Mayor meets local people over a cuppa

Meet the mayor - and chat over a cuppa, is proving a popular initiative.

Oswestry Mayor, Duncan Kerr, at the  Old Coffee Pot  for a regular drop in event
Oswestry Mayor, Duncan Kerr, at the Old Coffee Pot for a regular drop in event

Oswestry's mayor, Councillor Duncan Kerr, wanted to ensure he was available for residents to put their view and opinions to the town council, throughout his mayoral year.

When coronavirus restrictions started to life, Councillor Kerr started having monthly pop-in meetings in cafes in the town.

And they have proved so popular that they are now even more frequent.

The latest was held in the Old Coffee Pot, opposite Oswestry's Park Gates in Church Street.

He said: "It has been an odd year for the town and people are naturally worried. I decided that regular, Meet the Mayor, events, in some our our wonderful cafes would give people a chance to come and talk to me. Sometimes I am in my mayoral chain, sometimes just a t-shirt.

"It has been very interesting to see how much interest there is in the community."

He said his conversations with the public had been wide and varied.

"People are worried about empty shops and so much more.

"The first time I went out an elderly lady sat down to talk to me and her main worry was that there was not enough for young people to do in the town. She said when her grandchildren came to visit she struggled to suggest things to do.

"One of my latest chats was about cycling and how much more could be down in the town centre to make it cycle friendly, particularly for families.

"As a cyclist myself Oswestry has some great routes going out into the beautiful countryside around the town, but we are not making it easier for people to cycle within the town and there seems to be a problem with cars parked on our cycle lanes."

"I am now talking to national cycling bodies about how we can improve things in Oswestry."

The mayor said that he had been amazed by how much work goes on by those in the voluntary sector and the huge tourism potential in the area.

"I am now holding these Meet the Mayor events more frequently and so if any cafe or pub even would like to host such an event they can contact me at the Guildhall."

Dates of the events are posted on the council's website.

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