Here it is! It’s time for my first column as Mayor of Frome BUT this is not my first rodeo, as some of you will be aware! In the past 12 months I have penned numerous columns for Anita while she was taking time off or, towards the end of her Mayoral year, recuperating from chemotherapy. I’m happy to tell you all that Anita is continuing to do really well and is back to being a relentless powerhouse in her new position as Deputy Leader of the council which I would like to congratulate her on. Anita is of course continuing to support me in my new role, making sure the transition is as smooth as can be, thank you ma’am!
While we are on the subject, I’d like to publicly say a colossal thank you to Anita for encouraging me to seek the blessing of our peers and become her Deputy. It was a fantastic learning curve and with Anita guiding me through it, providing support, advice, counsel and showing me the ropes, I’m now ready to take on the challenge. The fulfilment of her duties to the highest standard during a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatments is an example of a work ethic that will leave me with no excuses during the coming year and will provide great inspiration to give myself a kick up the arse when I know I need one!
As ‘The Lockdown Mayor’ Anita unfortunately missed out on many traditional and fun mayoral events during her tenure and it’s going to be my pleasure to have Anita attend some of these this year as my consort. I’d also like to congratulate and give a huge shout out to my Deputy Mayor, Sara Butler! Sara and I share a Punk Rock spirit and love of Music, Sara has a great record of successful activism, charity work and more. Covering my potential weak spots and areas of interest I don’t have the biggest grasp on. I believe between us we will make an effective team who are going to have a lot of fun and complement each other well.
This is usually the part where political figures/types will start dishing out great promises for the year ahead and I usually read these with great scepticism (rightly so) and I’m just not going to play that game. My focus as Mayor is to see Frome open up and start thriving again post pandemic, anyway I can assist and support that, I will. I have ideas and ambitions up my sleeve, but these need refining, and they are subject to change and adjustment as we move through the year.
There is so much to discover here, so many institutions, inspiring community groups and initiatives and I want to meet them all, learn about their work and amplify as many as I can. When you look past the trendy bars, coffee shops and other hipster spots (that I love) these groups provide the strength and backbone of our community and the true beating heart of our town and they should be, and will be, celebrated. I’m massively looking forward to the year ahead, it’s going to be a huge year for our community and it’s vital that we look out for each other, support our independent businesses, and bounce back better than we were before. We can do this.