Cllr Neil Forbes elected Town Mayor

Mayor Neil (small)I consider it an honour to be elected by one’s peers to be Mayor and a privilege to be Knutsford’s First Citizen. I hope I live up to your trust and expectations as expressed in our ‘Civic Protocol’ from which I note with a little trepidation I should “ .. seek to use my influence .. to stimulate community pride, encourage business and promote the voluntary sector.”

Unlike my predecessor I was not born in the town and have only lived here for some 23 years after moving 190 miles or so to Knutsford on a temporary basis with my work – it only took about a week before I decided to try to stay a bit longer than the originally planned four years. So I’m an incomer and unrelated to the town’s Mayor of 1986 – ‘7 whose surname I share.

I am indebted to my friend the late John Eden for introductions both to local government and to the person who was to become my wife and your new Mayoress. Jacquelyn has a longer Knutsford history than I do having been in two May Day parades herself.

This marks the start of my eighth year as a councillor; I’m hoping the experience I’ve gained during the last seven years will stand me in good stead for the year ahead.

Cllr Barbara Coan’s charity fund raising activities were supported magnificently by the people and businesses of Knutsford and has set the bar high for those that follow.

I aim to hit the ground running and with the support of the excellent Lisa (my PA) plan to publish a schedule of different events for the year ahead by the end of this month. With a range of accessible activities and costs, I hope something will appeal to everyone from the oldest to the youngest residents. So watch out for updates and announcements and, if you want to be ‘in with ‘in-crowd’ ’ and get the fastest news by email for ‘hot ticket’ items please send Lisa your email address to be added to the distribution list. lisa.benskin@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk (This commits you to nothing other than getting information and keeps our costs down.)

This brings me to the Knutsford charities and good causes I plan to support for my Mayoral year. I’ve been working in the third sector for the past nine years during which it has become clear to me that older people’s charities are the poor relations (especially small local ones) having no tear jerking posters and adverts to tug at our heart strings, perhaps because let’s face it, if we are lucky we will live to a ripe old age but don’t want to think about it too much. Now I’d be the first to agree I’m no poster boy but perhaps you can help-me-help by supporting all the events you can and encouraging others to do the same.

So with that in mind I’ve chosen one local good cause, St John’s Wood Lunch Club, and one local charity: Knutsford GROW

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 both – with your support we will.

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