Since I began my Mayoral year, I have had the pleasure of attending numerous events and functions to represent the towns and to support dozens of community groups.
When I was appointed Mayor back in May I declared my intention to promote local youth activities. The young people of today are our future and they need to have the confidence and skills to flourish as they become adults and take our country forward. My chosen charity for the year is Somerset Time for Youth who bring great joy to children with special needs. This group featured in our Civic Service in October and I look forward to hosting a fundraising event for them in February. I was also honoured to present Civic Awards to four worthy members of the community and to celebrate young people who gave impressive musical performances.
Highlights of the year so far have been the Remembrance Services which were well attended by the public. Our thoughts at this time of year are with the men and women serving today in our armed services, and for the families of those who are involved in conflict.
Community groups have been extremely active this year and we were very pleased to be able to help the Men’s Sheds group get off the ground. They are now providing a great social environment for chaps to meet and undertake useful practical projects which also benefit the community.
An eye-opening experience for me this year was a visit to the Food Bank in Burnham where I met the dedicated volunteers who give their time so generously to help those who are struggling. Included in our festive thoughts, we think of all those who will find Christmas a difficult period.
Radio Somerset’s Children in Need appeal came to the Esplanade this year. I was happy to say a few words on air to underline the important role of this charity. We even joined Claire Carter as she headed out of town on her final day of the Great Wellington Walk.
Burnham and Highbridge Town Council has now signed up to support the Plastic Free Coastline Campaign. We plan to continue to raise awareness of the problems with single-use plastics, help to clean up our beaches and work with the local businesses to encourage a transition to the use of environmentally friendly materials.
The Council is now catching up with the digital age with a new Twitter account. We’ll be using this to communicate more quickly and effectively with our community.
From the bottom of my heart I thank Rev Sharon Crossman, the Mayor’s Chaplain for her help and guidance so far this year, as well as the Mayor’s Cadet Rebecca Fear who has been by my side at all the key civic events. My Deputy Mayors Peter Clayton and Andy Brewer have been a tower of strength and have willingly represented the council at those functions which I was not able to attend. I’d also like to thank the folk in the council office who keep everything running smoothly behind the scenes and make my life much easier.
To everyone I have had the privilege of meeting this year, thank you so much for giving me and my wife Frances such a wonderful welcome. We look forward to next year with hope and love, and I know that I will continue to enjoy serving our wonderful community.
I am delighted to send warm wishes to everyone in Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge for a joyous Christmas and healthy, happy and peaceful New Year.
Cllr Bill Hancock
Mayor of Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge