Mayor calls for Oswestry Town Council to unite
The new mayor of Oswestry today called for unity after controversy over who would step into his shoes next year.
Councillor John Price was sworn in as the civic leader at a ceremony in the Guildhall.
He said he believed that the recent ‘upset’ had led to the council becoming a stronger team.
Oswestry has a long-held tradition of electing mayors and deputy mayors by seniority.
Upholding the tradition, councillors earlier this year voted that Councillor Price should succeed Councillor Sandy Best.
However they then went against tradition by voting for Councillor Mark Jones to become deputy, rather than Councillor Duncan Kerr, leader of the Green Party.
After an outcry and talks between senior members, Councillor Jones officially withdrew from taking on the role and Councillor Kerr has become deputy.
The new mayor said: “Our agenda for the next 12 months is considerable and it is essential to work together regardless of political and personal interests for the greater good.
"We have many skills in the council chamber and it is important that we combine them to make a considerable difference in the town.
"As a council we are in a fortunate position in having a strong asset base, revenue and capital balances and a significant portfolio of property and land.
"Our common purpose continues to be to build a strong and vibrant Oswestry working together with our many partners, including Shropshire Council."
He said that the town centre and its vibrancy was top of his agenda and he eagerly awaited an update on the town's bid for funding from the government's Future High Streets bid.
"It could bring significant, financial benefits to Oswestry," he added.
"As part of the process key organisations have come together looking to shape a common vision for the future of the town.
"I want to build a better, stronger and resilient community where people feel safer."
During the ceremony, Councillor Kerr praised Councillor Price for leading an excellent spirit of camaraderie.
"We want to continue to build a better, stronger and more resilient community, that’s what we’re all here for."