Mayoral Inauguration Speech - 29 May 2014
Before we look forward to the following year, it is appropriate that we take time to reflect upon the excellent work that Judy has done as Mayor of Corby over the past year. Her hard work and professionalism have shone through, as she has carried out her duties to an extremely high standard. Despite sometimes trying personal circumstances, her dedication to her role has resulted in a legacy which we should all be proud of.
As I begin this role, I am reminded of all that has gone on to bring me to this point. I am delighted that present here tonight are some of the people who have been significant in my development. In Council terms, I thank councillors John McGhee and Mark Pengelly, as well as the entire Labour Group who have put me forward as their nomination for Mayor. In a wider sense, I would like to pay tribute to my mother and to my wife, Alison, both of whom have supported me and continued to have faith in me through the ups and downs of life.
A mayor's responsibilities are often divided into three sections; the civic, the ceremonial and the charity roles. Over the next few minutes, I intend to show how I wish to focus my attention as I work on these three duties.
Firstly, in my civic role, I wish to foster a spirit of acceptance, positivity, care and social cohesion when in public, as well as camaraderie and mutual respect among councillors of all political persuasions, as we all work together for the good of this town. I hope that minor differences can be set aside to enable us to work together for the good of Corby and its current and future residents. I wish for edification and reconciliation to triumph over division and point-scoring, for robust discussion based on passionately held beliefs not to carry on to personal attack or short-term, derogatory opportunism. In keeping with many other local authorities, we will benefit from me having a Mayor's Chaplain who will assist me in many of my duties; I am delighted to announce that Paul Frost, minister from the Epiphany and St John the Baptist churches, will be serving in that role over the coming year. I will also be instituting prayer in the Mayor's Parlour prior to Full Council meetings.
There is much to be done in ceremonial terms, particularly as this year we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One. This is where I hope to live up to the excellent example set by previous mayors by representing the Council in an appropriate and positive way. However, there will also be many other opportunities to mix with residents through the many social engagements to which the Mayor is invited. Once again, I hope to approach these in a way which brings vibrancy as well as comfort, positivity as well as understanding, thankfulness for the present and hope for the future. I am delighted to have Lucy serving as Deputy Mayor, ably assisting in this role, as we both endeavour to serve and represent the people of the Borough of Corby.
Finally, I plan to raise awareness and money for three highly acclaimed Corby-based charities: Corby Foodbank, Corby Street Pastors and the Lighthouse Drop-in Centre. Representatives of these charities are here today, and will be happy to talk to you in more detail about the wonderful work they do. I have be blessed to have an excellent fundraising committee, many of whom are also here this evening. They have put together a programme of 21 fundraising activities, planned for during the coming year, as well as one-of fundraising days for Lakelands Day Care Hospice and the Corby and Kettering Guide Dogs. The first of these events starts on Sunday, where I invite all of you to take the whole of June and spend a maximum of £1 per day on your food, thus helping you to understand the financial difficulties faced by users of the Foodbank. Any money you would otherwise have spent on food can then be donated to the Mayor's charities. More information about this event, as well as all the others planned over the coming year, is available on a leaflet which will be available at the entrance to this room. Over the next few days, more details will be added to anthonydady.com, enabling you to keep up-to-date with what I, and others, are doing to support these worthy causes. We also hope to have an online donation page live in the next few days.
There is so much to be proud of about Corby and its people, and I am honoured to be a resident here and to be able to contribute to the life of this town. I hope and pray that over this coming year I will add to the fabric of our community, to be a part of the positive transformation that we see all around us, as Corby goes from strength to strength, developing into a place that we can be even more proud of with each passing day. However, I cannot do this on my own. I ask you to join with me in radical self-sacrifice of ourselves for the good of those around us, to take what is positive and to multiply our efforts, undaunted by negativity or setback, working with one accord toward our vision of a bigger, better, brighter Corby. If you will rise to this challenge, if we all live for this great cause, we can all look back proudly and say "We did something significant. We made a difference."