First of all may I thank you for your vote of confidence, and in particular Cllr’s Smith and Adams for their kind words. May I introduce my Chaplain for the next 12 months. Caroline Homan is Minister at the Methodist church in Evesham and I know you will come to respond to her warmth and respect her wise words. You will soon be invited formally to my civic service which will be held on May 31st. Caroline, Wendy and I look forward to welcoming you.
A little while ago, I was asked what my theme was going to be for the year ahead. I had not thought of it before, in quite that way. I replied business, Wychavon is open for business. I have a number of ideas that will build on the excellent work already being done in this building to focus on bringing more business to our district. On reflection, my theme is wider than that and embraces political inclusion and community involvement. It is my intention to visit every ward, during the year, maybe every parish. I am sure there will be events in your areas that need extra publicity and a visit from a ‘chain’ can often increase exposure for a particular cause. I will be writing to all councillors directly, but in the meantime, please let me know if I can be any help.
Traditionally the Chairman raises money for charity and this year will be no exception. Wendy and I wanted local charities and some connection with our own interests. We have chosen, Evesham Shopmobility, Pershore Riverside Youth Centre and Droitwich canals trust. I recognise that these are very challenging times and it is not my intention to get into a competition with previous holders of this office. Elevating awareness is sometimes equally as important as hard cash. If I can help in both directions, so much the better.
You will be receiving official invitations for the various functions we are hosting, Among them are, on the 4 August a Monks Supper, on the of 13 November, a Craft Fayre, The Chairman’s Ball will be on November 28th at the Peartree in Smite, on 14 February 2010 there will be a Valentines Dinner, 23 April, a St Georges Day Celebration and there will be a Golf Day also in April 2010. Please support as many as you can.
I said earlier that it was my intention to increase exposure and widen the publicity for Wychavon. In these fast moving extraordinary times, we have to be in tune with the latest technology and at Wychavon we already utilize some of it, with our recent involvement with Facebook. I am aware that this council, will be much more involved with sites like twitter and other social sites will be available during my year as Chairman. I intend to start a chairman’s blog, so the public can see at first hand what goes on and encourage contact with the council. So to start as I mean to go on….smile please……..
And finally, ladies and gentlemen, please join Wendy, Linda, Maurice and myself for a celebration drink and a few nibbles in the conservatory, immediately after the meeting. Many of you will know of my interest in local history and for the first time in many years the immediate past Chairman and I will be enacting the age old formal procedure, where the key to the Chairman’s toilet, is ceremonially handed over.
Now, we have some serious business to attend to this evening and I have a thought for you. A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him. Tonight, please, not too many bricks.