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It would be remiss of me if I did not start by acknowledging the accomplishments of my predecessor and friend, Cllr Majid Ditta. As mayor, Cllr Ditta showed himself a leader. He was hard working, dedicated, and committed to the role. As a very proactive mayor, Cllr Ditta did over 100 engagements and helped raise over £23, 000 for charity. I’d also like to thank Cllr Ditta for agreeing to stay on as Mayor’s Consort, as he endeavours to support me during my year, alongside my Deputy Mayor, Cllr Francis Holly, Town Councillor for Waterside Ward.
For those of you who don’t know me well, I’ll start by sharing a brief snapshot of my background and story. Whilst I call Britain home, my journey started way back when my country of birth, Belize, was still a British colony on the shores of Western Caribbean, in Central America. Belize is where I learnt the values self-reliance, self-pride, civic pride and the importance of giving back to community. That is my foundation and those are the steadfast values that have successfully taken me through the world; whether in my life as an entrepreneur, or when I lived and worked in Scandinavia, in Latin America, in London or here in Chesham.
I moved from London to our town in 2017, and remarkably, less than six years later, I cannot express in words just how honoured I am to have had this great privilege conferred on me. Whilst my election and appointment makes history in Chesham in several ways, it is more so a testament as to just how welcoming and inclusive the people of our town are – to which I say thank you! Thank you Chesham and thank you Chesham Town Council.
When I moved to Chesham from Bayswater, I was immediately charmed and thought - what a difference an hour from London makes. I loved the cobbled high street lined with independent shops, smiling chatty people at Waitrose, and most of all, I loved Saturday market days for my weekly supply of fruit and veg at ‘6 bowls a fiver’.
Sadly, Covid 19 has hastened the decline of our high street, which brings me to the central theme of my vision for Chesham, and what I plan to achieve as mayor. Looking back to Adam Smith, in Wealth of Nations, he described how commerce of the English towns contributed to the improvement of the country as a whole. Whilst as Mayor of Chesham I have no remit over this country’s economy, I believe I can play a small role in the improvement of our local economy in our town.
So what is my vision and goal for my year as mayor? Simply put, Destination Chesham. Whilst this idea isn’t unique, it has never had a champion – and with your help, my goal as mayor is to help make 'Destination Chesham' a reality!
I will work with our councils, town partners, local organisations, businesses and the community to help them coordinate the delivery of events that promote our high street, our town, and our slice of the English countryside, to both our residents and visitors from surroundings shires, London and overseas.
I am very proud to have played a small role in the delivery of the hugely successful, Chesham Italian Automoto Festival, which brought more than 6,500 visitors to our high street. With record sales, marketing and business promotion opportunities for the shops that were open on the day, the Automoto Festival will become a fixture in our annual Town Diary, as we are already planning next year’s event.
Another fantastic example of a staple in our annual ‘Town Diary,’ is the Schools of Chesham Carnival, which I was very happy to support. I’d like to congratulate them on the amazing job they continue to do and on their 50th anniversary. There’s nothing better than when our community comes together for a celebration!
Building on that level of success, ‘Destination Chesham’ will bring Chesham Town Council and Chesham Town Partners together to promote Chesham in a more coordinated way, with a centralised ‘Town Diary’ of all major town events listed on Chesham Town App: www.chesham.app, which I’ve built with my own efforts and funds, as a Digital Town Guide to promote Chesham.
As mayor, I will engage young people, the middle-aged and older residents to ensure our town delivers events we can all enjoy. I will work with town partners who deliver events to support them with fundraising, promotion and coordination across their various groups including: Rotary, Chesham Connect, Chesham Society, Schools of Chesham Carnival, Shake Your Booty, Peace in the Park, The Elgiva, Chesham Town Twinning Association, Chesham Scouts, Cadets, the RBL, Chesham Football Club, and Chesham Allotments Group, among others.
Through our joint effort, Destination Chesham will bring our town centre to life and increase footfall to our high street, which in turn will help businesses thrive and incentivise others to open new high street shops. Destination Chesham will give both residents and visitors great reasons to visit and shop in Chesham.
In close, please feel free to send me invitations by contacting Chesham Town Council or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cllr Wilford L. Augustus
Promoted on behalf of Cllr Wilford Augustus by James Watts of Chesham & Amersham Conservative Association and Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association of Disraeli House, 12 Aylesbury End, Beaconsfield HP9 1LW, England