Residents were rewarded for their contributions to Littlehampton at the town council’s annual meeting.
Hosted at the town hall in Church Street, Mayor Marian Ayres presented several town merit awards on behalf of the council to residents who had raised money and the profile of Littlehampton.
In my time as mayor, I have met such lovely people and been to places I would never have had the chance to go toMarian Ayres
John and Eileen Hellyer, who have been married for more than 61 years, were recognised for five decades of fundraising for numerous charities in Littlehampton.
Richard Cooper received his award for organising the Littlehampton Bonfire celebrations. Littlehampton Concert Band was honoured for promoting music and the town nationally and internationally for almost 30 years.
Angus Little was unable to attend the meeting, but was given an award for 60 years of support to young people with the 4th Littlehampton Scout Group.
Earlier in the meeting, the mayor led a minute’s silence to remember the victims of the Shoreham air crash before summing up the successes of the previous year, including the decision to build a new swimming and leisure centre on the seafront and the Littlehampton Academy coming out of special measures.
Councillor Ayres also reflected on her year as mayor. She said: “In my time as mayor, I have met such lovely people and been to places I would never had the chance to go to. I met the bishop, danced with Hampton the Hedgehog, seen the amazing work of support groups and had a hug from Pudsey the bear.”
Her mayoral charity is Equine Partners, which pairs horses with young people suffering with autism or trauma to help them communicate.
At the meeting, residents also had the opportunity to raise issues they had. Topics that were discussed included parking and garden theft problems in River Road, and the state of the Rope Walk highway.
Angela Tester from the Littlehampton Civic Society also voiced concerns about the closure of the Tamarisk Centre, which provides services to the over-50s.
Mrs Tester, 63, said: “Everyone has the impression of old people being boring, but there were lots of great activities there – line dancing and Zumba for example. But they weren’t advertised and it has failed. I don’t know what we can do now.”
The council said it was working with partner councils to keep the facilities offered at the centre in the town.