Helston’s incoming mayor has spoken of the “community” feel of the town and the opportunities that exist for those who wish to get involved.
In his first address upon taking up the post, Mike Thomas said: “People love Helston because of the sense of community it offers. We offer a unique opportunity for anybody who wishes to fully participate in this amazing little town.”
He went on to praise the different groups that did so much for the town, including the Helston Business Improvement Partnership, Age Concern, the churches and South Kerrier Alliance to name a few.
Mr Thomas takes over the position from Jonathan Radford-Gaby, who has served for the last two terms of office.
He was proposed as mayor by Mr Radford-Gaby himself, who said: “As deputy mayor and deputy mayoress, Councillor and Mrs Thomas have served willingly with dignity and with the respect that the position rightly commands.
“I can think of nobody better qualified to succeed me.”
He added that Mr Thomas had led the play and young people committee, and latterly the planning committee also, with “diligence and dignity.”
“His gentle guidance and leadership style has been an example to us all,” said Mr Radford-Gaby.
Mr Thomas, who declined to vote for himself, received votes from all councillors aside from Councillor Ronnie Williams who declined to vote.
He described his election as “quite overwhelming,” before going on to welcome the assembled guests in both Cornish and English.
Mr Thomas thanked “above all” his wife Briege, who will be mayoress, and their children for their support.
He paid tribute to Mr Radford-Gaby and his wife Wendy for their “very hard work” over the last two years, saying: “Their due diligence has served our time exceedingly well. Jonathan took to the role as if born to it; his sense of propriety, humour and fair play will be inspirational to me as I go forward as mayor.
“My vision for this town is to proceed with increased vigour the work done by our previous mayor. As a town council I feel that we are best placed to be the voice of the people of Helston and to represent their voices to the authorities and agencies.”
He announced that his chaplain for the forthcoming year would be Canon Rev David Miller from St Michael’s Church and confirmed the two charities he would be supporting through fundraising: the Helston Community Hospital League of Friends and a new fund aimed at supporting outstanding and deserving young people of the town, to help them achieve their dreams.
Mr Thomas, a teacher at Helston Community College, has worked in the town since 1983 and been a full time resident since 1992.
His mayor-making ceremony was attended by schoolchildren from the town and also friends from Cardiff who had travelled down for the occasion.
Councillor Mark Upton (pictured below) was subsequently elected deputy mayor for the forthcoming civic year.