For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Tony Hirons and I am proud to have been elected as the Mayor of Lutterworth for the year ahead.
I say proud deliberately as, for someone born and bred in Lutterworth, I believe there is no greater honour than representing your home town and that is something I will do to the best of my ability over the year ahead.
I believe that Lutterworth has a great deal going for it. In the last eighteen months we have seen national chains such as Waitrose and Costa Coffee come to Lutterworth and now we hear that Tesco’s are also looking to open a store in the town. Alongside this we have seen independent shops opening here, the latest being Barkers Pet Stores in Church Street. We have some excellent businesses and commercial outlets in Lutterworth, but we welcome further competition. Many shops around the town have a ‘Buy Local’ sticker in their window – that is something I would wish to encourage as many people as possible to do.
I believe that there is much to promote about Lutterworth and I will certainly do everything that I can in the months ahead.
For business, we are ideally placed geographically, demonstrated by the fact that the growth of the distribution centre, Magna Park has seen a workforce of over 7,000, drawn not only from Lutterworth but Rugby, Coventry, Leicester – even as far away as Staffordshire. But the vast majority of those will drive to Magna Park and at the end of their day or shift, drive home again without ever thinking of coming into Lutterworth. It’s something I am working with businesses and retailers to see how we can get them into town.
We need to clearly demonstrate what we can offer – shopping, banking, chemists – even the opportunity to visit a local optician. We then need to back this up with activities to attract them and their families.
We also have the growing opportunity to attract tourists to our town mainly due to the legacy of two men - John Wycliffe & Sir Frank Whittle.
Lutterworth Museum has THE best Sir Frank Whittle collection in the country – they display at places such as Duxford and RAF Cranwell and have, rightly, won awards for their collection.
The legacy of John Wycliffe meanwhile draws visitors from across the world – in fact it is probably true to say that his work in completing the first complete translation of the Bible into English is probably better recognised elsewhere in the world than in this country
This brings me to my charity appeal for the year – for which I hope I can gain your support - St Mary’s Churchyard Project.
Three years ago a source of Lottery Funding was identified which we felt could help to transform St Mary’s Churchyard – the major ‘green’ space in the centre of Lutterworth and somewhere that everyone, whether visiting or living and working in Lutterworth can identify as a place of solace – somewhere to relax, enjoy the peace and quiet and watch the world go by. Much has been accomplished but there is still a great deal to do, for example, the paths by the Garden of Remembrance, visited by many, is eroded to the point of being dangerous. Elsewhere in the churchyard I am keen to work with volunteers and particularly young people to create a nature walk and wildflower meadow.
I will be looking to arrange various events over the year to raise funds for this work, the first of which will be an abseil from the tower of St Mary’s church. This will be held on Saturday 17th September. If you have a head for heights and a sense of adventure I would be delighted to hear from you. I would encourage those who are interested to pick up a sponsorship form from the Town Council Offices–I hope that those taking part will be able to get friends, families and work colleagues to sponsor their spectacular descent.
I do hope that I can count on your support during the months ahead and if anyone would like to organise their own event for the Mayor’s Appeal - I will certainly do all that I can to help.
I am proud to be Mayor – I’m proud of Lutterworth – and I will do all I can to promote it during my time as Mayor.
Member since: 10th July 2012
Shy retiring (!) red-head, working hard to showcase everything great about our town and villages. Loves her son, her man & Bruce Springsteen (but not always in that order!)