“What do you do all day?” asked a well-meaning constituent. Well, unlike Sadiq Khan in London or even the slightly scary Mayor of Trumpton, it is not a full-time job in Stapleford, but a voluntary one. I’m actually a kidney nurse specialist in my spare time, (or is that the other way around?) It was an honour to be selected by the other Councillors, and the post is for a year from May.
In Stapleford, the Mayor has two roles. The first is to chair the Council meetings. This means not having an opinion (difficult for me!) but ensuring that, with the Leader of Council and the Town Clerk, everyone has a say without interrupting others, that we all keep to the point, and not let the meetings get heated. This can be difficult. Your councillors may be unpaid, but that does not stop them being passionate when representing your town.
The second role is to attend different functions, which sounds grand, but the mayor will attend and promote anything big or small that is non-political that represents Stapleford. There are those who say “nothing ever happens in Stapleford” but the variety of groups I have had the joy to meet is testament to the hard work folk are willing to put in mostly for the benefit of others. Especially of note are those who work with young people to foster their talents and ability, yet who do not seek reward or publicity for themselves. If I am invited to write again, I will talk about some of these events and hope you will be as inspired as I felt.
The latest events were those commemorating Remembrance. One of the pictures here is of the Swan Canaries play which highlighted the largely untold story of the Chilwell factory girls during the first world war. If you think that four actors with the minimum of props cannot possibly tell this important piece of local history well, then think again. Their play was joyous, moving and thought-provoking. Then there was the Remembrance Service itself, and to all the groups and individuals that made this happen, your ancestors would have been proud of you. And to the guy who I spotted with tears during the 2-minute silence, I hope you felt the mass of Staplefordians supporting you: there was a sea of folk in all directions from where I was standing.
This just leaves me with giving you the best wishes for Christmas and the hope of meeting more of you in the New Year.