Former Mayor looking forward to lockdown easing

Councillor Heather Asker, mayor of Saffron Walden Town Council, will write to the UK government abou

Cllr Heather Asker has come to the end of her second term as Mayor - Credit: Celia Bartlett

Saffron Walden has every reason to be positive, outgoing mayor Heather Asker said having completed her year in office.

Councillor Asker was elected to the post in May 2020, two months after the Coronavirus lockdown took effect. 

It is the second time she has held the post. Her first term as Saffron Walden's mayor was in 2015-16.

Reflecting on a year defined by Covid-19, Cllr Asker said the past 12 months have not been easy for the town. She said this was particularly true for retail.

Cllr Asker remembered marking the closure of much-loved East Street Stores by presenting owner Gita Mohabir with a bouquet of flowers.

Mayor, Heather Asker presents a surprise bouquet to Gita as she retires from East Street Store after

Cllr Heather Asker marked the closure of East Street Stores with a bouquet on behalf of the town. Picture: Celia Bartlett - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

She said: "We did whatever we could to let people know we are there for them.

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"It was very hard to do in the knowledge that you could not go out and support groups and campaigns like you normally could."

She added: "If we could go back to the beginning knowing what we know now, then maybe we could have planned things differently."

Friends Tony Calver and John Byatt sit for a socially distance chat in the market place with Saffron

The mayor with others to mark businesses reopening after lockdown - Credit: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

During her year in office, Cllr Asker fronted a Town Council crisis fund, run in conjunction with the Salvation Army and Uttlesford Citizens' Advice.

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Cllr Asker said she wanted to applaud residents and the town council - the officers and staff - for working so hard during the year and for achieving their goals.

Five people stand around a light blue banner. The woman in front cuts it with scissors.

Cllr Heather Asker opened Saffron & Sage deli on Market Row. Picture: Roger King - Credit: Archant

mayor opens building

The mayor opened The Sims Wellbeing Hub at Saffron Walden County High School - Credit: SAFFRON WALDEN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL

Cllr Asker said the silver lining to Covid-19 was being able to trial new ideas such as Market Square pedestrianisation.

She is looking forward to a return to community events.

Cllr Heather Asker, Mayor of Saffron Walden, with the Town Council wreath

The mayor laid the wreath to remember HMS Lapwing - Credit: Celia Bartlett

Mayor Heather Asker places a wreath at the cemetery on Remembrance Sunday. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT P

Saffron Walden Mayor Heather Asker placed a wreath on Remembrance Sunday  - Credit: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Saffron Walden Mayor, Cllr Heather Asker, asks the children if they can count backwards from 10 for the Christmas lights...

The socially distanced Christmas lights switch-on in 2020. Picture: Celia Bartlett - Credit: Celia Bartlett

And she urged residents to get involved and share their diverse ideas and opinions.

She said: "The one thing that I am always positive about is the people in the town.

"Share your thoughts, whether that be constructive criticism or positive feedback.

"Share your thoughts with those you elected.

"Let's embrace moving forward as lockdown eases, but let's embrace it respectfully, too.

"People have been so respectful to one another during the pandemic, so let's keep that going."

Cllr Asker's mayoral charity was Fairycroft House.

She been succeeded as mayor by her deputy Cllr Richard Porch.

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