Here is the statement I made on Saturday when I stood down after my year as Saffron Walden Mayor:
I didn’t start my year as I meant to go on. My initial absence was the innocent action of my caring husband who had swept me away on a well deserved holiday!
The penance for my absence was a challenging start to my Mayoral year with the ‘then’ staffing of a certain ‘individual’ who thought he’d bring about change to Saffron Walden without informing anyone. Our working relationship lasted the matter of minutes it took him to tell me he was resigning with immediate effect! I could give in depth detail as to his reasons, but it will cost you for my charity!
However….I’m very grateful for his dismissive attitude, because it’s that kind of approach that made me want to do all the more and all the better. I believe it made many of my fellow Councillors think the same way.
When you work together, you can overcome all obstacles, and we have made great headway this year as a team, in moving forward and achieving results.
I wasn’t too certain what to expect when I took on the role as Mayor, not having been able to accept the role as Deputy the previous year due to work commitments, I didn’t think I could do it justice. But when Elaine [Baynes] kept sending me through the invitations to all manner of events, I could see why none of my predecessors had jobs, there was simply no time! Then I found out they were all retired!
For all their sins, I am very grateful to our local press… for being there when I was there so you could see where I’d been! No apologies for that!!
This has been an exceedingly memorable year for me and my three Consorts! Martin, my husband has accompanied me or been my chauffeur on numerous occasions; Natalie, my daughter has supported me in his absence, and ‘Mum’ has been there throughout. In fact my Mum has her own following within the ‘Chain Gang’ network, and has been sorely missed by several other Mayors when she couldn’t come, she’s just known as ‘Mum’ by them all!! With them by my side, I have met so many wonderful individuals who I have found incredibly inspiring, so I am looking forward to filling some time by offering my time to some of them.
My charity for the year has been The Treatment of Muscular Dystrophy at Addenbrookes, a very personal choice. I have organised numerous events to raise funds throughout the year including a music & comedy night, coffee morning and the ball. The grand total, yet to be confirmed, has been gratefully supported with substantial collections from St Marys Church and numerous private donations. My thanks go to all those who have been generous with their time, money, effort and support. There are some amazing people I am privileged to know and have worked with. Charity – It’s not easy when so many are all chasing the same pound.
I have had lots of people ask recently ‘when do you give it up then? I bet you’re looking forward to a rest’. I don’t want to ‘give it up’, but I am looking forward to a rest!
My success this year is very much due to the support and back up I have received from all the Town Council staff. Terry Frostic, Keith Churchward, Dave Pledger and all in operations. But most importantly to Elaine Baynes and Lisa Courtney.
Saffron Walden is a beautiful town, a pleasure to live in and has been an honour to serve. Thank you.
Cllr Heather Asker (R4U)
14 May 2016