Here you can read Councillor Tyler Hanley’s maiden speech, delivered on 17th May 2023 in the Council Chamber at Todmorden Town Hall on the night of his Mayor Making Ceremony.
The first thing for me to do, is to thank Anna, the Mayoress, for encouraging me to accept the Mayoralty (and for tolerating me while I do it).
And, of course, to thank our outgoing Mayor, Councillor Liz Thorpe for her obvious hard work and dedication over the past year, and for her advice to me ahead of today.
Recognition is also due to the town hall staff (who I am very much going to rely on) and to all the Labour group and wider Council for, quite frankly, putting their faith in me. It is a serious honour that I hope to live up to.
It’s fair to say that the Mayor’s office should embody the town as best it can and I like to think that I can represent not only its past, but also its future.
Todmorden is in my blood and my roots are here which is why it’s a genuine privilege to be elected mayor and I may be (as I think Councillor Greenwood informed me) … the second youngest mayor? So, I’ve been beaten to that record … just …
Tod has always punched above its weight. It was once at the forefront of the industrial revolution that changed the world while nowadays (with some irony) it plays a prominent role in the fight to reverse that revolution’s effects on our climate.
Interestingly, I also learnt recently that our COVID vaccination programme was cited by SAGE, the government’s scientific advisers, as a model of best practice that other towns could follow. The point is, when we do something, we do it well.
Truthfully, when I was much younger, I didn’t always appreciate my hometown (you never do at that age). Its unique landscape, its history (which we are in right now), its openness to others and its independent spirit. I think to myself: how could I have missed all that?
Nevertheless, it is these characteristics that I hope to be an ambassador for but for as much as there is to celebrate, there is work that can be done. I’ve seen myself as the town has changed: some divides that persist and communities left out somewhat from decision making. It is important to me that everyone who wants to be included, can be; that opportunities for all are encouraged; and that the heritage and character of the town’s built and natural environments are always considered.
So, I will do what I can to make changes only for the better, in whatever ways (however small) that are available to me.
As you may know, I’ve chosen EMpowered People as my mayoral charity and I hope to help them in their brilliant work enabling people living with disabilities to get out into active travel; and I hope, quite selfishly, that they encourage me to get back into cycling myself, which I love but have sadly neglected a little over the past year. But it’s great to see Simon Lord and Neil Perry from the charity here tonight.
Fundamentally, Todmorden town hall is a space for everyone to make their voices heard and whether as mayor, or as councillor, my door will be open.
There is a lot to do, and I look forward to getting started.