Mr Mayor's Diary: November 2006
Wednesday 1 November
We hosted a lunch in the parlour for the members of the Salford Travel Partnership who had attended their Annual General Meeting in the Council chamber during the morning. Partners - including representatives from the City Council, Highways and Planning at Urban Vision, Salford University, Hospitals Trust, Members of the GM Transport Authority, and local bus company operators - are working towards reducing traffic in Salford.
Thursday 2 November
We helped judge the Children's Home Energy Competition, organised by the Affordable Warmth Officer at the council. Entries were generally of a high standard and it was very difficult to choose the winners! Most of the young people had grasped the message of using energy carefully and not wasting such things as heat and light. The winning work will be seen around the city as posters and in other publications, exhorting all of us to do our bit to upose energy effectively for example, by using long life light bulbs or switching electrical equipment off when not in use. Well done to the winners who will be revealed early in December!
Friday 3 November
This was a busy day! We attended two business meetings early in the morning. Later we joined members of the Internet Watch Foundation at their tenth anniversary conference at the Copthorne Hotel in Salford Quays. The Foundation exists to raise awareness and prevent child abuse occurring through internet use. It works with police, software companies, child protection and education services to alert people to the dangers on the internet, which result in children being abused. One of these dangers is the displaying online of images of child abuse, the viewing of which adds over and over again to the abuse of that child. We can join the campaign to remove online images of child abuse at: www.iwf.org.uk.
To more pleasant things in the evening, when we were guests of the Mayor of Tameside, Councillor Margaret Sidebottom and her husband at Tameside Civic Dinner. This was held in the magnificent Town Hall in Ashton-under-Lyne.
Saturday 4 November
On a very cold afternoon I attended the football match at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Portsmouth; my young guest, making his first ever visit to the ground, thoroughly enjoyed the game - in spite of the score (his loyalty was to Portsmouth!)
In the evening, the Mayoress and I were guests of Salford City Reds Chairman at his annual dinner dance at the Midland Hotel. We had a splendid time.
Sunday 5 November
Swinton Amateur Swimming Club Gala took place at Broughton Pool. This was an all-day event for them and very well attended and organised. We went along for a couple of hours to watch and present some of the awards. The young people were having a marvellous time competing and enjoying themselves, thanks to the club leaders.
Our next stop was Heathlands Village where the Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men and Women were holding their Annual Remembrance Parade and Service. There was an excellent turnout of service people, residents and relatives at this very moving event. The Mayor and Mayoress of Bury and the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire were also present and wreaths were laid at the memorial stone in the grounds.
Monday 6 November
We met graduates of the Primary Care Trust/Sure Start, Breast Mates Project, at the Everyone Centre, Robert Hall Street, Ordsall. Mums from all over Salford who have breast fed their own children have trained with La Leche League so that they can support other mothers with breastfeeding, which is recognised as the best nourishment for babies. The graduates can help other mothers on a one-to-one basis or lead groups in ante-natal clinics. The graduates were presented with certificates and a manual nearly five centimetres thick! We wish them well in their work.
Tuesday 7 November
Today, we were scheduled to meet HRH Duke of York at Broughton House, Park Lane, Broughton, where he is a patron. However, owing to thick fog in the South of England, the Duke was prevented from attending. Residents, staff and trustees were extremely disappointed but went ahead with the planned lunch for guests. We met trustees and staff from this wonderful place which has been fully refurbished in recent years to make it a fit care setting for the 21st century. Sadly, there is still a need for such a place for disabled ex-service people and will be until all the end of all warfare. The home was set up by Lord Derby, along with several others, at the time of the first World War. Broughton House is the sole remaining home run by the charity, and the trustees do wonderful work in its development and ensuring first-class care for residents.
Wednesday 8 November
I attended a performance of the musical "Guys and Dolls" by members of the Music and Performing Arts Service in Salford, given at the Willows Variety Centre in Weaste. This was an excellent combination of dramatic and musical talent of Salford young people. I look forward to seeing more.
Thursday 9 November
We attended an administration meeting at the Civic Centre in Swinton and then went to re-open the newly refurbished British Heart Foundation Shop in Hankinson Way at Salford Shopping City. This shop has been there for many years and was badly in need of a face-lift. We met the Manager and the Area Manager and the shop is manned by a band of loyal and friendly team of volunteers who run an extremely well-organised operation in recycling clothing and bric-a-brac. Many loyal customers had gathered outside the shop, impatient for the ribbon to be cut so they could be first to inspect the merchandise! The North West region of the British Heart Foundation alone raises £3.2 MILLION pounds a year for the Foundation who then put this money into research and purchase of expensive equipment for the benefit of us all. The Mayoress spotted a beautiful pair of evening shoes for £4.50, but sadly they were the wrong size! New volunteers are always welcome.
In the evening we presented awards in the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme to young people from all over Salford. This evening at The City Academy, Northfleet Road, Peel Green, was one of several award evenings to be held throughout Salford. Tonight, there were over 100 young people receiving certificates marking their progress in the Bronze or Silver awards levels of the Scheme. They can achieve as much or as little as they choose and have until age 25 to reach the Gold Award Level. Some of the young people had originally been very reluctant to engage in the scheme but said they had been very glad they chose to "taste and see" as they had such great fun, made new friends and had many new and valuable experiences.
You can find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in Salford by contacting Mike Forth at Salford Opportunities Centre, 2 Paddington Close, Salford, M6 5PL, Tel 603 6831.
Friday 10 November
We met Colonel Gorski and Colonel Glover from the Royal Lancashire Regiment of Fusiliers, in the Mayor's Parlour. We had a very interesting chat about the Fusiliers' History in Salford - which extends from before the First World War. The Fusiliers now have a museum in Bury, which is of great interest to Salford people too. Bury, Rochdale and Salford all have a long history connected with the Fusiliers. The visit is an annual one, which takes place about the time of Remembrance Day. We spoke of the work of the Fusiliers, the work of the British Legion and the great need even today of maintaining good support for military personnel in and out of service. These people serve the policies of our country in trying to establish peace wherever they are sent, with the all the dangers and risks this entails to themselves and their families.
We stayed in the Parlour for our next engagement where we entertained a group of older volunteers from Age Concern who had all given time to help putting letters in envelopes. These letters were to ask local businesses for support for my charities this year. About twenty volunteers had helped us and eleven of them were able to return for afternoon tea in the parlour. We had a lovely time and our Officer gave them a guided tour of some of the civic artefacts and places in the Civic Centre. We are very grateful to the volunteers who enabled us to contact over 3000 businesses in our city, many of whom have very kindly responded positively.
Saturday 11 November
On this Armistice Day, we went to Agecroft Cemetery, Langley Road to attend the Service of Dedication at The War Graves. This is an annual ceremony and very moving and takes place at three venues within the cemetery: the military graves from the second World War, the monument to the airman killed in the Lancaster Bomber crash at Regatta Street in 1944 and at the memorial garden to the civilians killed in the Blitz of 1940. We were supported by Sea Cadets from Worsley, members of the Royal British Legion and some members of the public, all co-ordinated by Mr Frank Corfield of the Royal British Legion who has been doing this for thirty years. The Service was lead this year by the Rev Mark Howarth of St Thomas Church, Pendleton.
Later we were guests of the Winton Flower Club who were holding their Christmas Flower Demonstration "Captivated by Christmas" at the Robert Powell Theatre at Salford University. This was very well attended by about 400 people and was a very entertaining afternoon. The demonstrator, David Ryland, made his amazing seasonal creations seem effortless while making us laugh at the same time. All the flowers used in the display were raffled at the end and I was lucky enough to win one. We had a very enjoyable afternoon.
Sunday 12 November
We attended the Civic Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph, Albion Place, The Crescent. This was attended by about 1000 people with many service, ex-service, cadet groups and several bands. Rev Andy Salmon, (Anglican Area Dean) lead the service assisted by Rabbi G Brodie (Jewish Community), Rev K Stokes (Free Church) and Canon A McBride (Roman Catholic). The Leader of the Council, Chief Executive and Leaders of the Oppositon Groups on Salford City Council, along with Myself, laid wreaths at the cenotaph in memory of all who have given their lives for the freedom of our citizens, both in the past and in the present. Rev Andy Salmon reminded us that conflict continues in too many parts of the world and that in Salford we are called to welcome people who are victims of violence and conflict in their homeland.
We were guests of the Territorial Army for lunch at Haldane Barracks, Eccles New Road, Weaste. We toured their new building and heard about their work in logistics, organising transport of goods and personnel for the army. We met many service personnel, their families and friends. The barracks is also used as a training place for cadets and new members are always welcome.
In the evening we attended the commissioning of the Right Reverend Stephen Lowe at Manchester Cathedral. He was being commissioned as the first Anglican Bishop responsible for Urban Life and Faith. The Service was lead by the Archbishop of York, John Sentinu and was an extremely lively, cosmopolitan and moving service. We wish Bishop Stephen joy and success in his new role.
Well, today was also Bonfire Night and I lit the now traditional bonfire in Buile Hill Park to commence the spectacular firework display. There must have been more than 10,000 people there, all enjoying the beauty and magnificence of the display. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and there was a very pleasant and happy atmosphere. There was treacle toffee and parkin, a fairground and toys, which lit up in the dark. We chatted to lots of people. Many young people approached us to ask about our job! Great fun was had by all, watching the magnificent display in safety. Well done Salford Events Team!
Monday 27 November
I attended a special meeting of the Council Agenda Setting group at the Civic Centre before going along to Buile Hill Hall to present awards to young people and their schools at the Healthy Schools Awards Celebration. Young people and the staff of their schools have been working very hard to improve the health of all within their schools by doing many things such as creating more healthy menus and including fruit and more vegetables in an exciting way; providing opportunities for exercise during the day perhaps by having dance or sports' sessions at lunch time; looking after the emotional well-being of the school community perhaps by providing a "buddy bench" in the playground or having a team of pupils and staff who try to ensure bullying does not take place and friendly and respectful relationships are the norm. One school even has a school dog which helps promote a caring environment in the school! Most of our schools are involved now in the Healthy Schools' Awards and have either achieved or are working towards bronze, silver or gold levels. Well done to all.
Tuesday 28 November
We welcomed to the parlour today members of the Older Peoples Development Board as our luncheon guests. This group of people has done much to promote the interests and welfare of older people in Salford in the development of the Older People's Strategy. This strategy is intended to make sure that older people are able to play an active and relevant role in the life of our city. Several of our guests are well into their eighties; they are an example to us all and it was a delight to meet them.
During the afternoon we were presenting Hygiene Certificates to staff at The Naz restaurant in Monton. About twenty employees from Mr Manam's restaurants city-wide have been successful in achieving these certificates. Well done.
In the evening we found ourselves at The Urbis building in Cathedral Gardens, Manchester at the launch of "A Celebration of Talent", an exhibition of works of art produced by students at Manchester Metropolitan University, Victoria and Salford Universities - the cream of talent among young graduates and undergraduates. The artefacts were of mixed media and extremely impressive. This is the first time students have had such an opportunity to exhibit in a public space and the universities and Urbis hope this is the beginning of an annual tradition.
Wednesday 29 November
At lunchtime we received into the parlour city council staff who have been nominated for service excellence awards. The Creditors Section did extremely well and received their award for excellent team work in paying Council bills on time. Well done to all.
We followed this by giving out long service awards to volunteers at St Anne's Hospice, Little Hulton. This was a wonderful evening celebrating the work of all volunteers there. Awards were given for five, ten and twenty years service.
Thursday 30 November
In the evening we were guests of the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor David Sanderson, at his Civic Reception held in Manchester's extremely impressive Great Hall in the Town Hall on Albert Square. There seemed to be hundreds of people occupying many other rooms too in the Town Hall. Guests included people who work for the city council or in local communities as volunteers or paid workers and were entertained by ballroom dancers, magicians and musicians. The Mayoress sat next to Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw a former Lord Mayor of Manchester who, at ninety-five years of age, kept her entertained with excellent stories.
Friday 1 December
We held an Administration Meeting at the Civic Centre, after which we went to Studio 1 at the Lowry Theatre, Salford Quays to present awards to young people who have won the council's Annual Home Energy Saving art Competition. We were treated to a very professionally produced interactive quiz using PowerPoint and key pads like the ones we see on TV! Winners from several primary and secondary schools in the city gathered there to receive their awards. The overall winner's entry will be made into a poster which will be seen around the city in the near future. The entries were very impressive.
In the evening we were guests of the Mayor of Bury, Councillor Jack Walton at Bury's Civic Reception and Ball at the Longfield Suite, Prestwich. It was a lovely evening and, again, an opportunity to thank local people for their work in improving Bury and to raise funds for the Mayor's charity.
Saturday 2 December
Now begins the season of Christmas Fairs! Today was our first organised by the Seedley and Langworthy Events Group in St Luke's Hall, Weaste. We enjoyed ourselves meeting local people and making a few purchases towards our Christmas gifts.
In the afternoon we were guests of Irlam and Cadishead's Handicapped Person's Group at their annual Christmas Party. We were made very welcome and were hilariously entertained by the actor/comedian troupe from the local hostelry who write and perform their own material and are stalwart volunteers to and supporters of the Group.
Sunday 3 December
We returned to St Ann's Hospice, Little Hulton to attend their Christmas Fair. This was a very splendid and well supported occasion with many stalls and tombolas. The volunteers were much in evidence again and we hope they made lots of money for the Hospice which does such special work for families and survives on donation and fund-raising.
In the afternoon, we travelled to St Luke's Church in Chadderton for the annual carol service and cadet enrolment of the St John Ambulance organisation. It was an extremely cold and wet afternoon but we were soon cheered by the music and singing. There was a large contingent of cadets to be enrolled in a short but interesting ceremony. The young people who get involved with St John's Ambulance certainly get an excellent training and wonderful opportunities to make friends and undertake new and exciting experiences. Well done.
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