New Mayor's inaugural speech at the Mayor Making ceremony in full
By Lisa Farrell, Marlborough's newly-appointed Mayor at the Mayor Making ceremony on Monday 14 May:
Thank you to everyone for electing me to be Mayor this year.
Those of you that know me will be only too aware that I talk too much when I am nervous, so if you are expecting to have a drink any time soon, you may wish to come back in a few hours.
Seriously though, having grown up in Marlborough, I have seen the progression of the town throughout the years. There are some aspects I like, some that I do not like as much.
During my year as the Mayor of this beautiful town, I really want to try and bring back the togetherness of the town. I feel, to a certain point, we have lost the care of one another and my goal is to try and bring that back – young, old, disabled and everyone else in the community. We all are equal.
I am concerned for our future generations of Marlborough. What will happen to the town if we keep pushing people out? There are young families struggling to find local housing and as a result, they leave the town – their home. Our kids need to have an affordable step-ladder onto the housing market, otherwise they are forced to move elsewhere, and where will that leave the history and community spirit of our lovely town?
As the Council, it is our responsibility to be the voice for the silent majority of the town.
Thankfully, I am happy that the youth centre is up and running – but I still think that more can be done. I feel that with more funds and volunteers, we can help expand the centre and do more with the space that we have. It would be really great if we can collect all the various volunteering groups to combine the skills and use the volunteers evenly throughout the projects they are involved in. For example: using the volunteers in the youth centre to help in the food bank, and then vice versa too.
There are lots of charities in this town, but because of the lack of communication, nobody quite knows who they are. I am hoping to find a solution to this during my time as the Mayor of Marlborough.
People see Marlborough as a wealthy town. However I know and I have worked with the poor and the vulnerable that also live here – including the disabled and the elderly. This needs to be acknowledged by the Council and addressed so that solutions can be made.
Some elderly people go weeks without any visitors at all. I think that, by building the community, we can bring people together again. We all need to remember those around us. If everybody took 5 minutes out of their day to ask a neighbour how they are feeling, then it could stop people feeling so lonely. Sometimes, people just need a friendly face. We are a community and we should support each other, don’t turn our backs on each other and strive to take responsibility for our town. Tiny acts of kindness can make a huge difference to people’s lives.
Let’s all try and be kinder to each other, shall we?
I know that most people here tonight will be only too aware of the issues regarding the shortage of affordable housing for our local people – my aim over the next 12 months will be to try and get some more recognition of and improvement to, this situation. The same must be said about homes for our own elderly – the people who have been raised and have lived and worked in and around Marlborough for their entire lives, and whom now have the need for affordable housing as they enter retirement.
Also because of the increase in housing, the waiting list at doctor’s surgery is becoming too overcrowded. I would like to see an improvement in this facility for our community, the same as I would for our schools, which are also becoming too full. I think the traffic in Marlborough is becoming unmanageable which is a massive problem driving through the town. I pledge to do my very best in order to address these issues during my time as Mayor.
I have chosen seven charities and I really hope that you will take your time to go upstairs and speak to them later as they are all in need of your support too. There are individual reasons for each of the charities I have chosen.
Finally, I want to say a big thank you to everybody for coming here today. I would like to make a special thank you to Marlborough College for all of their support whilst I have been on the Council – in particular Peter Brian, Jonathan Lee and Andy Barnes for supporting me in this role and making it easier for me to do my Mayoral duties over the upcoming year.
I also want to say a big thank you to the 15 other local Counsellors that are sitting here today – both old and new. You have all supported me and I feel that as a Council we are moving forward and coming together. We are actually starting to drive forward as many of the issues that the community would like us to.
Thank you to all the staff of the town council, especially Shelley who has been an inspiration to me and has also given me the motivation to keep pushing forward on many occasions.
Thank you to my family for standing by me and always supporting me. I don’t know where I would be without you all.
Most of all, I want to thank the local community for their faith in me. I really hope that I do not let you down during my time as Mayor, and on that note, please do feel free to approach me with any issues or ideas that you may have. I want to listen to what is happening within the town and to help when I am able to.
I could go on for hours with special thanks to so many people, but I am going to bring my speech to a close here. So let’s move on with the rest of the meeting before we go upstairs and enjoy some good food and a drink and I get a chance to chat to you.