Wiltshire Publications

Mayor reflects on a busy year

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 at 10:18 am.

THE Mayor of Westbury, Stephen Andrews, has had a busy year since he was elected in May. As the mayoral year draws to a close he reflects on some of his highlights.

Speaking about the formalities of becoming Mayor, he said, “In common with most other towns I was elected Mayor at the first town council meeting in May last year and my term ends this month. Also in common with most other towns I also became chairman of the council.

“Although you can do some preparation for the role it is still a surprise when you look at the Mayor’s diary to see all the events and visits that you are expected to attend.

“Initially there are Mayor-making ceremonies to attend in many other towns and cities in and around Wiltshire. The most lavish affairs were those in Bath and Salisbury where processions through both cities involved probably 100 people in all, many in robes and chains, and included the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of the County. The Mayoress and I attended similar processions in Marlborough and Malmesbury. Each weekend involved either Civic Services or Civic Receptions in a different town around Wiltshire and it is customary for the other Mayors and Mayoresses/Consorts to attend these. In all, Mary and I attended over 70 events during our year representing the town and people of Westbury.

“Sometimes we received more than one invitation on the same day and my rule of thumb was that I would attend events in the town in the first instance, and ask the Deputy Mayor to attend events outside of town.”

Charity work was an important part of the role.

“I also held events to raise funds for the two charities that I have been supporting this year, namely Carer Support (Wiltshire) and Welfare of the Elderly (Westbury). Thanks to the generosity of the people who attended these events and who also bought my charity calendar, I was able to present cheques to these charities totalling £4, 338.”

The year included popular Westbury events.

“The highlight of the summer was the biennial Summer Celebration which was blessed with excellent weather and it was great to see the streets packed with people, we even had a dinosaur parading through the town. The evening concert was also a huge success, with the signature act performing to over 1,000 people packed into the Market Square.

“After a quiet August we were back into the round of functions in other towns including their many charity functions. Then we were gearing up for Christmas and the lights switch-on in early December. I particularly enjoyed presenting prizes to the winners of the Christmas card competition, particularly Lucy Firth who carried out the switch-on of the lights.

“In the New Year we held our own Civic Service which was well-attended despite the atrocious weather and, in true British spirit the Town Crier, John Hadfield, led the procession of visiting Mayors and dignitaries from the Laverton to All Saints Church.”

Speaking about how work done for the community is recognised, Stephen said, “The Civic Reception was another highlight and at an event attended by over 90 people, I was able to present Civic Awards to Westbury Shed, Westbury Festival and the Royal British Legion (Westbury) for their contributions to the community.

“The last major event that Mary and I attended was the High Sheriff Rule of Law event hosted by Sir David Hempleman-Adams in Salisbury Cathedral.”