Challenges ahead for new mayor

PUBLISHED: 11:27 17 May 2013 | UPDATED: 11:27 17 May 2013

New Budleigh mayor Steve Hall.

New Budleigh mayor Steve Hall.

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The new mayor of Budleigh Salterton has been named as Councillor Steve Hall.

Cllr Hall, who also becomes chairman of the town council, was unanimously chosen by councillors this week to succeed Cllr Courtney Richards.

Cllr Caz Sismore-Hunt was chosen to be deputy mayor, after winning a vote against Cllr Chris Kitson.

In his first speech as mayor, Cllr Hall, who also serves Budleigh as a district councillor, said he was very proud to be chosen, and paid tribute to his predecessor.

He told councillors: “Cllr Courtney Richards led us inspirationally last year, and as a result had your full support for the difficult decisions he undertook.

“I therefore request that the council records our gratitude for him for the last 12 months and hope that you can support me in the same way.”

The new mayor said the council faced major challenges over the coming 12 months, including the future of the Station Road car park and the new Longboat Café planning application, and major projects including the establishment of Budleigh as a dementia-friendly town, and the discussion on the future of the town’s hospital.

He said: “I will continue to be a champion and ambassador for Budleigh in promoting, wherever I go, the many events organised by our fantastic band of volunteers, such as the literary, music and jazz festivals, the superbly arranged Gala Week, our free museum, our High Street businesses but, most of all, our unique Heritage Coastline setting.

“I am very proud, and let’s together make this a good and memorable year.”

Before handing over to Cllr Hall, Cllr Richards told his civic reception that his year as mayor had been: “As successful as I could have hoped for.”

He highlighted council achievements including the renovated Jubilee shelter, the replacement of seafront railings, and the creation of the town improvement fund.

Like Cllr Hall, he called for the town’s setting to be protected, when discussing planning applications from his year as mayor.

“On the planning side, there have been a number of high profile cases, and in some cases the final outcome has not been what we would have wished for, but we have to accept where we are and carry on trying to do our best for the town and to protect the characteristics that make it special.

“The only thing this town has to sell to tourists is the town itself and its immediate environment.

“In sales terms, this is our unique selling point, so we must do what we can to protect it.”


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