New Mayor of Ripon reveals his ambitions for the civic year ahead
Ripon's new mayor has said it's a deep honour and privilege to be serving our city - a true born and bred Riponian, Coun Eamon Parkin has revealed his ambitions for the busy civic year ahead, including promoting all that Ripon has to offer, and working hard to bring the community together as much as possible.
Coun Parkin is no stranger to upholding Ripon's great traditions either, having previously been a bellman for a number of years from the age of 28, and a St Wilfrid's Procession committee member. In taking up his new role, Mr Parkin believes that he may also be the first pub landlord in Ripon's history to have ever served as mayor.
This means in practice that Ripon's hornblowers are paying frequent civic visits to The Magdalens to report to the Mayor and conclude the setting of the watch ceremony - something that regulars to the pub are enjoying as a welcome addition to their quiet drink.
The Mayor said: "It means the world to me to be mayor - what a huge honour and privilege. I am really looking forward to meeting lots of different people from lots of different walks of life, and working hard to support my mayoral charities.
"I want to continue to support the work that has gone before me as well. I am passionate about promoting Ripon and showcasing all that we have to offer for residents and visitors.
"We have got a beautiful city - and at the heart of that is our traditions. Nowhere else has all of the traditions that we have, and that is something we must never lose. It's something to be proud of."
Following the runaway success of Yorkshire Day and Ripon's Armistice commemorations last year, Mr Parkin is passionate about continuing this momentum and ensuring that every opportunity to promote Ripon on the national and global stage is seized and made the most of - including the UCI Road World Championships in September.
He said: "We have got to keep pushing in the right direction. When these big events come to Ripon, we need to make sure that we do it right and make the most of the opportunity to attract visitors and put on a show for residents.
"The UCI and Tour de Yorkshire don't have to come through Ripon, but the organisers know that cyclists are going to get a warm welcome from the people of Ripon."
The Mayor has chosen to raise funds for Ripon Visual Support Group and the city's Christmas lights over the course of his civic year.
Speaking about the importance of both causes, he said: "Ripon Visual Support Group is a wonderful organisation that does a lot of great work in our city, and I hope to see Ripon shining a lot brighter this year with what will hopefully be bigger and better Christmas lights.
"I'm really looking forward to the year ahead - the diary's looking busy and varied."
The Mayor said he's been overwhelmed with the support shown by the Ripon community since being installed as mayor.
He said: "I am so grateful for all of the support I have had - the outgoing Mayor, Coun Pauline McHardy, has been really supportive, and I can't thank the Dean and all of the canons at Ripon Cathedral enough for their help and support during the installation ceremony."
Coun Parkin will serve as Mayor alongside Mayoress Sarah Henry, and deputy Mayor and Mayoress Charlie Powell and Jill Powell.