The Mayor Making and Civic Service events returned to their traditional time of year this year, taking place on the last Friday in May and the following Sunday.
Clerk Helen Royall and Town Crier Sue Blower led the proceedings at the Mayor Making.
Cllr Jill Kibble stood down as Mayor after two years in the role. She spoke of her amazing two years serving the community of our beautiful Montgomery during challenging times; working with a hardworking team of Councillors to promote the Town and support community organisations; and developing strong partnerships in the town, with other organisations, and with friends near and far. Cllr Kibble has been particularly pleased to have completed a full community survey from which a detailed action plan has been produced to guide the Council. She noted progress with Montgomery as a Town for All Seasons with events across the year for residents and visitors alike. She commented on the response of the community to the tragedies of the Ukrainian invasion and the earthquake in Syria and Turkey, showing the warmth and generosity of this small town.
Cllr Kibble thanked those who work on promoting the town through the Community News Team and the website; fellow Councillors who give generously of their time and varied skills; and the Town Clerk, Town Operative, Town Crier and Mayor’s Chaplain. Particular mention was made of Mayor’s Consort, Brett Kibble, who gave such unstinting and invaluable support to both Mayor and town throughout the term of office. In conclusion the retiring Mayor said what a joy it had been to be Mayor of the Town, and wished the very best to her successor.
During 2021-23, over £1300 was raised for the chosen Mayor’s Charity, the DPJ Foundation, which supports mental health in the agricultural sector.
Cllr Wendy Beaven was elected Mayor of Montgomery for the year 2023-24. Cllr Beaven has been Mayor of Montgomery on a previous occasion, having served in the role in 1998. She is also treasurer and senior vice president of Welshpool Rotary Club, president of Welshpool Inner Wheel, secretary/treasurer of the Montgomery Crier newsletter, secretary of Montgomery Dementia Friends, the LEA representative Governor to Montgomery School and a Trustee of PAVO.
Cllr Beaven announced that her Deputy would be Cllr Claire Weston and her chaplain would be Rev Paulette Gower. She congratulated Cllrs Andrews and Kibble for keeping the wheels turning during turbulent times, and looked forward to the year ahead with hope and enthusiasm, and the support of friends and fellow Councillors and their skills and talents. It was important to Cllr Beaven to be clear that the Council and Mayor are in their roles to service the residents and businesses. She referred to how well the Mongomery community cares about each other and those who visit our town. She expressed a desire to focus on the future with a progressive and positive Council, working with organisations towards regeneration and trying to fill gaps in services. Cllr Beaven concluded with a rallying cry: “Let’s start spreading some enthusiasm. We have much to be grateful for so let’s be optimistic - it’s catching…”
Rev. Mary Turnock offered advice to the Council and those assembled, drawing on words from Psalm 127. She then led the meeting in prayer.
Sue Blower was appointed as Town Crier for the 22nd year. Mark Corbett Weaver and David Corbett Weaver were reappointed as Sergeants at Mace, with fellow freeman Lionel Weaver standing in for David at this ceremony.
On Sunday, Councillors and community reconvened for the Civic Service, held at St Nicholas’ Church. A parade gathered at the Town Hall and processed to Church, marshalled by the Town Crier and led by the Newtown Silver Band, which made for a fantastic parade and atmosphere.
During the service, which was also a Family Service and the service for Pentecost Sunday, the Councillors present were commissioned to represent and serve the community in their role as Town Councillors. Worship was led by a specially assembled “Pentecost Band” of players from Church and community. Prayers were led by Griff from the Montgomery School Worship Team. Rev Paulette gifted each Councillor with a “survival pack” containing a gold star (because you deserve it), a smile (for when you've not got one to give), sandpaper (to help smooth things over), a paperclip (to help you hold things together), a candle (for when you need illumination), a marble (for when you think you've lost yours), and a verse: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 28:11).
Montgomery Town Council will meet as a full Council on the fourth Thursday of each month, except August and December. Committees of the Council meet at other times. Council and Committee meetings are open to the public, and the meeting details and agendas are posted on the Council noticeboard (between the Spar and chip shop) and on the Montgomery Wales website.