A big hello to all residents of the Wombourne Parish! As your outgoing Parish Council Vice-Chairman, I must say these are exciting times. Not only are we starting a new year, with Parish Councillors appointed to new roles, particularly the election of a new Chairman and Vice-Chair, but we are also closing down the Parish Council that has been in place for the last four years, holding both Parish and District elections, and opening a new Parish Council.
The start of this new four-year cycle is indeed inspiring, and I look forward to welcoming new and returning Councillors at the first meeting in June. At the time of writing, the election is still ongoing, and we still do not know the make-up of the new Council, and so the first meeting of the new session really will be a fresh, invigorating experience.
However, not all recent events have been so positive. We are now mourning the loss of our longstanding friend and colleague, Councillor Mary Bond. Her passing has come as a very great shock, and my thoughts, along with that of all of my colleagues, are very much with her husband, Councillor Barry Bond at this time.
It strikes me as unfortunate that, at the same time we are mourning her passing, we are still seeking election and working towards the formation of a new Council – in many ways it feels highly inappropriate. Yet Mary was nothing if not a dedicated public servant, and whilst we do rightly take the opportunity to reflect where we can, it does seem to me fitting that we honour her memory by continuing towards forming a committed and hard-working Council. She was determined to improve her local community, and we should strive to be as committed and effective. As such, our newly elected Parish Councillors will have big shoes to fill.
Mary Bond will be greatly missed.
At this point, it seems hardly right, but I really ought to introduce myself. I have lived in the Parish for a little over four years and live with my partner Hannah who works in the village. However, I am even now still getting to know the village, and getting to know lots of new people – as such, I am still learning. As a recent graduate from the University of Wolverhampton, I now work in the same institution as a History teacher – a job I thoroughly enjoy. Being in a position where I can help to broaden horizons, encourage, facilitate and ultimately educate and inspire new generations of students is extremely important to me, and it is no coincidence that this passion also drives me to participate in public life, representing my friends, neighbours and local residents.
There are a number of things I am particularly passionate about – History, politics and Cricket being chief amongst these. I have run my local club as a senior committee member for fourteen years now, and am equally insistent on the benefits of sport and recreational activity, as well as the vital social interaction that it necessitates.
I am eagerly looking forward to spending the next year representing my Parish, getting to know many more new faces no doubt, and working with my fellow Councillors for the continued benefit of Wombourne.
I would like to specifically thank our outgoing Chairman, Councillor Mary Roberts. It has been an absolute pleasure shadowing her for the last year. She has been thoughtful and supportive, providing me with ample hints and tips that will certainly come in handy over the next twelve months. She has been a dedicated and hard-working Chairman, and will – as with her own predecessor – be a hard act to follow. Mary, thank you.
One of the central parts of the Parish Council’s duties is engaging with the many and varied community and voluntary organisations that operate within the Parish. Not least due to my own years of experience as a volunteer, I relish the opportunity to get to know many of these better over the coming year. We have a vibrant and thriving volunteer community here in Wombourne, and this deserves to be celebrated. It is fitting therefore, that the Parish Council hosts an annual Civic Reception to honour these groups, and bestows an annual Civic Award. I am particularly looking forward to attending and supporting the annual Carnival and supporting the Best Kept Village committee. The results of these, and the tireless work that goes into them, are a credit to our village.
Finally, I would like to encourage you all to continue to engage with your Parish Council. Say hi and talk to us about all the great things that are happening locally, as well as the issues that are affecting you. We are always keen to celebrate new initiatives, creativity and the very best of our village.
Wombourne Parish Council