COLUMN: Mayor of Ripon’s diary

Coun Andrew Williams talks about concerns over the state of Alma footbridge.

My week started as it so often does with a meeting of Ripon City Council, on this occasion the planning committee and it provided me with an opportunity to raise a number of issues over which I had concerns.

Ripon City Council has at my request written to North Yorkshire County Council expressing severe concerns over the state of the footbridges across the Skell and – in particular – the bridge near the Water Rat.

This has holes in it and given that it is used by many pedestrians it needs to be repaired as a matter of urgency before someone has an accident.

It also provided an opportunity to raise again the problem of a house in Sycamore Road which has remained empty for years and is becoming a problem for the neighbours. Again, at my request, Ripon City Council has written to Harrogate Borough Council requesting that it makes use of their powers to resolve the matter.

We also discussed a reply from the chief executive of Costa Coffee who has confirmed it will be opening in the spring. His letter also contained a promise to play an active role in the local community and I have replied seeking clarification as to how the company plans to help promote Ripon.

Tuesday evening was no less busy as it was the monthly committee meeting of the St Wilfrid’s Procession which this year takes place on Saturday, August 3. Our fundraising starts in earnest in March with our annual ball at the Spa Hotel on Saturday, March 2. Swing Thing, who sang on the market square as part of our Jubilee celebrations, will be providing the musical entertainment and tickets are currently on sale at £36 each. We need to raise £12,000 to stage the procession in August, so if you fancy a really good night out then please contact me on 01765 607934 and I will happily sell you tickets!

I had a brief respite in duties until Saturday so this enabled me to write and to start to distribute a newsletter to my constituents.

On Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure of attending the installation of the new Diocesan President of the Mothers Union along with a new board of trustees at the cathedral. I wish them much success in their work in the next three years. I must admit, though, it was a particular pleasure to see the 16-week-old black labrador puppy training to be a guide dog – he was simply adorable!

On Saturday evening I attended the Ripon Charity Pantomime Group performance of Beauty and the Beast and I would like to thank Lauren for accompanying me to the show. Pascar is now less than a week from giving birth (we hope!) so I thought it would be good training to take my cousin’s eight-year-old daughter instead of Pascar.

We both thoroughly enjoyed the show, as did the rest of the audience, and I am just glad I was not on row F which will mean something to those who were there on Saturday evening!

If events go according to plan, then I may not get the opportunity to produce a column next week but I have recently joined Twitter so if you want to follow me on @cllrawilliams you will be able to catch up on my movements there.