Happy New Year

Happy New Year from the Mayor

Another Christmas has come and gone and I sincerely hope that it has been a joyful one for the majority of readers, with families coming together and enjoying this most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas Celebrations in Whittlesey and Heartfelt Thanks

I have no doubt many in our community have experienced yet another memorable Whittlesey Christmas Extravaganza in the centre of the town. Our thanks and congratulations for this event must go to the small band of volunteers who meet regularly throughout the year to plan the event and to the additional volunteers on the day itself who act as stewards to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.

My hope is that many have been reminded once more of the message of Christmas by attending the numerous church and carol services held in our town and villages over the past month which have added to the joy of the season.

Sadly, Christmas is not always a happy time for those in our community who suffer ill health and are separated from their loved ones in hospital, hospice or care homes. My thanks on behalf of the community to all those staff, doctors, nurses and care workers who have devoted their time and skills to look after others whilst being away from their own families at Christmas.

My further thanks go to Joe and Sue Jennings along with the volunteers who have manned the food bank – Whittlesey Emergency Food Aid, to ensure that adequate food and Christmas treats have been available for those in need. Grateful thanks are also due to local food stores and supermarkets for their donations of food and to the donors of financial aid to assist the food bank. A reminder once more that the contact number for WEFA is 07375 143146.

End of Year Highlights 

Ann and I have continued our many visits to local organisations and surrounding areas to promote Whittlesey and the villages and I would like to highlight just three for readers’ information.

Firstly, we attended Peterborough Regional College to join the 20th Anniversary celebrations of the Peterborough Asylum and Refugee Community Association (PARCA) where we were privileged to meet the many families who had sought refuge in our country and were now settled and contributing to our society. As many will know, since 2019 Whittlesey Town Council has been able to support Syrian refugee families and part of the proceeds from last year’s Mayor’s Dinner Dance went to the Ukrainian Relief Fund. 

Secondly, I attended the Annual General Meeting of the Phoenix Youth Provision in Whittlesey where I was most impressed with the many skilled and experienced volunteers who are doing their utmost to provide proper youth facilities in our towns and villages. As I stated in last month’s magazine, this is a project that I will continue to fully support as I believe we need to invest in our young people for the future wellbeing of our society.

Finally, after previous discussions that I have had with the Salvation Army, Ann and I were delighted to be able to welcome Lorraine Chaundy to Whittlesey who is now in charge of the Salvation Army premises in Church Street and will be rebuilding the congregation after a considerable period of absence in the town. 

Looking to the New Year Ahead

On Saturday 14th January it will be a delight to welcome back the internationally famous Straw Bear parade as part of the revived Straw Bear Festival. I am certain that as before, this event will attract many visitors and will give our businesses a much needed boost. The pubs and restaurants in the town will no doubt capitalise but should you prefer traditional fare by way of hot soup, bacon rolls, sandwiches, cake and good conversation, then please pay a visit to St Andrews Hall in Parkinson’s Lane where I know you will be well received.

2023 does not promise to be an easy year for many in our town and villages. There will be many who will find it increasingly difficult to pay their bills as the strain of the rising energy  prices and general living costs takes its toll. Please do not suffer alone. Peel House accommodates the Citizen Advice Bureau each and every Friday and I am hoping to organise an Open Day in the coming weeks in conjunction with the CAB. In the meantime, for an urgent appointment please telephone the Adviceline on 0808 278 7807 (Freephone).

May I extend my best wishes to you all for a Happy New Year.

Till next time……….

Cllr David K M Mason – Mayor & Leader – Whittlesey Town Council

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