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Mayors blog 2016-17

200 year celebration at Marlborough Methodist Church

ChristchurchNewRoadMethodist2Sunday, 28th August 2016

On Sunday afternoon, Susan and I were lucky enough to attend a service of worship which included a party to mark 200 years of the Methodist Church here in Marlborough. The mood was relaxed and welcoming and we were warmly greeted by the Rev. Heather Cooper who had recently returned from a three month sabbatical. We all sat at tables and enjoyed a service of hymn singing, prayer and a 'potted history' of the major events of the last two hundred years. We were also given a quiz which tested our knowledge of the bible before being served with afternoon tea including scones, jam and cream plus a special 200th anniversary cake.

It was a delightful and informal service which allowed plenty of opportunity to chat with our fellow worshippers.

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Fun Day

MCYP Fun DaySunday, 28th August

The day after the deluge, Fun Day at the Recreation Ground. A great deal of hard work, organisation and enthusiasm had gone into setting up this event aimed at families and children. Heavy showers did not dampen the cheerful stallholders' spirits (well organised with covers at the ready) and for those who did brave the weather, they were rewarded with plenty to see and do.

Special thanks to all of those taking part, in particular the organisers, Councillors Lisa Farrell, Justin Cook and Mervyn Hall.

In excess of £1,000 was raised on the day and the profits will go towards keeping the Marlborough Youth Community Project going strong. Well done everyone.

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Visit to Parliament

20th July 2016

houses of parliament2My wife and I and a small group visited the Houses of Parliament at the invitation of our MP, Claire Perry, our host.  As well as seeing some famous politicians, when we met in a Commons Committee Room we found a ponderous Hilary Benn still sitting after another meeting of Her Majesty’s opposition. When we entered he got up and left!

The House of Commons, Commons and Lord’s Chamber always reminds me of our great democratic system, which is played out daily in Committee Rooms and the Chambers, in the running of our wonderful country. That day our new Prime Minister had her first Prime Minister’s questions but, sadly, we did not get to see it as the Gallery was overbooked.

We had a very nice tea under the Pugin inspired décor. A lovely visit.

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August 2016

mencapAugust is traditionally a quiet month for Mayoral engagements.

Other than the very enjoyable cricket match at the beginning of the month we have had a quiet time.

However, we have been getting to know most of the members and helpers at Mencap - first a visit to the Conservative Club where they all meet up on Tuesdays for activities and coffee, lots to do including painting and sewing. We then joined everyone for a skittles evening at the Football Club where young Sophie showed us how to do it by knocking down all of the skittles - a worthy winner and a fun evening.

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Mayor's Cricket Match

Wednesday, 3rd August 2016

cricketWhat a team... Councillor Justin Cook, several members of Councillor Alec Light's family, four keen cricketers from 4 Military Intelligence Battalion, Councillor Fogg's son-in-law Jim (1st class wicket keeper) and last but no means least our Rector, Revd. Canon Andrew Studdert-Kennedy (Man of the Match)!

The result - a very close second place!! Somewhat of a tradition I have been assured!

The match played against Marlborough Cricket Club was great fun and well attended - a friendly atmosphere.

At the instigation of Revd. Janneke Blokland the funds raised on the evening - £615 - will benefit some keen young Afghan cricketers currently residing in Berlin. They will receive equipment purchased from the funds.

A very successful and enjoyable evening was had by all.

Full match report at Marlborough News Online

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Haine & Smith

Thursday 28th July

DSC 0146Today I cut the ribbon to open the refurbished Haine & Smith, opticians in our High Street. This practice has been in Marlborough for many years but, not always at this location. We met Malcolm, the Manager, and his very efficient and experienced staff who showed us around their refurbished premises providing them with new consulting rooms and state of the art equipment. My wife and I were very impressed.

Haine & Smith is still a family based business and support a nominated charity each year - true community spirit.

It is always good to see a local business thriving.


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New play area

Friday 22nd July

New Play AreaThis afternoon I opened a new play area in Orchard Road, cutting the red ribbon on the swings. Up to now parents in the area have had to take their children across the busy Salisbury Road or George Lane to reach play areas at the Recreation Ground or at Cooper's Meadow.

It was a timely opening as we are at the beginning of the long break from school and I know it will be well used by local families. We will always need to provide areas for the children of Marlborough in which they can play safely and Councillor Alec Light has played an important role in getting this new one up and running.

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Southwest in Bloom

Tuesday, 19th July

Marlborough in Bloom - The Year of the Bee!

It could not have been hotter for the judges from the Royal Horticultural Society to consider Marlborough's entry for the South West in Bloom competition.

The judges set off on a two and a half hour tour guided by our Grounds and Estate Manager, Richard Beale.  They were revived on their return to the Town Hall with drinks and special 'Bee' cupcakes.

There are so many people deserving of thanks for their efforts in making Marlborough a town to be proud of.  To quote Marlborough in Bloom Chairman Anne Crawley, 'everything looks absolutely stunning.'

Our thanks also to the Polly Tearooms for hosting a splendid lunch for the Chairman and the judges.

Now, we must all wait patiently until the 6th October for the results.  Thank you and well done to everyone involved.  A great effort.

high street flower planterlamb1wellyeveryone say BEES

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4th Military Intelligence Battalion

Monday 18th July

4MIgreyhoundI had been invited by the 4th Military Intelligence Battalion to their base in Bulford for an evening of debate in the Officers Mess.  We received a warm welcome from Lt David Heathcote who went on to chair the debate.

Lt Col Matt Jones, the Commanding Officer, RSM Paul Inverarity and I were the judges and recognition was given to the best speaker as well as a prize of a gavel being awarded to the winning team (3 members).

It was a lively discussion worth plenty of questions from the floor - all quite thought provoking.

Susan, my wife and Mayoress, was with me and we both enjoyed the evening and are hoping that there will be many more opportunities to strengthen our ties with

4MI during my Mayoral year and beyond.

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Wreath Laying - Commemoration of the Battle of the Somme

Monday, 18th July

somme wreathThe Marlborough Branch of the Royal British Legion organised a wreath laying ceremony at the Wiltshire War Memorial at Salisbury/London Road.

This was in commemoration of the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago and for the 7th Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment.  The ceremony was attended by Councillor Alec Light of the Royal British Legion, my Chaplain Revd. Dr. Janneke Blokland who is the team curate at St Mary's who said prayers.

I attended with my wife and laid a wreath on behalf of Marlborough Town Council.

This was a particularly poignant ceremony for me as I lost an uncle at the Battle of the Somme.

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