It is an honour and very humbling to be writing this Christmas message to you as Mayor of Matlock.
It has been a year of many highs, with of course some lows. Overall our town continues to progress as our community works hard to finally recover from the Pandemic. The economic challenges have increased and we need to continue to work together as a community to look out for each other, particularly during the winter months. It is pleasing to see many community groups and churches pulling together to offer “Warm spaces” through the winter months. Thank you to all the volunteers involved in this.
Shortly after becoming Mayor, the Town celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee. It was good to see so many people in our town engage in these important festivities, whether it was at the formal events, or more informal street parties. The beacon on Riber hillside kicked off the celebrations followed by the wonderful Tea Dance and celebrations in Hall Leys Park. It was great to see so many smiling faces across the Town. Although the Great British weather did scupper our plans slightly, the Town came alive over the Jubilee weekend to celebrate this important milestone.
Sadly in the same year as the Jubilee celebrations we also saw the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. After such a long reign and life of dedicated service our community was tremendously saddened by this news. The Civic Service held in St Giles Church along with all the other local memorials paid fitting tributes to Queen Elizabeth. Hall Leys Park saw the beginning of a new era with the historic proclamation of King Charles III and this Christmas we will see the first Kings Christmas Day Speech in over a generation.
The annual remembrance services were a special time of reflection across the town, culminating in the remembrance parade and a very poignant service at Parkhead in Hall Leys Park. It was good to see so many residents, community and youth groups represented at Park Head. In the build up to remembrance the Town Council in partnership with the Royal British Legion organised a very successful poppy appeal.
Our Christmas “lights on” celebration had Matlock Band and Matlock Community Choir bring lots of Christmas cheer with Highfields PTFA providing refreshments and the Lions Santa’s Grotto was a hit with our young residents. Pat Parsons from Derby Mountain rescue officially switched the lights on including the illumination of the 800 tonne crane affectionately named “Lifty McShifty”. “Lifty” has been key to the essential flood defence works that are progressing and I am looking forward to this work being completed as soon as possible in 2023.
The importance of our environment remained a key topic championed by the Town Council. As a Council we supported the Matlock Show and continued to support our local green spaces and the wider Matlock environment. In particular we have worked hard to protect both the historic Starkholmes allotments that are currently under threat and the nearby village green. We will continue to work with the community to try to protect these and other vital green rural spaces.
Thank you to all the Council staff, fellow Councillors, and everyone who works so hard in the interests of the Town. As we move into 2023, as a Town Council we will continue to support our community by being your “local voice” to help improve the quality of life for all Matlock residents.
It is a privilege to be the Mayor of our wonderful town and community.
Warm and sincere good wishes to you and your families for Christmas and for 2023.
Cllr Paul Cruise,
Mayor of Matlock 2022-2023