At the Annual Council meeting held last night, Cllr Neil Forbes was elected as Town Mayor 2017/18. Cllr Peter Coan was elected as Deputy Town Mayor and Cllr Forbes appointed Jack Murphy of the Knutsford Fire Cadets as his Mayor’s Cadet. Cllr Forbes named his wife, Jacquelyn as Mayoress and Rev. Rob Cotton as Mayor’s Chaplain.
Upon being elected, Cllr Forbes gave the following speech.
Thank-you for having the confidence in me to elect me as Mayor. It’s an honour and something I do not take lightly in this my 11th year as a councillor in historic Knutsford’s 725th year since its charter.
No man is an island, I will need support in this role, so I’m pleased to report that Rev Cotton has graciously agreed to be my chaplain; thank-you Rob and that Jacquelyn will be my Mayoress so it’s now time to invest her with the Consort’s chain.
I look forward to the year ahead as I’m passed the baton from Cllr Nicholson and note that good progress has been made on developing the Neighbourhood Plan which I will endeavour to champion in the months ahead. Especially as we try to engage better with younger adults and youths (after all they are potentially the most affected by the town’s growth and population ‘explosion’ in the decades to come).
We also need to get better at gathering the views of Knutsford residents from all parts of our town so I look forward to seeing targeted attempts to do so for the next consultation stage.
The Neighbourhood Plan is very important but we must take care to not (if you’ll pardon the pun) lose sight of the council’s 2020 vision and our progress towards achieving it. 2020 seems an awful lot closer now than when we wrote the vision document.
My biggest personal challenge is to remain apolitical especially in the month ahead so I’ll move swiftly on.
I’m looking forward to seeing the council’s latest initiatives come to fruition including the new war memorial, the recruitment of a specialist Town Centre Manager to better engage with our fantastic business community and of course the music festival next month.
With Knutsfordians’ and our amazing local businesses’ help I hope to raise funds to support local charities and good causes. Previous Knutsford mayors have played golf for charity, undertaken swimathons, walked across hot coals and even bungie jumped to raise funds.
My cycling and competitive field archery days are sadly behind me and I find myself much more of an eat, drink and make merry sort of fellow these days. So you should expect a list of events in that vein published within the next few weeks which you may wish to join in some or all of. I do hope so.
These to include the return of ‘Knutsford’s Got the Talent Factor’ and hopefully a big band swing & jazz event. Watch this space, Twitter and elsewhere for more information; why not join the Mayor’s events’ mailing list to gain advanced information especially for events which sell out fast? Buying one of our market hall’s brand new stylish reusable bags will also add some pennies to the pot.
Which brings me to the Charity and good causes I will be supporting. They are the Knutsford Youth Orchestra, The Knutsford Friendship Club (this recently opened club is for those with Alzheimer’s and their carers) and the final charity although it is located a mile or so outside of town, has Knutsford based beneficiaries and volunteers (including the Mayoress); It’s Mid-Cheshire Riding for the Disabled.
The principals from Knutsford Youth Orchestra are all teaching music now so sadly can’t be here but representatives from the other two organisations are here so please take a few minutes to have a chat with them over this evening’s refreshments to find out a bit more about the wonderful work they do.
In addition to the serious council business, I’m hoping we can all have a great deal of fun and entertainment raising funds for them all – with your support we will.