Agenda item

Address of retiring Mayor


Councillor Combellack, Mayor of Rushcliffe for 2022/23, welcomed all new Councillors to the Chamber for the first time and extended her commiserations to those Councillors that had not been successful in the recent election. She stated that this Council meeting ended an extraordinary and exciting year in which she had attended over 100 events and hopefully visited every ward in the Borough.


The year got off to an amazing start with an event in the city centre to welcome home the recently promoted Nottingham Forest football team, along with 40,000 rowdy football fans, tickertape, live music, and fireworks. This was swiftly followed by the Council’s very own mini-Glastonbury, Proms in the Park, and the magnificent celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Councillor Combellack reported that September had seen the Tour of Britain cycle race in Nottinghamshire once again and after a spectacular start in West Bridgford, she raced up to Mansfield to view the end of the race. It was here, she said, that they learned of the very sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The ten days of official mourning that followed were truly humbling and the Mayor was honoured and overwhelmed to open the book of condolence at the Arena and lay flowers in Queen Elizabeth’s memory in West Bridgford. By far the most momentous event of the week was being handed the Proclamation by the High Sheriff on the banks of the River Trent, which was then brought back to the Borough and read to residents on the Croquet Lawn in West Bridgford. Councillor Combellack was struck at the time by the historic relevance of the occasion where prior to the advent of social media, this might have been the first-time residents would have heard about the passing of the monarch.


Councillor Combellack reported that she had attended many village shows across the Borough, including the scarecrow festival in her own village of Hickling. She had also opened halls, shops, and sports clubs; switched on the Christmas lights; opened the fantastic Bingham Arena; and been present at the unveiling of a new military sculpture at RAF Newton.


The Rushcliffe Community Awards reinforced that this really was a great place to live, and she informed Council of the many amazing community volunteers she had met whilst raising money for her chosen charities. Councillor Combellack reminded Council that she had been supporting the Chairman of the County Council with his fund-raising efforts on behalf of Ukrainian families displaced into the Borough and had recently participated in a charity abseil down Kingsmill Aqueduct for which her Just Giving page was still open for further generous donations.


Councillor Combellack concluded her retiring address by thanking her Deputy, Councillor Mason, for her support during the year; her consort, Councillor Clarke, for his support at events taking photographs, making sure she arrived safely and on time, and for his handbag holding skills, whilst she presented awards!  She also thanked the Reverend Canon Hippersley-Cox for his wise counsel and delivery of her civic service and carol service. Councillor Combellack thanked the Chief Executive for her support and for Emma in Democratic Services for all her hard work over the year, as well as Ed, Tiff, and Luke in the Media Team for promoting her events. Finally, she thanked her fellow Councillors for electing her Mayor of Rushcliffe, an experience she called an education and an honour.


Councillor Combellack gave her best wishes to the Deputy Mayor and her consort for the year ahead.