It gives me great honour to be addressing you this Christmas and I feel very proud to be your Mayor of Boston this year.
I would like to thank all the local groups and organisations for all their hard work over the past year and commend them for everything they do, not only for their own good causes but for the good of our wonderful town and communities.
Can I thank everybody who came to our Christmas stall, enjoyed some of our Christmas beverages and by doing so, helped to support my two local charities, and at the same time welcomed the start of advent and our Christmas season in Boston.
Christmas is a time for celebrating, a time for love and forgiveness, a time for helping others who are less fortunate than ourselves. Please spare a little extra time to help anyone in your neighbourhood who lives on their own, especially if the weather becomes more wintry.
It is such a shame that on the very eve of Christmas our beautiful town and its community should have been visited by such an awful human tragedy as the flood which engulfed us on Thursday, December 5,
I send out my heartfelt commiserations to all households and shop keepers who were badly affected. As I spent the evening with people watching their properties being flooded, it was deeply upsetting for them and for me to see their homes and shops so badly affected.
I must say a special thanks to all the blue light services such as the police, the fire service, the ambulance service and all other emergency services for their gallant efforts during Thursday night and beyond.
I know many of them travelled long distances to support our town. I also must thank other organisations in the town such as housing providers, electric companies and other bodies who came to support the people of Boston.
This is now a time when we need to pull together to support members of our community who have been affected by this dreadful flooding. I know everybody is working hard to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and must thank the scores of people who are volunteering themselves to assist in the clean-up and their kind offer of equipment and resources to achieve this. This shows me that we live in a town with real heart where people are prepared to support each other when crisis occurs. Knowing that Christmas is here, I hope and pray that we are able to assist people to resume their normal lives and celebrate this festive season.
I would like to give a special thanks to the Princess Royal for visiting Boston on December 12. It was delightful to be with her to open a unique building in our town. Boston Mayflower and Boston Citizens Advice Bureau made a decision some time ago to join forces to support the people of Boston in offering housing and advice, not just to Boston Mayflower tenants, but all people that live in Boston. The Princess Royal officially opened Chantry House which is being watched nationally for its innovative partnership working in supporting people to gain advice and support to make their lives more independent and be able to sustain their lives more effectively. She was impressed with what she saw and believes that we are doing something that the rest of the country could benefit from emulating.
She also asked about last week’s floods. She said she was so sorry to hear that so many people had been affected but she was impressed by the way our local community had come together to support each other. She went on to visit the Stump, where she is a patron, as she was concerned about the damage to it. I feel this royal visit illustrates the affection that members of our royal family have for our town and its services and organisations.
I thank all the members of Boston Borough Council for giving their full commitment and their valuable time, and the council staff for their hard work over the past year.