Grantham Journal Big Interview: ‘Humbled to be named a hero’ says former Mayor Ian Selby

Mayor of Grantham Ian Selby rides through town in the Grantham Carnival parade on Hercules the shire horse. Photo: Photo: 012A (35) EMN-140618-201016001
Mayor of Grantham Ian Selby rides through town in the Grantham Carnival parade on Hercules the shire horse. Photo: Photo: 012A (35) EMN-140618-201016001
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Councillor Ian Selby certainly made his mark during his tenure as Mayor of Grantham.

Who could forget him leading Grantham Carnival’s parade riding shire horse Hercules, or his ‘Cheeky Monkey’ video bid to become our MP?

Moreover, he raised a record £28,000 for his chosen charities – Gravity FM, Kesteven Rideability and the Grantham Journal Children’s Fund. We caught up with Coun Selby after he won the Local Hero honour at the Grantham is Great Awards 2015.

How did it feel to be named Local Hero?

I am truly humbled by the award. But for me ‘hero’ is the wrong word. It may have been a heroic effort and with much determination, but for me the name Local Hero should be reserved for our paramedics, NHS staff and firefighters, people I admire greatly.

What were the highlights for you during your year as Mayor of Grantham?

Far too many highlights to mention in a short article, but the top highlights involved our showbiz community. Also the many children that visited the Mayor’s Parlour to view my Christmas and Halloween displays, the Gravity Stardust puppet shows, the wonderful oil painting by Terry Shelbourne, and a rather large shire horse called Hercules that I rode in the Carnival parade.

How would you describe your mayoral style?

I did it ‘my way’ by simply putting the people of this town first and foremost. I kept things local and avoided long distant events that were at the local taxpayers’ expense. Yes, it’s important to promote the town in other areas, but I felt I could give better value for local taxpayers’ money by keeping things local, and in the process we even managed to feature on prime time BBC East Midlands news, promoting the town in a very positive light.

What made you choose your particular charities, and how did it feel to raise so much money for the causes?

I chose them because they were, first and foremost, local charities, and they help people in our community who need the most assistance. Children were prominently featured. To put a smile on all those children’s faces makes us all smile, and that’s what it is all about. We have no future without the children in our community, and if we can contribute towards giving them the best possible start in life, then it makes all the effort worthwhile.

What do you think makes Grantham great?

Grantham has a lot of community champions. It is the people of the town that make it so special. A very important and golden rule that I held dear in my year as mayor was to make as many people as possible feel welcome to our town, and to the Mayor’s Parlour. Make people feel welcome and they will remember our town fondly, and they will want to come back. Thank you again for the award.