Wednesday, 8 May 2013

60 SECOND INTERVIEW: David Rickard

COUNCILLOR David Rickard’s parents were from the West Country, but he was born in Liverpool at the end of the war. At the age of two his family moved to London where David spent his childhood. He met Anne in 1983, they married and had a son Chris. When his career as a Pollution Control Biologist with Thames Water was cut short by privatisation, the family moved to West Dorset where they felt at home immediately, living the ‘Good Life’ with second careers as musicians. Elected Mayor of Bridport in 2011, David will be handing over to Maggie Ray at the Annual Council Meeting on May 16th.

WHAT brought you to West Dorset?
A Ford Escort - that and losing my job, and a desire to leave the rat race.

WHAT compelled you to want to become a town councillor?
Martin and Maggie Ray - and wanting to make a difference, to bring fairness and openness to decision-making and to protect our environment for future generations. Although involved in national and local politics for 20 years, I have only been a councillor in Bridport for the last six. It doesn’t sound long but I consider the rest of my life as being the training and preparation for the task.

WHAT is a mayor's week like?
There is no such thing as a typical Mayor’s week, it is very varied ranging from local engagements and being Chair of the Council to representing Bridport further afield. It can be very busy, but if you enjoy it, as Anne and I have done, it isn’t a chore.

WHAT were the highlights of your two terms as Mayor?
That’s a difficult one – too many to count - but watching the Town Hall being transformed and being Mayor for its official opening was very special indeed, that and being the representative of such a great town here and all over Dorset has been such a privilege.

WHAT were the lows?
The disappointment of not being invited to any Olympic events or functions and the drenching of the town’s one chance to be involved – but actually that turned out to be one of the proudest moments too, as Bridport turned out in force in atrocious weather to welcome the torch.

WERE you surprised by the reaction to your boycott of the church service celebrating the Queen's Jubilee? 
I think the reaction was caused more by the sensationalist reporting than by my decision to be true to my beliefs.  It was in no way a snub to the Queen whose Jubilee I celebrated in several secular celebrations. Neither was it a boycott, the town was well represented by the Deputy Mayor and other councillors who were more appropriate envoys in this instance.

HOW would you like your time as Mayor to be remembered?
My fresh, radical and honest approach to the job, the way Anne and I worked as a team and that we were always approachable. 

WILL you miss it once you hand over to Maggie Ray?
Of course, but I know it will be in safe hands.

WHAT will you do now?
Continue working to help the development of our Youth Council, develop our Rights-Respecting project and continue to support and build our Community Justice Panel restorative justice programme. I also have a key role in delivering Transition Town Bridport’s contribution to the lottery funded 'Communities Living Sustainably' project. 
We also have a new grandson and a lot of gardening and house projects rather neglected for the last two years! 

DO YOU come from a musical background?
Music has always been very important but what I like and play is very different to my parents’ tastes that I grew up with - but it was obviously in the genes. It’s been a real joy being able to have so much fun playing with Chris – and it has earned a few ‘bob’ for my charities.

WHAT is your earliest memory?
Eating a teaspoonful of mustard given to me by my older twin brother and sister who told me it was butter!

WHAT has life taught you?
I think that will have to be ‘my book’ – but for a one-liner it has to be – ‘you make your own luck.’

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