Jun 13, 2011
Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s Week, 6 – 12 June 2011

Monday 6th: Thinking ahead is so important for the mayoral role. Today Jane, Susan O’Kane and I met the “Flower Ladies” in the parlour to consider the flower arrangements for the Mayor’s Inaugural Banquet on 22nd. July. What will be the theme be this year? Well, that’s a secret at the moment but I think it’ll be a pleasant surprise.

“An annoyance of mobile phones”, “A sample of statisticians” and a “Buffoonery of orang-utans” are just a few collective terms (perhaps somewhat humorous). But what is the collective term for a group or gathering of coroners? Any suggestions would be gratefully received.  The West Midlands and Central Wales Coroners’ Society met for lunch, to which I was invited, and its Annual General Meeting in the Guildhall.  Most interesting conversation at a most enjoyable occasion. During the AGM proceedings three of the ladies came on an informal tour of the Guildhall…the more of these tours I conduct the more I realise how lucky we are in Worcester to have such a fantastic building. If the front doors of the Guildhall are open anyone can walk in and look around. If the parlour door is open do come in!

Tuesday 7th: As Mayor you become one of the Governors of the Bishop Lloyd Charity. We met today in the Chapter Office of the Cathedral. The charity assists children in need of help with certain education costs.

The “Power Park” Play Builder Play Area in St. Peter’s has been completed. It is based on the theme of the Civil War and Battle of Worcester in 1651. The children of Cherry Orchard Primary School had the idea so it was great that the children, with their head teacher, Jeremy Harwood, were there when I opened the play area. It was funded through the Government’s Playbuilder Scheme and the Health Leadership Fund and will be a valuable asset for the community.

Power Park, St Peters

The “Power Park” Play Builder Play Area in St. Peter’s

The Office of Justice of the Peace celebrates its 650th. anniversary this year. To this end there was a Judiciary Service and Evensong in the Cathedral. It was an honour for Jane and me to attend taking the traditional places, for the first time, for Mayor and Mayoress. It is a daunting experience to be in the front of such a large congregation in this vast building.

Wednesday 8th: David Clark (past City councillor and Mayor) has a great interest in the history of the Guildhall. When he was Mayor (2001 -2002) he wrote some notes which are a valuable resource for successor mayors. Today David brought a group from the “Keenage Club” and with me took the members on a tour of the Guildhall finishing with “tea in the parlour”.

Twinning with overseas towns and cities is important. It contributes to our mutual understanding of each other, our cultures and problems. The City of Worcester is now officially twinned with Ukmerge Municipality in Lithuania. Councillor Jo Hodges, chairperson of the Worcester Twinning Association, and Terry Cole have recently made a visit to Ukmerge. They were wonderfully received and returned with the “Declaration” of our twinning which now has the signatures of the two Mayors. The “Declaration” states: “The most important aim of this twinning is to promote the peaceful relationship which exists between our two countries. This will involve the fostering of social and cultural relationships, to work for a better understanding between our two peoples. Above all we wish to encourage our young people to get to know one another through mutual visits, and by forming friendships through sport, cultural and other activities”.

Katie Love is in the BBC show called “So You Think You Can Dance”. She is through to the final on Saturday 11th June. Good luck Katie, Worcester is rooting for you!! Katie’s parents, John and Susan Love, came to the Guildhall with many friends and supporters for a photo-opportunity to encourage Katie. It was a particular surprise to me because Susan Love and I found we had worked together many years ago at Ronkswood Hospital.

Thursday 9th: As Mayor you still have City Council responsibilities and today that included a meeting of the Planning Committee.

The High Sherriff of Worcestershire, Lady Morrison, lives in a magnificent part of the countryside: Madresfield Court, Malvern. Jane and I enjoyed a drinks party there this evening. It was such a pleasurable opportunity to meet so many people in all varieties of public life.

Friday 10th: The local printed media are so important for our City so I was pleased to have an informal chat, in the parlour, with Peter John (Editor) and David Paine of the Worcester News. We covered a wide range of issues and in particular the need to get everyone on board in taking pride in Worcester. I know newspapers have to sell to remain viable and hence the style of “headlines”. But I was encouraged by Peter’s and David’s genuine wish to promote the City.

The Friends of the Worcestershire Royal Hospital raise funds that add just that important extra to the comfort and care of patients. They held their AGM this evening in the Charles Hastings Postgraduate Centre. It was a fascinating event with Professor Richard Lewis giving a talk on the portraits that now hang in the Board Room of the old Worcester Royal Infirmary (Castle Street). These portraits tell the story of healthcare in Worcester from the time of Bishop Maddox who founded the first County Hospital in Silver Street in 1746.

Left to right: Prof. Richard Lewis (Vice-President), The Right Rev. Dr. John Inge (Bishop of Worcester and President), Mrs. Eluned Smith (Chairman), Mrs. Jane Tibbutt (Mayoress) and  Cllr. Dr. David Tibbutt (Mayor)

Left to right: Prof. Richard Lewis (Vice-President), The Right Rev. Dr. John Inge (Bishop of Worcester and President), Mrs. Eluned Smith (Chairman), Mrs. Jane Tibbutt (Mayoress) and Cllr. Dr. David Tibbutt (Mayor)

Saturday 11th: The Church of St. Martin in the London Road achieves its Centenary of consecration and dedication this year. To celebrate a Sung Eucharist was held today on the Feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle. The Celebrant was The Right Reverend Dr. John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, who preached on the theme of “Friendship”. Jane and I were especially pleased to have been invited: so many of our friends were there from the Worcester South East Team of churches and the Rector, The Reverend Canon Ken Boyce, who is my mayoral chaplain.

Sunday 12th: The Worcester “Race for Life” (over 5km.) took place this morning from Pitchcroft to Angel Place. A cold wet day but still competitors came in their thousands…yes! thousands! Jane and I helped at the start of the race and greeted everyone at the finish with a medal: we were drenched but this mattered not. The support for this women-only fundraising event was tremendous showing just how important the community regards research into the management of cancer. This “Race for Life” began in 1994 and has made huge contributions to Cancer Research UK. One in three of us is likely to be affected by cancer at some stage in our life. Worcester as usual is playing its part by being involved in trials to find the best treatment for a type of leukaemia and drug and radiotherapy after breast cancer surgery.

Wychavon District Council held its Civic Service this afternoon in St. Michael’s Church, Salwarpe. Councillor Tony Miller is the new Chairman. Jane and I were pleased to join Tony and his wife, Katherine, for this celebration. The Rev. Jeff Porter (the Chairman’s chaplain) was the preacher in which he used the theme “Always treat others as you would like them to treat you” (Matthew Ch. 7, v.12). Maybe the world really would be a better place if we did just that.

The “Take Pride in Worcester 2011” campaign (13th June – 16th July) is a partnership initiative between the City Council and the “Worcester News”. The next “Britain’s Cleanest City” competition will be run in 2013. So “come on Worcester” let’s claim the award! It can be done if we work together throughout our communities.

By the way, have you heard?!! “Worcester has been chosen for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Route. The world’s most prolific sporting event (has become) a little closer to home with the announcement that the famous Olympic Flame will be carried through Worcester in the final run up to London 2012. An Olympic torchbearer will arrive in Worcester on Thursday 24 May 2012.

Jun 6, 2011
Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s Week, 30 May – 5 June 2011

Monday 30th: No Mayoral engagements on this Bank Holiday so I had time to do some catching up and especially on the City Council’s Local Economic Development project with the Adentan Municipal Assembly in Ghana. It is progressing well at zero cost to Worcester and fully funded by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum through the Department for International Development. I am so grateful to the team (20 or so) of Worcester City Councillors, Officers and others who have volunteered to assist. The visit to Ghana in October last year was a great success as was the visit by an Adentan delegation in February. Already we are seeing fruits for our joint efforts and the programme has been running for only 10 months: groups set up to oversee business development and especially “Women in Business”, a Business Newspaper, monitoring of increase in employee numbers and we are hoping to assist with a Master Plan for this 150,000 populated district which has been an administrative assembly (i.e. a district council) for only four years.

Tuesday 31st: Worcester City is twinned with Worcester Massachusetts. Lord Faulkner of Worcester undertook a visit to Worcester Massachusetts last August. He “was greeted with great warmth by everyone (he) met, and without exception were keen to establish new contacts and renew existing ones”. There are so many opportunities and suggestions: sport, cultural, business, churches, schools and colleges, the University, councillor visits, Rotary Club links, etc. I was so pleased to meet Lord Faulkner with William O’Brien (an attorney serving on the International Centre’s Committee in Worcester Massachusetts) and Councillor Jo Hodges, chairman of the Worcester Twinning Association in the parlour this morning. We considered many issues. As someone who is passionate about international links I will do all I can to assist.

In the Randall room of the Guildhall we have on display a letter dated 2nd April 1999 from President Bill Clinton in which he says:

“….. This special relationship reflects the warm friendship between our two nations, based on shared values and ideals. We have the same commitment to liberty and a common belief in the promise of peace and prosperity and we share the same hope for a bright future. I am confident that your Twin City status will offer all your citizens an exciting opportunity to learn more about our common bonds and strengthen the ties of friendship that have linked our two countries for so long.

“I am delighted to extend warm greetings to the citizens of Worcester, Massachusetts and Worcester, England as you officially establish your Twin City relationship”

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is a major supporter of heart (cardiac) diseases research and those who suffer from them. I used to be a consultant cardiologist at the Worcester Royal Infirmary and many years ago president of the Worcester Branch of the BHF. I met Jemma Curran (Regional Events Organiser of the BHF) at the Guildhall for a photo call to advertise the Worcester Bike Ride that will take place on Sunday 26th June. Heart diseases affect thousands of people of all ages from childhood to old age. We all know someone. So much more can now be done effectively…what a change I have seen since I came to Worcester in 1976!! If you would like to know more or get involved then contact the BHF Events team on 0800 1693672 or go online at www.bhf.org.uk/worcester

The Mayor’s parlour is a treasure trove of wonderful objects and children love coming in to see them: the ceremonial sword (1655), the maces (1760), the Mayor’s chain and Mayoress’ chain and the Silver Tank which originally contained the scroll of honour for Colonel Hankey when he received the honorary freedom of the City in December 1917. Mrs. Isobel Maher brought her two grand-daughters, Hatty and Elizabeth, to the parlour for a brief tour and “cup of tea”.

This evening I attended the Countess Huntingdon Hall with Lord Faulkner and William O’Brien for a “private” performance of a thirty minutes play by Chris Jaeger about the Battle of Worcester. Brilliant with a minimum of props: an important history lesson. The ‘Worcester City of Liberty’ project is a Heritage Lottery Funded project that is the result of a partnership between The Battle of Worcester Society and “Worcester Live”. The project utilises a TIE Schools Tour, Street Theatre, Guided City Walks, and a Radio Docu-drama to engage members of the public with the heritage surrounding the Battle of Worcester and its ramifications. The project is being delivered by Worcester Live and is completely free of charge to take part in as a school or member of the public. For more information please visit http://www.worcester-cityofliberty.t83.net

Wednesday 1st: I called into the Castle Street campus of the University to take some photographs of and within the old Worcester Royal Infirmary (WRI) buildings for a talk I am to give on 16th. June. John Black FRCS, PRCS, (President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England) will be making his last Presidential visit to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital. John was a Surgeon for almost the same period as I was a Physician at the WRI. This is a great opportunity to highlight what Worcester has contributed to medical care.

Thursday 2nd: The Queen’s coronation took place 58 years ago today: 2nd June 1953.

Friday 3rd: This is Volunteers’ Week and a Volunteering Fair was held in the Guildhall today. Sally Ellison (Worcester Volunteer Centre) guided Jane and me around the thirty stands so we could meet the representatives and hear more of their work. They deserve our support as their contributions to our communities are huge. More help is always needed. So if anyone would like to get involved then find out more from www.worcestervolunteercentre.org.uk. To quote from the website: “Volunteering is about giving some of your time to help others in the community.  Develop new skills, feel valued, meet new people, improve existing skills”

Saturday 4th: There is nothing like music and singing to bring the community together and that is what happened in the Cathedral this evening. The English Association of Male Voice Choirs (hosted by the Worcester Male Voice Choir) with 250 choristers gave a concert to a packed audience in aid of St. Richard’s Hospice and Acorns. James Landale, the BBC’s Deputy Political Editor, was the celebrity compere and all supported by Claire Bessent, the Guest Soloist and Holborne Brass, the Guest Brass Ensemble, with Darren Hogg as Guest Organist. A perfect evening in a glorious setting that Jane and I thoroughly enjoyed.

Sunday 5th: An emotional day saying our farewell to Ellie and Duncan Ballard from St. Philip and St. James Church (Whittington) and St. Mark’s in the Cherry Orchard. The Rev. Duncan Ballard will be greatly missed. We wish him and Ellie all happiness in their new work at Hampton in Arden (where he will be installed on 5th July) and as Chaplain to Birmingham Airport.

May 30, 2011
Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s week, 23 – 29 May 2011

I was elected Mayor of our Faithful City on 16th May. Never (!!!) did I think such an honour would come my way. I do not undertake the role lightly. I hope I can make a difference to Worcester for its citizens but I cannot do that alone. There is so much going for the City and this sometimes is disguised by the many problems and challenges facing the country. Let us all work together to see what we can put into society for the benefit and respect of everyone no matter what their background or creed.

Monday 23rd: Tours of the Guildhall are an important part of the Mayor’s role. On Monday I had fun welcoming twelve children from Claines CE Primary School with twelve from El Carmen School in Cuenca in Spain. They were so interested and well behaved: such a pleasure. The Spanish children’s English was excellent and they were aged only 9 – 11 years. A message there for us I think!

The Worcester District Scout Council AGM took place in the Countess Huntingdon Hall in the evening with Dr. Derek Barnes (County Commissioner) and Mr. Mark Strain (District Commissioner) present. I had the honour of taking the Chair. We should be proud of the 1,000 scout members, leaders and volunteers of this District. A real success story and an example to all young people. The 10th Worcester Scout Group will be taking part in important wildlife conservation projects in Botswana in July and August next year. These expeditions by young people are real character-forming ventures and at the same time so much will be contributed to scouting in Africa and the local people. The team will begin in northern Botswana and build a campsite and training centre. After three weeks they go to Mokolodi Game Reserve where they will construct a manager’s bungalow and observation tower. They will also have an opportunity to work with the Park Rangers. The trip will be tough with no “home comforts”. Each team member must raise £3,000 so they need our help. Contact: Nigel Barry (Scout Section Leader), 33, Barry Street, Worcester, WR1 1NR and telephone 01905 729031.

Tuesday 24th: The Comenius Programme is named after Jan Amos Comenius (1592 – 1670) a great educator. It brings together schools and colleges across Europe to develop knowledge and understanding between young people and teachers of the diversity of European cultures and languages, and the value of this diversity. It also helps young people to acquire basic life skills and competences for their personal development, for future employment and for active European citizenship. The King’s School is involved in this programme and I was delighted to meet in the parlour 42 students and teachers from five countries across Europe. Meeting (4pm) with The Rev. Canon David Stanton, the chief Verger and my PA, Susan O’Kane (what would we do without Susan!!) at the Cathedral to plan the Civic Service on 19th June. So much preparation goes on behind the scenes for this major event and for that Jane and I are most grateful. In the evening Jane and I enjoyed a production of “The Tempest” at Bishop Perowne College. These young actors, their teachers and parents should be immensely proud. Well done.

Wednesday 25th: Visually impaired people often not only have sight problems but other physical and social challenges. Unemployment in this group is disproportionally high. I was kindly asked to chair the AGM of the Thomas Corbett Charity which does so much for the visually handicapped. A particular “Thank you” to Ann Perry who has been Clerk to the Trustees for many years.

The Worcester Area Group of the University of the Third Age celebrated with a Silver Soiree this evening in the Guildhall. The teachers learn and learners teach, no pay and no exams! Jane and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves from hearing about activities learning about local history and music to tap and line dancing. They even got me line dancing!! Thank you so much to Jane Flynn (Chairperson) and her organisation for a fun evening.

Thursday 26th: Set in the idyllic surroundings of Gheluvelt Park The Pump House Environment Centre is a must visit and admission is free! This morning Jane and I attended the opening of the new cafe and celebration of the Eco Centre Award with Mr. Cecil Duckworth, OBE. This renewed facility will increase the visitor attraction enormously. The Duckworth Worcestershire Trust is now in its thirteenth year. It is dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of the natural and built environments for the people of Worcestershire and the relief of poverty amongst those disadvantaged. The Trust achieves these objectives through an active involvement in a number of projects, a partnership approach in all it does, the provision of funding, information, environmental education and management.

The Charter Trustees of the Town of Kidderminster Annual Meeting and Mayor Making Ceremony took place at 7.30pm. in the Music Room at the Town Hall. Jane and I attended with Mayors and civic representatives of neighbouring cities and towns. A spectacular affair accompanied by the grand organ and entertainment by the church choir…including the signature tune to “The Vicar of Dibley”. The evening was rounded off with refreshments and chatter in the adjacent Corn Exchange.

Friday 27th: It was a pleasure to meet in the parlour representatives of the charities I am supporting this year: Noah’s Ark, Leukaemia Care and the Worcester Farmers’ Overseas Action Group. We discussed a programme of fund-raising: events that will appeal to a wide audience. They are such worthy causes and deserve our help. If anyone would like to assist do get in touch: come and have a chat and a cup of tea with me in the parlour anytime.

Saturday 28th: This year is the 71st. anniversary of the founding of the Home Guard. Jane and I were therefore honoured to welcome ten veterans with families and friends to the parlour for tea. Everyone enjoyed meeting old pals and reminiscing about past experiences. We owe so much to these men who never knew if the mainland of Britain would be invaded in the Second World War. Paul Harding of “Discovery History” and his colleagues Mick Wilkes and Malcolm Atkin (former County Council Archaeologist) put on an exhibition that included a living history corner showing a Home Guard HQ at work.

Sunday 29th: Acorns does so much for children with life-limiting conditions. So it was a great pleasure for Jane and me to attend the “Acorn’s Triple Run” at the Three Counties Show Ground to help to present medals and prizes for the short “Chicken Run”, a 5km. run and half a marathon. Chris Price (Triple Run Committee Chairman) and his team did an efficient job to plan such a successful event. A wonderful morning under the Malvern Hills. Everyone a winner!

May 23, 2011
Dr David Tibbutt

My first few days as Mayor! 17 – 22 May 2011

From 1226 Worcester had High Bailiffs and then the title of Mayor was granted by Charter from James I in 1621. To follow in the footsteps of so many Mayors is a huge privilege.

The Annual Full City Council met on Tuesday in the Council Chamber of the Guildhall. Mike Layland has been an outstanding Mayor in this last year. Thank you Mike, you are a hard act to follow! Thanks also to Cllr. Keith Burton for his role as Deputy Mayor. The new Deputy Mayor is Cllr. Roger Berry and together we will work to promote this City whenever possible.

Sport is so important for our enjoyment, health and learning, so on Wednesday my wife Jane (The Mayoress) and I were delighted to attend the University’s fourth Annual Learning Through Sport Day Supporters’ Luncheon at the Worcestershire County Cricket Club. This is in partnership with the Cricket Club, Worcester Warriors Rugby Football Club and Worcester Wolves Basketball Club. Thousands of children have benefited from participation and the help it gives them in Maths and English. We also enjoyed watching the first class county game against Durham.

Worcester Warriors are in the Premiership: fantastic!! Congratulations to Cecil Duckworth and his team.  A wonderful present to the City in my first week as Mayor.

Friday gets even better! The University of Worcester Basketball Team has won the British Universities’ and Colleges’ Sport Championship for the fifth time in seven years. Jane and I welcomed the Team to the parlour for well earned congratulations. What an amazing group of lads and such a credit to the University and the City.

On Saturday was the day to be in Worcester. The Worcester 2011 Motor Festival was held in the High Street and on Pitchcroft. Jane and I had a wonderful time meeting representatives of car dealerships from Worcester and the surrounding area. The Racecourse part of the event is new this year and featured over 100 vintage and classic cars, it was a great thrill. VisitWorcester and the Worcester News must be congratulated for organising such a successful show.

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