Mayor's Column: 'I want to thank you, the people of Kenilworth' as mayoral year comes to an end

  Posted: 01.05.21 at 00:02 by Cllr Richard Dickson

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Mayor of Kenilworth Cllr Richard Dickson shares his final column with Kenilworth Nub News

There are three things which I wish to share with you - my thanks, to tell you about what I’ve learned as your mayor and to look ahead to the next mayoral year.

There are many individual people who I want to thank, including my employer Coventry University for enabling me to do this role, but most of all I want to thank you, the people of Kenilworth.

These past twelve months have been uniquely difficult for everyone.

Vulnerable people shielding, families homeschooling, frontline health and care staff exposed to a new deadly virus, businesses closed, jobs lost, schools operating both in class and online, community groups, sports clubs and faith bodies not meeting face-to-face, town-wide and individual social events first postponed and then cancelled. Loved one lost.

When I was elected as your mayor I spoke about the three values of community, creativity and culture – each beginning with the letter ‘c’ - that in my opinion define what it means, irrespective of where you may be from originally, to be a citizen of this town.

We must never forget it’s been these values that have been so vital in helping to get us through the past year.

We’ve got to know our neighbours a bit better. We’ve got to appreciate a bit more where we can go for a nice walk in Kenilworth. Thank you for what you have contributed to our community in Kenilworth in the past year.

So what I have learned as your mayor?

Yes there are things I wish more progress had been made on – like sorting the future of our leisure facilities, resolving our town centre traffic problems and making more progress in building our new secondary school. There are things I wish had not happened, like suspending our local train service.

What I have learned – and especially about what has been within my control - is that if you want good things to happen in a place you have to collaborate patiently with other people, including people who frankly don’t like you very much or who you didn’t know before.

If you want good things to happen you have to have some humble compassion including for people who you find hard to understand or with whom you have little in common.

And, thirdly, if you want good things to happen you have to communicate openly a plan ahead and a vision of how things could be done better, even though the future is complex and uncertain.

To collaborate, to have compassion and to communicate, three more words starting with the letter ‘c’. It’s not about prescribing solutions, but more about asking the right questions, hearing the answers and then acting with people accordingly.

And finally looking ahead, I want to wish good luck to our new mayor, Cllr Peter Jones.

I am sure Peter will bring great energy and fresh ideas to being the first citizen of Kenilworth. The council’s workings will continue to evolve progressively under his chairmanship.

I hope that he and you as residents of the town manage to enjoy the release from the restrictions that we have all endured these past twelve months.

At this, the end of my year as your mayor, my appreciation of you the wonderful people of Kenilworth is beyond the power of mere words to describe.

As the town’s motto says – Cives Oppidi Fundamenta – citizens are the foundation of the town.

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