I wish to thank all the residents who have supported me since first being elected in 2019 and feel very humble that my fellow Ryde Town Councillors have elected my to be Mayor in 2022-23.
It has been a tough time through the Pandemic. I have tried my best to support Ryde Town Council since 2019 to transform and develop so that Ryde is able to meet the needs of its population now and in the future. My personal focus as Mayor in the next 12 months is to support the new Councillors elected in 2021 to develop and be the future legacy of Ryde.
In May 2021 the election brought new members onto the council with wider representation and diversity. 14 of the 16 seats were elected which is a significant improvement on previous elections and, this year, there were no co-options necessary. Six councillors are women and the vast majority live within the wards that they represent. The age ratio has significantly decreased with the youngest councillors in their thirties and the eldest in their eighties. This truly is a team of councillors working together in partnership with the staff team in making sure there is improved representation within the community to influence the town’s direction.
At the start of last year the number of staff working at Ryde Town Council, across all areas, totalled 15. In July and August this year that number will have doubled to over 30. This is a real mix of full time, part time and seasonal work with a blend of different jobs across the full spectrum of ages including a Business Development Manager and a whole Beachfront team. This new team works together to make Ryde Town Council more sustainable by creating surplus that can be reinvested. The Facilities Team work extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure that the town’s facilities, toilets, skatepark and many of the green spaces are kept in good order and available. This is often a thankless task but their hard work is definitely worth a mention here in the Mayor’s Report – thank you Liam and Shay for your efforts. Finally, we are also incredibly proud of our Town Clerk, Lisa Dyer, who won the prestigious national title of New Clerk of the Year. Well done Lisa!
In the next year I want to work with Team Ryde and support personal development of the team yo grow, so when I stand down as Mayor in May 2023, there are others younger and more capable than I to take the Town to greater heights..
Ryde Town Council is now primarily concerned with opportunities. Opportunities to improve the town of Ryde and increasing the number of opportunities for the people of Ryde. Ryde’s Place Plan encapsulates this strive for improvement. What do we, as a town, want Ryde to become and how do we achieve that together? These are the most important questions facing Ryde Town Council and ones that we hope to go some way towards answer this year.
Last night, at the AGM, we announced an Agreement between Portsmouth University and Ryde Town Council and the development of a Community Development post with Aspire. The key to these initiatives is to develop community engagement and provide opportunities for the people of Ryde to grow. The winter of 2023, is going to hard for our community with cost of living crisis and my focus as Mayor is to enable there is adequate support for all residents and those most in need. I particular want in this year to prioritise as a local councillor and as Mayor, the following priorities:
– Campaigning for real Social and Affordable Housing through small housing projects on brownfield sites in Ryde.
Celebrate Ryde’s assets and rebuild the Town post Pandemic
– Revitalise our Town’s economy, support our businesses, create jobs and celebrate our heritage.
Support our Young People, Care for our Elders and Create an Accessible Environment for All
– Have inter-generational and access polices that create inclusivity and sustainability.
Mental Well-Being of all residents and community
– Make sure all Ryde residents and families, post Covid19 get the support at local level as a priority.