County Council Chairman’s Update

A Word From The Chairman, Dodderhill’s County Councillor

As well as helping with problems you may have with County which I will always endeavour to sort out, I thought you might be interested to know what a Chairman of County gets up to in the meantime.

On Thursday May 16th I was installed as Chairman in the Chamber at County Hall. I caused something of a surprise when I announced that as Chair I was going to remain impartial and not vote on any motion (which previous Chairs have done) because I felt that voting would immediately destroy the whole essence of neutrality and impartiality. This caused something of a stir. So did about 100 climate change protesters filling the Chamber and completely upsetting the agenda. I spent most of the morning quelling the possibility of rioting and people glueing themselves to my desk. As it turned out most of them were better behaved than some councillors, but it was a baptism of fire certainly. I eventually got home at about 5.30pm after having been at County Hall from 8am… exhausted.

The next day I officiated at a Citizenship Ceremony with the Lord Lieutenant. There were 25 new citizens from amongst others, Poland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Holland and Oregon USA. I find it fascinating chatting to them all after the ceremony. At the beginning I have to stand up and tell them about the county they have chosen to live in and the more I research the more I realise that Worcestershire, one of the smallest counties in England punches way above its weight in so many areas. I have chosen to concentrate on sport, music and business in my year in all three categories of which we excel.

Saturday I attended the annual concert of our young musicians in the University Arena. Worcestershire Youth Music is now part of Severn Arts a newly formed self-governing charity. The concert was brilliant and the finale saw all the musicians, all 250 of them from the youngest aged 7 to those about to leave school and go to college on stage. It took 5 conductors to hold them all together as they played an arrangement of Ravel’s Bolero specially written for them. I have never seen/heard anything like it in my life, simply magnificent. And there were many, many proud parents, grandparents and siblings in the audience who applauded for what seemed ages afterwards. Difficult to follow but I had to then thank everyone and I urged the musicians not to give up playing when they left school or college, like I did, only returning to playing in a band in my 70s and wishing I had done it many years earlier!

On Monday evening I had a lesson in using a Twitter account under the name @ChairmanWorcscc which apparently is the County’s way of informing the public of my activities. I have never used Twitter before and am still wary of it. Some of the comments I have read from people are extreme and grossly discourteous. I will however persevere. I took the day off on Tuesday to attend the Shelsley Walsh Driving School hoping that I can knock a couple of second off my time in competition this season, before my wife makes me sell the MGC Sebring because she says I am too old and my reactions are not what they used to be to drive quickly. As you might expect I disagree but am sure to lose the argument!

Wednesday evening I attended the Severn Arts performance in Worcester Cathedral, a gathering of children from schools throughout the county who guided us around the ancient building in a mix of dance, drama, voice and music. It was a magical evening. The talent we have in this county is extraordinary.

Thursday was a meeting at Chateau Impney to meet the owner Rod Spollon and talk about his speed event in July and how that contributes to both the economic success and the motor sport image (eg Shelsley Walsh, Morgan Car Company) of this county.

Friday we drove to Hereford for the installation of its new county Chairman Sebastian Bowen. Again I made the vote of thanks.

Next week just 3 engagements..so far!

Cllr Peter Tomlinson

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