|I am very conscious of the great honour my fellow councillors have done me by electing me Mayor of Neston and I would like to thank them and promise them that I will make every effort to promote the interests of the town and it’s residents in my year in office.
The town council was only formed in June 2009 and the benefits of having our own council are now starting to be seen. The dredging of the marsh channels and the new pond at Parkgate have been well received and there are plans for further works in the Riverside area. The greening of Neston is spreading with hanging baskets and planters appearing throughout the town and this summer will see new lamp-posts in the High Street with provision for more hanging baskets. A new hail and ride local bus service connecting Parkgate, Little Neston and Burton to the town centre will commence in June, this should make access to the town centre shops easier, especially for the elderly. Many organisations including Ladies Day, the Christmas Fair and the Little Actors Theatre have benefitted from grants from the town council.
There are still far too many empty shops in the High Street and we are negotiating with Cheshire West to take over the running of the market and the Market Square. We would hope that this will lead to increased activity in the Market Square which in turn should lead to increased footfall in the town centre with a corresponding increase in spending in the High Street. This year will also see the launching of a Neighbourhood Plan, this is an outcome of the recent Localism Bill and will endeavour to map out the development of the town over the next fifteen years. We have strong ambitions to be a front runner in this programme and there are government grants to support this work, we will be consulting residents as widely as possible on all aspects and submit the resulting plan to a town referendum with the ambition of attaining these grants.
Your town councillors work hard on your behalf and details of their contact details and meetings schedule are available on the town website or from the Town Clerk at the office in the NCYC, we are here to serve you and if you have any concerns about the management of the town I would encourage you to contact them in the first place. Establishing the town council has been a learning curve for us all but one thing we learnt early on is that our most effective lobbying of the higher echelons of government is where the town council can speak as one united voice for the town on your behalf.
On the social side my year has got off to a very busy start with the diamond jubilee celebrations and Ladies Day following closely on one another. The diary is also filling up with a number of interesting activities and my wife and I are looking forward to meeting and joining with as many as possible of you at these wide ranging events in the coming year. I am sure that with the great community spirit so evident in Neston, this will be a very rewarding year.
Cllr Pat Hughes