Tony’s second time in top civic role

It was second time around for the new Mayor of Todmorden, Coun Tony Greenwood, 30 years after he became the town’s leading citizen for the first time.

And as Coun Greenwood pointed out at the 120th Mayor-Making ceremony at historic Todmorden Town Hall, the town has yet to meet its 100th Mayor. Retiring Mayor Coun Steph Booth was the 99th - but as Mayors taking the role more than once do not “count double”, the 100th was still to come, he said.

Coun Greenwood, taking office with his Mayoress Vivianne Oakes, said over the past 30 years - he was a town councillor between 1981 and 2007 and again from last year - some things had changed but others remained the same.

“These chains remain the same - the delicate Mayoress’s chain and this ‘beast’...Todmorden never comes second to anywhere else and whilst I am wearing it I intend to maintain the dignity of the town and of the office,” he said.

He praised the work of community groups, and also the community spirit shown that was both touching and effective following the Boxing Day flooding.

He was delighted the Town Hall itself was being more extensively used, with new life being breathed into it by the Neighbourhood and highly successful Heritage projects.

Todmorden’s surroundings made the town what it was and the council must not preside over massive housing projects in lovely rural areas, such as his own Stoodley ward, which appeared to be particularly vulnerable in that respect, he said. The Mayor also hoped improvements would be made to the town’s transport infrastructure.

“Our hills and moors make Todmorden a wonderful place to live, to work in, or, if we are lucky, both. For those who have to work out of town we are indeed blessed with a public transport system. It is a pity our roads are currently so appalling. The council looks to see major improvements in that area very soon,” said Coun Greenwood, whose Mayoral charity for the year will be Macmillan Nurses.

Proposing Coun Greenwood for the role, Coun David Tattersall outlined the Mayor’s career in education, including 30 years as head of Colden School. Coun Greenwood is also a chairman of the local Magistrates’ bench and involved in other organisations dedicated to improving townspeople’s lives.