20th November 2013

This is a little late, sorry for that but it has been a busy few weeks starting with last weekend. On Saturday we attended the Royal British Legion annual concert at the Greig Centre sports hall. It was a marvellous evening of music and song. We were so fortunate to have two of the major organisations of the town performing; The Alcester Silver Band and the Alcester Male Voice Choir. Organisations like these do not just happen but are formed by dedicated people with a passion for music. The ASC was formed well over one hundred years ago and next year is the AMVC 40th anniversary. Long may they continue and of course please support them whenever you can. There was also a young lad from St Benedict’s called Billy Vale who sang for us. He has only been singing for three years but I certainly see a  future for him in entertainment if he wants to. Such confidence in an 11 year old!

Sunday was the remembrance parade and I was very proud to lay a wreath on behalf of Alcester Town Council. I am convinced that we have more and more people attending each year and this was certainly the busiest. Thank you to all who attended. There was a presentation by Alcester Scout Group who had planned a visit to Ypres. This had been 18 months in the planning and they were able to parade under the Gate for the daily closing ceremony. I was so touched by the presentation at church and again realised how much time and effort, for free, the leaders put in. What a fantastic effort.

Finally we went to the Royal British Legion lunch. This is a fund raising event and it is interesting to note that as a local society they have raised over £13000 towards helping serving and ex service men and women in adjusting to perhaps mobility solutions or other assistance in the home, just a few of the things they provided for. Nationally they made £18 million in grants last year.

I was mildly interested in the latest MPs expenses ‘scandal’. This particular issue was across all political parties so everyone got blamed. I had a wry smile when I read that MPs can claim for, well, many expenses including heating a second home. Just setting the record straight for those that do not know, parish and town councillors do not get an allowance for the time they put in. No expenses for clothes or phone. It is all voluntary. Councillors get invited to many civic and social events representing the town, again it is at their cost. So why do it? I think you know the answer to that one. A passion to do the best for our town.

We were invited by The Lord Mayor of Coventry to an event marking the 60th anniversary of The Lord Mayoralty and the 73rd anniversary of the start of the Coventry blitz. We were entertained in Guildhall, one of a number of medieval buildings that did survive and which I have to admit is very grand. Although I still prefer our Town Hall!

I was invited to open another shop, this time in Market Way. Vintage Love is run by Tracy and sells many lovely retro items, both old and new – worth a visit prior to Christmas. It appears that there are a number of people who wish to open a shop in town which bodes well for the High Street.

The High Bailiffs charity dinner was on Friday and Steven Brown raised a significant sum of money for his charity fund on his first major fundraising event. Excellent news.

Finally we were invited to the annual rugby club annual dinner. Again the volunteers, and they are all volunteers, are producing high quality and enthusiastic teams that are well respected in the county. It takes dedication and a willingness to turn out in some pretty inhospitable weather to get to where they. Well done.

Take care with the cold weather this week, wishing you all well.