As you might imagine this has been a challenging time being Mayor, as it is for all of us. Civic duties have been cut to a minimum as it is no longer possible to have any gatherings or events that can’t be socially distanced, meaning virtually all summer fairs, concerts and festivals were cancelled or postponed. Having said that we have been able to do some Citizenship ceremonies, have a reduced Remembrance Day Commemoration and hold the annual London Mayor’s Service at Westminster Abbey under very controlled conditions. It was also good to see there have been one or two new business openings despite current trading conditions and I have been out and about visiting town centres and high streets across the Borough supporting our businesses in and out of lockdown.
Normally one of the main Mayoral roles is to collect money for our nominated charities but it has not been possible to do very much so far, though we did manage to have a team in the recent Richmond Running Festival 10K in Kew Gardens! We are investigating online fundraising activities and hope to be able to run some of these in the New Year. If you would like to donate to either of my charities, details are below and any contributions would be gratefully received!
Christmas events have largely suffered the same fate as the summer ones and although there will be trees and lights everywhere, the traditional switch-ons and carols will be done remotely. Look out for online events and it has never been more important to support your local businesses, so shop local!
I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and let’s hope 2021 sees us getting past this pandemic and returning to some sort of normality!
The Mayor, Cllr Geoff Acton
Details of the charities can be found at https://swlen.org.uk and
https://www.doseofnature.org.uk and donations can be made on JustGiving
via the Mayor’s web page