New mayor to focus on challenges of housing growth

Councillor Dick Taplin has been elected as the mayor of Godmanchester

Councillor Dick Taplin has been elected as the mayor of Godmanchester - Credit: Archant

The new mayor of Godmanchester, Councillor Dick Taplin, has spoken about his plans for the town in the year ahead.

Cllr Taplin was elected by Godmanchester Town Council on May 16, with Councillor Sue Worthington elected as deputy mayor.

Cllr Taplin is hoping to continue the work done by the previous mayor, Cllr Sarah Conboy, by supporting youth organisations throughout the town, alongside working on projects that will affect older members of the community.

Cllr Taplin spent 30 years in the Royal Air Force as a logistics officers.

His wife, Nan, will be joining him as the mayoress. The couple, who have lived in Godmanchester for 25 years, have four sons, and eight grandchildren.

Cllr Taplin said: 'I am keen to build on the foundations of my predecessor, Cllr Sarah Conboy, in supporting youth organisations throughout the town, and so the scouts and guides continue to be designated as future beneficiaries of the mayor's charity.

"However, the older generation also requires support, so I will also be raising money for the RAF Association and Royal British Legion. I hope to get positive support for these charities.

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"Godmanchester is really fortunate in having a dynamic community life, with many organisations helping with the cohesion of the town. In many ways, the council is here to add the icing on the cake, and thus we are managing a number of major projects designed to benefit all: these include the refurbishment of the Judith's Field social centre, the building of a state-of-the-art skatepark, the restoration of the Mill Steps area, and the eventual management and development of the Godmanchester plant nursery, which we are adopting from Huntingdonshire District Council."

Cllr Taplin has also outlined a number of issues facing the town and how he is focusing on working with councillors to address them.

He said: "However, we also have a number of challenges - the first is the growth of the town, particularly the Romans' Edge development, where it is important, and urgent, that newcomers are welcomed and integrated into the community. The second concern is helping to make the town successful economically; we do not want people living here to have to commute to work, but we want to encourage the development of additional local businesses and employment opportunities, and I welcome any ideas and initiatives to achieve this end."