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Mayor’s column 24 June 2021

Life has been moving at 200mph recently between the 9-5-day job, recording episodes of The Giant Pod and of course being Mayor is ensuring that I must work hard to play hard. I’ve now received my first vaccination jab now and wanted to thank the incredible staff and volunteers at Shaunaks Pharmacy in Westbury for running such an efficient and robust operation.

Last week I visited the Drill Hall where I spent a lot of my time in my teenage years as a lance corporal in Frome Platoon. I’m talking of course about the Army Cadet Force! My drumming career started on a Thursday night with The Silver Bugles in that hall and life has never been the same again. The skills I learned while being an Army Cadet have helped me create opportunities that have seen me travelling the world making dreams come true and will echo throughout this mayoral year. It was such a pleasure to chuck on a snare drum and join the band for a few numbers to blow off the cobwebs and scrub up on my drill work! There is plenty of room and enthusiasm for new members to join and I wholeheartedly encourage you to pop along on a Tuesday or Thursday evening from 7pm and introduce yourself to the team, they’d be happy to show you around. Go for it!

It’s also sunny June which means it’s Pride month! I wanted to do something positive and so with the help of a crack team we’re really proud to announce that we have created an educational brochure entitled “How To Be An Ally” to our LGBTQ+ friends, neighbours, colleagues, family members etc it’s got loads of great information on the importance of listening, what an ally is, why we need to be allies, how you can be an ally, challenging homophobia and transphobia and also the importance of standing with all marginalised people. I’m really proud of this brochure as I thought it was imperative that something of substance was done to celebrate Pride and educate instead of just waving the flag or being performative. It’s my personal opinion that homophobia and transphobia are born of ignorance, intolerance and have no place in our society, I’d go on record and say it’s anti-intellectualism. I think we live in an accepting, tolerant and progressive town but that does not mean the rest of the world is the same. We should all have a right to exist, to be who we are, to love and sleep with the people we choose to. With all the hate and tragedy in this world we should be celebrating love and happiness of all kinds. It should not be considered courageous to be who you are, if living my life and being who I am doesn’t require a feat of courage or risk then I don’t believe it should be any different for anyone else. You shouldn’t have to spend your one lifetime fighting for respect or acceptance of who you are and thanks to Pride month and other ongoing efforts I think and hope those days are thankfully numbered. Find our brochure online and physically at the town hall and around town soon. 

24 June 2021
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24 June 2021
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