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Interviewing the Mayor of Truro

Updated: May 15, 2023

As part of my Journalism course last year, I was required to carry out interviews and write real-life news stories as part of my assessment. So I thought... who better to speak to than the local town Mayor?!


After doing some research online, I then came to realise that the Mayor of Truro is in fact a man called Steven Webb - who just so happens to be a wheelchair user himself.


This of course was music to my ears, as I just knew that we could connect and discuss so many interesting topics.


I then reached out to Steven, and he was more than willing to help and support me with my project. We spoke online for a good hour and I have since completed my qualification.

Ross and Steven sat in their wheelchairs, inside the Mayors Parlour in Truro

2023 UPDATE:

As from May 2023, Steven has now completed his term as Mayor, and will hand over the role after 2 fantastic years.


I recently caught up with him - on behalf of CHAOS Radio - to discuss his life and future plans.

 

After my original interview online with Steven in 2021, I realised that we discussed so many important subjects that I didn’t want to go to waste. So with Steven’s permission, I thought I would share some of the highlights / main talking points from our interview.


To kick things off, I thought I would share this fun little segment from the end of our chat, in which I asked Steven 10 random quick-fire questions.

(Please note that this section was just for fun. This was not part of my assessment - as I’m not completely unprofessional! haha)


About Steven

Steven joined Cornwall Council back in 2017 and has since been elected Mayor for the 2021-22 period. Aged 18, Steven was involved in a diving accident that resulted in him becoming paralysed from the neck down.


Now aged 48, Steven is a keynote speaker, as well as a meditation and mindfulness teacher. He also hosts a podcast called ‘Stillness in the Storms’.


“I didn't set out to be a disabled Mayor, I set out to make a difference. I became Mayor, and I just so happen to be disabled. It’s a subtle difference, but a huge one”

Steven Webb pictured inside Truro cathedral with the town clark and deputy mayor
Image via stevenwebb.com

Healthy Streets

The “Healthy Streets” scheme aims to reduce traffic and pollution levels by creating a better environment in Truro, allowing more space for pedestrians to move around freely.


“We are currently looking at Boscawen street as a hybrid solution”

Boscawen street now has a new outdoor seating area with large planters, restricting cars from accessing the main road. The scheme is currently set to run for a 12 month trial period, with the potential for everything to go back to exactly how it was before.


Disabled Parking

Disabled parking was one of the main subjects that I wanted to talk to Steven about. Although the “Healthy Streets” campaign has had an impact on the bays in Boscawen Street, Steven claims that no spaces have actually been lost.


However, it was agreed that serious improvements are still needed.


“The disabled parking there is terrible, it’s the worst possible design. It’s on a bumpy surface with a gutter right next to it, and you have to travel 100 yards before you can get up on the pavement!”


The Pandemic

As a public figure, I felt it was only right to get Steven's views on the latest Covid guidance, as well as discussing the effects of lockdowns on the local community. It was refreshing to hear that Steven still supports the use of masks, whilst also disagreeing with the term "freedom day".


"I think it's a little premature. I don't think it's freedom day for many of the vulnerable"

Steven also mentioned that in the social and economic recovery, it's important that we don't leave any groups out - regardless of disability, age, ethnicity or religion.


Future Plans for Truro

Now that life seems to be moving forward again, it was nice to hear of some of the exciting plans for Cornwall over the coming months.


"In my Mayoral year, hopefully they will build and launch a satellite into space!"

Steven also mentioned the Pydar development, which is worth £170 million! He hopes that the long-term plan will also include a "kick-ass" cultural centre - with the aim to bring all of the community centres together as one, without any individual closures.


The "Town Fund" is another on-going project which plans to sort out Truro's waterfront, via the harbour at Malpas.


Positive Representation

One thing that was clear from the start, was the fact that Steven and I shared similar values in terms positivity and disability representation.


"Everyone expects me - in some respect - to be the disabled representative"

I just want to end this post by saying a massive thank you to Steven for his time and support with my project. Hopefully those of you reading this will also have enjoyed listening to some of the subjects we discussed.


Now that Steven and I have made contact, we plan to collaborate on other projects in the future which will hopefully lead to a more accessible and inclusive community.

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