This year’s Hungerford Annual Town Meeting was held at Hungerford Town Hall on Wednesday 20 March and followed a new format, more in the style of an exhibition. A few introductory remarks by the Mayor and from John Downe from the Hungerford 2036 team was followed by an opportunity for the attendees to visit the various stands for a number of community groups and council committees (see full list below). After this there were brief presentations from the exhibitors and a short Q&A session.
This change of structure doubtless contributed to the high turnout of well over 100 people.
A video of the main parts of the event can be seen here:
‘We were delighted with how it went,’ Mayor Helen Simpson said afterwards.
‘‘The new format was a great success as it gave people a chance to find out more about what interested or concerned them, not merely listen to speeches about what the council felt was important.
With a few tweaks, we’ll aim to do the same next year.’
Comments from those attending
“What a great idea it was having the annual meeting in the way you set it up.”
“A huge success and what’s more it gave other institutions in Hungerford the opportunity to fly their flags.”
“It’s nice to feel we have a mayor who is so in touch with the people.”
“It was a great evening.”
“The new format was excellent and engaged those attending.”
“Thanks so much for such a lovely evening. It was great to put faces to names. You have done a fantastic job of bringing the community together and I am so grateful to you for including us.”
“Just to say very well done for last night….best annual meeting I’ve attended.”
“It was so good to see the young people taking part.”
“The new format was a big improvement – shorter and more effective at bringing the Town together.”
Freedom of the Town Awards
At the meeting, the Freedom of the Town was awarded to the following
Chris Buck. As well as being a church organist at St Lawrence’s, Chris also organises concerts at the church and elsewhere to help raise funds for a variety of local groups, assists at the ABC toddler group and organises the church’s annual flower festival.
Peter Harries. As well as being a former Town Councillor and serving two terms as Mayor, Peter has also been actively involved in a number of local charities and community groups over the years. These include CHAIN, the Kennet & Avon Canal and the Bowls Club. He is also a trustee for the Hungerford Library & Community Trust.
Ted Angell. Ted is a Trustee and the Handybus Co-ordinator for CHAIN. The Handybus is a community minibus whose services are primarily directed at those who are less mobile or socially isolated. As well as bring a volunteer driver, he was also instrumental in the recent successful bid for funds for a new bus.
List of organisations exhibiting
(HTC = Hungerford Town Council)
Hungerford 2036 (Neighbourhood Development Plan)
HTC Tourism & Economy Committee
HTC Recreation & Amenities Committee
HTC Finance & General Purposes Committee
HTC Highways & Transport Committee
HTC Environment & Planning Committee
Hungerford Youth Council
Hungerford Allotment Holders Association
Thames Valley Police
Hungerford Town & Manor
North Wessex Downs AONB
Hungerford Chamber of Commerce
West Berkshire Council
Smarten Up Hungerford