A by-election has been called on Coleshill Town Council following the resignation of former Town Mayor, Harry Taylor.
Harry said “I want to thank the residents of Coleshill who have supported me over the last 6 years. It has been a privilege to sit on the Council and a real honour to have been Mayor of Coleshill in 2014-2015. My decision to leave the Council has not been an easy one but it’s the right one.
In 2015 I married my wife and last year we had our first child together. Hannah’s family are based in Shropshire and with work and family changes we have made the decision to move there.
I’m proud of the huge improvements I’ve helped to bring about over the last 6 years, not least the much needed £300,000 investment at the Memorial Park. There’s also the backroom stuff that I’m happy to have pushed through; taking on new staff, ensuring existing staff are employed on proper contracts whilst making the Coleshill Town Council a Living Wage employer. I’m also delighted with the continued improvements at the Town Hall, Coleshill Cemetery and the Community Centre and the freezing of Council Tax for what is now a record 8th year.
The Town Council’s commitment to the voluntary sector, with a freeze in room hire rates, a new £10,000 annual grants fund and the ‘Volunteer Awards’ is further evidence of the council’s commitment to the town. The Community Hub, which Cllr Farrell and myself set-up, was one of the first big things I was involved in and the one I’m perhaps most proud of. We set it up to retain services in Coleshill which were to be lost due to government cuts. I’m pleased that it continues to provide pension and benefits advice, help to reduce utility bills, as well as offering classes and IT support for residents, hundreds if not thousands of whom have used the service.
Coleshill Town Council has achieved much during this time whilst improving the level of service it provides and becoming more open and transparent. When I first joined the council councillors didn’t have email addresses and we didn’t even have a website. By providing these we have made the council more approachable for residents and potential customers which is reflected in the huge increase in room bookings which in turn has generates more money to invest in the town. Even something as routine as reviewing inherited contracts has brought in savings of over £30,000 which again can go into further improvements in the town.
One of the last things I did as a councillor was to put forward the motion that Coleshill Town Council should provide significant financial support to the community campaign fighting the development of Daw Mill. It’s things like this - the reaching out to and support of local campaign groups - which I hope the council will continue to support going forwards.
Despite what some would have you believe, politics, even at this level, can make a huge difference. It’s not an exaggeration to say it can change areas and can change lives for the better. I leave the Council in a much better position than 6 years ago and I’m very proud to have been a part of that.”