At the full Council meeting on May 15th among the business transacted was the election of Witney’s Mayor and Deputy Mayor; Councillor Duncan Enright will serve as Mayor and Councillor Joy Aitman as Deputy Mayor. His wife Sally- Ann will be his consort for the 2019/20 Mayoral year of office.
Councillor Enright, who lives in and represents the East Ward of Witney, became a Town Councillor in 2011 and a member of West Oxfordshire District Council a year later and previously spent 4 years as an Oxfordshire County Councillor. He has stood for Parliament three times and has been a Labour candidate in European Elections.
Duncan has lived in Witney since 1996 having previously lived in Pontefract before moving to Oxfordshire in the early 80s as a physics student at Wadham College where he gained an MA (Hons) and a teaching qualification.
Following a career in scientific publishing, Duncan now runs his own specialist publishing firm in Witney providing expert consultancy and publishing books to improve cancer care.
Alongside this Councillor Enright spent ten years, mostly as vice – chair on the Board of the Oxfordshire Learning Disabilities Trust, providing health and social care services and has been a governor of several schools including; The Blake School, Springfield School and Wood Green which his children have attended. Duncan’s oldest daughter, Katy, had profound and multiple disabilities and attended Springfield School which he says was ‘exactly what she needed’.
During his time as a Town & District Councillor Duncan has focused on various local issues including campaigning to keep the Cogges Surgery open and the state of Witney’s roads. As Mayor, Cllr Enright has his own mission statement to fulfil ;
“A Mayor for everyone, a council for the town and a town open to the world”
Cllr Enright is looking forward to a full programme of events and has vowed to represent Witney at as many as he can. He attended his first event, the anniversary concert of the Brize Norton Singers in The Corn Exchange just 2 days after becoming Mayor and followed this up by joining the Pride Picnic and the May Dancing on Church Green a few days later.
“It is an honour to serve as Mayor for Witney this year. Thank you for voting for me, and to my fellow councillors for placing their trust in me. My role is to bring the town together and celebrate all that is great about Witney, making sure we all look after each other. I also represent our town to the outside world, along with others, including to our twin towns whose partnership we value particularly at this time of international upheaval. We would I’m sure all like Witney to be a confident, welcoming, happy market town, in the Heart of the United Kingdom and Europe, no matter what the bigger politics brings.
I hope this year will be one where everyone can enjoy becoming involved with the Town Council. Please come along to our meetings, become a partner through town organisations, or bring friends or family to town events. Or invite me along to any get-togethers you have. It will be a pleasure to see you.”
Duncan has chosen three charities to support during his tenure.
The first of these is Friends of Springfield School, “championing our treasured special school in Witney”, the second is Witney Woodland Volunteers and The Wychwood Project, “to help green our town and make the air cleaner “ and thirdly, Oxfordshire Mind, “who provide support for people with mental health issues from their centre on Moorland Road”.