I would like to have finished my year as Buckingham’s 254th Mayor on a higher note than a global lockdown, but events overtook all of us in March, and since then we have all been living and working virtually.
Nevertheless, it has been an honour and a privilege to service the town I love, and have loved since I grew up in North Bucks in the 1950s. For my Mayoress Alexandra and I, there have been some real highlights in the 10 months during which we were able to function normally. Either singly or together, we attended just over 100 engagements between May 2019 and March 2020.
It was a great disappointment that we had to cancel the Mayor’s Civic Service just as the pandemic took hold, as it would have been a chance to meet you all in our beautiful Parish Church, and also to boost the fundraising of my two charities, Medical Detection Dogs and YC2 Bucks Young Carers. Thanks to everyone who has given so generously during the year.
Perhaps the most memorable event was our visit to Germany in February to sign the Twinning agreement with Neukirchen-Vluyn, making Buckingham the first town in the UK to twin after Brexit. The hospitality of both our German friends and of Buckingham Twinning Association was quite wonderful.
There were also inspiring events: the Bucks Youth Big Night Out at the Waterside, Aylesbury, and the High Sheriff’s Reception at The Stables, Wavendon. There were many visits to both our secondary Schools, the Buckingham School and the Royal Latin School, to our Primary Schools, and to the University of Buckingham, where meeting Peter Jones at Enfest and the President of the United Nations on her visit were also unforgettable.
Another high spot was the first University Medical School Graduation last June – it is a sobering thought that many of those young people there that day have since been working on the frontline of the war against Covid-19.
There are so many I want to thank, but I could not have got through the year without the guidance of our Town Clerk, Paul Hodson, of our Planning Clerk, Katharine McElligott, whose is also the keeper of our regalia and protocol, and of Louise Stubbs of BTC who has also been so supportive. My thanks also to Will Pearson-Gee, who has been the Mayor’s Chaplain during this topsy-turvy twelve months.
In closing, I wish my successor Cllr Geraldine Collins every success in her role as the 255th Mayor pf Buckingham. I look forward to continuing to serve Buckingham as a Town Councillor for as long as you will have me. Thank you all.
Cllr Mark Cole JP
Mayor of Buckingham, 2019/20