Marlow mayor Jocelyn Towns writes exclusively to Marlow Free Press readers this week as she looks back on her time as mayor and looks to hand over the chains next week:

As I reflect on this year, I would like to share a few things that have made the role of mayor so very special. 

I will present the annual report at our meeting next Tuesday, which details the key events and activities I’ve been involved in over the year - so this is more about some personal experiences from my third term as town mayor.

I have encountered some inspirational people, from youngsters to a lovely 92-year-old lady I met just yesterday, whose work in the last war was inspirational. I met her in our Twin Town Marly-le-Roi attending their VE Day celebrations. 

Our previous mayor started an initiative called: ‘A Taste of Democracy’. This was a joy to continue, visiting the schools to work with the children. So many of them remember their cake elections!

Some fantastic charity events were a feature of the year. One example was the Sprintathon, which was the brainchild of Mark Evans, a Marlow resident who launched it two years ago. 

The event successfully raised huge funds for Stand Up to Cancer and Mark is now rolling out the project in our local schools. 

I presented an award to a young boy who had shown an interest in gardening by helping out on an allotment. It’s great to see young people really getting an understanding of how plants and vegetables grow. 

The Triangle at Hanging Hill allotments, where I attended a barbecue last summer, was set up to help those with learning difficulties and it is wonderful to see the results of their hard work.

I have been lucky enough to appear on a number of radio shows on our community station, Marlow FM, which I have really enjoyed - though I have spent a lot of time talking about parking.

And while on that subject, I would like to say how impressed I was by the swell of support received on this parking issue. Thank you everyone who got involved.

Though I am not a natural runner, I took part again in the Santa Fun Run - a great event. I have raised funds for a number of charities in my tenure as Mayor; this year was the turn of Macmillan Cancer Support, for which we have raised over £2,000.

It’s been a busy and hugely enjoyable year, and this is just a brief snapshot of some of the lovely events I have attended or been involved in. 

I look forward to continuing my work as a councillor when we welcome in our new mayor next week.