New mayor of Saffron Walden calls for 'collaboration' as he sets out vision for the town
PUBLISHED: 11:08 31 May 2018
Saffron Photo 2018
The new mayor of Saffron Walden, Councillor Paul Fairhurst, accepted the chain of office on Saturday in a ceremony at the town hall and St Mary's Church.
Cllr Fairhurst, a Residents for Uttlesford councillor, was nominated at a full Saffron Walden Town Council meeting in March.
Cllr Fairhurst said: “As newly elected Mayor of Saffron Walden it is my privilege to lead a talented and enthusiastic council who share the single common commitment to improving the lives of all our residents in a number of small ways.
“We are lucky to live in a very special town and over the past three years, I believe we have made a real contribution. Even with a limited budget which we have increased by no more than 2 per cent as promised, we maintain and have improved our unique assets such as building the shiny new roof on the town hall, the handy new pathway across the common, and the pram store at the Golden Acre community centre. We also oversee a very special and award-winning market and an excellent Tourist Information centre.
“People enjoy living here, but we are still faced with problems such as increasing levels of crime and a feeling of helplessness with depleted local policing. We are also confronted daily with increased traffic congestion and limited school places.
“But I believe with small steps we are facing up to and gradually addressing these concerns. For example, just this month we approved the appointment of our own PCSO to patrol our streets. Will this solve all our problems? Possibly not, but it does represent a positive step in the right direction to address our real concerns and make things right.
“As a theme for my year as mayor I propose an increased collaboration between councillors (town and district), between local authorities and volunteers and between all stakeholders. Saffron Walden Town Council is more than just an administrator of the various town functions - it is also a facilitator that can bring together all our talents and energies to share our collective vision for the benefit of all.
“Saffron Walden has many passionate and willing volunteers and our creative pursuits far outstrip the size or scale of our town. To name just a few: Saffron Hall, Saffron Screen, Fairycroft Centre, the many music and theatrical societies, and the Friends of the lovely Bridge End Gardens all work tirelessly to provide world class opportunities for our local residents.
“Yet I’m convinced we can do more. I’m convinced that by working together we can even improve the great life-style we already share in Saffron Walden.
“To start things off, councillors recently presented a very successful free screening of the Royal Wedding in our Town Hall.
“In mid-June we will be actively supporting the Fete de la Musique and on July 8 will host our own town picnic. We are planning some great events for all to enjoy over the next year - so watch this space and get involved.”