Published: December 22, 2013
Christmas message issued by Burnham and Highbridge's Mayor

Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge's Mayor, Cllr Martin Cox, has issued a Christmas message to residents.

In it, he looks back at a busy year of events in the two towns and wishes residents a happy holiday period.

He says: "Being your Mayor for the last six months has been a tremendous experience and I have been overwhelmed by the warm welcome I have received."

"I have had the pleasure of meeting so many interesting people and attending a wide range of functions and events since last May."

"One of the first events I attended was Burnham's Food Festival. This is now being held every Spring and Autumn and is run by Beverley and Sarah, two local residents on a non-profit basis. As you probably know, this event is to promote local food and drink producers and provides all of us with an interesting few hours sampling the many wares on offer."

"Soon after, I opened the Burnham Dreamscheme community garden. I learnt that the Dreamscheme is based on a simple concept of work, points and trips. Young people, aged 8 to 14, carry out community-based work projects for which they earn points. These points can be exchanged for trips and activities of their choice. One of their projects this year has been creating a lovely community garden."

"There seems to be more and more events in Burnham and Highbridge - or is this just because of all the invitations I now see as Mayor?"

"In September, my wife - Mayoress Mrs Arlene Cox - and I held our Annual Civic Service at St Andrews Church. During this service four local citizens were presented with a Civic Award for their charitable work."

"The recipients were Roger Packer who has for the last 55 years overseen the ringing of St Andrew's church bells; Mark Newman for chairing BARB Search & Rescue, Burnham Chamber of Trade and running; John Alexander for leading Burnham Dreamscheme and being a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator; and Jason Vickers, a tireless marathon runner who has raised thousands of pounds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society."

"There was one additional Mayor's special award to Liam Phillips who became BMX World Champion in July. Liam, now 24, had been an active member of the local Burnham BMX Club since the age of 4."

"There are some fun moments for the Mayor, such as doing the countdown to start the annual fireworks display on the seafront and helping to switch on the Christmas lights."

"One more highlight of the year was at The Oaktree Arena in October when the Somerset Rebels created club history by becoming Premier League Champions. We now have one of the finest Speedway tracks in the country as well as the top team."

"Christmas is a very special time for all of us, a time to spend with family and friends, reflect on a year passed and plan for the New Year ahead. I’m personally looking forward to spending some quality time relaxing with my wife Arlene and my family."

"Christmas is a time for sharing and for caring for each other. It’s a time for reaching out the hand of friendship and reconciliation. I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous New Year."

Cllr Martin Cox, Mayor of Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge

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