Local Area Partnerships

I managed to get back to the gyn on Monday and then after doing some work in the office and helping out with some leafletting I attended the Bury West Local Area Partnership ( “LAP” ) meeting.
LAP’s used to be known as Area Boards until just before the last local elections they were rejigged by Labour so as to change the format and the membership. The whole point of Area Boards was to take democracy out to the different parts of Bury and give people the chance to discuss local problems at a local level. The meeting on Monday was held at Elton Primary School and I calculated that very roughly one person in a thousand turned up.
Last night I attended the Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor LAP held at Christ Church Walmersley. 19 people at the top table including Councillors, police, fire brigade, NHS, and several others but just 13 in the audience even if you count the local journalists and me. Local democracy in action. I did mischievously wonder if any one has ever added up what it costs for all those public employees to attend a meeting like that!

At the going down of the Sun….

…….and in the morning we will remember them.
We will remember them.
This morning I attended the Civic Remembrance Day Parade from Bury Town Hall to the War Memorial and then the Remembrance Day Service at Bury Parish Church. I thought that the numbers attending seemed greater than in previous years.
In the afternoon I attended the Tottington Parade and Service. The Vicar of Tottington is Chaplain to the Bishop of Manchester and as the Bishop is Chaplain to the Royal British Legion millions across the Country would have seen Bishop Nigel conduct the Festival of Remembrance Service at the Royal Albert Hall last night. Tottington’s Vicar was in attendance at that Service and recounted at the service today how the Coldstream Guards are selling rubber wristbands to raise funds to support those injured in battle. As the Vicar said this is “scandalous” and in view of the sacrifices our armed forces are making throughout the World we as a nation will support them so that selling rubber bands is no longer required.
This evening I attended the special service of Remembrance at St. Anne’s, Tottington during which the names of all the men from Tottington who lost their lives in the two World Wars are read out. It is a most moving service.
We will remember them.

Candidates Conference

I have been to two events in the last 24 hours both of which have taken me outside Bury and an opportunity to see how things are going, politically, in the wider world.
Last evening Sue and I went to a dinner in Manchester where the guest speaker was Councillor John Walsh who contested Bury North for the Conservatives in the 2001 General Election. He is now the Regional Chairman of the North West Conservative organisation and it was interesting to hear of the developments which are taking place in other parts of the region.

After a few hours sleep I was up early to catch the 6am train to London to attend a one day Conference organised by the Conservative Candidates Association. It was held in Methodist Central Hall in Westminster where the left wing Fabian Society where also holding there AGM so there were opportunities to exchange views with those holding different political views.

We heard what progress is being made in selecting Candidates in the seats which do not yet have a Candidate. If a General Election had have been called last month the Conservatives in common I guess with all parties would have had to use emergency powers to impose Candidates but now the Party has reverted to the original timetable. We heard an address from the Party Chairman Caroline Spellman MP and after lunch there were different training sessions available. So after seven hours travelling it has been a long day and just time to watch the Festival of Remembrance and David Cameron’s appearance on Parkinson.
Finally, good news for all Shakers fans as I see Bury overcame Workington 4-1 down at Gigg Lane today in the first round (proper)of the FA Cup.

Queen’s Speech

Yesterday I was able to catch most of the television coverage of the State Opening of Parliament including the whole of the Queen’s Speech itself. I always wonder what people who are not as interested in politics as I am must make of events like this. I guess most people don’t even know it is going on and if they do it will not register much. That is not to be critical, far from it, I believe it is up to politicians to interest the public in the importance of politics and we should not blame non-politicians if, because of our own failings they are not interested. Unlike in years past when the contents of the Queen’s Speech were a closely guarded secret nowadays Labour release most of it well in advance so it is little surprise that there is less media interest in it than there could be.
On Monday evening I attended a meeting of the Conservative Group on Bury Council. Yesterday evening I went over to watch Bury play my home town team of Rotherham although I did sit with one of our local Councillors in the Bury end of the ground. Bury lost 2-1.
This morning I attended a coffee morning in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. This afternoon I spent catching up on post and phone calls. This evening I have attended the Executive Committee meeting of Bury North Conservatives where we decided on our line up of Candidates for next years Local Council Elections.

Bury 3-0 win

A busy weekend has seen me helping out at the annual leaf clearing at St.Anne’s in Tottington yesterday morning and then yesterday afternoon I went to watch Bury play Barnet and Bury played very well winning 3-0. Nicky Adams was certainly my man of the match and not just because of his goals I would not be surprised if he attracts the attention of other clubs if he maintains that form. I have not been 100% as I have had a sore throat which has made my voice alternate between almost non-existent and croaky.
Today after church this morning I Sue and I attended the North Manor Ward Sunday lunch at Greenmount Golf Club an excellent attendance of over 100. Fortunately in view of my voice I was not the main speaker and instead we had a most interesting Malaysian speaker who spoke about Malaysian culture and customs.