Mayor’s Week, 26 September – 2 October 2011

Mayor’s Week, 26 September – 2 October 2011

Monday 26th: Full Council takes place tomorrow evening so it was important to be briefed adequately about procedure. I met Duncan Sharkey (Managing Director), Doreen Porter (Lawyer) and Claire Neville (Communications Officer) to discuss the agenda. Because of a recent controversy about parking for disabled people and taxi ranks we predicted  a significant public presence at the meeting. To accommodate more people we decided to transfer the meeting to the Assembly Room from the Council Chamber. The Guildhall Staff did a great and hard job moving all the furniture and microphone system.

Tuesday 27th: Lt. Col. Gerry Taggart RE (Retired), Cllr. Roger Berry (Deputy Mayor) and I had our monthly meeting to take forward the planning for Armed Forces Day celebrations next year (30th June 2012) and beyond. Things are progressing slowly but I am sure that we’ll be able to put on a good show to honour our Forces.

Well, we were right! The Assembly Room was packed with probably more than 100 members of the public attending Full Council this evening. That was good! It showed local democracy at work. A little noisy at times but manageable. “Thinking on your feet” when chairing the Council meeting as Mayor is not easy…. you just hope that you have struck the right balance of fairness to all sides and not stifled debate.

Wednesday 28th: The Virgornia Rotary Club meets at 7.15am for breakfast each fortnight. I was asked to give a short talk on “Being Mayor”: a “tall order” as there is so much to tell. Nevertheless it was a pleasure and seemed to go down well.

What’s this? It’s an “Indian Summer”: just the day to consider installing a photovoltaic electricity generation system on my house. So today the second of three companies came to give an estimate. Just a tip: do your research first, make a list of detailed questions, look at other installations and only then decide.

For the five years since 2007, a large number of volunteers have travelled, at their own expense, to Rwanda and Sierra Leone each July to join “Project Umubano”: doctors, nurses, lawyers, business people, teachers and students have visited to help build a lasting legacy in Africa. This year (for two weeks in July/August) there were 120 volunteers. I have had the privilege of being involved from the beginning. Today the Prime Minister gave a Reception at 10, Downing Street, to celebrate these first five years. It was a long way to go for a fairly short event but well worth it to meet old friends with a common interest let alone seeing inside Number 10!!

Thursday 29th: Donald Hunt founded the Elgar Chorale in 1980. He has put together a wonderful outline for a free concert in the Guildhall on 11th. November 2011. It will be a programme of “Words and Music” to mark the 90th. Anniversary of the Royal British Legion. Donald and I met this morning to discuss the programme and arrangements.

“Life Styles” Worcester was established as a charity in 1991 so this year is the 20th. Anniversary and today the AGM was held in Berkeley Hospital. The charity works “to enable disabled people to exercise freedom of choice, extend their horizons and make decisions about lifestyle they wish to pursue”. It was a great pleasure to hand certificates to so many achievers and volunteers.

Friday 30th: I hosted a coffee morning in the Guildhall to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. “One in three of us will get cancer and it’s the toughest thing most of us will ever face. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, or a loved one has, you’ll want a team of people in your corner supporting you every step of the way.  Macmillan Cancer support provides practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care.” It is a great charity that many of us may need at some time in our lives.

MacMillan Cancer Support

Saturday 1st: Jane and I are taking four days off!! We’re going to London to see our four-year-old twin grand-daughters… they have a Japanese mum and are becoming rapidly bilingual. It is not likely to be a restful weekend although should be fun.

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