Yesterday morning I attended a press conference at the Fusiliers Museum in Bury to highlight the W O Street Charitable Foundation.
Mr Street was a Bury businessman who left his estate to a Charitable Foundation which he established to benefit local charities. He left a note stating that he would like charities to benefit in the areas where he had spent his life most of it in Bury. To cut a very long story short the local Trustees have been replaced with professional Trustees in London charging very substantial sums which over the years amount to millions of pounds. Money that could have gone to local charities. Not only has millions gone in administrative fees but only a small proportion of the millions available for distribution has actually come to benefit charities in Bury. Now a group of highly qualified professionals with a variety of financial, legal and business backgrounds has come forward and indicated that they are prepared to act as Trustees for nothing thereby saving considerable sums and they would ensure that Mr Street’s letter of wishes was given more weight.
After a busy week in Westminster it is always good to get back to life in Bury and last weekend was no exception. On Friday I joined members of Bury’s Muslim community at Friday prayers at the Mosque on Parker Street and then at Yarwood Street. I then held a Surgery which as usual covered a very wide range of problems.
On Saturday evening I attended a fund raising event at the Drill Hall to raise funds for Help for Heroes and Hurdles. Well over 200 people attended and enjoyed excellent entertaiment and a pie and pea supper.
One of the acts appearing for the first time were Fallen Angels from Bolton
On Sunday thousands of people came out to support the annual Music in the Park event in Whitehead Gardens Tottington. When we started to set up early on Sunday morning it was cold and there were very dark clouds overhead. It did not look good. As it was the weather improved as the day went on and I am pleased to that the event was a great success. Lots of local organisations and charities benefit from having stalls and it is a free event that really brings the village together. I appreciate that many people including local residents are inconvenienced by the road being closed off for the afternoon but I think for once in the year it is something that can be accepted.
David with staff and residents at Brookdale Nursing Home
On Saturday I visited Brookdale Nursing Home off Bell Lane in Bury. I met the new owners who only took over the running of the home a few weeks ago and heard of their plans to demolish unused rooms and rebuild a new wing specially for residents who need a high level of care.
Most of today has been taken up with a large confirmation service at St. Anne’s. We had 44 candidates including both adults and children. The service was conducted by the Bishop of Manchester Nigel McCulloch. Such a large number of candidates meant that our small church was filled to capacity with every available space taken and I was glad that we had had a full scale rehearsal last weekend to ensure that everything passed off smoothly
Yesterday I attended the Hawkshaw Gala which was blessed with warm and mainly sunny weather. The gala was based around a 1960’s theme this year. After the gala I attended a fundraising event for Breast Cancer Care.
David with David Greenhalgh (Chairman) and Deborah Dunleavy (Candidate in 2010 General Election)
On Friday I was invited to be the guest speaker at a meeting of the Bolton North East Conservatives Supper Club. I spoke about my first few weeks as a Member of Parliament and the challenges which face the coalition government.
Earlier on Friday I had spent quite a bit of time sorting out the arrangements for my Constituency office. I have now found a couple of ground floor offices in the town centre and once the telephones, computers and furniture are all in place we will be operating from there rather than squatting in the Conservative Offices. Incidentally, we are squatting entirely free of charge to the taxpayer. In fact we are being subsidised as we are using all their facilities without payment. I think it is very important in this new age of complete transparency that there is no question of any taxpayers money going to a political party.
On the London front I moved into my a flat on Monday. This is a big help as it means that I do not have to keep looking for a hotel room every weekend and it also means that I will now be able to start to build up a small supply of essentials in London rather than have to cart everything backwards and forwards to London every week. The one bedroom basement flat is costing £1430 per month which is within the amount allowed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.