David Lomax is new Mayor as Jon chairs WBTC
Whaley Bridge councillor David Lomax has been elected Mayor of High Peak for the coming year. His colleague on Whaley Bridge Town Council, Jon Goldfinch, has been elected as new chairman of the local council, with Anne Winter as vice-chair..
David Lomax, leader of the Lib Dem group on High Peak Borough Council, was re-elected in the borough elections in May. This is his second time as chief citizen of High Peak. His wife Hilary becomes the mayoress. One of his first duties as mayor will be a ‘home match’ – visiting Whaley Water Weekend on Saturday 11 June.
David was leader of the borough council from 2003-2007, when the Lib Dem group was in coalition with Conservatives and Independents. It gave him a unique insight into managing massive budgets. He has been a borough councillor for 20 years, and a member of the town council for a couple of years longer.
The last time David was mayor, 15 years ago, he attended 300 events in the year. During the coming year, he is looking forward to seeing the many groups and individuals helping the High Peak. “So much goes on here”, he says.
He looks forward to promoting the High Peak as a visitor area. David and Hilary are part of the tourist industry, running a B & B in the unique setting of a converted church. David helps sometimes to prepare the ‘full English’ breakfast that gives a heart start to guests’ day.
David and Hilary have been married for 24 years. On Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2012, they celebrate their silver wedding. Hilary has two sons from a previous marriage. There are three grandchildren.
David has been a teacher at New Mills School for 26 years, specialising in maths, geography and computers. He is chair of one of Whaley Bridge’s most interesting organisations, the Tymbark (Poland) Twinning Association.
Jon Goldfinch, an independent member of the town council, was returned earlier in May. There were no contests for the local council; in fact there are two vacancies, for which the town clerk has invited nominations.
Jon, 48, has won plaudits from users of the Whaley Bridge website (www.whaleybridge.com ), where he is known as JonG. Last autumn he led celebrations with fellow members of the Friends of Memorial Park when the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £478,000 to the borough council for improvements to the park.
Jon, born near Belper in Derbyshire, spent childhood years in Kenya, where his parents went out to teach as part of the 1960’s overseas teaching program. Returning by sea from Mombasa in the early 70’s, a huge wave ‘flattened’ the family’s VW camper van, which was stored on the open deck at the front of the ship. That ended the family’s plans of a slow gentle European touring holiday back to England! Jon came to Whaley Bridge 22 years ago. As a research assistant at UMIST in Manchester, he and his wife Denise fell in love with the view approaching Whaley from the Disley road, and on seeing the the numerous pubs which signalled an active social life in the heart of the village, decided that Whaley was the place to be.
Jon has been a councillor for over three years. He was an earlier activist on ‘green’ issues, helping to get local rivers cleared of industrial pollution. His objectives during his year of office include progress in the battle for a second bridge into the industrial estate, through a new separate pressure group, resurfacing of the MUGA games area with an artificial grass ‘3G’ surface; visible successes with the new Whaley4Wards local project group, progress with allotments and the proposed Shallcross Incline Greenway, and a solution to the Bridge 42 controversy, where locals are campaigning against plans to replace the old cast iron railway bridge to allow more freight traffic, day and night. He says “The next year will see a number of substantial projects completing or taking shape in Whaley Bridge, including the start of work to revitalise the Memorial Park following the successful £478,000 Heritage Lottery Fund bid , completion of the renovation of Whaley Bridge Railway Station – along with a long awaited raised platform to aid access, and the instigation of projects funded by the recent £115,000 S106 agreement secured by WBTC and HPBC to mitigate the retail impact effect of Tescos expanded store. It is a very exciting year ahead for Whaley and I am extremely honoured to have been elected Chair. I will continue as I have done since I became a councillor, to fight always to secure the best for Whaley Bridge and for the 4 Wards of Whaley Bridge.”
Jon is a co-founder of a business designing the silicon chips used in electronic equipment.