It is hard to believe that an entire year has passed since I was made Mayor of Rye, but I guess that means I must have been enjoying myself.
Certainly I have enjoyed seeing so many latent projects coming to life in Rye in recent months, and an atmosphere of prosperity beginning to return.
Being the Mayor and the Chairman of the council has brought huge responsibilities and calls upon my personal time but I have learned to balance the work with the leisure time and really treasure the days, or occasional weekends when I do not have some meeting or official function at which to make an appearance.
The effort anyway has been worthwhile. There is no doubt that Rye Town Council has become more pro-active than it has been for many years. This forward thinking approach has resulted in the provision of a Delivery Loading Bay in the High Street with a ten minute restricted bay alongside to ease the congestion in the centre of town. We have achieved the employment of a Town Steward, the wonderful Nikki who is hard at work keeping our town clean. The much neglected Millenium Wall is now in Town Council control and will be better for it and our allotments are safe in the hands of a community interest company.
Before long, Rye Town Council will be looking to become social landlords, providing low rent accommodation for local families wishing to get a foot on the housing ladder. Big, blue sky thinking!
The coming year will see Rye’s Neighbourhood Plan being published, the result of another massive effort by councillors and members of the community. Until then, for some of us it will be meetings, meetings, late nights, lost weekends and the peculiar satisfaction that comes from dedication to voluntary work for our community.
I would like to thank all of the councillors with whom I have served in the past four years, wish those not standing for re-election a happy retirement and those who are standing the very best of luck.