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Marlborough's new Town Mayor sets out his stall - aiming for an improved High Street for shops and shoppers

Marlborough's new Mayor, Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton flanked by his wife and Mayoress, Susan, Chaplain Rev Dr Janneke Blokland and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Robert Hiscox on left, with deputy Mayor Councillor Mervyn Hall on right, and the rest of Marlborough's Town CouncilMarlborough's new Mayor, Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton flanked by his wife and Mayoress, Susan, Chaplain Rev Dr Janneke Blokland and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Robert Hiscox on left, with deputy Mayor Councillor Mervyn Hall on right, and the rest of Marlborough's Town CouncilMarlborough has a new Town Mayor - the 706th in the town's history.  Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton was sworn in during the traditional Mayor Making ceremony in the Town Hall on Monday (May 9.)

As is the tradition, a distinguished audience was assembled for the ceremony - with the county's Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Robert Hiscox, the county's Under Sherriff, David Lewis, and a clutch of former mayors.  But it was probably the first time such an audience has needed an interpreter.

Councillor Barrett-Morton opened and closed his speech of thanks with Gaelic phrases - he does, after all, hail from Ireland.  'Céad mile Fáilte' means 'A hundred thousand welcomes' and 'Go raibh maith agat go léir' means 'Thank you all'.

We just hope that the interpreter Marlborough.News summoned to help with these phrases has got his Gaelic right.

The new Town Mayor, whose year in office will include those tricky weeks in the run up to unitary and town council elections, spelled out his two roles as mayor:  as First Citizen and the Queen's representative, and as chairman of the Town Council.

On the latter role he reminded councillors that they were not there to score points off one another: "I want to be Chairman of a can do Council."

He outlined his aim of forging an even firmer connection with 4 Military Intelligence battalion.  He praised the work being done by Councillors Farrell and Cook with the Youth Council and the youth club evenings - and he hoped the council would give them continued support.

He explained how the council was facing new tasks as Wiltshire Council's role shrank from providing services - including, of course, the urgent issue of the town's public loos.  

He is also keen to make the town 'Coach Friendly' to encourage visitors and get more shoppers into the High Street.  He also wants to work closely with the town's Chamber of Commerce and the independent traders to improve the economic environment of the High Street and surrounding streets.

"We will", he added, "also strive to have a greener and cleaner town - we are getting there."

He has appointed Rev Dr Janneke Blokland, the Team Curate based at St Mary's Church, as his Chaplain.  And his charities will be the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Wiltshire's Swift Medics - the emergency response doctors.  

Councillor Alexander Kirk Wilson, who proposed the new mayor's election, had in his pocket a print out of Marlborough.News' interview with Councillor Barrett-Morton from which you too can find out more about the Town Mayor.

Councillor Mervyn Hall was elected to be Deputy Mayor - much was made of his being a lifelong Leicester City fan.  Councillor Fogg was sure that in his new role the Deputy Mayor will be "Just as successful as his football team."

No one noticed that beneath his formal dress he was sporting a Leicester City tie.  What is more, the town's new Beadle and Town Cryer, Mike Tupamn MBE, is also a Leicester man.  They are not just ensconced in the BBC's Match of the Day studio - they are everywhere!

The work of the outgoing Town Mayor, Councillor Margaret Rose, was praised - and the large sum (£11,000 and rising) she raised for her charity of the year, The Brain Tumour Charity, was given a rousing round of applause.   Her work restoring the Victorian cemetery was given special mention.  

In her reply to a vote of thanks for her year in office - proposed by Councillors Marian Hannaford-Dobson and Councillor Stewart Dobson - Councillor Rose  mentioned her idea for a 'Young Citizen' award which will be made for the first time at this year's Christmas lights switch-on. And she praised the many community groups she had worked with: "They are the unsung heroes and truly worth their weight in gold."

After her speech she made presentations to the council staff and others who had helped her during her year in office.  This included a bouquet and a bottle-shaped package for the Town Clerk, Mrs Shelley Parker: "Something for when we are all driving you mad."

Just to return to those former mayors who attended the ceremony.  Seven former mayors were sitting in the audience - and another seven former mayors are still serving as councillors.  Make that eight if you count Councillor Fogg's two terms as Town Mayor.

Councillor Alexander Kirk Wilson proposing the new mayor's electionCouncillor Alexander Kirk Wilson proposing the new mayor's electionOfficers of Dignity – Barry Mercer, Mike Tupman and Bob DobieOfficers of Dignity – Barry Mercer, Mike Tupman and Bob DobieNext year's Mayor, Councillor Mervyn Hall acompanying this year's Mayoress, Mrs Susan Barrett-MortonNext year's Mayor, Councillor Mervyn Hall acompanying this year's Mayoress, Mrs Susan Barrett-MortonThe Mayor presenting the Mayoress badgeThe Mayor presenting the Mayoress badgeOutgoing Mayor, Cllr Margaret Rose, with her former Mayors badgeOutgoing Mayor, Cllr Margaret Rose, with her former Mayors badgeMarlborough's new Mayor, Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton, makes his inaugral addresssMarlborough's new Mayor, Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton, makes his inaugral addresssMarlborough's new Mayor, Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton surrounded by his familyMarlborough's new Mayor, Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton surrounded by his familyMayor Barrett-Morton with his motherMayor Barrett-Morton with his motherDeputy Lord Lieutenant Robert Hiscox (l) with Dr Nick Maurice, recently retired Director of the Marlborough Brandt Group and Rev Canon Andrew Studdert-Kennedy (r)Deputy Lord Lieutenant Robert Hiscox (l) with Dr Nick Maurice, recently retired Director of the Marlborough Brandt Group and Rev Canon Andrew Studdert-Kennedy (r)Former Mayor Edwina Fogg with Retired Ceremonial Officer, David SherrardFormer Mayor Edwina Fogg with Retired Ceremonial Officer, David SherrardFormer Mayor Tony Gray, with Mrs Gray and Mr and Mrs Billy WhiteleggFormer Mayor Tony Gray, with Mrs Gray and Mr and Mrs Billy WhiteleggCouncillor Justin Cook with partner May ElaminCouncillor Justin Cook with partner May ElaminCouncillors Alec Light and Justin CookCouncillors Alec Light and Justin CookWiltshire's Under Sherriff, David Lewis (r) with Dr Nick Maurice Lewis and last year's Mayor, Councillor Margaret RoseWiltshire's Under Sherriff, David Lewis (r) with Dr Nick Maurice Lewis and last year's Mayor, Councillor Margaret RoseMayor Noel Barrett-Morton with Grounds & Estates Manager Richard BealeMayor Noel Barrett-Morton with Grounds & Estates Manager Richard BealeOfficers of Dignity - Macebearers Barry Mercer (L) and Bob Dobie enjoying a welcome  drink with new Beadle and Town Crier, Mike TupmanOfficers of Dignity - Macebearers Barry Mercer (L) and Bob Dobie enjoying a welcome drink with new Beadle and Town Crier, Mike TupmanWiltshire's Under Sherriff David Lewis with Beadle / Town Crier Mike TupmanWiltshire's Under Sherriff David Lewis with Beadle / Town Crier Mike Tupman

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