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Helston's outgoing mayor slams politicians over college C-block "disgrace"

By West Briton  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

  • The new Mayor of Helston, Mike Thomas, left, shakes hands with his predecessor, Jonathan Radford-Gaby.

  • Outgoing Helston Mayor Jonathan Radford Gaby bangs his gavel for the last time in the Guildhall on Tuesday evening. Picture by Colin Higgs

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HELSTON'S outgoing mayor said the lack of political support to replace a rundown teaching block at Helston Community College was a disgrace.

Jonathan Radford-Gaby said his biggest regret as mayor for two years was not seeing the turf cut to replace the college's C-block.

Plans by Cornwall Council to find the £10 million needed were officially dropped last week.

He made the comments at the mayor-making ceremony in the Guildhall on Tuesday evening, where Mike Thomas was elected as the new town mayor.

Mark Upton was also elected as deputy mayor.

In his standing-down speech, Mr Radford-Gaby said: "My biggest regret is that I did not see the ground broken for the rebuilding of C-block."

He said it was outrageous that students had to put buckets out every time it rained and the windows were nailed shut to stop rusting frames falling out.

"You have politicians in London and Truro wringing their hands – that is nothing short of a disgrace. I know if that building were in Westminster, or for Brussels or Strasbourg politicians to use, there would be no issue about it being replaced."

His comments were met by prolonged applause from the assembled dignitaries. Taking his place at the head of the council, Mr Thomas, a teacher at the college of 31 years, thanked the outgoing mayor and presented him with a town plaque. He said: "His sense of humour, propriety and fair play will be an inspiration to me.

"My vision for this town is to carry on with increased vigour the work done by the previous mayor and mayoress."

Outgoing mayoress Wendy Radford-Gaby exchanged bouquets of flowers with Mr Thomas's wife, Briege.

Mr Thomas added: "A big thank you goes to my wife for agreeing to come with me on this journey." Mr Radford-Gaby also added that Mr Thomas would make an excellent mayor and praised the people of the town for their hard work.

He said: "As lovely architecturally and aesthetically beautiful as Helston is, it is nothing without its people. The one thing that brings them all together is that you have groups of people all working cohesively together for the benefit of this wonderful town of ours."

Mr Thomas has also organised a walk from the fairground car park to the café at Penrose this Sunday at 2pm. The walk is open to everyone to join.

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