message issued by Burnham and Highbridge's Mayor
and Highbridge's Mayor, Cllr Martin Cox, has issued his annual
Christmas message to residents.
it, he looks back at a busy year of events across the two towns
and wishes residents a happy holiday period.
says: "Christmas is a time for family and I'm personally
looking forward to spending some quality time relaxing with my
wife Arlene and my family.
can also be a difficult time for people. It can be a painful and
sad time for many families, particularly for people who have suffered
bereavement over the past year. I would encourage people to rally
around these families, friends and neighbours and provide them
with the help and support that they need.
is the second year for Arlene and I to be Mayor and Mayoress.
We are enjoying it even more than our first year, being well versed
in the various routines.
Seeing at close hand all the community activities, the groups
of volunteers helping others, the festivities organised for us
all, has taught me to love our coastal town, as every activity
contributes to the social fabric of our society, making this a
better place to live and bonding us all together.
invitations I receive are varied and can be anything from opening
a shop, celebrating a 100th Birthday party or welcoming royalty!
Over the past year, Burnham residents Ian Jefferies and Les Barber
set up a 'Project Coach' to encourage coaches into our town for
longer than just a quick stopover. They met coaches to tell them
where they can find good food and value for money and later Burnham-On-Sea
received the coveted flag for 'Coach Friendly Status.' As a result
hundreds more coaches have visited us, resulting in extra income
In March I opened a new swimming pool at Burnham-On-Sea Holiday
Village. I found it very welcoming to know that Haven has the
confidence in our local tourism industry to invest £2million
pounds in a lovely new swimming pool complex.
May I took a card and flowers to Burnhan resident Winifred Morse
for her 100th Birthday. She had received a lovely card from the
Queen and I am told the Queen actually signs each card herself!
Gladys was an amazingly sprightly lady. She said: "My secret
for a long life is eating plain healthy food, keeping active and
having lots of good friends around me. I also do a lot of jigsaws
to keep my mind active."
the spring Arlene and I enjoyed good company and good food at
a dinner organised by the Fritzlar Twinning Society. I learnt
that the town of Fritzlar in Germany was twinned with Burnham-On-Sea
25 years ago on 25th June 1989.
are elected every April and usually serve for one year. Each Mayor
will hold a 'Mayor's Sunday' or 'Civic Service' and invite all
the other Mayor's in Somerset to the occasion. As there are 16
Mayor's in Somerset that end's up with a lot of invitations. Whilst
we are all together we call ourselves 'The Chain Gang!' I have
two deputy Mayors to help me and one of them Cllr. Dennis Davey
covered a July invitation at The Baptist Hall for 'Tea at Three!'
He also covers many other invitations together with my other deputy
Cllr. Mike Mansfield.
lovely coastal town of Burnham-On-Sea is just a little town but
there is lots and lots of history here! What make's a place like
this interesting, is knowledge of it's history and then we can
fully appreciate the town we have today.
Monday 9th June my wife and I were at The Marine Recue Centre
on the seafront, together with other dignitaries and members of
BARB Search & Rescue to welcome Prince Edward. He did an informal
walkabout, meeting local people who had come to see him. He was
welcomed by Mark Newman, the BARB Chairman, other BARB members,
following which Cllr. Neville Jones asked the Prince to unveil
a new information plaque on the sea wall, all about Royal visits
to our town.
was also proud to be invited to the launch of the 'Capture Burnham'
project and a new Heritage trail. These had been established by
John Strickland's history group with the aid of a lottery grant.
John has put the history of our area onto this web site, but there
are still many gaps in our knowledge. By inviting people to add
information and pictures, we will gradually build up a comprehensive
library that we can all read and enjoy. For the Heritage Trail
there is a map of historical buildings in the town centre and
a route to follow. Outside each one is a 'Quick Response' square
and those with a smart phone can point the phone at this square
& bring up a web page all about that particular building.
September my wife and I held our Annual Civic Service at St. Andrew's
Church. During this service, two couples interested in sports
where presented with a Civic Award for their charitable work.
international athletes, Sarah & Mark Cox-Conklin who run Burnham's
Swim & Sports Academy. They saved our town swimming pool from
being sold off for development and at great expense brought this
old facility up to modern standards. They added a fitness centre
and various outdoor activities. The pool is now the hub for other
activities such as runs, sprints, semi-marathons and is now an
enormous asset to Burnham on Sea.
Sue & Tony Merrett who transformed an old warehouse in Highbridge
into the nerve centre of a remarkable gymnastic enterprise 'The
Monarchs Acrobatic Gymnastics Club.' This club has now expanded
and has every facility for over 100 youngsters who not only train
at the club, but from there, set off to many parts of Europe where
they win many medals and awards! The
great success of this Club is due to the enthusiasm and personal
sacrifice of this husband and wife team Tony and Sue, over the
last 15 years.
Queen has a Lord-Lieutenant in each county as her representative
and they assist and escort any Royal visits. The Lord-Lieutenant
of Somerset is Lady Gass DVCO. On 29th November this year I was
with the welcoming group when she called to Burnham's BARB Search
& Rescue headquarters. In recognition of BARB's outstanding
flood relief work across Somerset over the past two winters and
for operating two rescue hovercrafts. She presented them with
'The Queens Award for Voluntary Service 2014.' This is a much-coveted
national honour for outstanding achievements by groups of volunteers
who help others.
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
want to wish all the citizens of Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge
a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.