I would just like to thank everyone who attended the Mayors End of Term Reception in The Mayors Parlour on Thursday the 16th of May 2013.
The Mayoress and I just wanted to say thank you to all those who had supported us during our mayoral year.
We were joined by representatives of our three charities (Step by Step, The Source and Parity for Disability), members of the wider community including residents of Manor Park ward and at least three past Mayors of Rushmoor (Colin Balchin, David Clifford and Roger Kimber).
Norma and I we also delighted to be joined by my employers, Oro Bianco Interior Design, who had supported me throughout my mayoral year and Councillor Patrick Codd and Mrs Susan Codd (Past Mayor and Past Mayoress of The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames). Together with Patrick, I had first of all represented Coombe Ward in Kingston in from May 1998 to May 2002 before being elected in Manor Park Ward in Rushmoor in May 2003.
I would like to thank Democratic Services at Rushmoor Borough Council and their caterers for hosting this event.
I am absolutly delighted with the new lift and walkway that will link the platforms at Aldershot Station.
I know the station well because I use it every week day to commute to work in Central London and the station is also located within my Manor Park council ward. The new facility will not only help people with reduced mobility but also parents of young children and all passengers with heavy bags.
While this is a very welcome addition, I think that so much more could be done with Aldershot Station. Our railway station needs to sell our town. Currently the station buildings are in a poor state of repair and there is a large amount of underused space (on the ground and first floors) that could be developed into cafes, shops, restaurants and offices. Even flats or Crèches could be considered in the First Floor.
We need a beautiful station that links through the town centre to the Westgate and through to the new Aldershot Urban Extension of Wellesley.
The problem is that South West Trains have the station on a relative short lease from Rail Track and I hope that as councillors on Rushmoor we can work with both companies to help them realise the potential of the Aldershot Station buildings for the people of Aldershot and Rushmoor.
I attended the Forces Equine Dog Show at Wellington Riding Stables, Heckfield Hook, Hampshire on Sunday the 5th of May 2013. unfortunately, I had to attend the event by myself, as the Mayoress was in Frimley Park Hospital with an infection.
I had the chance to judge the dogs and bitches in a number of categories. The one which was the most touching was the rescued dogs category where the dogs were with new owners following being rescued (often from very difficult circumstances) and it was wonderful to see the so well-adjusted as part of their new family.
I also loved the best fancy dressed dog category, and the winner was a Sherlock Holmes dog with pipe in Deer Stalker and Inverness Cape.
We woud like to thank The Royal Order of St George for inviting us to their annual dinner at The Princes Hall in Aldershot. We attended last year as Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress, and the hospitality and food were just as good as last year (fantastic).
We loved the ceremony, where the joint of beef was presented to the chairman for his approval.
The Royal Order of St George also invited a gentleman who was raising money for a new cancer fighting unit for The Royal Surrey in Guildford and the Order presented him with a generous cheque which he much appreciated.
We would like to thank the Chairman of Hart for inviting us to their charity dinner in Fleet. First class Indian food and the chance to catch up with other Mayors and Chairmen from the adjacent boroughs and district councils.
We would like to thank the Mayor and Mayoress of Basingstoke (left in the picture) for inviting us to their charity annual ball that was held in the Garden Pavilion at Audleys Wood Hotel in Basingstoke.
It was a wonderful event in support of their charities, with excellent food and the opportunity to meet other mayors and mayoress’s.
The Mayoress and I attended the Mayors annual charity golf tournament at Southwood Golf Club in support of our three charities; Step by Step, The Source and Parity for Disability.
While it was one of the best organised events ever, it also suffered from the worst weather ever, with severe showers for most of the day.
This did not dampen the enthusiasm however, and a record number of teams competed for The George Dawson Cup.
The Mayoress and I would like to thank John and Paul Jerome for inviting us to the 90th anniversary celebration of the establishment of their business within Aldershot. We had the opportunity to see the family’s private museum, which recorded much of the 20th Century history of the town. As a historian, I found this to be fascinating.
We hope that John and Paul will be celebrating their 100th anniversary in just a few years time, and that their business remains vibrant and strong.
The Mayoress and I attended the Stagebeat Event in Shopping Centre, Farnborough,where musicians offered free tutorials to local residents to encourage people to take up live music.
The Mayoress developed an interest in becoming a rock star, but I did advise her not to give up the day job.
The event brought home to us the need to support our local business’s, where traders often feel that they are becoming showrooms for multinational electronic commerce companies.
If we don’t support our local shops, we will soon not have any local shops.
The Mayoress and I attended a knitted art exhibition that was held in Shoe Zone in Aldershot’s Union Street. Essentially, a budget shoe shop had been turned into an art gallery for an evening.
We appreciated the works of art that had been produced, with much of the Shoe Zone corporate brand being replicated by the knitting club. It seemed to extend the hobby that was regarded as a pursuit of our grannies to a younger generation.
Many thanks to the knitting club and Shoe Zone for hosting the event.