Introducing the new Mayor of Hunstanton

Introducing the new Mayor of Hunstanton

Following the resignation of Amanda Bosworth last month, Cllr Tony Bishopp was voted by members of Hunstanton Town Council to become Mayor of Hunstanton and Chairman of Hunstanton Town Council. We sat down with Tony to hear about his background and what he hopes to achieve during his time in the role.

Tony’s working background is in sales management, primarily within the leather and car industries. He and his family moved from Kent to Norfolk on 2001 for a slower pace of life, though as Tony admits, he “has never worked so hard since.”

On his decision to run for council nearly five years ago, Tony says he had no previous ambitions in council beforehand, but wanted to make a difference to the town:

“I thought it was about time to give something back to the town. That is the main reason; I had no aspirations in the past to be in the council, but you think you just want to make a difference. We’re a bit limited to what we can do, but maybe we could do something,” he says.

Tony was Deputy Mayor up until recently and is the Chair of Finance and says he has changed a lot of things within the council, particularly how the finances have been reported.

On his vision for the town and what he hopes to achieve during his seat as Mayor, he lists the possible takeover of the recreation ground from the Borough Council in the next few years and bringing more events into the Town Hall. On the Town Council taking on the Community Centre, he says:

“The Community Centre is an asset to the town, and we want to make sure it pays. It’ll be good if we could move that on fairly quickly and start working on that as it needs some TLC. Once that’s done and we’ve got it set up correctly we’ll be able to get more people in to use it.”

He also notes that a plan for youth development in the town is being cultivated, saying:

“We have a Youth Development Working Party that we’ve recently set up to see what we can do for the youth of Hunstanton. There are things going on like youth clubs, dance clubs etc. where children can get involved. I think if we could start with the young ones and give them something to do and off their phones and computers that would be great.”

Tony is particularly excited about the building and regeneration developments either in the pipeline or already underway in Hunstanton:

“There are some very interesting and, in my opinion, exciting building projects going on in the town. The new build on the Kit Kat site looks interesting. We’ve got the new Bennetts housing estate up the road and Hopkins homes. The nice thing with Hopkins homes is that there are young families moving in.”

“The future of the Hemingway Design project is exciting and hopefully we’ll hear something about that too. There’s an awful lot to look forward to, and I feel that my job as Mayor is to ensure sensible discussions are had with everyone to make sure the right decisions are made,” he adds.

On public opinion, Tony wants to ensure locals that he is welcoming and considerate of issues:

“I want to be approachable. I’ve been thinking about setting up a Facebook page called ‘Ask the Mayor’! Why not open myself to everything? Everyone’s got an opinion, and a lot of opinions are negative and nine times out of ten, these people don’t know the whole story. If they could ask a question, and I can answer the question as Mayor with the assistance of the council.”

Tony is also the producer of the Hunstanton pantomime in the Town Hall; this year they are doing Peter Pan with fifteen local schoolchildren, raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Tony will be playing Captain Hook.

Concluding, Tony is enthusiastic about his new role and is optimistic about the future of the town during his time as Mayor:

“It’s going to be an exciting few years. I’m looking forward to the rest of this year and to see what happens in the future, and I plan to stay here afterwards.”

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