Hello again, thanks for tuning in.
Well it’s been another busy and exciting Mayoral week.
Engagements began on Monday afternoon when I was joined in the Mayor’s Parlour by the staff from The Park Café in Hyde. The Park Café is managed and run by Tameside Learning Disabilities Service. It was set up to give people with learning disabilities the opportunity to improve their chances of getting a job, by working in a busy café and outside catering business, you may have see the team featured on BBC North West News when they first opened the café in the summer of last year.
We had a lovely afternoon and it was great to meet everybody involved and to thank them for their hard work and wonderful efforts.
Later, Francoise and I visited the 7th Hyde Guides, Brownies and Rainbows at St John’s Church Hall to help celebrate the Guides Centenary Year. As always, it was a pleasure to meet the girls and the leaders and to see their enthusiasm and dedication.
On Tuesday afternoon, I hosted the final event in my series of receptions to recognise the hard work and outstanding achievements of Council employees. On this occasion, the Chief Executive and myself, along with Cabinet Members, Councillors Joe Kitchen and Jim Fitzpatrick acknowledged the work of Tameside’s longest serving employees. Each of the guests had worked for the authority for 38 years and over – quite an achievement I’m sure you will agree!
In the evening, Francoise and I welcomed a selection of guests to the Mayor’s Parlour, all of whom have been very supportive and special to us.
On Wednesday morning, I was delighted to be invited to take part in the Annual AGMA Consumer Challenge Quiz hosted by the Tameside Trading Standards Team. This annual competition is for children with moderate learning difficulties and is actively based with a high visual content. Teams from across Greater Manchester participated in the competition and Tameside was represented exceptionally well by a wonderful team of young people from Samuel Laycock School. It was a super morning which was both informative and a great deal of fun!
On Wednesday night, Francoise and I had a lovely evening with the Mottram Guides, Brownies and Rainbows to once again mark the Guides special centenary year.
On Thursday, we had a terrific day in Salford with the Mayor and Mayoress of Salford and the other Civic Heads of Greater Manchester. The event included visits to the Salford Museum & Art Gallery, the Working Class Movement Library , The Lowry and finally a presentation at MediaCity UK in Salford Quays. It was a fabulous day and Francoise and I were grateful to the Mayor and his team for their kind hospitality and excellent tour of the city.
In the evening, we welcomed Mr Terry Lodge JP, Chair of the Tameside Magistrates’ Bench and colleagues to the Mayor’s Parlour.
On Friday, the 23rd April, it was of course St George’s Day and once again the Borough of Tameside celebrated the day of our Patron Saint in style. As the Cross of St George flew proudly from Council buildings across the Borough and the sun shone brightly, Medieval times were brought to life in Ashton Town Centre with street theatre, musical performances by some our local schools and Knights and Squires handing out silk roses.
These fabulous celebrations also marked the culmination of the borough's efforts to petition the government to make St George's Day a public bank holiday.
The event was very well attended and it was heartening to see so many people coming together to acknowledge this special day.
From here, I travelled over to Astley Street in Dukinfield to attend the unveiling of the first brown plaque in Tameside to commemorate the site of the first St Mary’s Church in the town. The ceremony was attended by the Bishop of Shrewsbury who was in the area to conduct a special mass at St Mary’s RC Primary School in celebration of the opening of the new school building. I was delighted to be able to attend the Mass and to have the opportunity to look around the wonderful new school.
On Friday evening, Francoise and I attended a superb production of Beauty and the Beast at the George Lawton Hall at the invitation of Mossley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society . It really was a magical night and my thanks and congratulations go to everybody involved for a truly memorable and professional production.
On Saturday afternoon, we were invited to present the prizes at the Haughton Green Gardening Society and Denton Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society Spring Show. We had the chance to look at the exhibits before the presentations and it was a wonderful show. Francoise and I were just relieved that we didn’t have the difficult task of choosing the winning entries.
Later, we attended a rousing concert by the Brighouse and Rastrick Band at Hyde Town Hall. This event formed part of this year’s Tameside Music Festival and was a superb occasion for all brass band enthusiasts.
To end the week, Francoise and I were invited to join The Boys’ Brigade and The Girls’ Brigade (Manchester and District Battalion) at the beautiful St Ann’s Church in Manchester for their annual Joint Church Parade and Service.
And that brings another week to a close.
Thank you for joining me and I hope to see you again soon.