Town 'a force to reckon with' pledges mayor

BUDLEIGH Salterton's new mayor, Councillor Courtney Richards, has pledged the town will be a force to reckon with if anyone dares try to change its character, shout down its voice or impose unwelcome changes.

BUDLEIGH Salterton's new mayor, Councillor Courtney Richards, has pledged the town will be a force to reckon with if anyone dares try to change its character, shout down its voice or impose unwelcome changes.The new mayor, who was on Monday elected to take the chain of office from retiring mayor, Councillor Chris Kitson, has pledged the council will remain guardians of the town.Councillor Tom Wright has become Cllr Richard's right-hand man, taking on the role of deputy mayor.Speaking to the Journal almost 50 years to the day his father, Courtney 'Ike' Richards, was elected as Budleigh's mayor, Cllr Richards said: "Together we are a force, divided we are just 12 individuals."The council must continue to be custodians of our unique town and must be the voice of the local people. "In the name of progress, changes will be thrust upon us - some of these will be welcome and we must embrace them. Others will be less welcome and we must do our utmost to see that they are either amended or rejected. "The council must continue to resist that which is out of keeping with the local surroundings. Budleigh Salterton is not a pilot site for architects' egos."Looking ahead I see an interesting year. The council will be seeking to get accreditation as a quality council, giving it more say over some planning matters."Cllr Richards said becoming mayor almost 50 years to the day after his father was a 'poignant' moment.He paid tribute to the hard work carried out by his predecessor, Cllr Chris Kitson.And he welcomed Cllr Tom Wright as the new deputy mayor.Handing over the chain, Cllr Kitson said he looked forward to continuing to serve the town as an active councillor.Cllr Kitson said: "I hope I have forged a strong link between the town council and our local community."I hope that the good work done will continue and prosper.


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