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Mayors December Crier Article

The Police and Crime Commissioner Councillor Advocates meeting took place via zoom this month where I ‘virtually’ met our new Inspector Ewan Seear and we discussed local issues including road safety. The following day I attended the Collaborative Working Group meeting which we initiated during the summer to coordinate the town’s response to the small wave of anti-social behaviour issues we experienced at that time. We are fortunate in Great Torrington to have one of the lowest crime rates in the country, but we do need to make sure that any incidents that do occur are reported using the correct procedures – please refer to a useful document from Devon & Cornwall Police on the Great Torrington Town Council website for details of how to report and who to report to:

I have also recently attended a number of civic events across the area; Holsworthy Mayor’s charity fundraising Civic Ball, the Mayor’s Civic Service in Lynton and Lynmouth and a musical evening presented by South Molton Town Council which raised funds for South Molton Mayor’s charities. It is always lovely to get out and about in the area and network with local Mayors and Councillors.

I attended a memorial service in the Methodist Church for one of our former Mayors, Avril Beer, where there was an impressive turnout of people wishing to express their sadness at the passing of a former Mayor of our town. Avril played an influential role in many local institutions, not least the Mayfair and Carnival Committee and will be sorely missed by all.

Several years ago, we were approached to assist in celebrating the life of Margaret Noble, who lived in Great Torrington in the late 19th Century, and an impressive memorial was placed in Great Torrington Cemetery. Sister Nivedita, as she became known in India, played an important role in the empowerment of women providing education and nursing to people living in very difficult conditions. This year we held a small ceremony to celebrate her 155th birthday and this was live-streamed to India.

This Halloween you may have spotted some scary goings on for little people at Great Torrington Town Hall. We must thank everyone involved for organising such a successful event, and it was wonderful to see a report from Great Torrington on BBC Spotlight that evening.

Your Mayfair and Carnival Committee really needs your help. In order for the fabulous day that we all know and love to take place, we need people to get involved now. Support is needed with the planning and organisation, and also with stewarding and practical tasks on the day. If you think you can help and keep this ancient tradition alive, do contact the committee or attend the next meeting.

Christmas is fast approaching and I hope you enjoy the many events in town during the build-up to the big day.  On behalf of the Town Council, I would like to wish you all a very peaceful and healthy Christmas time and a happy New Year.

Cllr Doug Smith

Mayor of Great Torrington