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Annual Council Official Events

Howe Plate Award

On Saturday I was delighted to finally award our Howe Plate for community service

This year the Howe Plate went to Pauline Baker for her tremendous dedication to the Great Torrington Mayfair and Carnival Committee.

Pauline explained how she wished to thank all other members of the committee for the hard work that goes on all year round.

I know all members will agree that we would be very lost without Pauline and all that she does for the committee and that she is extremely deserving of this award; she is a truly kind person who will do anything for anyone.

Thank you for all you do for Great Torrington Pauline.

Mayor’s Chosen Charities 2020/21 – Cllr Miss Keeley Allin

I cannot believe I am beginning my second term as Mayor of Great Torrington; thank you all for your support over the last 12 months. It’s been incredible serving our wonderful town and I’m looking forward continuing to do so. This next year will be different, but I know as a community we will embrace the challenges and come out stronger.

I have been very proud to raise funds for the Torrington Police Amateur Boxing Club and the 1st Torrington Scout Group, and it was lovely to see you supporting these local groups through various fundraising events. I am very pleased to say that we have raised a total of £4500.00; money which will be divided equally and I know, gratefully received to by both groups and will hopefully serve to help them continue their fantastic work. (Please note this sum does not include sponsorship for my postponed sky dive. Once I have done this, these funds will be divided and sent separately to these groups).

At this point I choose two new charities to support over the next 12 months, and it hasn’t been an easy decision. Will suggested that I look back over the last year at who has made a real impact, so my first charity is the Torrington Silver Band. They were all very welcoming at the events I’ve been invited to, they are the beating heart of the town, and I look forward to supporting them in any way I can over the coming year.

My second charity is the Friends of Great Torrington Library. Being a keen reader myself, I know how vital this service is to a broad range of individuals in our community. As well as being able to access a wide range of resources, the library offers events and support for all ages. I fondly remember doing the book tracker program as a child and would love to see more people taking an interest in reading.

The Howe Plate Award 2020

This year the Town Council has awarded the Howe Plate to Pauline Baker in recognition of all that she has done and continues to do supporting the May Fair and Carnival Committee. Upon being advised of the award Pauline said that she was pleased to accept this award and stressed that thanks must go to all her colleagues on the Mayfair & Carnival Committee, past and present, for their hard work and commitment throughout the year to ensure the Mayfair celebrations and the Carnival are such an amazing success.    

The Mayor’s Good Citizen Award 2020

Cllr Miss Keeley Allin has awarded her Good Citizen Award for 2020 to “The Great Torrington Knit and Natter Group” who have recently formed and meet every Wednesday to knit/crochet and share companionship. The defining moment being the incredible work that went into the fantastic Poppy display in the Town Hall for Remembrance celebrations last year. This was a wider community effort but with the group forming and coordinating the display, it became a breath-taking piece. Cllr Allin said, “I have also received comments about how warm, welcoming and friendly the group is, with some members even travelling from outside of Great Torrington for weekly meetings. Community is what our town thrives on and so I know that this community group are truly deserving of the award”.

New Mayor of Great Torrington

On 29th May 2019 Great Torrington celebrated the introduction of the new Mayor for the forthcoming year, Councillor Miss Keeley Allin.

At the age of 22, Cllr Allin joins the handful of “youngest Mayors” across the country.  However, despite her age she certainly does not lack experience as Keely has been involved with the Town Council from a very young age. At the age of 12 Keeley acted as the Mayor’s consort for her mum and has since had a serious interest in Town Council activity.  Whilst at Great Torrington School Keeley sat on the School Council and was a senior leader in year 11. In 2015 Keeley joined the Town Council as a Councillor and since then has worked hard for Great Torrington, with the people the Council represents being Keeley’s main priority. 

Her proudest achievements are setting up the ‘Town Tidy’ Initiative, which sees everyone come together to tidy the town up before big events such as Mayfair and being part of a group who have worked hard to get a youth club back into the town. 

Keeley said “as Mayor of Great Torrington I am very much looking forward to a busy year ahead, with my diary already filling up! I have set up a Facebook page (Great Torrington Mayor’s Blog) where I will keep everyone updated and will continue to contribute to The Crier with the monthly ‘Mayors News’ article.

 “I feel very proud to hold the office of Mayor of Great Torrington this year and I’m really looking forward to supporting our town and various projects. I also hope that the lovely people of Great Torrington will feel free to contact me if they would like me to attend any events over this forthcoming year.”

Keeley has nominated 1st Torrington Scouts and Torrington Police Amateur Boxing Club as her chosen charities for the forthcoming year.

At the Mayoral Ceremony Pastor Tim Gilbert was welcomed as the Mayor’s Chaplain for the forthcoming year.  The Town Council would also like to thank Reverend Peter Bevan for his service to the Mayor and Town Council as Mayor’s Chaplain over the past two years.

Command Sergeant Major Jimmy Birch was thanked for his service as Mayor’s Cadet for the outgoing Mayor, Cllr Mrs Di Davey and Cpl Holly Rice-Smith was welcomed as the Mayors cadet for the forthcoming year.


Mayor’s chosen charities 2019/20 – Cllr Miss Keeley Allin

During the year, Mayors generally raise funds for specific charities and choosing these charities, I can tell you, is not easy!  We have so many causes that are worthy of support, but I have chosen two to support during my year. 

The first is the 1st Torrington Scout Group.  I, along with two fellow Councillors – Cheryl and Chenie – were welcomed along to speak to them about our position as Town Councillors and also to teach them a little about local government.  I think Cheryl and Chenie will agree that their knowledge and enthusiasm was brilliant, they created posters to tell us what they like and what they’d like to see changed in Great Torrington and these were taken and shown at our Town Council Meeting.  They were also invited up to our offices for their very own Council meeting, a Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Town Clerk were chosen and they debated various issues such as parks and the dairy site!  They are a great group and I hope to support them in doing more activities and also going on bigger camp trips, something I know their leaders are keen on too.

My second charity for the year is the Torrington Police Amateur Boxing Club.  The club was formed in 2012 and has become a real part of Great Torrington, getting involved and doing demonstrations as well as holding competitions a few times a year, which bring people from across the county to our town.  The boxing club has been instrumental in encouraging many young people to take up the sport and think more about exercise, which can only be a good thing.  It has also had a positive impact on the mental health of some of the boxers and with mental health awareness being such a huge topic at the moment is something that I am very passionate about.  It is something which needs more focus and attention given to it nationally, but if this club is able to help just one person feel better in themselves, then they deserve all the support they can get.

I will be trying to hold a wide range of fundraising events throughout the year and I hope you will all support me in raising money for these two great causes.

New Deputy Mayor

On the same evening as Cllr Miss Keeley Allin was introduced as the new Mayor of Great Torrington, the Council celebrated the introduction of the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Doug Smith. Whilst Doug is a relatively new Councillor, he has lived locally for the past 25 years and now retired, is keen to putting his energy to the community.

Doug has a wide range of experience and a passion for Global sustainability, initiated by his personal experience in diving in oceans worldwide. This is also demonstration by Doug’s Governors Role of Chair of the Sustainability Committee at GTS. 

Doug is also keen to raise the town’s profile in respect of historical heritage and work towards improving what is currently deemed as inadequate transport services within and to and from the town.

Doug said, “One person cannot change the world but working together as a team, we can try to influence others and I am very much looking forward to working with Keeley and the Town Council as Councillor and Deputy Mayor over this next year.”

Mayor’s Cadet

Corporal Holly Rice-Smith  – Mayor’s Cadet

The Cadet selected to undertake the prestigious appointment of Mayor’s Cadet for 2019/20 is Corporal Holly Rice-Smith, she has been specially selected by the Great Torrington Army Cadet Force for outstanding achievements over the last year.

Congratulations Corporal Holly Rice-Smith on your appointment as the Mayor’s Cadet of Great Torrington. Enjoy the experience it is well deserved.

Retiring Mayor’s Cadet 

On Wednesday 29th May 2019 Command Sergeant Major Jimmy Birch completed his 12 months as the Mayor’s Cadet for Great Torrington 2018/2019. Unfortunately Command Sergeant Major Birch was unable to attend the Mayoral Introduction Ceremony that evening so Staff Sergeant Instructor Stacey Comer collected the certificate on his behalf.  It was presented by the retiring Mayor Cllr Mrs Di Davey who gave thanks for his hard work and commitment over the last 12 months. 

During the Mayoral Introduction Ceremony the role of Mayor’s Cadet was officially handed over to Corporal Holly Rice-Smith:-


Mayors Civic Service

A big thank you to everyone who came along to support my Civic Service on Sunday the 7th of July in the Town and Community Hall. It was lovely to see the hall full of people from the town and various organisations and to hear so many nice comments about the service.

My thanks to all those involved in arranging this event, beforehand, on the day and after! Thank you to Tim for leading the service, to those who took part, to Torrington Silver Band and to the ladies from Torrington Grosvenor Church for providing the refreshments. It was a lovely afternoon and cakes were delicious!

A big thank you to the Town Hall for hosting the event.  We are very fortunate to have such a lovely Town and Community Hall in the centre of our lovely town!