Barnstaple mayor wants town to be dementia aware

Sue Haywood and Julie Hunt were re-elected for the Liberal Democrats.

Sue Haywood and Julie Hunt were re-elected for the Liberal Democrats. - Credit: Archant

Julie Hunt will officially become mayor of Barnstaple later today (Monday).

Barnstaple’s new mayor wants to see the town become dementia friendly.

Julie Hunt will be officially made mayor later today (Monday) after serving as deputy mayor for Val Elkins for the last two years.

Speaking to the Gazette, Mrs Hunt said she would like to spend her time in the role making the town more aware of dementia.

“I want to get the town dementia friendly; I think that’s so important,” she said.

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“It would be great for people to know that if they come in they can feel that there’s someone looking out for them.

“That’s what we want to do, and I would like businesses to get involved.”

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Mrs Hunt has chosen Barnstaple Dementia Action Alliance as one of her charities for the year.

She has also nominated ChemoHero, Honey’s Bravery Bags and North Devon Hospice.

Mrs Hunt would also like to continue the work the town has done for Get Barum Blooming.

She said: “I think what we’ve done so far is brilliant and it will be great to get more people and businesses involved.

“We want people to take pride in where we live – if the town looks nice it makes us all feel better and it will entice tourists to the town as well.”

Community pride is something that Mrs Hunt is keen to build upon over the next year, as well as add a more personal touch to the role, starting with plans to open up the mayor’s parlour every two weeks.

“I want to make sure I’m doing the best for Barnstaple, and I understand people need to be listened to, so that’s why I’m going to open the mayor’s parlour each Friday morning,” she said.

“If anyone has a problem or a grievance, they can come in and I can make sure it goes to the right person or councillor.

Ian Roome, who served as mayor from 2010 to 2012, was sworn in as the deputy mayor.

A formal mayor-making ceremony will take place in the guildhall on May 26.

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