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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Aspatria mayor hands on chain after six years

Aspatria's mayor is hanging up his chain of office after six years in the ceremonial role.

trevor 2005
STEPPING DOWN: Trevor Gear

Trevor Gear said he was involved in many organisations and activities in the town and felt it was time to step aside and allow someone else to take over the mayorality.

He added: “It has been a privilege to serve this community.”

Coun Gear, who will remain as a town councillor, said the last year had been one of sadness in the district, with the June 2 Whitehaven shooting and the Keswick School A66 bus crash.

He said: “In the summer the town also suffered the loss of soldier Sergeant David Monkhouse, who was killed in action in Afghanistan.

“The community has supported his family and could not fail to be impressed by the solemnity and precision of his funeral.”

He said Remembrance Sunday had been especially meaningful last year and a wreath for Sgt Monkhouse was laid in the church until a permanent memorial was completed.

He said his highlights included getting the town’s swimming pool reopened, which was down to the hard work of two members of the pool committee and Allerdale councillors obtaining funding for new play equipment in Victoria Park.

Coun Gear said the council was active in the Aspatria Rural Group, a group of seven parish councils which has employed Shirley Muir to produce a community plan for the area, with a view of getting funding for projects identified in the plan.

He added: “We remain concerned about the appearance of the Youth Wing outside Beacon Hill School and we are particularly concerned about the very uncertain future of the swimming pool. Both of these are owned by the county council.”

Coun Gear said another concern was speeding traffic and poor behaviour of some drivers, particularly in and around Brandraw Car Park. Despite being identified as a priority by police, little progress had been made.

It is hoped the use of CCTV cameras will help find those responsible.

The council continues to negotiate with Allerdale over the future ownership of Queen Street car park and working in partnership to improve the accessibility of the toilets in the town.

Coun Gear’s mayoral charity raised £200 for St Kentigern’s Church working to improve disability access. He thanked the town caretaker for his hard work, and residents who had assisted in looking after the park and delivering newsletters.

He also thanked councillors for their support, and town clerk Allison Patterson.

The new mayor of Aspatria is Alan Reay, 70, a former steelworks union official. He has been on the council for 12 years and said he wanted to stop the town’s decline.

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