Oswestry's first openly gay mayor sworn in
The new Mayor of Oswestry has warned councillors that the decisions they make help to shape the history of their town.
Councillor Sandy Best said the market town has an exciting future but warned councillors have to work together to take advantages of the ‘significant’ opportunities.
She was sworn in as mayor at a ceremony in the Guildhall with her mayoress and partner, Marilyn Taylor.
The historian said it was a huge personal honour to be elected as mayor, an office dating back to 1674, and said she was proud to be the first openly gay mayor in Oswestry.
“Marilyn and I greatly look forward to representing the council.
“As a historian I would like to remind my colleagues that every time you make a decision you are contributing to the history of this town.
"I we wish for more good history than bad it is important to get things right through truly understanding issues and thorough debate, and then having the courage to vote as our informed selves feels right.
“As a council we are in a very fortunate position in having a strong asset base, revenue and capital balances, and a significant portfolio of property and land.
"Our common purpose is to continue to build a strong and vibrant Oswestry working together with our many partners, including Shropshire Council.
“The next 12 months are going to be challenging, but exciting.
"We are aware of the many pressures and financial constraints that are been experienced within Shirehall about the future of many headline discretionary services as provided by Shropshire Council.
"Without doubt we will be key to, as well as a loud voice in how local services are delivered into the future, for example our financial involvement now in providing ongoing youth services in Oswestry.”
She said Oswestry’s Business Improvement District presented a real opportunity for the Town Council to get on-board with its business community.
She also praised former mayor, Vince Hunt and applauded his mayoress, 16-year-old daughter Amber, who she said had been a role model for young people in the community.
“A mayor always needs a strong and reliable supporting act as a mayoress or consort, and it is my immense pleasure to confirm that my partner, Marilyn Taylor will fulfil that role.
"Together we greatly look forward to representing the council out and about in our community and beyond.”