A Christmas message from Honiton mayor Cllr John Zarczynski

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 December 2017

Honiton Mayor John Zarczynski. Ref mhh 30 17TI 8227. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton Mayor John Zarczynski. Ref mhh 30 17TI 8227. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

The festive season is once again upon us and as town mayor and chairman of Honiton Town Council, I would like to wish the good people of Honiton a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

2017 has been a very challenging year for the town council.

We have seen councillor resignations and new councillors being elected on to the council.

However, I am pleased to say this new united council is strongly committed to deliver a service the people of Honiton justly deserve.

The council is now looking forward to the new year working with the chamber of commerce to keep our High Street attractive to visitors and to encourage new businesses into the town.

The council’s appointed working group is working hard to revitalise tourist information after the unfortunate closure of the tourist information centre in Lace Walk Car Park.

The group is also looking into promoting Honiton nationwide through social media. Honiton is a vibrant town, a town we should all take pride to call our home.

I am pleased to say Honiton will soon have a night landing site for the air ambulance service at Mountbatten Park which has been identified as the most suitable location within the town’s boundaries with its good road access and close proximity to the A30.

Honiton has never been viewed as a stagnant town and we have seen it grow over the years with much new housing, major supermarket chains and the Premier Inn locating here.

The council looks forward to welcoming East Devon District Council, which in 2018, will be relocating into its new headquarters which is currently under construction at Heathpark.

The town council’s planning committee has had its work cut out over the years, never losing sight of the fact that the town’s green spaces must be protected and our high street architecture is not spoilt with modernisation to businesses.

Work towards extending and linking up our town’s riverside walk is also ongoing.

As mayor, I would welcome more public attendance to the council’s monthly meetings so the public get first-hand information as to the workings of the council and just how much is being done for the good of the town by my fellow dedicated councillors - work that more often than not goes unnoticed due to unjust criticism brought about through misinformation.

So I ask you please make an effort in 2018 to come and have your say at the council’s public question time.

We all need to work together and your views and concerns are important to the council in shaping the future of Honiton.

The council is working with members of the public to deliver a Neighbourhood Plan, a legally binding plan which, once adopted, will form a road map that will help planners to shape the vision of Honiton over the next 20 years.

I cannot stress strongly enough that this plan must be driven by the people of Honiton and not just by the town council

Honiton is your town and your vision and input is vital. The plan is far from complete and the council would welcome more public participation in the new year.

Much is being done by councillors working closely with organisations involved with dementia, Alzheimer’s and fighting to protect our NHS.

There are councillors appointed as trustees on Honiton United Charities and Allhallows Charity. Also there are councillor directors sitting on the board of a Community Interest Company (a charity-based company) which manages the Honiton 55 + Day Care Centre (formerly known as St Michael’s) to provide a vital service for Honiton’s senior and most vulnerable citizens.

I am proud to serve as chairman of this company.

In today’s economic climate of cuts in public funding, Honiton has much to be proud of and look forward to.

As mayor, I would like to offer my thanks and appreciation to all my fellow councillors for their hard work and the support I have received throughout 2017. Above all, I wish to thank the people of Honiton for your patience and understanding. The council is now moving forward with strong determination as your public servants.


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