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Agenda item

To receive any announcements from the Mayor, Leader, Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive


Councillor J Harper made the following announcement


Well I haven’t got too much to say other than perhaps one or two words, I don’t know if the Chief Executive is going to put on a clock on me or anything, hopefully not.  I’ll be as brief as I can.

As some of you here tonight may recall I well remember Robert Neville being appointed Tamworth’s very first specifically designated mayor in this very room.  That was in 1835, I was of course a young cub reporter at the Tamworth Herald at the time but Mr Neville could not have been any prouder than I am this evening.  According to studious research carried out by Tamworth & District Civic Society’s esteemed Chairman David Biggs I’m the 142nd Mayor to occupy this great civic office.  I’m honoured and deeply moved to be so and promise to do my utmost to be fair, equitable and impartial in all my Council business.  If at any time I have to use my casting vote I will do so out of genuine best person for the job reasons.  We Councillors and our Officers must never forget that we are here for one reason and one reason only and that’s to look after and safeguard the interests of the people of Tamworth regardless of the party-political interests of any description.  There is a huge amount of talent on all sides of this Chamber, let’s put it to good use to the benefit of our people.  Apart from being indebted to Moira as I mentioned earlier, I’d also like to thank two times Tamworth’s former Mayor, Councillor Richard Kingstone for his wise counsel and for taking the time to help ease me into the role of as he referred so much distinction, thank you Richard.  Your sagacious advice is so very much appreciated, and I hope I’ve earnt this and I don’t disappoint.


I’d also like to thank my Conservative colleagues for putting me in this position, I promise that I will attempt to do it well and hopefully fulfil all you ask and expect of me.  Above all I’d like to thank the people of Bolehall who voted for me in the 2021 election, I will continue to do my very best to repay that trust with hard work and determination in helping to maintain and wherever possible help improve the quality of life of local people.  Whether that be trying to get someone to trim the trees, keep the streets clean and free of litter or trying to fill the infernal potholes, that’s more difficult than people envisaged.  But what of the future, Tamworth is a fantastic, brilliant town, we all know that, every single one of us that’s why we’re here.  But we face considerable challenges, we know that too.  Our town centre retail shopping has seriously declined and if Tamworth has to re-establish itself it has to re-establish itself as a destination, a place that people want to live in and to visit and a place to be proud of.  People need to be determined and will need a good deal of courage to overcome our problems but we have the tools to do it.  I might have mentioned it once or twice over the years just in passing that our town has an amazing history.  It is here and for all of us to use and it doesn’t cost a penny and won’t cost the rate payers a single penny.  If empraised with energy and enthusiasm heritage opportunities are ready and waiting to be used it just needs drive, initiative and confidence to do what has to be done.  With this in mind, I’ve put together a number of my own personal aims and aspirations I’d like to see come to fruition.  All of them may not materialise in fact none of them may come to fruition but I’ll do my very best to persuade each and every one of you to make them happen.  Various things that I’ve had for many of years wanting to see the Corporation Street Pay & Display Car Park converted into Offa Square as a town centre performance space with Christmas lights, concerts, arts events, celebrations etc.  I’d like to see a physical heritage trail established around the town centre involving tour directors, direction markers setting the scene for the benefit of tourists.  I’d would also like to see a tourist map of Tamworth created and be available at the properly set up Tamworth Information Centre, this could possibly be incorporated into a TBC front office which I believe this is something that people want and deserve.


My Mayoral Charities will be divided between Tamworth Parish Church and Tamworth Civic Society both of whom are close to my heart, and I will do my very best to raise as much money as I can for these two very very worthy causes.


I would also like the town to stage a winter celebration an old English tradition as well as a Mayoral joy of Christmas Carol Service at our magnificent church. I’ve also been giving some thought to organising a Mayoral Concert for Tamworth, this will be a charity fundraising event in two halves, first half all about Tamworth, second half a concert by a well-known performer.  

I’d like to see the creation of the Youth Garden for young people which could be situated in the town anywhere and would involve groups of young people taking ownership of it for a certain length of time and maybe six months or whatever and producing whatever they can of an area of ground.  My priority however is to stage or try to establish a series of events under the banner of Young Tamworth this would be a long week festival of youth, which aims to involve Tamworth schools and youth groups and a coordinated series of sports events, arts events, quizzes, music events, photographic, film making and writing competitions we’ve got an endless choice to go for, maybe even a chess competition.


I would also investigate ways to provide every Tamworth school child with a Tamworth Borough Council journey through time souvenir booklet, I’m currently writing it.  If I can make it happen, I hope to see a copy given to every one of the 7000 children in Tamworth schools.  Obviously, I’ll need to find people to finance this but if I can do it it will tell our history throughout important landmark dates that mark our journey through time from when Tamworth was first established around the year 600AD all of 1,423 years ago.  And before anyone says it no, I wasn’t there reporting for the Herald but my dad was.  And if this can come a sense of civic pride in young people for this is the town in a few years’ time they will be running it.  I hope we can leave them a worthy legacy.

Finally, I’d like to thank my dear wife Maureen who will serve as Mayoress who without whom I would not be here indeed without Maureen I doubt I’d be anywhere.  I’d also like to mention my dear grandson Callum where he and his generation are the future of our town.  Callum is 16 and who I hope I can leave a town that you’d be proud of and in very good shape.


Thank you Andrew our esteemed Chief Executive, Tracey, Nicola, and all officers who’ve been brilliant and so very helpful and you are all highly valued and treasured.  Councillors, Council officers, ladies, and gentlemen we have a challenging but a brilliantly exciting year ahead of us, we just need to work with our civic leads and get on with it.

Thank you everyone, I will remember this evening for the rest of my life.


Right now you’ve all listened to all that diatribe I will now pass you over to the Leader of the Council for any announcements, ladies and gentlemen, Councillor Paul Turner.


The Leader Councillor P Turner made the following announcement


Thank you Mr. Mayor, well how do you follow that, that was rousing to say the least but first of all may I take this opportunity to congratulate you on becoming our Mayor on becoming Deputy Mayor I’m sure it’s in great hands that excellent state of office.


First of all a couple of thank you’s and I’ll keep it brief in particular my predecessors which includes you Danny you’ve led this Council and Jeremy it’s big shoes to jump into and I hope that I do you  proud with your help and support I’m sure we can move this town forward.


It is a new chapter again,  Deputy Leader Rob thanks for all your work and support behind the scenes over the last year.  I’ve only been a councillor for a year and didn’t expect to be standing here now.  We have a new team, we have listened and we are listening so please you know you if you don’t think we’re listening shout a bit louder.


It’s also I wouldn’t think prudent of me to thank our outgoing mayor Moira, thank you on behalf of everything.  Next and it’s a little speech to the outgoing Councillors, whichever persuasion you are thank  for your service to the town thank you for your friendship and support and I’m sure we’ll see you again at some other point.  And also a huge thank you for you new Councillors, thank you for taking up the role of being a councillor, we all need Councillors to run this beautiful town, we will be using all our brain power to keep it going and make it better and as John says it’s for us to pass on to the youth, we are just custodians of this lot and we hope to do it better so that’s my little stand up and say hello and please come and shake my hand and may even have a drink later.


The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor C Dean made the following announcement 


Thank you, Mr. Mayor, firstly can I congratulate you on your appointment and hope that you have a successful year and I’m very intrigued by your aims and visions for the next year and I hope that my team can be part of putting that together for you.


I’d like to take this opportunity to say how honoured my group have been by the opportunity that’s been given by the residents of Tamworth.  We’ve been humbled by the trust they’ve have put in us and we won’t let them down.  I’m saying that on behalf of every one of us we will surely be there, and we will be doing our best, we’re keen to be working on behalf of the residents and making a difference to the town.  We know from the comments that we’ve received talking to the residents that they have lots of concerns though.  People are concerned about the state of the town centre, the state of their roads especially on their estates and the state of their housing the lack of visible policing, about the facilities that Tamworth has lost, we all know about what we’ve lost our Police Station our Magistrates Court, our Youth Centre, our Surestart’s, the George Bryant Centre and even most of our public loos.  I want to reassure our residents that we’ll be holding the controlling group to account but we will be a constructive opposition acting in the best interests of the people of Tamworth because that’s what our residents deserve, but these will be discussions for another day. 


Finally I’d like to thank the Chief Executive and his officers for the welcome they’ve given us and the support that they’ve shown. Whilst we know we have a lot to learn the people of Tamworth can be assured that the members of the Labour group are ready to do all they can to make a difference that they were elected for.


The Leader of the minority opposition Councillor D Cook made the following announcement.


Thank you, Mr. Mayor congratulations, to yourself on the position you’ve attained this evening and congratulations to Cllr Maycock.  Echo a lot of what Councillor Dean said really, I hope that the public have given us a strange situation in Tamworth, not happened in a long, long time no overall control.  I’m not going to use the term factions but there are groups within this Chamber that I’m sure when its right for us to work together we’ll work together and challenge but I’m sure as Councillor Turner says that with good conversations and listening we can take this town forward.