This is my final blog as the Mayor of Tidworth. Although I am standing down after two and a half years, I will still be on the Town Council and the Wiltshire Councillor for the Town.
It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as the Mayor and I have many fond memories of representing the Town both here and across the County. There have been some highlights over the past couple of years or so, such as the long awaited but lovely War Memorial. I may be biased but I think it is the most impressive local memorial I have seen anywhere.
I have also been the main instigator in the Town having its own Armed Forces Day and the newly created Tidworth Teenage Café, where I found a very willing volunteer to take on the hard work, found a location (the Clarendon Club – who were more than willing to help) and helped find funding to get it started. I wish Steph Ball and the team all the best and hope it is a great success.
I have enjoyed representing Tidworth at events in Salisbury, Trowbridge and other locations but it is doing things locally that are most important. Litter picking with the cubs, question and answer sessions in schools and the cubs – they can be quite terrifying! Opening shops, attending the Wellington Academy Remembrance services, opening the Tidworth Town Festival, Christmas and Easter events, the Riverbourne Phase 1 play area (the Phase 2 play area will open in the summer), and the Armed Forces Day. Creating links with different parts of our community such as the Nepalese and Ghanaian communities has also been a great success.
It has not been all good news of course, the felling of the trees outside the Ashdown Estate was truly awful but I made sure MOD was accountable for its actions and they have now put in place a replanting scheme.
What of the future? Well I have spent many meetings over the past 18 months in negotiations with Wiltshire Police for a new Civic Centre and Community Policing Team hub to replace our ageing community centre and the Tidworth and Amesbury police stations. Plans are coming on well and we hope to be able to consult residents soon on the design. If all goes to plan, it will be open by early 2022.
In closing, I hope you think I have proved to be a good representative for the Town both here and across the County. Most importantly, I wish my successor the best of luck and I will support them as they take Tidworth and the Town Council forward.