COLUMNIST: Mike Mendoza, chairman of Adur Council, on the year ahead

A VERY happy new year to you all. I hope you celebrated well and are now looking forward to an exciting year ahead.

Last week, I mentioned that we are heading for a big year locally, with Adur District Council elections in May, and half the council available for election.

There will be, of course, the European elections taking place at the same time, where we will have the opportunity to choose who will represent us in the European parliament. This is a rather complicated election, where not necessarily the candidate with the most votes will win.

The winner will not just represent our district but an entire region in the south. Because of the elections, the annual district council meeting has been delayed until June (instead of May).

The annual Remembrance services this year will be more poignant than ever, as the first world war is commemorated 100 years on. I do not believe there are any surviving veterans from the Great War left now, but we shall never forget them and their amazing sacrifice.

This year’s Shoreham Airshow will be held on August 30 and 31. Would you believe that just under £2million pounds has been raised by the show’s organisers to help the RAFA? This charity supports past and present RAF personnel. The Shoreham Airshow is the biggest charity airshow in the world and should not be missed. It is a great family event with a lot more than flying taking place over the weekend, so get the date into your new diary now.

Another event that I must mention that will take place this month is Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27. I am delighted our local educational establishments have now agreed to host this event each year. In the past, it has been commemorated at Adur Civic Centre and last year in Buckingham Park, Shoreham, where there is a tree of remembrance.

The Sir Robert Woodard Academy has agreed to be the first host and I am so happy and impressed that they have really taken the task seriously. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the academy for taking this event on and making sure they will be the first to show other schools, colleges and academies how to do it.

I am hoping to announce very soon the details of the Wall of Names to be erected on Coronation Green, Shoreham, close to the entryway of the new bridge. The scheme I announced mid last year would be produced during my term as chairman to honour well-known people associated with Shoreham over many years.

The idea came about after so many names were put forward for the Adur Ferry Bridge. It would have been a shame to loose so many good names put forward, so it was decided to find a way of preserving the names forever. We didn’t just want to show business names and sports people who come from Shoreham, but also ‘ordinary’ people who should be honoured in some way. The idea is to add to the wall over the coming years.

I wonder how many people have noticed five mysterious doorways of differing scale attached to the wall on Coronation Green in Shoreham. Local sculptor Teresa Martin created the artwork. Some say it is a wistful manifestation of a smugglers’ route to the Marlipins Museum from the riverboats, or maybe just an escape from traffic problems above ground.

They certainly should add interest to journeys through the town. Whichever way you look at them, everyone agrees that they are totally unique to our town and district.