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TOP STORIES FROM JULY

 

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GodalmingEarlWessex_Jul20

ROYAL VOLUNTEER LENDS A HAND

HRH Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, visited GODALMING in Surrey on 16 June to help with “Trolley Tuesday” at the Godalming & Villages Community Store. The earl got to work at a sorting station, checking and sorting donated items, and then helped to pack and label meals made from them. After a socially distanced tea break, he helped to restock the store ready for opening the following morning. The Community Fridge donates fresh produce daily, and local catering businesses have been helping out by creating frozen ready meals and desserts.

 BanburyDrBike_Jul20

BIKE SCHEMES GET RIDERS ON THE ROAD

 CHERWELL District Council in Oxfordshire has rolled out a scheme offering free bicycle repairs for residents. The initiative, called Dr Bike, is aimed at helping people get back on two wheels. It was piloted through the Healthy Bicester partnership and sessions have been held in Banbury, Kidlington and Bicester, with the help of volunteer mechanics from local cycling clubs. Another initiative, Bikes for Key Workers, is running alongside it. Set up by Active Oxfordshire, it asks residents to donate unwanted bikes to help NHS and social care workers cycle to work, rather than rely on public transport.

 CarmarthenVideoMeeting_Jul20

ANNUAL MEETING BY VIDEO LINK

Video first for annual meeting CARMARTHEN Town Council in west Wales held its annual meeting on 8 May via video link. This is believed to be the first time that this has happened in Wales, following the introduction of new regulations by the Welsh Parliament to take account of the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting began with a period of silence and reflection for those who had died during the Second World War and also those who have lost their lives to Covid-19.

MarlowVolunteers_Jul20

PRAISE FOR TOWN’S VOLUNTEERS

MARLOW Town Council marked Volunteers’ Week from 1–7 June by paying tribute to the hundreds of residents who have volunteered their help during the Covid-19 crisis. The mayor, Cllr Richard Scott, said: “We recognise the huge contribution of local volunteers, who help with everything from litter-picking to delivering meals, and want to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all those who have come forward to help.” The Meals from Marlow scheme, launched at the end of March, has provided meals to healthcare workers in local hospitals, plus frontline workers and vulnerable and deserving members of the community.

WisbechMayorBalsevics_Jul20

The new mayor of Wisbech, Cllr Aigars Balsevics

NEW CIVIC YEAR SETS SAIL

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted council elections and cast a shadow over annual mayor-making ceremonies. Some councils have kept their current mayors in place, while others have responded by adapting their procedures to a time of social distancing


WISBECH Town Council in Cambridgeshire held its mayor making ceremony remotely on 18 May, using the Zoom videoconferencing system. Cllr Aigars Balsevics was elected as chairman and town mayor, with Cllr Andrew Lynn as his deputy. Both attended the Mayor’s Parlour separately, where they received their official gowns, hats and chains of office from their wives to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

SwanleyBlueLightsNHS_Jul20

BLUE LIGHTS FOR THE NHS

MANY communities have lit up public buildings in blue during the lockdown to show their appreciation of NHS and other key workers. On 30 April Donnington and Muxton Parish Council in Shropshire illuminated Donnington clock tower with the help of telecoms cable manufacturer Prysmian and with permission from Telford & Wrekin Council. In Kent meanwhile, SWANLEY Town Council undertook a joint project with local company Centre Stage Solutions to light up Swanley Park on 27 April (pic).

ThameVEday_Jul20

NATION COMES TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE
VE DAY 75

Despite the lockdown, councils marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day in a variety of ways, bringing communities together at a time of great uncertainty

Cllr Ann Midwinter, mayor of THAME in Oxfordshire, laid a wreath and led a two-minute silence at 11am in the town’s memorial gardens. She was joined by a small group of residents including Oliver Holland, a member of the Thame Concert Band, who performed the Last Post. Tony Long, a member of the Thame Players, recreated a speech by Winston Churchill at 3pm and Cllr David Bretherton, chairman of South Oxfordshire District Council, led the nationally coordinated toast to heroes at 3.15pm.

Westcott_Lambourne_Jul20

LONG-SERVING CLERK CALLS TIME ON CAREER

Alan Lambourne has retired as clerk to WESTCOTT Parish Council in Buckinghamshire after serving for 23 years. He began clerking in the late 1960s with a part-time post at Marsh Gibbon Parish Council, where he saw the introduction of the 1972 Local Government Act and delivered training on it to other councils. He later took on the clerkship of four parish councils – Cheddington, Pitstone, Edgcott and Westcott. Alan was a member of SLCC for 23 years, and served as branch treasurer and on the executive committee.

 

 

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