A word from Cllr Peter Tomlinson, County Councillor for Dodderhill and Chairman of Worcestershire County Council
A lot has happened since I sent out a note of what I had been up to since that nerve tingling Council meeting on May 16th. From the 25th of May until now I have had 38 engagements varying from supporting other dignitaries in the County, the standard duty expected of the County Chairman, to ploughing my own furrow promoting sport, music and business.
Perhaps the most successful effort so far has been to promote the MAC’s Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb on its Classic Nostalgia weekend by mounting the railway sleepers coming out of the top ess and virtually writing off my classic MGC Sebring. The resultant photograph of my car on top of the sleepers featured in every local newspaper within the county and beyond. In their wildest dreams the MAC could not have expected publicity on that scale. Whilst my intention was to publicise Shelsley as being one of the jewels in the crown of Worcestershire and its place in the motor sport history of this country I did not expect to achieve it in this remarkably expensive way. This of course spoilt my intended appearance at the Chateau Impney Hill-Climb where I was to appear complete with chain, racing suit and car. Nevertheless I did attend and was amazed at the collection of vintage and classic cars on display and competing. Even better than the Goodwood Revival I thought and all here in Worcestershire.
I have attended a number of events in the cathedral and am getting to know the staff there quite well. One of the most moving events was the Sunday service commemorating D-Day. The single wreath was laid by a veteran of June 6th 1944. He was helped to the alter by other members of Royal British Legion and he then stood erect with no help, bowed his head and stood for some time before being helped back to his seat. He is 98 years old which meant that he was just 23 years old when he went ashore. Although required to walk out with the other dignitaries I defied convention (not for the first time and I daresay not the last either) just to shake his hand and thank him personally for my freedom on that day June 6th when I was just over one year old.
Whilst supporting councillor David Ross the Mayor of Kidderminster at one of his fundraising events for his chosen charities, I actually won the darts tournament which compensated somewhat for my Shelsley episode.
I thought at least I can point a dart in the right direction if not my car! I had the pleasure of opening a new development called The Burrows which features 8 self-contained apartments for people suffering from autism. My wife as a retired community paediatrician knows all about this syndrome and we have friends whose son is so severely autistic that he needs to be looked after 24 hours a day. However there are many who if given the right environment can live their own lives and indeed contribute to society. The Burrows with funding from the County and Fortis Housing have designed and built these apartments to cater for those aspects of autism which can trigger negative behaviour. For example each unit is completely soundproofed since noise can trigger a reaction, all the electrical elements have been designed to make them easy to use and as safe as possible. This kind of project often goes very much under the radar when the County is criticised, for example, for potholes and not doing enough to control traffic disruption (although we could do more!).
I have attached a list of my engagements so that you can see the spread of events I have attended. I am promoting the County as much as possible wherever I go with sport and music high on my list. The week following the last gig on that list saw me with my Chairman’s hat on during full Council week. What with all the pre-meetings and briefings it’s always difficult to fit any more engagements in but this week I have 3 meetings plus a jazz concert at Henley-in-Arden with the Ad Hoc jazz band. Then thank goodness things get a little quieter in August and it will be a time for a break…which we desperately need.
By the way I have Chairman’s Twitter account and you can log on @ChairmanWorcscc for those that understand how to use this medium. I am only just learning, but I put up something nearly every day. Do follow me if you can.
Kind regards to you all
Cllr Peter Tomlinson