Penny’s Acceptance Speech
Thank you, Cllr Follows and Cllr Williams for your kind and supportive words.
Fellow Councillors, Town Clerk, honoured guests.
It is a surprise to be Mayor again! But, as your Mayor, I will do my best to fulfil the duty of this office.
These are surprising days too for Godalming Town Council. This is a new administration and a very different one. We represent multicoloured political parties: yellow, green, red, blue and white – very nearly a rainbow; a spectrum of colours and of opinions. Maybe unprecedented in the history of Godalming Town Council?
It is oft reported that people are fed up with politics, but this new council of many colours, elected by the people, brings new energy, change and hope.
Our Town Clerk calls us “Team Godalming”. Cllr Williams identified just now that I am Jamaican born. The Jamaican national motto is “Out of many, one”. How appropriate, for we are many Councillors, but we are one Town Council. We must not be the Councillors we want to be, but the Councillors our Town wants us to be. Let us work together, for the Town and with the Town, for the common good.
To my mind, difference, diversity, is good – it is a strength. Together we can represent more fully all the residents of Godalming and Farncombe. We represent everyone in our community no matter their age, creed, ability, gender, ethnicity or sexuality. And, especially now, we must take on the challenge of representing the needs of our natural world which is in crisis. Transformative change is needed at every level from local to global. We all need to change of our lifestyle – to live more simply that our shared home planet may simply live.
In the words of Barack Obama – we must constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding. With this in mind, the charities that I will support this year are The Meath, Skillway and the Trinity Trust Team.
- The Meath supports, cares for and protects the physical and mental health of those who live with epilepsy and associated learning and physical disabilities.
- Skillway motivates and instils confidence in disadvantaged and disengaged young people by teaching practical workshop skills.
- The Trinity Trust Team work with young people in schools and the community helping them to realise their full potential.
I look forward to your support in the fundraising activities for these three most worthwhile charities.