The Mayor of Newark is urging people to pull together to make the town great again and help its retail sector.
Mr Tony Roberts said his major role in his year of office would be to help breathe some life back into the town.
“Newark is suffering the same malaise as so many towns in the country regarding falling high-street sales,” he said.
“This has been exacerbated by the current works to improve our ancient, creaking or leaking sewer system, which has undoubtedly put people off from coming into town.”
Mr Roberts said everyone had a duty to help the retail sector and could play a part in promoting Newark.
“Let’s respond to the negativity we see so often in social media,” he said.
“We don’t pretend to be perfect but our good certainly outweighs our bad. Newark has much to offer. Let’s drown out the moaners and the groaners by accentuating the positive attributes of this fine and ancient market town.”
Mr Roberts’s comments came at a reception in the Town Hall on Sunday after the traditional Mayoral Service in the parish church. It followed his election last month as Mayor of Newark for a third time.
He said the first time he became mayor in 1984 he ended up doing a parachute jump at Langar, and the second time he was encouraged to do a pole dance to raise money to help a school in Newark’s Polish twin town, which had been hit by flooding.
“Now for my third and final time, who knows?” he said.
Mr Roberts has chosen three charities to support — the Royal British Legion, the Children’s Bereavement Centre, Newark, and the parish church, but said he would be happy to hear from any other charity that would benefit from his help.
During the service there were performances by Christ Church Infants’ School Choir and Barnby Road Academy Choir. Mr Roberts is a governor at both schools.
The parish church choir sang two pieces by Philip Stopford.
The sermon was by the priest-in-charge of Newark, the Rev David Pickersgill.
The readings were by Mr David Hutchinson, Mr Roberts and Miss Rita McCall.