Sea Shanty Group, will be playing, and the proceeds from their gig will go to the charity. So come on down to the Enterprise Park HR6 0LX and join in the fun. From September 8th to 16th I am holding an exhibition with friends in the Old Stables Gallery, 11 Corn Square (behind the TIC) to raise funds for my Mayors Charity SHYPP. Please do come and support this as well as seeing some wonderful art from us and SHYPP for sale. Following the recent successful co-options, the Town Council is now back to a full complement of 16 town councillors. Most Monday evenings there is usually a Council meeting taking place in the Council Chamber upstairs. Remember these are public meetings and any residents can come and ask questions, or just listen to the debate. The office downstairs is open every weekday morning so please do get in contact with us. Where possible I intend to spend a couple of hours in the Town Council office on a Friday morning if you want to contact the mayor. I am normally in from 10am to 12 noon. The local Police Safer Neighbourhood Team also hold a regular surgery on Friday mornings in the office between the hours of 10.30 and 11.30am. Remember this is subject to any call outs that they are attending, but they are here to talk to any residents who have concerns they want to discuss face to face with a police officer.
LEOMINSTER MAYOR MAKING, MAY 2018
ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY THE INCOMING MAYOR JENNY BARTLETT
A very warm welcome you all, especially our honoured guests, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Joanna Hilditch, Chairman of Herefordshire Council Brian Wilcox, Distinguished past mayors; Honorary Townsmen and Women; and the mayors from our neighbouring market towns and counties. Maintaining strong bonds between us is very important and it is something I intend to continue in my year of office.
It is a great honour to be elected by my fellow councillors as the 464th Mayor of Leominster, my sincere thanks to Cllr Roger Pendleton for his sterling work in the preceding mayoral year. I also welcome the election of Cllr. Clive Thomas as the deputy mayor for this year. I would particularly like to thank Cllr Pauline Davies for her help and support, I know we all miss her insight into our civic life and her presence in the council chamber and town, Pauline our thoughts are with you in your recovery from a stroke earlier this year.
I also extend a heartfelt thank you to our clerk Paul Russell, and our officers Lena Dansjo, Liz Watson and Jackie Whittall for so ably keeping a grip on things, especially as we are gathered again just two after the royal visit. The team are now full steam ahead to ensure that Armed Forces Day on the 30th June will also run like clockwork.
In anticipation I would also like to thank Rev’d Mike Kneen who has agreed to be my Chaplain for the coming year. A warm Thank you to you and your team for all that you do for Leominster.
This is the second mayor making to take place in our Community Centre and I follow in the footsteps of Cllr Pamela Housden who held this office back in the 1980’s. The Community Centre, formerly the Leominster Junior School is celebrating it’s 160th birthday this year on Saturday 9th June, as part of the 2018 Leominster Festival. Still serving at the heart of the community, the centre is now home to some 40 groups who meet here on a regular basis. Some weeks there are close on 900 participants passing through these rooms. Some of these groups, members and volunteers are represented here tonight.
Our town council and our community groups are now more important than ever with the challenges we face to keep local services running. The town council continues to rise to the challenge as we continue to take services and open spaces in house. We are cutting grass, supporting local buses, securing money to provide youth services through forging a new partnership with Vennture. We have just invested £50K in brand new play equipment on Sydonia Park. Our environmental team, most ably led by Julie Debbage, continue to go the extra mile and together with Leominster in Bloom we are determined to achieve a second heart of England gold award for our town this year.
I see the job of mayor as much more than just a ceremonial role. Wherever possible I will promote, champion and support our combined efforts to make Leominster shine. We must continue to nurture an active citizenry – residents who take a real interest and get involved in helping to make Leominster a better place. As a town council we will do this through our continuing public engagement events, such as the recent budget and Sydonia consultations. As mayor I will be accessible to all who want to speak to me at the town council offices.
We will continue to engage with traders and businesses, and I am delighted that our local business group continues to go from strength to strength. I look forward to working even more closely with you all over the coming year. I am excited about the new business recycling initiative we are developing in partnership with Binnit.
My determination for this year is to see the Town Council working together as a proactive team to compliment the team that our clerk Paul Russell has put together to work with us. There is a Buddhist saying that describes this united team work – ‘many in body, one in mind transcending all differences’. It is the spirit of mutual respect, understanding, support and of valuing each others input. Yes we will have our differences as individuals sometimes but in our hearts we are of one mind and that is to do what is best for Leominster, our town, our residents, our businesses and our beautiful parish.
We can be so much more effective when we work as a team and we have shown this time and time again. I feel very positive about the coming year with all the changes and increased responsibilities it will bring, and I know that I can depend on you all to join me in making Leominster a town we can all be proud of.
Mayor’s Charity: SHYPP Supported Housing For Young Peoples project
SHYPP is part of the West Mercia housing and the Foyer in Leominster provides a range of accommodation, support and training for young people aged 16 to 25 to enable them to become brilliant young adults, whatever stage of life they are at when they arrive.