Mayor's Musings - Blog One
Welcome to the Mayor of Ashford’s new blog. It is a great way of sharing with you all some of the amazing projects I have seen, a few of the wonderful many humbling and humorous moments I have experienced and lots of the incredible people I have met!
Since my inauguration on 31st May, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first two months in office and have attended over 50 events or activities during this time. From community village fetes and shows to opening new businesses as well as celebrating a local residents 100th birthday whose experiences were a history lesson bridging many generations. Such an amazing man who I was delighted to have met. So a special thank you to Frederick and his family. I have taken part in awards presentations and charity fundraising events and thoroughly enjoyed local garden parties celebrating special anniversaries – I feel most honoured to represent the borough at so many occasions. It has been a truly rewarding time.
‘Men in Sheds’ – Ashford Volunteer Centre Project – June 2019
As one of my three chosen charities to support during my year in office – Ashford Volunteer Centre was one of the first events I supported as part of the National Volunteer Week. Celebrating 40 years of supporting Ashford this year, hundreds of local people have made a difference through such projects as workshops, outreach work, one-to-one befriending services, volunteer car scheme (to assist in transporting local residents), youth projects, clubs, cafes – to name but a few. This project is ‘Men in Sheds’ and is a super informal way for our guys to get together, join in activities and talk about what's on their mind.
My Celebration Civic Service – June 2019
My Civic Service was a true celebration of faiths and illustrated the diversity of the borough. Breath taking music from young people of the John Wallis Academy and an emotive reading by the Ashford School, with contributions from the various communities, made it a day I will never forget. I understand the Nepalese Piper went viral on Facebook.
Village Academy Trust – Lydd and Dymchurch Schools Visit to Meet the Mayor – June 2019
There is nothing like learning as young as possible and these young people from the School Councils in Lydd and Dymchurch were very forward thinking by contacting me to ask if they could discuss the role of councillors in the Civic Centre. An enlightening afternoon was enjoyed by all with an admirable debate on their school projects including a suggested update on playground rules, encouraging litter picking, requesting seats for playground and an ideas boxes. I believe that the main topic for discussion at their next school council is to have microphones – so guess what made the grade! I think that Kent has some excellent up and coming candidates.
Visit to the Pop In Centre at Woodchurch – June 2019
There are many of our ‘Silent Army’ volunteers across the borough, and one of our unsung heroes is Richard Carley, who with the help of friends, family and generous sponsors have created an incredible community resource in the village of Woodchurch. I have been keeping in contact with Richard for over a year now and like to see how he is getting on. I was well and truly blown away last month to see the enormous progress – so took along some funding officers from the Council and Ashford Volunteer Centre to look at providing advice on a sustainable funding proposal. We were even given an added treat by listening to Richards musical skills on his newly acquired organ which entertained us whilst enjoying lunch
Keep up the great work Richard!
Lenham Commemoration Event – June 2019
My Consort, Mr David Webb and I were most humbled to be included in the 75th Anniversary Commemoration Event for the Lenham incident, when in June 1944 a V1 flying bomb was shot down by the RAF over Charing Heath in Kent. The missile fell on the men from the 6 (Guards) Tank Brigade Workshop REME, killing 52 men and wounding some 40 other. The event was to show our respect for those who lost their lives and to pay tribute to the incredible work these men had undertaken as craftsmen of their trade. ‘We Shall Remember Them’.
The Ashford Create Festival and Mr Harper’s Birthday Party – July 2019
To get the summer off to an exciting start – you just have to join in fun at the superb Create Festival in Ashford’s Victoria Park. So with this in mind I left David at home with a ‘to do’ list whilst I enjoyed the chance to be a part of this great arts festival along with thousands of people and what a wonderful programme for one and all! It was a real pleasure to meet with families enjoying the weekend events and in particular I had the pleasure to meet a 12 year old who is the Quad bike British champion. Ashford really has some outstanding talent, not forgetting the Rock and Workplace Choirs. After listening to the Lightning Seeds I ventured back home to make sure that David’s ‘to do’ list was complete. Only to return to Mr Harpers Birthday Party on Sunday, to enjoy yet another fun filled family day.
Didn’t we do well!
I hope you have enjoyed my very first blog as I have enjoyed writing it. I wish you all a Happy Holiday and don’t forget that our amazing Ashford borough has a rich collection of places and attractions for you to enjoy so make the most of new discoveries during the school holidays!