Spring Get Together Saturday 11th June 2011

Kath Grandon and I hold a cheese and wine afternoon soirée for over forty people. The purpose is to celebrate our election and consolidate the sentiments of our supporters. The tone is set by my brief comments to the group as follows:

Thank you for coming here today to share the joy of our victories at the recent District Council elections.

I scored 595 votes up from 381 last time and Kath scored over 500 votes up from 330.

First, a few words about housekeeping. Kath has been appointed to the Development (i.e. Planning).

As the Tesco planning application is being decided on the 6th July you may not ask her for her opinion or which way she intends to vote. This is because she may not indicate that she is prejudicial or has made up her mind before hearing the formal arguments. To do so would bar her from speaking and more importantly  from voting at the meeting. Bend her ears by all means – better still send her an e-mail. But there have been at least two attempts to find out how Councillors were disposed to the supermarket application. These P.R. and market research attempts have not as far as I am aware been funded by the Hadleigh Society or their adherents.

Thanks and appreciation goes to our spouses and families for their support and encouragement.

Alice and Roger really pulled the stops out in supporting us. I will never again complain about having to put the dustbin out when  it is raining. Alice pushed leaflets and envelopes in the late March weather for me like no one’s business and I know that Roger now has a far greater awareness of Hadleigh South than he ever imagined before.

Thanks also go to those families and friends who had the confidence or desperation to bring us their problems. It hasn’t always been easy and we haven’t always been successful but it is rare that it is given to us to be of use to our community and to be  heroes and heroines to our friends and neighbours, And for that I give grateful thanks.

We also have another new boy here today – Peter Burgoyne who we all know as our agent, mentor,   guide and friend. A man who knows all about command, control, and co-ordination. Peter roared in as the top candidate in Pinewood displacing a long standing Lib-Dem.

Before I introduce our guest of honour, today’s raffle proceeds (as in previous years) will go to the Royal Anglian regiment. They are our home team and are preparing for another tour of Afghanistan. As can be seen by the letters our efforts of their behalf are much appreciated as are their efforts on our behalf. The raffle prizes are nominal. If you don’t want any of the prizes, please take one anyway and recycle it onwards.

Final thanks go to Jennie Jenkins, our guest of honour. Jennie is leader of our political group at the Council. She is also Head of the Council’s Strategy Committee. Being the Group Leaderene is not an easy job as the councillors cover every spectrum and continuum that you can imagine.

There are those whom I call the aquamarine Tories because their political philosophies are pale, weak and wishy washy. There are those who are One Nation Tories and others who believe in the Divine Right of Kings and wish the clocks could be turned back 300 or 400 years.

There are those who resist change and others who embrace the moving tapestries of our lives.

Jennie manages us and ensures that we are happy to sign up to whatever the Group has decided to do. Herding cats doesn’t even describe her tasks and talents.

We’ve asked Jennie here today to give us a heads up as to where we might be all going Babergh-wise especially after the decisive vote not to merge.

Madam Chairperson…

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