Weekly Update November 10th-16th

Saturday 10th November

Remembrance South Manchester Synagogue 

Invited by my good friend Bernard Sharp to attend the synagogue for their remembrance. Great to see such a large civic turnout for such a poignant event. It’s quite a cycle to Bowdon but thoroughly worthwhile for such a nicely balanced service which started with laments and ended with Happy Birthday. 

Sunday 11th November

Civic Remembrance

Really well attended civic remembrance parade at Stretford Cenotaph. I’m always uncomfortable as a councillor on these days; my predecessors were after all, the recruiting sergeants for such a tragic loss of life in the Great War. Young men sent for sacrifice in a war between empires. The Peter Jackson film ‘They shall not grow old” shown in the evening was just so moving and presented real-life footage of the appalling circumstances we placed those boys in. Just awful.

We will remember them.

Monday 12th November

Caught up with emails after a busy few days. We’d had a carpet fitted on the Friday so everything had been squeezed into one room.

Attended the Town Hall in the evening for briefings.

Oh and went to see the gasometers.

Tuesday 13th November

Really informative presentation from the Trafford Assist team. I used to work in Social Security. This would have been called urgent payments, then social fund. What really impressed me today was the extent to which the staff were empowered to look at the cause. We still don’t put enough money into welfare; it’s very much the manifestation of a civilised society but they’re a great team and I was really impressed.

Wednesday 14th November

Distracted by Brexit. What a mess. Seems fitting that this was the week we commemorated the loss of life in the Great War. That was probably the last time we had such a pathetic elite in the centres of Europe. Is there anybody in London or Brussels, Government or Opposition, who realises the enormity of this car crash? Do they not realise that actually people expect their representatives to be working for solutions, not this daytime gameshow disaster piece set on repeat?

Anybody not swearing at the news this week has my absolute respect. I didn’t manage it.

Thursday 15th November

Escape to sanity. Afternoon stint volunteering in Lostock Library and then a really positive meeting of Lostock College Governors.

Friday 16th November

And a delightful meeting at Stretford High meeting Mrs Brindley, the school’s deputy head to tell her about our ambition to have more children walking and cycling to school. It looks like it’s something we can work together on, particularly with the civic quarter being on their doorstep.

Because Stretford High School is so popular, it means the catchment is relatively small. It has a huge proportion of it’s pupils travelling less than a mile. Yet so many of those kids are driven into school. Lindsay pointed out the irony of encouraging a daily mile once they’re in school when the journey into school could be made part of the day. That said, there are reasons why families prefer to drive their kids to school and mostly it’s not the school, so we have to bring other agencies (highways, police, mosques etc) into it. But it seems such an appropriate time to be doing this; and it should be a measure of the success of the civic quarter that more Stretford High School pupils are walking and cycling to school.

I genuinely believe we can be transformational.