North Walsham’s new mayor discusses his plans for the market town in the coming year

Councillor Barry Hester and Councillor Mary Seward. Picture: North Walsham Town Council

Councillor Barry Hester and Councillor Mary Seward. Picture: North Walsham Town Council - Credit: North Walsham Town Council

The incoming North Walsham mayor has spoken of his plans and focuses for the year ahead.

Councillor Barry Hester has been reelected Mayor of North Walsham by members of the town council, with Mary Seward as his deputy.

Mr Hester is no stranger to the mayoral position, having held it between 2016 and 2017.

He said: 'I became Mayor in 2016 and wanted to stay on in 2017 but narrowly lost the vote. I was glad to be asked to stand for the election this year.

'I really want to focus on building bridges this year, both with the public and with the district and county council. Last year we had some trouble with the local cemetery and items being removed, and it really damaged our relationship with the public. I want to work on rebuilding that trust.

'I also want to work on our relationship with the district and county council, many members of which I know. Essentially it doesn't matter which council you're on or which political stance you have, we all work for the same town.'

The formal civil servant continued: 'I want to help people of all ages in the town, but a particular challenge at the moment is finding something for our younger people to do. We're talking about putting in cameras at Memorial Park because of some disturbances going on up there.

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'There aren't any clubs or places for youths to go to, so we'd like to look into that.'

The 60-year-old, who has lived in North Walsham for seven years, continued: 'The other thing we really want to do is regenerate North Walsham. We just want to make the town pretty again and get the tourists coming back.

'We don't have a nice beach but we are the biggest market town and we want more people to come and visit us here. We want to refurbish the Market Cross, but that will take a while to sort the paperwork because it's a listed site and we need to discuss it with Historic England.'