As my term of office has finally come to an end, what a fantastic year the Mayoress and I have had. I have felt extremely honoured to represent Walsall as Mayor and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I hope that I have been able to convey to people both within and outside the Town that Walsall is keeping alive an active community spirit and that it is still a very good place to live and work.
There have been both moments of happiness and of sadness. But some key things stand out:
- I have been amazed at the dedication of the voluntary sector. Many people tirelessly serve their communities week in week out for little or no reward, other than knowing they are making a difference to the lives and well- being of others.
- Our schools and colleges are actively seeking to improve standards and raise the aspirational needs of children and young people.
- Small businesses supporting each other through closer networking and re-branding, ensuring they survive the difficult economic conditions.
We have tried to make our year accessible to the community, throwing the doors open to Civic life and inviting people to get closer to the Mayoralty, learning about its historic past and traditions.
Charity has also been a central theme and fundraising has meant just that. Challenge 100 was very well supported and captured the imagination of residents.
People shaving their heads, organising sports days, and mountain trekking were amongst some of the ‘challenges’ Walsall people took up to raise a £100 or more for my charity appeal.
It has been touching to see the generosity of people, those who have given money and those who have dedicated time to fundraise or who have donated prizes for raffles and tombolas.
I would also like to express my sincere thanks to all those whose support has enabled us to do so much more, helping me to help others. I thank my employers Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, their support has been vital in allowing the Mayoress and I the time to carry out civic duties.
I also thank my family and those closest to me, my friends and fundraising team for providing stable support and fellowship, giving their time in order for us to raise funds for my Mayoral Appeal and hold some terrific events.
Finally, heartfelt thanks to my own community of Pelsall for their continued support and for their help during what has been a busy year. To all of you that I have had the privilege of meeting this year a very big thank you for making myself and my Mum June feel so very welcome.
Every event that I have attended has seen a hand of friendship extended, and I feel very fortunate to have met so many wonderful people.
With best wishes,
Cllr Garry Perry Mayor of Walsall 2011/2012