Arundel Town Council held their Annual Town Meeting on Tuesday 25th May at Arundel Cathedral. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/l9JEVcxiV-c.
The Mayor, Tony Hunt, started by thanking Canon David Parmiter and his team for allowing the Town Meeting to be held in the Cathedral which allowed safe social distancing. He then reported on the past year. He highlighted the way the Arundel Community had responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, with so many people doing wonderful things to help their friends, neighbours, and strangers. He paid tribute to the work of the schools, the leaders of the brownies and rainbows who had held weekly meetings to maintain the girls’ morale during lockdown, and the retailers who had given so much support to those who were self-isolating. He outlined the Council’s response to Covid-19, which included working closely with St. Nicolas Parish Church community volunteer hub, supporting the start-up Arundel Community Aid ‘virtual’ foodbank and working with the Chamber of Commerce to get signage placed in businesses around the town. In 2020 the Community Awards had been made to those who were nominated for going ‘above and beyond’ to support the community, and their achievements were reflect in the beautiful scroll in the Town Hall. Outside of the Covid response, highlights included the Farmers Market, a great success with twice as many stalls as before, and the completion of the £7 million Tidal Flood Defence work which should keep Arundel safe from tidal flooding for years to come. He thanked Councillors, Council Officers and the residents who were members of working groups for getting so much done in the last year under difficult circumstances.
Next, Canon David Twinley and Fiona Maxwell (St. Nicholas Parish Church), painted a vivid picture of the way that almost 200 community volunteers had come forward to support those who needed help during the Covid-19 pandemic. In many cases volunteers and the people they had supported had ‘bonded’, resulting in some lasting relationships being forged. One volunteer had completed over 100 ‘missions’ – primarily shopping and collecting prescriptions – for the person they were supporting. Canon David described how he had been contacted by people from far away, worried about their loved ones in the town, and had been able to reassure them that support was being provided to them.
Nick Field then showed how he envisages the Bee Project engaging with people of all ages across the town, making Arundel the UK’s first “Bee Friendly” town, and a model for all parts of the UK. He paid tribute to the work of the Arundel Castle gardening team who had created the Pollinators Garden in Mill Road.
Finally, Jackey Burzio (Member Pioneer Arundel Coop), and Mandie Kane (Community Dementia Liaison Nurse & Chair of Arun Dementia Friendly Community), outlined the way in which Arundel could become a Dementia Friendly Town, a community in which residents who develop dementia, and their carers, can live more comfortably.
The Mayor described the three presentations as an inspiring reflection of all the qualities that made Arundel such a special place. It was not just having a magnificent castle or the beautiful South Downs but the readiness of the people of Arundel to do things for the community.
If you are interested in knowing more about any of these projects, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures by: Charlie Waring