Well what a year! We started 2022 as we finished 2021 with the threat of Covid hanging over us and as the year unfolded, that started to recede to something more manageable but has yet still taken its toll on us all. With this disruption, my Councillor colleagues offered me the chance to remain as Mayor for another year which I have enjoyed greatly and which concludes in May when we have full Town Council elections.

This year has seen us reshape the way our Council operates and start to lay the ground work for redeveloping the Regal, refurbishing the Town Hall and supporting the Bull Croft Working Party to build an exciting new play area, pavilion and steps/bridges that protect our historic ramparts in the Bull Croft.

In the last 18 months the new Town Clerk has reorganised and built an amazing team to work on Community, Tourism, Business Development, Parks & Estates, Meetings, Grant Applications, Administration, Finance, Events, Town Information and a lot more. I hope in 2023 you will find us even more open to conversations about how this town progresses, celebrates, works and plays.

There are elections in May and we are keen to attract a good selection of residents to stand for office. If you have a view on how this town should be run or how we spend your money then why not come along and see what it’s all about? Town Council is a purely voluntary, non-political group of residents who give a minimum of one Monday a month to town matters, although there is a lot more to do if anyone fancies a challenge. Wallingford elects 16 councillors every four years and one of those becomes Mayor for the year. We are planning an open day in the new year where you can meet some of the existing councillors and see if it might be something for you.

In the meanwhile, on behalf of all the Wallingford Town team and Councillors, may I take this opportunity to extend the hope that we all have a prosperous and peaceful 2023.