Mayor Rose, Councillors, Ladies, Gentlemen, boys and girls.
First, I should like to congratulate Councillor Rose on her appointment as Mayor and First Citizen of Milford Haven. I wish her every success and hope she enjoys the next 12 months as much as I have enjoyed my time in the role. It is not a position that should be taken on lightly and to do it right requires stamina, patience and determination. I know you possess these three qualities and hope you achieve all that you wish to do during your term of office.
It is an immense honour and privilege to be the Mayor and First Citizen of Milford Haven. My year of office is now over and I can honestly say the last year has truly been one of the most enjoyable and most memorable years of my life.
I pledged at the start of my term to do my very best to represent the town in a positive manner and support as many of the hardworking individuals and organisations in the town that I could. I hope I have delivered on that promise.
During the year, I undertook many engagements and while every engagement has been special there are a few I should like to share with you tonight:
One of my first engagements was the opening of new Greenacres shops in Narberth – important to me as this was one of my chosen charities for my Mayoral year.
I then had the privilege of attending the Arts and Business Cymru Awards at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff as a guest of Valero.
The always fantastic Milford Haven Carnival started the very busy month of July followed by the amazing P1 Powerboat Welsh Grand Prix – I never imagined that I would get so excited about speedboats until this weekend – even if the winners did end up showering me with champagne from the podium!
Another great highlight was attending RawFfest 2017 in Llandudno with the Torch Youth Theatre – one of my other charities this year. To spend time in the company of such talented, energised and caring young people was a great experience.
The Autumn brought the Mercury Talent Contest and my being a judge on Finals Night – again another great experience of talent (of different degrees!) and passion for the community.
In November, I also very much enjoyed visiting Stella Mansell on her 100th Birthday – again, a very positive and inspiring lady.
In December, I hosted Christmas Together which made a nice change to being the Chef! This was my third chosen charity as you all know how important this event is to both Guy and myself.
Another opportunity that occurred was to attend the opening of Gelliswick Church in Wales VC School. It was a pleasure to meet the children and tour the lovely new school. I hope that a not too distant Mayor will have the same opportunity to attend the opening of a new build Milford Haven Community Primary School.
On Friday, I held my Mayor’s Awards Night & the first ever Pill Pride. It was the most enjoyable, fun and wonderful evening with the Mayor’s Charity Fund raising in excess of £12,000 for my three chosen charities and a number of other local good causes.
My final engagement was yesterday evening spent in the company of Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins and his wonderful wife Lady Carol.
It really has been an amazing year of different and varied events.
I have enjoyed meeting so many different people, spending time with them and listening to what they have to say. It is these experiences that make the role of Mayor such a rewarding one.
The support I have received from the overwhelming majority of the people of Milford Haven has been amazing. I have been truly humbled and am extremely grateful for the support that you have given me. Although I am no longer Mayor, I do become the Immediate Past Mayor and remain a Town Councillor. I therefore re-affirm tonight my pledge to always try and do my very best for the wonderful people of this great town.
As Councillors we should never forget that we are here to serve the people of our community, to the best of our ability and in the most positive and supportive ways available to us.
I should like to thank Moyra and Fiona for all their hard work and the support they have given me during the last year.
As a town, over the coming years, there will be many challenges for us to overcome. However, I continue to believe there are many reasons for us to be optimistic about the future of Milford Haven and while national and global issues continue to be a reality for us all, we should not let these cloud future opportunities or allow others to use this as a block on investing in the future of our town.
I will continue to promote Milford Haven and highlight the benefits that there can be from different individuals and organisations working together collaboratively and for the greater good of the community. With the right attitude there is a real possibility of there being a significant change for the better in our town. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes, but if we all share in the responsibility of improving our town and supporting our local organisations the opportunity is there for long term success.
Thank you and goodbye!
--Councillor Colin Sharp, Mayor of Milford Haven 2017/2018
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