Cllr Richard J Craig – Town Mayors Report for 2021 to 2022

Over this past year it has once again been my privilege and honour to serve as Mayor of our Town, in the first instance I Should like to sincerely thank the community and all fellow councillors for their support in this last year, along with all officers and staff, who are doing, and continue to do,an outstanding job under changing and particularly challenging circumstances, particularly over the last 3 years with our experience of lockdown and Covid restrictions. All staff and officers continued to work throughout, despite everything. I must also mention Tracey my long-suffering wife, who has supported me throughout everything, and continues to do so. Thankyou   

I should also like to welcome our new Town Clerk, who has hit the ground running, despite numerous issues, problems and restrictions. However, Belina has now settled into her role very well and we look forward to moving the council forward now too.                                                                                        

Rachel, Sean and Jessica, are always there to help, advise and assist whenever you call, they provide essential support, not only to the Mayor, but to each other and to fellow councillors, no matter what. So many, many, thanks 

A particular thank you needs to go to Jessica, with regard to managing my calendar of events, and showing incredible enthusiasm in helping to organise my Civic Concert. Being there to welcome guests, helping to organise food, raffle and the interval. 

The concert itself was a success where we raised money for each of my chosen charities this year, these being: Dementia UK and the Red Cross (Ukraine appeal). Whilst also giving the Performing Arts Club St Johns, its volunteers and young people a great opportunity to perform at a very special event, they really did do so well, and should be very proud. 

I should also like to acknowledge the support of many local businesses who donated into the raffle, to the staff and volunteers at the Old Nick Theatre and to those councillors who supported me on the evening. So there’s my introduction…here’s my years report:

I am very proud of what I’ve been able to support and achieve in this civic year, in supporting, representing and promoting Gainsborough across Greater Lincolnshire. 

Here’s my list of highlights from the year:

  • We continue to support our ground staff in the purchase of new vehicles tools and equipment, where this has been particularly important over he last few years, in making sure that they’re health and safety is put first and foremost and they have the tools and equipment to continue with their quality of work across our sites.
  • Helping Gainsborough in Bloom in their mission this year to do something special for Jubilee after such a long absence, by providing young volunteers to help and assist in planting across wards.
  • Being an honoured guest at the Old Hall and Parish Church celebrating our Pilgrim Roots at the final Illuminate Event in July. Pilgrim 400.
  • Opening the Community Garden at Wintern Court was a particular highlight of mine in this term, where recognition was given in the form of a permanent plaque attributed to the Mayor on the open day at these beautiful gardens, to be enjoyed by all residents.
  • Attending the opening ceremony of the new housing development, now in process, on the land around the former Wilson Street site.
  • Attending opening ceremonies of new businesses, such as the Range and Crossfit Gainsborough
  • Forces, Naval and Commonwealth Flag Raisings at West Lindsey District Council

Some moments that give you clarity, focus and pause for thought…

  • Remembrance Sunday 
  • The unveiling of a Memorial Plaque in memorium of the lost Fireman, Malcolm Kirton. Following on from the fire at the Paul Eyre Carpet Building off Church Street, 30 years ago. A moving tribute and very well attended event.
  • The loss of one of our long serving councillors, Harry Clarke, a former Mayor,and someone who was passionate about supporting our town of Gainsborough.
  • Supporting the Salvation Army Toy Appeal
  • Offering prayers for Ukraine at Parish Church
  • Helping to organise the transportation of donated goods to our local parish to support the people of Ukraine.

Some moments of great reward…

  • Supporting the achievement of students at Gainsborough, Newark and Lincoln Colleges, in what was, an incredible award ceremony held at Lincoln College.
  • Supporting Gain for Gainsborough
  • Seeing the Kings Theatre Refurbishment finally come to fruition, which will be an incredible venue and historic asset for our town, when it formerly opens later this year.
  • The purchase of new Christmas lights and the incredible virtual event organised last year supported by local schools.
  • Visioning event and vision statement. Looking forward to a bright and positive future in council  The Fair returned to Levellings
  • The support from local people relating to the Levellings improvement plans, where we are looking forward to summer and hopefully successful grant bid to get the work underway.  

As for my other duties across the county:- 

It has been a wonderful year, with some very memorable events from the grandeur of Lincoln Cathedral, Boston and Louth Churches, and Doddington Hall to the wonderful town halls, historic places and buildings across our towns and villages that I’ve visited. One thing that always strikes me though, especially, is the people and the communities you meet too. 

From this year, it is clear, there is a much more positive attitude across our communities towards our towns and villages, myself and my wife have been welcomed with open arms into these communities and have made friends for life. 

We have also noticed that, post-pandemic, more and more people are coming forward to support their councils and their communities. 

Thankyou council, for giving me this opportunity once more, it is truly appreciated and offer my congrats to the new Mayor and sincerely hope this year is a very successful and memorable one too.