Mr Alan Creswell, The Mayor Councillor Yvonne Creswell, Di Webb, David, Councillor Yvonne Wright.
Last night Sue and I attended the Annual dinner of the Bury and District Society for Blind and Partially Sighted Persons at Greenmount Golf Club. An excellent meal and great company.
Co-incidentally, the Gospel reading in church this morning was of Jesus healing the blind man.
On Friday after attending a meeting with the Chief Superintendent at Bury’s new police station. I attended a meeting at Adullam Homes Housing Association on Bolton Road in Bury. Adullam was set up in Birmingham in 1972 and is now a national organisation. Their mission is to provide ‘high quality accommodation, and housing related services, for those needing additional support in their lives.’
I met with a group of their clients and they had the opportunity to question me about any matters of concern to them . Their principal concerns were about the changes which are being made to the benefits system and I was able to explain what I know about the way the new system will work. As I explained to them it can not be right that in a Country that has one of the most comprehensive healthcare systems in the World, which is free at the point of delivery, we have two and a half million people on Incapacity Benefit who are apparently incapable of working. As a Society we can and must do better. Of course there are unfortunately individuals who because of physical and/or mental incapacity are unable to work but I do not accept that this group numbers 2.5million. Further it is perfectly reasonable to do what the Government is proposing to arrange for each person claiming this benefit to attend for a new independent assessment to see whether they are capable of doing any work.
Later on Friday I held a surgery at my constituency office. On saturday after taking CeeCee to his outdoor training class I had a meeting about the W.O. Street Charitable Trust where we are still trying to persuade Barclays to retire as Trustees so that new Trustees can takeover and more money will be available for local charities.
In the afternoon I attended Gigg Lane where the Shakers triumphed in their first round FA Cup tie against Exeter despite Exeter being in the league above.
On Sunday after attending church at St.Anne’s I attended the Craft Show organised by the Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted Persons at Ramsbottom Civic Hall. I then visited the Autumn Show of the Ramsbottom Horticultural Society at Ramsbottom Cricket Club.
I am often amazed at how at what at the time must seem to the participants to be routine everyday matters suddenly become headline news with enormous consequences. This week we have seen just such an event. Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made a telephone call and I am sure they could never have guessed at the consequences. It was in my opinion a most inappropriate phone call and I fail to understand why these two very highly paid entertainers did not realise the potential for harm. The consequences have been that two people have lost their jobs at the BBC and Jonathan Ross has been suspended without pay for three months costing him reportedly one and half million pounds. The whole affair has done nothing to change my opinion that the way the BBC operates and is funded needs a significant overhaul.
Sue and I have been out this afternoon preparing for the Christmas Wrapping Service organised by the Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People. It does not seem like a year since we were involved last Christmas but time marches on and this year the service is due to start in the Millgate Centre on December 8th.
I attended a meeting of the Ramsbottom Conservatives last night when they reselected Councillor Barry Theckston to contest the Ward in next years local elections. Barry is a very hardworking Councillor and completely committed to helping Ramsbottom thrive and doing all he can to help the residents of Ramsbottom, Holcombe and Shuttleworth.
I have also started helping out the Bury Society for the Blind and Partially Sighted with their Christmas Wrapping service in the Millgate Centre. Two hours yesterday and another two hour session today. The way it works is that volunteers wrap up presents for people and in return the person whose presents you have wrapped make a voluntary contribution of whatever they wish towards the work of the Society. Whilst it is a bit daunting a first you soon get the hang of it and I for one certainly appreciated the training sessions I had attended.