John Matthews, Mayor of Market Rasen: This year has been happy and sad

editorial image

As we approach the festive season I tend to look back at the past 12 months.

Most recently, the domestic stress of my son coping with his mock GCSE exams. But then I think back to the wonder of the Magnae Vitae produced Wolds Arts Festival we co-hosted back in October and the spectacular pyrotechnic finale .

2016 has been a busy year for both myself and the Town Council, representing the town and supporting many civic and charity events. The year has had very happy as well as very sad times.

I had the pleasure of marrying my partner Jayne in March, as well as the very sad duty of saying ‘goodbye’ after the passing of the Deputy Mayoress, Maggie Harvey.

We were honoured by the Lincolnshire Royal British Legion to host their county parade and service, a day that is still mentioned as I visit other towns and parishes.

The town has seen the birth of an ex-servicemen’s ‘Vets’ Breakfast Club, which, despite a change of venue, has gone from strength to strength, which I was honoured to officially open and continue to support.

We have continued to work with the local community organisations; the Rotary Club, Lions and Round Table, and businesses such as the Station Development and the Racecourse.

We have awarded grant funding to several local groups and organisations.

We co-ordinated with County Council Highways, and although it may have been noisy and somewhat disruptive to traffic, we now have a totally resurfaced High Street.

We have worked closely with West Lindsey District Council on the installation of CCTV and defibrillator units and, yes, had many, many discussions and e-mails on the subject of parking charges. The present outcome is not what we would wish for, but we have not given up!

We continue to provide clean, safe recreational spaces for young children at Bell Park and Mill Road Playing Field and the outside gym on De Aston field has attracted a new lease of clientele this year.

The volunteer councillors (who give their time freely) and the clerk and staff deserve a huge thanks for what they do for the town.

I would like to wish everyone in our town a very Merry Christmas, a happy and healthy New Year.