As we approach Christmas, I’ve been reflecting on what life has been like as ‘The Lockdown Mayor’ of Frome. I look back to when I first received the Chain from previous Mayor Mark Dorrington in early May, when we were already in our first lockdown! Little did I know then that most of my year in office would be spent within the confines of government guidelines on how we could all stay safe during this pandemic.
I had so many plans when I was Deputy Mayor about how my year as Mayor would look, and a lot of it included many social events around the town. I’d wanted to have street parties all over town throughout my term and had planned to attend them all, I was hoping for a big summer party in the park, a big reunion of previous Mayors from the last twenty years, regular ‘meet the Mayor’ sessions, and even a Mayor’s Ball! I was also looking forward to attending the full Remembrance Service, hosting Civic events for other Council dignitaries, and of course the wonderful Mayor’s address from the George Hotel balcony at the Christmas Lights switch on in November. Of course, none of that has been possible.
Like many other Mayors have no doubt experienced, there’s been very little in the way of ribbon cutting, attending school concerts and performances, and attending official functions. Although I’ve been disappointed that those things couldn’t happen, I’ve actually had the most wonderful, busy, and fruitful year!
As my services have not been needed in the usual way, I’ve chosen to do a ‘weekly walkabout’, chatting to businesses to see how they’re doing, offering support, highlighting ways we can help, and promoting the idea for residents to ‘shop local’! I’ve particularly loved my walkabouts looking at the Window Wonderland, and all the beautiful lanterns during ‘Light the Night’. And I’ve enjoyed meeting residents (socially distanced of course!), I have seen that Frome is a highly creative and resilient town with a desire to come through this with energy and positivity.
All being well, we have a lot to look forward to next year too, and I can’t wait!
But until then, on behalf of Frome Town Council, and all my Councillor colleagues, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021!