In the last month I have held two very successful charity fundraisers. Mecca Bingo at Skimpot Road hosted a Bingo Night for me with fifty guests coming along. A fast-paced evening, which started with a meal and drink before it was eyes-down. During the interval break I was invited to speak about the work of the mayor and a bucket collection was completed doubling the money raised on the night.

Saturday just gone, 27th April, a coffee morning at Priory View, Church Street with a delicious spread of home baking by my sister and I was held. Thanks to Cakes by Claire Kelly for her cupcake donation.

I’ve attended many events, visited local businesses, and spoke to groups of children at schools. I’ve presented winners of the HEARTrail with their prizes and been part of the fabulous campaign by Octave Music to persuade Coldplay to change the words of their song Yellow to Orange in recognition of them playing in Luton at this year’s BBC Radio One Big Weekend at Stockwood Park.

I spent time with the Community Policing team observing their shift and being out on visits with them looking into anti-social behaviour and neighbour disputes. I’ve raised concerns about the increased vehicle thefts and shop lifting of late as well as ongoing off-road motorbikes causing concern throughout the town.

Kids in Action continue to deliver excellent services to those less able and I was privileged to have been invited to The Base a couple of Sundays ago when they welcomed Maisie … a donated Morris Minor by the Bedfordshire Morris Minor group to be used as a mascot at events going forward. A car of my dreams and I was able to sit in it – next step a little drive !

New businesses continue to show interest in privately owned empty units in the town centre with SR Wood letting agents telling me there is a lot of interest in the town. I just wish those units owned by Central Bedfordshire Council would equally be marketed and new businesses attracted to help revitalise our Ashton Square / Middle Row Development.

I was really pleased to open Red Thread Tailors new unit in The Quadrant last week. A move from West Street has provided an increased floor space and working area for the ladies to continue their excellent tailoring services.

As I am heading into the final weeks of my term of office, I have a few more talks to give to local community groups and I’m hosting a visit to Grove House by The High Sheriff, children from Weatherfield Academy and representatives from the Royal British Legion and Army Benevolent Fund.

My focus will also be on sharing out the money raised during the year. As I said at the outset of my year, my two main charities will receive the majority of the money raised, with a handful of other organisations receiving small donations in recognition of their work across the town, supporting and developing community engagement.

So far, I have donated to Dunstable Sea Cadets, Kids in Action, and Hospice at Home Volunteers. More visits are planned in the next three weeks, and I will be presenting CHUMS and South Beds Dial-a-Ride with their cheques too.

I’ve been touched by all the messages of support I have received in recent weeks acknowledging my two years as Mayor are coming to an end. It’s been an incredible journey, an absolute privilege and one that I will treasure. I’ve so many memories to take away; I’ve gained new friends and I hope I leave the role of Town Mayor of Dunstable in a place that civic pride and tradition can continue for years to come.

Thank you to everyone, it’s been a blast!