MAYOR’S MOMENT: Real community spirit at switch-on

Billy with Elsa and Olaf at the Littlehampton Christmas lights switch on
Billy with Elsa and Olaf at the Littlehampton Christmas lights switch on

My week got off to an electrifying start being given the opportunity to press the button for the launch of the Littlehampton Christmas lights.

The elves at the town council had certainly been busy preparing for the event to ensure there was something for everyone in the line-up of entertainment and that it would be our best Christmas light switch on yet.

The Littlehampton Christmas lights switch on

The Littlehampton Christmas lights switch on

Having been joined on stage by Frozen’s Elsa, the moment of the big switch on was accompanied by a loud bang, pyrotechnics and smoke before the new lighting scheme was revealed featuring the projected illustrations of elves by artist Steve Carroll appearing on several of the buildings in town.

It was lovely that there was a real community spirit at this event and hopefully the lights will be enjoyed by many throughout the festive season.

We would like to see as many people taking a selfie with the elves with the hashtag #LAelfie.

From Christmas light bulbs I moved on to spring flowering bulbs by supporting the Great Royal Bulb Plant, organised by West Sussex County Council to mark the 70th wedding anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The Littlehampton Christmas lights switch on

The Littlehampton Christmas lights switch on

The initiative invited groups to take part in planting daffodil bulbs at various locations throughout the town for all to enjoy when spring arrives.

Participants were then invited back to the manor house for refreshments and certificate presentation in appreciation of their hard work.

Continuing the Christmas theme, Sunday saw me attend what would be the first of many Christmas carol services, this one being by the mayor of Bognor Regis Phil Woodall at the Salvation Army Church and community centre, with the service being led by Captain Jonathan Rouffet.

The traditional service focused on children at Christmas with an amusing video of local children being interviewed about Christmas and what it means to them.

There was also a choir of children from the church who looked amazing in their colourful Christmas jumpers whilst singing to the congregation.

The event was being held in aid of the mayor of Bognor Regis’s charities, the Alzheimer’s Society and Epilepsy Action.

During the week I’ve also had a number of meetings including full council; a meeting of local organisations hosted by the Look and Sea centre to discuss arrangements for the town’s centenary remembrance activities in 2018; and meeting with the town’s new youth workers at the Flintstone Centre and with some of the attendees to see how the change in service provider has improved the services available to them.

It was good to meet with some of the young people in the town to listen to what is important to them.

Finally I would like to take this opportunity to offer congratulations to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on the announcement of their engagement and I’m sure many will be looking forward to their royal wedding next year.