New Beccles mayor outlines hopes for the year

Hugh Taylor is the new Beccles Town Mayor.

Hugh Taylor is the new Beccles Town Mayor. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Ensuring inclusion and stability for Beccles are among the key aims of the new mayor of the town who was installed into the role at the annual town council meeting on Tuesday.

Hugh Taylor takes over from Caroline Topping and he said it was a wonderful opportunity and one which he intends to make the most of.

He said inclusion was important “both within the council and the affairs the council has sway over, to ensure we take account of everybody in the town and everybody’s needs so that people of all ages and backgrounds feel they have a voice that is heard.”

“Change is inevitable, and the town has changed remarkably over the years, but it is important that this takes place with as much stability as possible.

“There are a lot of new people, and it is understanding and respecting where the town has come from, who it was made up of up and who it is now made up of, with a view to the future.”

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The 61-year-old, who is in his third year as councillor, said: “I am also very keen to maintain good relationships with our neighbouring market towns both in and out of the Waveney Valley and the other authorities that have an impact on our town, including the various councils and Broads Authority.”

Mr Taylor also has a particular interest in seeing the proposed First World War garden come to fruition, while his Mayor’s Appeal this year will support the improvement to Beccles sports and social club on Common Lane and the Friends of St Michael’s Church south porch project which is raising money to repair the historic building.

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Mr Taylor was a member of the British Army before moving into the world of business, specialising in programme project management.

Another of his priorities for the year is to bring back the town band.

“Beccles hasn’t got a town band - it used to have one and it would be great to see and hear at carnivals and other events.

“The Sea Cadets Royal Marine section are in the process of setting up a band and I am hoping that could, in effect, become the town band.”

He thanked the outgoing mayor for her work and her “joie de vivre”. “She was two years as mayor which hasn’t happened in 52 years. That was unique for Caroline and for the town and I intend to follow through on her initiatives.

“One of them is litter picking, which is not simply about picking litter up off the ground, but about caring for your environment and your society - it’s all about community.”

Graham Catchpole, who has been mayor twice in the past, was elected as the deputy mayor.

Mr Taylor said: “We have worked together in the past and I’m really pleased to have a councillor of his experience and knowledge on board.”

Mr Taylor and his wife Angela have two daughters and in his spare time he enjoys boating and keeps a boat on the river. He is also involved in many other activities in the area, including being a member of the River Waveney Trust, and is involved in the restoration of footpaths and neighbourhood watches around the town.

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