ONCE a year, community members, representatives from local organisations, and local councils take the expedition across the harsh Cornish landscape to attend the mayor choosing ceremony in the county’s ancient capital.

On May 16, delegates from the local area convened at Launceston Town Hall to witness the re-election of mayor, Cllr Helen Bailey.

In her proposal, Cllr Margaret Young praised Cllr Bailey’s hard work over the last 12 months, emphasising her commitment to her role. 

Presenting, she said: “She [Cllr Bailey] has had a very busy and often difficult year, with many projects still to be completed. To name but a few, the skatepark, Lawrence House renovations, and the new library hub all of which have demanded her time, but Helen manages to attend many meetings despite having a demanding full-time job.  

“She somehow manages to keep all the plates spinning.”  

Despite her achievements in the last year, the biggest talking point was Cllr Bailey’s recent timekeeping trouble during her attendance - or non-attendance - to the Okehampton civic service, which saw the mayor and deputy miss the ceremony.

With Cllr Bailey blaming the time difference across the Devon boarder, the afternoon’s choosing ceremony remained in the mayor’s preferred time zone, so when the moment arrived Cllr Bailey promptly took to the stage to offer some words to the room.

She said: “Fellow councillors, I will continue to work tirelessly for the town and residents alongside you to represent that town throughout the county.  

“Over the past year, we have worked well together, taking on many large projects which are ongoing and others on the horizon further. Making big decisions and developing partnerships to assist and give expertise to ensure what we do is successful and fit for future generations.  

“Thank you to all who volunteer for organisations here today, your hours are appreciated by those you serve in whatever way that is. From being a listening ear at Man Down, to teaching people to play an instrument, helping families with dementia[...] everything you do makes a difference to someone. 

“We live in the most wonderful town in Cornwall and it is an honour to be your mayor for a second term.” 

The event also saw Cllr Bailey announce her chosen charities for this year. These included the continued support of men’s mental health charity Man Down, and the new selection of Launceston Youth Music Theatre.

Cheques were also presented to both Man Down and Launceston Leisure Centre following fundraising efforts in the last year.  

Finally, the council announced 2024’s awards of appreciation. The award is given to residents who have been of service to the town. These were presented to Rev Mary Williamson and the Street Pastors group.