Haywards Heath mayor reveals plans for ‘biggest event town has ever done’

Town mayor James Knight with Alain Favvarque, deputy mayor of Bondues, Patrick Delebarre, mayor of Bondues and Irene Balls, chairman of Haywards Heath Twinning Association
Town mayor James Knight with Alain Favvarque, deputy mayor of Bondues, Patrick Delebarre, mayor of Bondues and Irene Balls, chairman of Haywards Heath Twinning Association

The mayor of Haywards Heath has exclusively revealed plans for the ‘biggest event the town has ever done’.

This year Haywards Heath Twinning Association is celebrating two anniversaries – 20 years of twinning with Bondues France and 25 years with Traunstein in Germany.

This will be the biggest event the town has ever done and in my time as mayor I have not seen anything as grand as this.

Town mayor James Knight

To mark the milestones town mayor councillor James Knight has organised a gala dinner and dance for the community, which is to be held at Borde Hill Garden on Saturday, June 30.

He told the Middy: “I noticed a number of events going on this year to celebrate 100 years, such as the RAF and suffragettes and I thought we should celebrate these anniversaries.

“It is something different and we have been invited to France and Germany a few times, so it is time for them to come to us.

“We want it to be a community event and for people to come along and celebrate the anniversaries.

“The whole point of twinning came after the war. Whether you voted Brexit or not we are coming out and this means twinning is more important than ever.

“They are still our friends and we still want to be in business with them – so we should keep these friendships.

“This will be the biggest event the town has ever done and in my time as mayor I have not seen anything as grand as this.

“We thought we would never get there because of the cost of everything but our sponsors have helped make it happen – we wouldn’t be here without them.”

The event, which is expected to cater for 250 people, will include a three-course meal with music, dance and theatre performances from local groups including Ariel Drama Academies and The 100 Monkeys.

Mr Knight told the Middy it was ‘important to keep the event local’.

“This supports the town and local businesses and it makes it special,” he added.

The event is also to raise funds for the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity – the mayor’s chosen charity.

Tickets are £50 and will be going on sale soon.

Mr Knight said he is also looking at giving away two free tickets.

People will be able to nominate an unsung hero in the community who deserves to win them.

“This is a chance for us to give something back to them,” he said.

Mr Knight and the town council have been planning the event since last May.