Mayor’s Week, 20 – 26 February 2012

Mayor’s Week, 20 – 26 February 2012

Monday 20th: Full Council meets tomorrow evening. On the agenda is the most important topic of the year…the budget. It was therefore useful to have a briefing on procedure from the Managing Director and the City Council’s Lawyer: the smooth running of the meeting depends largely on this briefing.

I met with members of the Worcester Rotary Club this morning to review how last Friday’s “Diamond Jubilee Street Party” went. We were generally very pleased and especially for the sums raised for our respective charities. As always we learnt a few things that may lead to a little tweaking of a similar event next year.

Tuesday 21st: Shrove Tuesday. The Worcester Rotary Clubs organise an annual Pancake Race outside the Guildhall in the High Street.

Pancke Races

There were several entries. It was great fun with me in ceremonial dress! I am delighted to say that the Mayor’s team won the frying pan, namely “The Peplow Trophy”, for the first time. Thanks Lynne, Ben and Tom with a little help from the Mayor!!

Pancake Races 2
A selection of  photos of the pancake races can be found on the Worcester Facebook page

Yesterday’s briefing on Full Council was worth it. The meeting this evening went pretty well with the usual robust political debate…but generally good natured and courteous.

Wednesday 22nd: The Planning Team for our third (and probably last) visit (end of April) to the Adentan Municipal Assembly in Ghana met this morning. This visit is going to be important especially to draw together the whole “Good Practice Scheme” initiative for Local Economic Development, to take forward the Master Planning process for the area and to enhance local capacity building.

Mandarin Chinese is, and will become increasingly so, important in terms of international relations and commerce. If we do not grasp the fact that China is a gigantic economy with which we need to work then economically we will lose heavily. I therefore met Ian Morris and Irene Leung (of “”) to continue our discussions on how to spread the word about this important, and fascinating, language. If anyone is interested do contact me.

Thursday 23rd: An early start. I met the Headmaster, Tim Keyes, of The King’s School just before 8.30am and thence across to College Hall for School Assembly. The Hall was packed. After a few routine notices I was interviewed in front of the whole school about the role of the Mayoralty and its highlights, my mayoral charities, Worcester pride, my school days and preparation for University and my work in Africa. I was also asked what advice I might give to King’s pupils:

“Be yourself. Follow your interests & instincts. What you enjoy you’ll succeed at. Play as well as work. Look out for each other.

“When I went up to Oxford my medical tutor said on my first day: ‘Your primary aim of coming to Oxford is not to get a degree but to be educated’….but I did get a degree.”

The West Worcester Live at Home Scheme celebrated its 20th Birthday today at the Bromyard Road Methodist Church Hall. Jane and I attended and I was asked to give a “speechette” and cut the cake. This Scheme (which is part of the Methodist Homes for the Aged) provides many valuable services: befriending and spiritual, clubs and other social activities, outings and newsletters. To be lonely, and for some infirm too, can be so distressing: a friendly regular visit can make all the difference. Further information on the web site:

Friday 24th: Poliomyelitis (polio or infantile paralysis) was first clearly described by Jakob Heine in 1840. It is an acute, viral, infectious disease. Ninety percent of infections are symptomless and unrecognised. In 1% of cases, the virus infects the central nervous system leading to muscle weakness and paralysis. It was one of the most feared childhood diseases in the 20th century. Polio epidemics have crippled thousands of people especially after the 1880’s and particularly in cities during the summer. An effective vaccine has been developed since the 1950’s leading to a dramatic drop in the incidence of polio cases. Vaccination campaigns led by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and Rotary International are fast approaching eradication of this terrible disease. The Americas were certified polio-free in 1994, the Western Pacific in 2000 and Europe in 2002. But there is still work to do especially in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. I was particularly pleased to support the “End Polio Now” coffee morning run by the Rotary Club of Worcester in the Guildhall. Polio is easy to prevent by vaccination: £1 protects five children!! For more information see and

Polio victim
This can be prevented by this (from Wikipedia)

Worcester Concert Brass has a great reputation for rousing entertainment. We were not disappointed when they performed “Music for a Winter’s Evening” in the Guildhall before a huge audience.

Brass Band 2

It was all rounded off with “Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar. I am so grateful to the Band, the conductor Bryan Hodgetts and their guest soloist Margaret Peters accompanied by Nick Wright. All proceeds went to my Mayoral charities Leukaemia Care and the Worcester Farmers’ Overseas Action Group.

Brass Band 1

The band was formed in March 1982 as the Nunnery Wood Youth Band becoming Worcester Concert Brass in September 1993. It gives pleasure to a wide section of the community performing for charitable events and at the Worcester’s Victorian Christmas Fayre. For more information see

Saturday 25th: I had the pleasure of opening The Young Enterprise Spring Fayre in the Cathedral Plaza today and later presenting the prizes.

Young Enterprise Fayre

This enabled Young Enterprise School Companies from South Worcestershire to come together to sell their products / services they have manufactured. This is a very important venture giving many young people the opportunity to learn about and practice business. I was most impressed by their enthusiasm as I toured all eighteen stalls. Life is tough for businesses and especially for our young people: this is a wonderful way of addressing these issues.

 Best Product

Second Prize

3rd Prize

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