Jul 5, 2018
Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 30 June – 5 July 2018

Saturday was probably the most intense day of my calendar so far: a mammoth five events in six hours in the blistering heat – a challenge which soon caught up on me.

I started with a visit to Horizon Community Centre to see the wonderful work the Joy Project at Worcester Community Trust do with female victims of sexual and domestic violence.

Then I moved on to the opening of Henry Sandon Hall – a much-anticipated project delivered thanks to the vision of Colin Kinnear and his wife Brenda.  Colin, a long-serving selfless citizen of the city and founder of the Bransford Trust, has regenerated and invested in the dilapidated buildings at the Royal Porcelain – and my, what a wonderful transformation it has been. The beauty and serenity of the landscape and the investment in a community arts space at a time when arts funding is hard to come by, is a real bold statement for Worcester.   This will fast become another jewel in this fascinating City’s crown.

As the heat intensified and the burden of the suit and chain became apparent, the old saying ‘Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun’ came to mind.

Next stop was the awards ceremony at New College Worcester.  By then the day had caught up with me and I was physically and mentally flagging. Despite my age and fitness, the intensity of the events and the strict and regimented nature of affairs was a sobering experience – and a lesson to myself to maybe take it a little easier and avoid burnout.

A mention also must go to my Consort for the Day scheme, which I have introduced to open the Mayor’s office to those who would never traditionally have got the opportunity. Jessica, who has Asperger’s, accompanied me, keeping up the pace and me on track.  It was a fascinating experience for both of us, as we caught a small glimpse of each other’s lives. A little bit of empathy goes a long way in spreading Love not Hate, and dispelling fears of the unknown.

Finally, I just want to say that football definitely is coming home – good luck to England today!


Jun 28, 2018
Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 22 – 29 June 2018

Another congested week, starting off with the Worcestershire Education Awards! All winners were deservingly recognised by the inspirational Duncan Goodhew MBE – well done to Worcester News for organising.

This week I invited Daisy the Dog to the Parlour for a special recognition ceremony, appreciating her services to keep Worcester clean.  Daisy has been picking up cans and bottles and puts many of us to shame.  Quite rightly I have granted her full civic honours – Daisy has received a mayoral certificate and medal to go along with it!

I was privileged to be invited to the Britannia Square Garden Party – an event that has been a regular in my calendar.  It’s a great occasion for all the community in the area to come together and celebrate the year; an uplifting and joyous occasion.

Monday marked the beginning of Armed Forces Week.  I was joined by the High Sheriff of Worcestershire, Cassian Roberts; members of the armed forces; veterans; cadets and members of the public to officially raise the flag above the Guildhall.  It was a respectful ceremony, followed by a beautiful prayer read by Chaplain Malik Fayaaz.

As the mercury rose and we basked in glorious sunshine, spare a thought for the Guildhall staff and poor councillors last Sunday! They (not to mention myself and the High Sheriff) were in their civic regalia, sweating it out in on the way to the Civic Service at Worcester Cathedral, where I was formally welcomed to my new mayoral role.

The coolness of the knave, and the inspirational sermon delivered by the Dean Reverend Peter Atkinson, brought home my theme of Love not Hate, on what was a truly heartening occasion.

We saw people of all faiths and none celebrate, mingle and laugh, enjoying one another’s company, exactly as I had hoped and envisioned.

Bless you all, stay safe, stay happy and remember that love not hate makes the world go around.

Jun 22, 2018
Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 16 – 22 June 2018

If last week was busy, then this week notched up a few degrees in intensity.

As it is Worcestershire’s year to host the Three Counties Show I was honoured to be asked to reply to the Lord Lieutenant at the event, talking about the great relationship the city and county have with the show and the fact that it has grown from strength to strength. Long live both the farming industry and the Show!

The OVO Women’s Tour showed that Worcester does large scale events well.  Great organisation and ingenuity ensured a smooth finish to the race, giving the City great international coverage.  It was fantastic to see the City looking clean & immaculate.  Thank you to all the residents who came along, volunteers and officers for a brilliant event.

I was also invited to the Prescott Bike Festival at the kind invitation of the Severn Free Wheelers.  This group generously organises the Blood Bikes, which go up and down the motorway delivering vital blood supplies to hospitals. They do such a selfless voluntary service and are saving literally hundreds of lives as a result. I will be inviting them to Worcester soon.

On to the Ring Festival at the Weorgorian Pavilion, which is organised by the Canals & River Trust.  What a brilliant way to celebrate diversity and culture! I was enthralled to be part of the RSVP Bhangra group session. I learning the history behind Bhangra moves and of course got stuck into the dancing!

It was an enjoyable event which got most of the crowd involved dancing together, regardless of age, sex or cultural background. Truly the manifestation of my theme of Love not hate on display!

Stay safe and most of all, smile and make someone’s day!

Jun 14, 2018
Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 9 – 15 June 2018

The week started with a blessing at the Cathedral, which celebrates the 800th year of its rededication.  The Great West Window is fully restored, and is truly an inspiration and wonder to behold.

A quick mention for the Worcester Food Festival, and the fantastic showcase which it has become.  It brought the city centre to life and was a huge success; roll on a bigger and even better one next year.

I also managed a visit to the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Business awards, which showcased the best of the two counties’ business talent. It’s inspiring to see that that we are particularly strong in the tech sector in this County, and that we certainly are not lacking entrepreneurial talent.  The future is bright. Well done to all the winners and of course the Chamber for hosting such a fantastic event at the Worcester University Arena.

It was a privilege to officially open the Worcester Lit Fest and to hand out prizes in the Young Writers Category.  This is a festival that has become a firm favourite of mine; the quest to find a new Poet Laureate can get extremely competitive! Get involved if you can.

Finally I was invited by Worcestershire Interfaith Forum to attend an Iftar and to celebrate the near ending of Ramadan. It was great to see so many faith communities coming to together in mutual respect and support of each other, celebrating the diversity we have in the city. Eid Mubarak to those celebrating and remember to love, not hate!  A smile to a stranger or an unselfish act of kindness or chivalry will set in motion a wonderful day.  Peace and love to you all!​

Upcoming Events

  • 21/12/2018 19:30Worcester News Carol Service followed by a reception in the Parlour
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