Mayors Report 2019-2020Daltoneditor
Mayor’s Annual Report 2019/2020
I want to start by saying that it has been an honour to serve as the Mayor of this great town for a second term. Very few understand the time that is required of an individual when they take on the role of Mayor. Four months into my term of office, one of my daughters said to me (as I walked into the house), “Who are you?” I smiled and replied “I’m here to see your Mum, is she in?” I think she was joking?
One of my first engagements last year was Kendal’s ‘Mayor Making’ ceremony. I enjoy attending this event and am proud to represent Dalton and Newton. It is an opportunity to meet up with Councillors and Mayors from across the county and find out what is going on in other parts of Cumbria. I drove home from the event feeling positive about the coming year and wondering what challenges it might bring. Little did I know (along with the rest of you) how the year would unfold.
I am grateful to my fellow Town Councillors for their support and would like to say “Thank You”.
Up to mid-January this year I had been invited to over 120 events as Mayor. I would like to thank all the organisations and charities who asked me to attend. I have built so many good friendships and contacts and whilst there are too many to list here, I would like to say that I have enjoyed your company and admire your hard work and dedication.
I cannot list all my engagements, but some of the events I have been proud to attend are:
- Civic Sundays for the Mayors of Kendal, Ulverston, Barrow, Millom and Allerdale.
- Dalton Charter Festival 10k run. I was asked to attend Dalton Cricket Club to start the race along with our Town Crier, Alan Brown. This is a fantastic annual event, organised by Barrow and Furness Striders, with funding from Dalton Town Council. As well as the 10k race, which is attended by runners from all over the country, there is also a fun run for children. Unfortunately, like so many events, this year’s race was postponed but we look forward to welcoming the runners back to Dalton in the future.
- I visited The Dead End Rally held at Dalton Football Club last year. This is an extremely popular weekend event organised by members of Furness Motorcycle Action Group, a great group of people who I have had the pleasure of knowing for four years now. The event brings many visitors from home and abroad to Dalton, which is a boost for local shops, takeaways, cafes and pubs in the town. Sadly, this event has been cancelled this year but I am sure that the Rally will be back next year, bigger and better than ever. Thanks to John, Mandy, Mike, Barbara and the rest of the club executive for their hard work.
- Staveley House invited me along to their Summer Fair. This is always a pleasant afternoon, with Dalton Town Band playing favourites and a beautiful cream tea served. I also visited on Boxing Day to chat with residents and staff. It was a very festive atmosphere and I thoroughly enjoyed the visit. A big thanks to Brenda Hatton and the staff and to the trustees.
- Anchor Court have invited me along to the many events and fund raisers that they organise. I always enjoy the visits and thank the residents and Martina and her team for making me feel so welcome.
- I have attended all the ‘Rock Against Hate’ events at The Newton Pub, which have been superb. Thanks to Robert, Shaun and the rest of the committee for inviting me (As a lover of rock music – I have enjoyed the gigs immensely). Thanks also to Paul and Suzanne Kell of the Newton for hosting these events and for inviting me to many of the other events they organise throughout the year.
- I attended a number of art exhibitions through South Lakes Arts Collective, in a variety of locations, great people who produce high quality work that just gets better.
- I was invited along to The Leavers Assembly at Newton Village School. This was a very emotional gathering as year 6 pupils said their goodbyes to friends and staff. The moment was very touching and I felt privileged to be part of the day.
- Dalton Community Church have invited me to a host of social events that they have organised over the last twelve months. My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed these and look forward to more in the future.
- This Mayoral year I have only managed two visits to Mayors outside Cumbria. The first was in Slough where we discussed our respective Towns and area, the Mayor of Slough was keen to hear all about Dalton and Cumbria. I was invited to sit in on a British Citizenship Ceremony which was very interesting. The second visit was to The Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead. We discussed many issues relating to our towns and I was amazed to learn that she has three sets of Mayoral chains, one for maidenhead, one for Windsor (which was very lavish and can only be altered with express permission from the Queen) and a spare set!. The offices in Maidenhead were amazing and when I mentioned that the building looked familiar, I was told that it had featured in several ‘Carry On’ films.
- I have gone along to many of the Saturday Coffee Mornings and have enjoyed chatting to organisers from various charities and Daltonians enjoying their Saturday morning coffee, biscuits and home baking.
- I have attended many events at Dowdales School during the last twelve months, both as Mayor and as a parent. From Prize Giving to Bingo nights and a fantastic school play. I was proud to be voted in as the new LEA governor for the school. The new head teacher and staff are doing a wonderful job and I look forward to working with them and the governors in the future.
- I sat in on a session of Dalton Book Club, which is believed to be one of the oldest book clubs in the world that is still in existence, having been formed in 1764. I found the traditions fascinating.
- I was invited to an Album launch by local band Broadcast 2020 GHz at TnT records in Barrow at the beginning of March. It was a fantastic night and thanks to Gary Salt and the rest of the band for the invitation.
- I have attended several events at Dalton Rugby Club throughout the year. The talent of the children in the town is first rate and I would like to thank the hardworking volunteers who give their time freely. Hope to see you all soon.
A big part of the Mayoral year is to raise as much money as possible for distribution to local causes through the Mayors Charity Fund. I would like to thank the following businesses, local and further afield who have supported my fundraising efforts:
South Lakes Lettings
Vera Wilton Opticians
Flowers by Aimee
The Chocolate Shop
The Newton Pub
Furness Furniture (Dalton)
Nat West Bank, Stagecoach, Furness Building Society, Cumberland Building Society, Westmorland Gazette, The Entertainer and many more.
I hope that they all come through these uncertain times, especially our wonderful businesses here in Dalton. I know we will all do our best to support them in the future.
In August 2019 I organised a coffee morning to raise funds for the Mayors Charity this was a great success. I would like to thank the 1st Duddon Scouts, Dalton Community Church and my family for their help with this event.
The Mayors Christmas Concert in December at St. Mary’s Parish Church was my next big fundraiser. This was a lovely evening with some great acts and a super raffle.
The Newton pub also hosted a charity fundraiser for me, Thanks to Paul and Suzanne Kell for their support.
During my first term as Mayor, I was proud to be involved, through the FGH Charity Office, in supporting the South Lakes Birth Centre at Furness General Hospital. This is a fantastic facility for the people of Furness and beyond. I was keen to support another worthwhile project this year, so when, during a visit in June 2019, Heidi Bowron from the FGH Charity Office mentioned that they were raising funds for the ICU Garden project I knew I wanted to help. I know from personal experience what a stressful time it is for families anxiously waiting news. A garden for families to use when visiting and for longer term patients to enjoy whilst recovering would be a wonderful thing. My first charity was selected.
The other charities that I have chosen to support from my Mayors Charity Fund are:
- Furness Parkinson’s Support Group who organise events and provide services across our area.
- Dalton Town Band who perform not just in Dalton but around the country and also abroad. They are great ambassadors for the town.
- 1st Duddon Scouts, whose headquarters are in Beckside Road, Dalton. They have played a part in our community for over a hundred years.
- Dalton Community Association, whose centre in Nelson Street (The Drill Hall) is home to the library and is used by multiple organisations from Dancetazia Dance School to The Furness Spiritualist Church.
- Dalton Community Church who organise services and events for the whole community. They are a kind and caring group of people who really know how to enjoy themselves.
Each Charity or organisation in their own right is worthy, but collectively they play a very important part in our community, touching the lives of many of our residents. Behind the front of each organisation there are a dedicated group who work tirelessly and to all I say thank you.
This awful virus has affected us all in one way or another. At this time of national crisis, I am amazed by the strength and ingenuity of the British people and by our immediate community. I want to thank Dalton Community Action Group, who have and are continuing to provide an essential service to those in need in Dalton.
I think I speak for us all in thanking all those who are helping others at this difficult time. Those looking after elderly relatives, helping neighbours with shopping etc, working for the NHS and as carers, key workers and volunteers.
Let’s show our thanks on Thursday nights when we all stand at our front doors or open windows and demonstrate as noisily as possible just how much we appreciate the dedication of our NHS, Carers and Key Workers. Come on Dalton and Newton – Let’s raise the virtual roof!
I am honoured to advise you that I will be continuing as The Mayor of Dalton for 2020/21. Once restrictions are lifted, I hope to be out and about once again.
Whatever the new ‘normal’ may be, we will face it together. To everyone in Dalton and Newton, I hope you stay safe and well.