The Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate’s monthly diary, with Coun Nick Brown

Meeting the 400,000th visitor to RHS Garden Harlow Carr.
Meeting the 400,000th visitor to RHS Garden Harlow Carr.
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How quickly our mayoral year has passed, but from what I have read it appears to be a scientific fact that the older you get, the faster time is perceived to go!

Talking of time it is said too that it is a great healer and so it has been with my wife, Linda, the mayoress.

Readers of this column may remember that 10 days before mayor making last year she tripped and broke her ankle in a pothole that had been reported to Leeds City Council some two months or so earlier but it had not been repaired on Briggate.

After eight months of suffering from the injury, together with much anguish at not being able to fully participate in the once in a lifetime experience of being the mayoress, she has only just been able, in the last week, to walk her two dogs, Fly and Juno, her pride and joy, albeit for a short distance.

After such a hectic December, with around 60 wonderful engagements effectively squeezed into a three-week period, there was a lull from Boxing Day until mid-January.

Event bookings have now started again in earnest with invitations coming into the mayor’s office thick and fast and filling up the forward diary rapidly.

Highlights in January so far have included the opening of a refurbished branch of the Leeds Building Society, a celebration of rural life at the Plough Sunday service, helping deliver and serve hot meals to elderly people in the area with the Harrogate Neighbour Housing Association, helping to launch the Japanese Garden refurbishment programme at the Harrogate Valley Gardens and welcoming the new Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopter at a gathering at Bolton Abbey.

The mayoress and I went to a well attended roadshow in Ripon that highlighted the fundraising process to rebuild and replace the Girlguiding Training and Activity Centre at Birk Cragg – a hugely worthy cause.

We were delighted to attend our Deputy Mayor of the Borough, Councillor Christine Ryder’s fundraising event in aid of the Farmers Charity , the Addington Fund at her farmhouse, where we ate a delicious breakfast for a very worthy cause.

Following that event we went to RHS Garden Harlow Carr to meet the Hicklings from Wetherby, one of which was the 400,000th visitor to this splendid centre of excellence in 2016.

Later that day I attended another local Rotary Club event where I spoke for 40 minutes on the role of the mayoralty.

This proved to be my longest address so far in my mayoralty and I was more than happy to do this for such an amazing worldwide body that does so much good.

I also attended and spoke at the official opening of the new inter-church body, the Harrogate Hub, based in Oxford Street.

This new “drop-in” centre will support those who are finding life difficult and perhaps suffer from loss, loneliness, illness, family problems, money worries, problems at work, depression or loss of direction.

This much-needed new facility exists because no-one in Harrogate should be lonely, isolated or unsupported and the hub will offer care and practical advice together with friendship and encouragement.

We are now in the last four months of our time as mayor and mayoress and luckily we have many more exciting and interesting events already booked. Deliberately we have encouraged more visits to schools where I will endeavour to highlight the role of the local authority within the borough.

Much still to look forward to!