TOWN MAYOR’S ANNUAL REPORT 2013-2014
The past year has proved to be challenging on all fronts and no one appears to have been excluded. We have all seen and felt the impact of the severe cutbacks from central government. One major impact has been on the Skatepark with its management now being passed from Ryedale District Council. It is now under the joint control of Norton and Malton Councils and continues to be a valuable asset for the younger members of community to both exercise and make new friendships.
In February I had the very great pleasure of presenting long service certificates to councillors Keith Mennell and John Stone. Keith served as a councillor for 45 years and as mayor 5 times. Along with his wife, Cynthia, he was also a leading force with the Senior Citizens Christmas Party. John was mayor once during his term of 8 years on the council. He has written several books documenting the town and local area and is now assisting in progressing the Woodhams Stone Collections. Both now retired from Council they will be sadly missed.
Recently we have co-opted three new members to the council and it is to be hoped that they will encourage even younger people (16-18 years) to attend council meetings and inform us of their views and expectations of the younger generation. Young or old we should all take an interest in where we live and the decisions that affect our future.
There were fears that the Ryedale Indoors Bowls Club would have to close, due to Ryedale District Council wishing to sell off this valuable asset. Thanks to some sterling work from Councillor Di Keal along with numerous others this will hopefully now be saved for the local community. The revamped bowls club, now known as the Ryedale Community & Leisure Centre will include a dance school, nursery, bowling area and licensed entertainment area. This will, I’m sure, prove to be a true Community Asset.
Due to dog fouling issues and in the interest of public safety the Council ran a trial overnight closure of the cemetery. A final decision on the continuation of this closure is still to be made. Unfortunately, dog fouling is an ongoing problem throughout the area and we should all take responsibility towards resolving this disgusting issue.
‘Love Norton 14’ is aiming to bring local churches and the community together. They are planning a Fun Day and Sports Afternoon as well as speakers at various times of the year. Look out for a leaflet through your door and get involved with all activities. Thanks should go out to Andy Boxall at the Elim Church for the Firework display at Norton College and the wonderful Christmas Tree Festival at St Peters Church organised by Rachel Hirst. If you missed these last year make sure you attend in 2014.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my year as Norton’s Mayor, and hope we can progress with some of the items that have been started during the year. I believe the coming year is going to bring some strong challenges, not least of which will be the Neighbourhood Plan working alongside our colleagues at Malton Town Council.
Councillor Ray King, Town Mayor, Norton-on-Derwent.