COLUMNIST: Mike Mendoza on the elections and Adur Festival

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THE Adur and Worthing council elections are over, with a few changes in the make-up of the council chambers.

The future for local politics looks interesting. In a couple of week’s time, both councils will be swearing in a new mayor or chairman and new councillors will take their seats for the very first time.

In Adur, some of the new members are very young, which is great to see, and a couple are already tipped for great things in the future. May I take this opportunity of welcoming all new councillors to Adur and wish them well for their terms of office.

May I take this opportunity to remind our community to take advantage of their elected representatives in time of trouble, that’s what they are here for. It’s no good saying I never hear from my councillor from one election to the other, if you have a problem, make contact, councillors are not mind readers or clairvoyants.

The long-awaited Adur Festival is now underway. How sad it was to wake up on Saturday morning to see some pretty awful weather on the horizon. I opened two of the festival street parties, one in Shoreham and the other in Fishersgate. I also awarded prizes to young winners of the Shoreham WordFest competition.

I had to change my clothes between venues as I got soaked. Such a shame to see so many months of hard work and great ideas almost washed out, but we ‘Adurites’ are made of sterner stuff and a bit of rain wasn’t going to stop anyone.

At Fishergate, there was a giant marquee and at Shoreham, the street party moved into the Shoreham Centre, and then out again as the weather brightened up.

This year’s theme of Strange Creatures was massive fun, with a giant rideable snail making its way around the Pond Road area. Don’t forget there is another week of non-stop entertainment around the whole of the district, not just in Shoreham.

A really exciting part of the festival is the Adur Art Trail. This is an opportunity to see the work of more than 80 artists in a variety of mediums, including painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery, textiles and glass.

This year there are 25 venues on the trail. All venues are clearly identified by the familiar blue foot on bunting and banners. Most of the venues are in Shoreham and on Shoreham Beach, but there is also some great exciting work on display in Lancing and Southwick.

I want to get an early plug in for the forthcoming dragon boat race on August 24, as part of Shoreham River Fest. This particular event will be far more exciting than the previous bath tub race that was held on the River Adur in the past.

It is also the very first time this type of race has been held on the river. Competitors are being asked to register their interest now by the organiser of the event, as this is expected to be a highly popular part of the festival and for obvious reasons there are a limited number of entries allowed.

There are a number of health and safety rules that have to be adhered to and this is the reason for asking for early entries. Each boat can seat up to 16 paddlers and one drummer.

The boats will be provided. All you need is to be is ready willing and able to enter a team. This is a charity event, so you will be raising funds for a great cause. For more details, please make contact with James Parker at Suter’s Yard in Shoreham High Street, 01273 463484. This really is an event that will tell the men from the boys!

On Saturday, there is an open activities day at Adur Outdoor Activity Centre, with taster sessions all day. This is your chance to try out canoeing, kayaking, archery, cycling and climbing on the indoor wall. No booking required, just turn up and enjoy.