Celebrating the festive season

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It makes a pleasant change to see clear blue skies and bright sunshine through the window rather than the recent dark skies and heavy rainfall as I write my monthly diary, said Mayor of Wetherby Coun Galan Moss.

The hard, white frosts remind me that Christmas is on its way. When I was young, it always seemed to be a “white Christmas” and not the Bing Crosby one (fond memories). I do hope the River Wharfe does not flood this year and prevent us from using our beautiful playground at Scaur Bank.

In October, we had great fun at the Lions Quiz Night at Wetherby Town Hall, in aid of Clic Sargent which fights tirelessly to stop cancer destroying young lives. Needless to say, the Mayor’s team did not win the quiz.

Recently, Sandra and I attended the annual Oak Leaf Remembrance Service at Ripon Cathedral. The service gathers families and friends of those who have died in road accidents in the region in the past year. We offer our condolences and comfort through this moving memorial. Representatives from the emergency services and medical teams who deal with the aftermath are also present.

On November 21, I had the honour and privilege to switch on the Wetherby Christmas lights. I carried out this important task with some help from Leeds United footballer, Luke Ayling. Once again, the weather was very kind to us and the vast audience enjoyed performances from Deighton Gates Primary School Choir, Martin House Choir, Just For Fun Theatre Group, Freddie Cleary and the City of Leeds Pipe Band. I congratulate and thank the Christmas lights volunteers not only for putting up the magnificent displays but also taking them down after Christmas. Well done and many thanks.

I will forever remember “the Wetherby wave”. For those unfortunate people who were not there, I suggested that we should try to form a “Mexican Wave” Well, it started as a “ripple” but it did grow and was swiftly dubbed the “Wetherby Wave”. Look out for it at future events. I was bowled over by the number of people who came to be part of this traditional event marking the start of Christmas in the heart of the community.

After a busy weekend Sandra and I were delighted to attend the Deighton Gates Primary School PTA Christmas Fair. The School choir provided very enjoyable entertainment all afternoon.

Meanwhile, the work of the Town Council goes on. We are currently analysing the data downloaded from the speed indicator devices (SIDs) to reveal the average speeds of passing vehicles.

In late November, the Town Council held the first public meeting to start planning our Town’s response to the Climate Emergency. About 50 residents took part. The Town Council aims to lead by example, provide the tools for you, the community, to do your part and ensure that the Council promotes the benefits of making sustainable, positive changes.

We gathered over 25 suggestions which will be considered at future Town Council meetings; some are quick wins and some will take longer.

We cannot make a big impact on the whole world’s climate, but we can have an effect on the pollution levels in Wetherby and surrounding areas.

It is important to remember at this time of year that we can make our community stronger by thinking how we can improve the lives of others who are less fortunate than ourselves.

I wish you all a very wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy 2020.