“IT’S BEEN a wonderful year and I’m proud to have played a part in it!”
Those were the words of outgoing Stratford District Council Chairman Mike Gittus as he handed over the chain of office to Coun Susan Adams at the authority’s annual meeting on Wednesday (May 18).
Coun Gittus has raised approximately £6,184 for his charities, Alcester Dementia Café and Stratford Hospital’s £1million appeal over the past twelve months.
And while he acknowledged it had been a time of change for the council, he said he was encouraged by how people had been able to adapt.
He told The Observer: “Simon Jackson was a tough act to follow but I hope I’ve worked hard to support the council as much as possible over the last 12 months.
“With the reduction in councillors in May last year, the management re-structure earlier this year, and the loss of our chief executive, Paul Lankester, it has been a big challenge and I thank everyone for coming through a difficult time without any loss of service to our community.”
Among Coun Gittus personal highlights were the 400th anniversary celebrations of Shakespeare’s death and having the chance to meet some of the district’s groups and charities.
He added: “It’s been a wonderful year for everyone and I can honestly say I’m proud to have played a small part in it.
“It doesn’t matter what our political direction as long as we all have a common aim to provide the best service we can at a price residents can afford.
“I would like to thank the elected members and staff of this authority, my mother and my wife, Di for helping make the year much easier than it otherwise would have been.”
Susan Adams will take on the role until next May and she has pledged to be a hands-on chairman who is keen for residents to approach her with any concerns.
Coun Adams said she was looking forward to representing the council and in particular, being the Chairman that sees the adoption of the Core Strategy.
The Alcester and Rural district councillor is also hoping an agreement can be reached to bring The Greig Hall in Alcester back into community use and she says she will back organisations promoting and encouraging visitors to the district.
A governer since SWFT’s inception, Coun Adams has chosen the hospital’s £1million appeal as one of her two chairman’s charities. She will also be raising funds for Lifespace – a Stratford charity, which mentors young people in schools.
Speaking about her choice of charities, she said: “I was so impressed when I attended the Lifespace AGM and the organisation received the Queen’s Award for volunteers – everyone there is so committed to making a difference.
“The community has really taken the £1million appeal to heart and I have already been involved in fund-raising with the Rotary Club of Alcester so I hope to continue that over the next 12 months.”