New Mayor promises an exciting year ahead for the townMervyn Hall is Marlborough’s 709th town mayor. He was sworn in at the Mayor Making Ceremony on Monday May 13 in front of an audience of councillors, former mayors, community representatives, family, friends, Deputy Lieutenant Dr David Hemery, The High Sherriff of Wiltshire David Scott and Mrs Letitia Scott, the Mayor of Swindon Councillor Junab Ali and the Bishop of Ramsbury, The Right Revd Dr. Andrew Rumsey. Councillor Mark Cooper was elected as Deputy Mayor.
Councillor Mervyn Hall - who is Mayor for the second time, told the audience that as Marlborough’s 709th mayor he was proud to be part of such a very long standing tradition. He said, “There is an exciting year ahead. I look forward to it with a certain amount of trepidation but will do my best to make a positive contribution.”
Councillor Mervyn Hall has served on the council since 2013 and has been Deputy Mayor twice as well as Mayor in 2017. He is proud of what the council has already delivered and this year will see, amongst other events, the culmination of the neighbourhood plan, the unveiling of a new plaque on the library for Eglantyne Jebb, the founder of Save the Children and the re-enactment of the Civil War Battle of Marlborough. Marlborough’s connection with 4MI Battalion will also continue.
The mayoral charities this year were announced. Councillor Hall has chosen the scouts and the Jubilee Centre so that more support can be given to the young and the elderly in the town.
Councillor Ross who proposed Councillor Hall as mayor, described him as “energetic and hardworking. ”He took the opportunity to reveal a little known fact about Councillor Hall’s early years when he was a successful baby model for chill proof babywear!"
Councillor Hall who is passionate about local history was pleased to have the medieval tradition of offering gifts to the mayor honoured. A miniature bull, two chickens and two dogs appeared on his lectern. These animals all appear on the Marlborough Town Council crest and in medieval times would have been live presents!
Retiring Mayor Councillor Lisa Farrell described her busy year as mayor which was combined with working full time at Marlborough College. She thanked the college for their understanding.
She told the audience, “I’m not a typical mayor, I’ve done things my way. Marlborough is a lovely place to live and work but we do have problems here like everywhere else – problems such as poverty, drugs and mental health issues.”
She praised the police and emergency services and all the volunteers with the many organisations in the town.
Her seven mayoral charities, New Road Centre, Jubilee Centre, Kennet Community Bus, Finlay Foundation, Marlborough St Mary’s, Preshute Primary and Macmillan Cancer Research were chosen by the public. They each received a cheque for £600.17.
Thanking her for her efforts as Mayor, Councillor Fogg deliberately misquoted Orwell, “All mayors are brilliant but some are more brilliant than others.”
“You have been an inspiration – there was nothing you wouldn’t turn your hand to. You have been a people’s mayor and made a tremendous difference to young people and the elderly. Well done - you have served Marlborough well.”
“You will be a hard act to follow,” he added.
Councillor Barrett-Morton told the audience that the new Mayor, Councillor Hall, would be “a safe pair of hands.”
The final word comes from Mayor Mervyn Hall: “It pleases me greatly to be serving the community and having the opportunity to put something back into the community where my grandchildren are growing up.”
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