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By Annalie |

Mayor Tom Wootton New Year Message

Mayor Tom Wootton of Bedford

Serving as your Mayor since May has been the highest honour of my life, and I am excited about the journey ahead. As we reflect on the past year and look ahead to what 2024 may bring, I hope that each of you will enjoy a happy new year.

Reflecting on the past months, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each resident for your support to making Bedford Borough a better place. Only last month, the Christmas light switch-on, both in Kempston and Bedford, was such a joyous event. So many people came together to enjoy the music, entertainment, and the spectacular lantern parade. It showed me the true community spirit which sums up what a wonderful place Bedford Borough is.

Over the past few months I have visited many different groups and organisations throughout the Borough. I have always been proud to be a Bedfordian, but this job gives me ever more opportunities to speak to new people and communities, to learn what matters to them, and to find out how our council can help. Whether it is visiting businesses and religious groups, seeing the progress on major projects such as our new schools and road improvements, or holding meetings to hear your views on topics like East West Rail, everybody has a role to play in shaping our future.  

But 2023 has not been without its challenges. This is a time when our whole community is affected by rising costs and household bills. This brings with it new worries and pressures all across our community, at what can already be a difficult time of year for so many. My Cabinet and I remain committed to making this a prosperous Borough for everybody. I’d also like to extend my personal thanks goes to the army of volunteers, who give of their time freely to help others and ensure that the most in need are looked after. Their dedication is crucial, and should not go unnoticed.

It’s time now to look forward to 2024. Perhaps not a lot of people will know this, but the council actually turns 50 years old next year. There will be so many things to celebrate and enjoy throughout the next 12 months – and as I always say, Bedford’s best days are yet to come .

I wish you and your loved ones a New Year filled with hope and happiness.

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