I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year and a successful and prosperous one at that.
As we all settle back into our normal routines and reflect on the coming year many of us will be setting some goals and targets for the next 12 months, whether they be financial, health-related or ethical. So I am going to set some of my own for the remainder of my mayoral year – but it’s not going to be easy and I am asking for all of the city of Worcester to pitch in and support me!
This year as a target I want Worcester to remain one of the safest cities in the UK. I want our city to be the happiest, one of the best in terms of quality of life and certainly one of the most polite and welcoming.
With figures released this week showing a rise in hate crimes in the country, it is even more important that my message of Love Not Hate gets through to all.
We are a beautiful multicultural city that is world-renowned for being one of the most peaceful and harmonious places to live. We cannot let those that seek to wreak havoc and preach the ugliness of divisive rhetoric destroy us or divide us. We must stand united against all forms of prejudice and racism. We must seek to understand our differences and work constructively with all communities to fully utilise the great potential of the people of this city to grow and continually make Worcester a better place to live.
That is why this year I am launching, in conjunction with other agencies, a campaign called Talk To Me Worcester, to combat this rise in racism and hate crime.
The aim of this initiative is uniting our great city and increasing peace, love and understanding among us.
The launch of the initiative is next week, and the main objectives are to bring people together through the power of conversation, promoting friendship and neighbourliness through positive activities. The campaign will also aim to create safe and inclusive spaces to meet and welcome new arrivals to the city.