Hectic new schedule for Wetherby’s new mayor

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Wetherby Town Councillor Norma Harrington in her first Wetherby News column says she was very honoured and humbled to be chosen as Mayor for the next two years.

You may want to know a little about me as a person, so I have prepared a few facts about myself.

I went to school in Tadcaster and started work in The Shoe Tree as a Saturday girl, when it was on the Market Place, never thinking that one day I would be the Mayor of Wetherby.

I went on to work in Barclays Bank on the Market Place when I left school until I got married and moved away from the area, returning finally in 2008 when I became the Governor of Wealstun Prison.

I have two daughters and six grandchildren, all living locally, and one step daughter from my marriage to Tom.

I retired early from the Prison Service in 2011 to care for my Dad who had had a stroke.

I took up several voluntary roles and I am currently the Chair of Trustees of Wetherby and District Foodbank, and the Vice Chair of WiSE (Wetherby in Support of the Elderly).

I got involved with local politics when I was co-opted onto the Town Council in 2012 serving in the North Ward.

I have been involved with several of the Council’s sub committees over the past four years.

I have been a member of the Steering group for the Wetherby Neighbourhood Planning process, with other town councillors and members of the local community since its inception, and I can reassure you that work is still ongoing.

You may remember completing a questionnaire some time ago asking for your views about how you would like to see the town develop.

The information from this survey was collated, with sub committees working to analyse the information and come up with policies and ideas about how we could turn your ideas into a realistic plan that can inform Leeds City Council Planning Officers about future developments within the town.

We are committed to maintaining the Market Town characteristic, while understanding that change is inevitable as people want to come here to live and work. There will be a public consultation on the draft plan in the months to come, so please give us your feedback.

Further information about the launch of the public consultation process will be published in due course.

I am passionate about Wetherby and its future prosperity and will do everything I can to promote the interests of the residents, businesses and community groups in the town as far as my role allows.

During the past 15 weeks, I have attended 17 events representing the Town as Mayor.

These range from the Lord Lieutenants’ garden party, to the Scout Meet at Bramham Park, to raising the latest Green Flag awarded to Sandringham Park, presenting a cheque on behalf of the volunteers from the tea bar at the YOI to the Wetherby Silver Band, judging the Wetherby in Bloom Pub garden competition, starting the Lion’s Duck Race, talking to the Rotary club, starting the Wetherby 2.5k, 5k and 10K runs at the racecourse, The Yorkshire Day Mayoral parade in Halifax, the service to commemorate the Battle of the Somme held in St James’ Church, and the Mayoral parade in Tadcaster.

As you can see, as Mayor I receive a wide range of invitations, which gives me an opportunity to broadcast the excellent facilities we have here in the town for tourists and visitors, as well as recognising the fantastic work carried out around Wetherby by our many volunteer and community groups.

In future months I will update you on issues affecting the town and publicise the various events that I visit.

The new Town Council Website is being updated at the present time, and if you would like your organisation to have a link from it please contact Iona Taylor, our new Town Clerk for further information on wetherbytc@btconnect.com

I look forward to meeting as many of the Townspeople as possible over the next two years.