This has been yet another wonderful month of events and successes.
As Mayor, I Chaired the Mayfair and Carnival Committee Annual General Meeting, where it was decided unanimously to carry on with plans for Mayfair 2022. One of our issues was that despite the obvious appetite for Mayfair, we were still thin on the ground with helpers. If you don’t like committees, there are still many openings where you can help, so please do work with us and volunteer what time you can spare to help restart this important day in the calendar of Great Torrington.
I attended the Community Development Trust’s Open day which was held in the gardens to Castle Hill. Local organisations showcased their services and achievements. The Silver Band played, much to everyone’s delight, and Winkleigh Morris Group entertained in their own unique style, along with some familiar faces who had been busking during the summer joining in the fun.
On Sat 9th Tarka Valley Railway opened their doors to Great Torrington Councillors and Bideford’s Mayor to showcase the latest offerings for enthusiasts. The changes already made at the station are testament to the extraordinary work put in by the army of dedicated volunteers.
Throughout the past few months, the Town Council has been looking at the provision of defibrillators within the town as a number have come up for lease renewal. There was also concern that the defibrillator on the Fire Station wall had been de-commissioned due to funding constraints. I requested a meeting which was attended by Sir Geoffrey Cox our local MP, Cllr Andrew Saywell our Devon County Council councillor along with a representative from South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust where we looked into the entire ongoing funding possibilities. Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service were unable to attend the meeting, but have since been in liaison with the town council about this matter. The final outcome has at last been the future re-instatement of the defibrillator at the Fire Station and a further ongoing lease for three other defibrillators already in place with discussions with Rotary about an additional one. We have currently received commitments of funding from Cllrs Grants from Cllr Andrew Saywell, (DCC) Cllrs Bright, Brown and Cottle Hunkin (TDC), the Fire Service and Rotary. We are also currently exploring other options for contributions.
I attended two Mayor Making ceremonies in September; Cllr Claire Hodson at Northam and Cllr David Ratcliff at Bideford. I was pleased to represent the town at both of these meetings which were also good opportunities for Mayors to get together having not met for so long.
I am pleased to say that the Globe Hotel regeneration planning is gathering pace, and we hope to give a full report very soon.
The ‘Really Wild Learning’ event Hosted by Kim Insull at the Town Hall had not only youngsters, but myself riveted by the demonstrations and hands-on experiences, from where the ‘bug hunt’ took off to a flying start round the shop windows. This competition continues through October with a winner being announced in early November.
It was lovely to attend the Golf Club on October 3rd, when the Junior 6s took place at Weare Trees. Some of the young players showed exceptional talent, and I’m convinced there are big names hiding in there for the future! The forecasted rain was less than expected, and in no way dampened the enthusiasm of these motivated young players.
It’s a sure sign winter is approaching when our clocks go back and we start making the arrangements to switch on our Christmas Lights. This year, the event will take place on Saturday November 27th 2021 @ 6.30pm in the town centre. Please see the separate article about arrangements. We hope that you can all join us this year as we celebrate the start of the Christmas period with the “Christmas Light Switch On”. At the same time; why not enter the “12 Days of Christmas” Window Spotting Competition!”
Cllr Doug Smith
Mayor of Great Torrington