Mayor’s column 8 February

Many of you will know that one of the town councillors has stepped down and so there will be an election in Market Ward, on the 15th March, to fill this vacancy.

This week we have been reminded that 100 years ago women were fighting both in the courts and on the streets to enable me and all women, to have our votes counted. Before this date we wouldn’t have had the means to make a change, to make our views count through the democratic process. When there is the opportunity to vote I feel the weight of countless women that organised and supported each other to take action. Many felt they had no option but to take violent and unlawful action as the law was failing them. Even today there are still women having to take radical action to get their unfair treatment noticed. Only last week women working for the BBC were in the press again and I hear today another group of women are resorting to the courts to try and get fair pay. I was lucky in the profession I chose. Teaching and the civil service are both organisations that have equal pay for equal work and support women through training to progress in their profession. I count myself lucky and yet why should it be luck that is the decider for women to be treated fairly?

It’s worth remembering the Margaret Mead quote  ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’ There are hundreds of thoughtful, committed people in this town making things happen and the town council is one of those groups. I hope lots of us, especially women, will take the opportunity to have our voice heard though questioning candidates and voting in next month’s election.