Time for a spring clean at last

editorial image

Is it spring yet? Snow, snow, daffodils, snow! It is like some crazy new dance of the seasons, but hopefully now that the clocks have gone forward we will see an end to the cold snaps, writes Wetherby Mayor Coun Norma Harrington.

I wrote extensively last month about cleaning up after ourselves and our dogs. Unfortunately due to the snow and icy conditions we had to cancel our Keep Britain Tidy Litter pick on March 3 and rearrange it for last Saturday instead.

There was a stalwart team of 12 including two residents of Boston Spa and a little girl helping her daddy. I will say that we collected a lot less litter this year compared to last year, but the main items were cigarette ends, glass bottles and plastic bottles and food wrappers.

Many of these discarded items were found in plants and bushes in the car parks, as well as in close proximity to the rubbish bins provided - thrown but missed.

The Riverside area was the worst for dog fouling. Just because it is a riverside path does not excuse dog owners from leaving it there. Many people like to walk along the riverside but don’t want to look at or walk in piles of dog mess. I would encourage everyone to put your rubbish including doggy bags in the bin or take it with you and put it in your own bin at home.

Please also remember that if you take a glass or bottle away from one of the many hostelries in town, and it breaks when you discard it on the path on your way home, this is a danger to other people including small children, and pets. We all have a responsibility to keep our town’s pavements, ginnels and pathways clear of rubbish so please think before your just drop it for someone else to pick up.

Since I last wrote, there have been many occasions when I have represented the town at functions and meetings.

The Wetherby Twinning Association Quiz was one such event. As Mayor I am a co-opted member of the Twinning Committee and have enjoyed getting involved with the events they have run over the past two years. The fundraising events are to help with the costs of hosting the visit from our French friends in Privas, which takes place every four years. It is Wetherby’s turn to visit Privas this June and although I will no longer be the Mayor then, I am looking forward to the visit very much. We pay our own travel costs but the French twinning association fund our visit there. Please look at the Wetherby Twinning Association website for events and how to get involved.

Tom and I were invited to an evening soiree at the Candlelighters Charity in Leeds, to see the progress being made in the renovation of a house near to LGI, where families of children being treated in the hospital for cancer can stay, with siblings, for extended periods. It is a huge strain on families when one of their members are in hospital for long periods of time for treatment and as it is the children’s cancer treatment specialist unit for the whole of Yorkshire, some families come from as far away as Bridlington and Hull, Wakefield, Sheffield and Huddersfield, to name just a few. The ongoing support for families is amazing and it was a humbling experience to listen to one particular family’s story.

We also attended the Gala event at Leeds Town Hall, A Night to Remember, marking 40 years of St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds, where an evening of celebration of the lives of patients, and the volunteers and staff who work at the hospice culminated in the release of 50,000 petals, one for each patient treated there during that time.

Leeds Symphony Orchestra were part of the musical entertainment along with a choir made up of the staff and volunteers at the Hospice, augmented by members of other local choirs in the Leeds area. It was a memorable occasion indeed.

A little closer to home we held a fundraising Mayors Tea Party in aid of Leonard Cheshire Disability, my charity for this year. We are pleased to have raised £200 during a very pleasant afternoon of tea and cakes and dancing. Thank you to everyone who supported us.

Now that the weather is getting better I would encourage you to come into town, and enjoy all the activities available, including all the Church events being held in this Holy Week. Happy Easter.