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New Town Council meets for first time

Picture shows, left to right: Cllr David Brown, Cllr Tim Avery, Cllr Carol Heap, Cllr Neil Marshall, Mayor Richard Scott, Cllr Natalia Mityaeva, Cllr Chris Funnell, Cllr Roy Cadman, Cllr Colleen Stapley, Cllr Jocelyn Towns, Cllr Chris Hoyle.

On Tuesday 18th May, Marlow Town Council’s (MTC) Annual Meeting took place. This was the first formal gathering of the Council, and included a number of newly elected Councillors.

Unlike all other MTC meetings this past year, the event was “real, in person” but also live-streamed on Facebook.

Town Clerk Hilary Martin explained: “We have managed well during the past year with Zoom meetings, but from 6th May it became a legal requirement for local councils to meet in person. Because this legal requirement contradicts many Covid guidelines, many councils have abandoned meeting in person until the next easing of restrictions due on June 21st. In addition, given the recent elections, the newly elected Council had to meet formally now — otherwise it would not legally have any decision-making powers.” 

The meeting was open to the public but to comply with Covid rules only limited numbers could enter the room, so it was also live-streamed on Facebook for all to see.    

Under normal circumstances, MTC would also hold the Parish Meeting on the same day, immediately before this meeting. This is where the Council reports on what has been achieved in the past year, and what is planned for the next — and the public can ask questions. Hilary said: “The parish report will be issued in the Marlovian magazine on June 7th, and the Council is looking forward to a return to normal meetings from June 21st.”

The Annual Meeting

The main purpose was to vote in the Mayor, Leader of the Council and deputies, and populate all the various committees.

Richard Scott continues as Mayor, with Jocelyn Towns becoming Deputy Mayor. The Mayor paid tribute to previous Councillors who stood down this time – with 46 years of combined service between them. He also confirmed his charity for the year would be Thames Hospice.

Chris Funnell is the new Leader of the Council, with newly elected Chris Hoyle as deputy.

Mayor Richard Scott said: “I am honoured and delighted to be your mayor for the next twelve months and will be ably supported by my experienced deputy mayor, Jocelyn Towns. Together, we will continue to support the town and all its activities as we start to come out of the restrictions placed upon us by the Covid pandemic. We both look forward to attending our civic events and the many activities that local organisations and clubs provide for their members and other residents.

“There is now a new twelve-member council in place for the next four-year term and I am pleased to welcome five new councillors to the team, all of whom live in the town. We all have residents’ interests at heart”.

Cllr Funnell outlined the Council’s vision. He mentioned in particular the creation of a new committee to be focused entirely on the environment, intended to deliver significant change.