THE mayor of Liskeard has announced that he will not be seeking re-election for the role at the forthcoming election due to work commitments, but added that ‘it has been the greatest honour of his life to represent the town’. 

Cllr Simon Cassidy was first elected as mayor in 2021 during the latter stages of the pandemic – sitting as the first Labour mayor to be elected since the 1940’s and the only second Labour mayor in Liskeard’s history.

Reflecting on his time in council, Cllr Cassidy has highlighted some of his achievements, saying: “There have been many highs and some lows during my time as mayor, but I’ve always loved how we have pulled together as a community.”

During the first two years, Cllr Cassidy gave support to the local foodbank and championed recognition of those who give to the community and focusing on the many organisations and charities within the town and the work they do.

Cllr Cassidy re-built links with the wider community, its organisations and the parishes adjoining Liskeard as well as reinvigorating the relationship between Liskeard and it’s twin town of Quimperle in France. 

During his time as mayor, the Liskeard Youth Council was launched. This was spearheaded by Cllr Naomi Taylor, town councillor for Liskeard Central and Tash Hewett of the Liskeard Youth Club who Cllr Cassidy has given a great deal of credit too.

Cllr Cassidy also presented the Freedom of the Town award to the Rifles Regiment and the Liskeard Branch of the Royal British Legion. 

After being re-elected in May 2022, Cllr Cassidy represented the town during both the highs and lows of the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II, her death later in the year and the proclamation of King Charles III on the Parade – he also saw the return of Liskeard show after the pandemic, worked with Safer Liskeard to begin pop up surgeries and rebuilt links with Traders’ Association and Chamber of Commerce. 

Looking back to last year in 2023, Cllr Cassidy was re-elected, saying that he was the ‘first mayor to be re-elected three times in a row since Second World War.’ 

During this year, Cllr Cassidy presented the Freedom of Town award to Liskeard Silver Band, supported families affected by the incident at Merrymeet, led celebrations for the Coronation of the King, saw a visit of delegation from Quimperle with sports clubs and schools establishing the twinning links, began to build a relationship with Ukrainian town of Kopychyntsi leading to the towns twinning in December, travelled on an aid convoy to Ukraine with Cllr David Braithwaite, raised money for Air Ambulance, helped to feed homeless people at Christmas and finally travelled on a second aid convoy to Ukraine in February this year. 

Cllr Cassidy stated: “I have been mayor for three years and it has been the greatest honour of my life to represent our town and it’s amazing community. 

“Having recently started a new job which regularly takes me away from Liskeard I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to give the role of mayor and councillor the attention they rightly deserve. I want to give 110% in representing the people of our amazing town, but unfortunately I also need to work to support my family. 

“My deputy, Christina has expressed an interest in standing again, as has Councillor David Braithwaite.

“Christina works extremely hard in the community and is well-known throughout our town, it was actually Christina, who inspired me to stand as mayor in the first place and she has been an inspiration and a rock to me throughout the three years I’ve served. I am extremely grateful for the friendship and support she, and her consort Terry have given me during this time.-

“David who endured five days in a van with me on an aid convoy to Ukraine is a very worthy candidate. I know David cares very deeply about our town and the wider community and has worked so very hard as a councillor notably last year in managing Lights Up and personally funding our town trees.

“Whoever is elected mayor, I offer them the best of luck and hope they continue the hard work we have started together to make our town a better place for all.

Cllr Simon Cassidy stood alongside town clerk, Steve Vinson, and the two of the mayor candidates - Christina Whitty and David Braithwaite
Cllr Simon Cassidy stood alongside town clerk, Steve Vinson, and the two of the mayor candidates - Christina Whitty and David Braithwaite ( )

“I will, of course, serve the rest of my term as mayor until May, and continue to work hard in my ward as their elected councillor going forward.

“I would like to say thank you to each, and every one of you in our community for everything you continually do to make Liskeard a better place.

“Someone once said to me that our town has nothing, but I will always disagree. This town has a beating heart and a soul to be proud of and the spirit of our community is the greatest thing of all. Only by working together, can we make things better for all.”