The start of June was a time very tinged with sadness in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London. Our flag was flown at half-mast twice, within a fortnight and I wrote letters of condolence, on behalf of the town of Marlborough, to the Mayors of Manchester and London. Then, the sombre mood continued with the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. There was only one civic engagement scheduled in the first half of the month, the presentation of the Mayor’s Cup at the athletics event between Marlborough College and St John’s on the 6th June, but this was postponed due to thundery weather. It was later presented by Deputy Mayor Lisa Farrell when rescheduled.
By contrast, the final part of June was very busy with almost daily engagements. On the 23rd we saw the formal opening of the Savernake View care home by Angela Rippon, who has done a lot of work with the Alzheimer’s Society.
On the 24th June, we were guests at a concert by the Marlborough Concert Orchestra who gave a fine performance which included Dvorak’s New World symphony. Then, on Sunday the 25th, there was a choral evensong at Malmesbury Abbey which was attended by several Wiltshire mayors. The Abbey is a fantastic setting for such an event and it was very enjoyable.
The following morning, the 26th, was an early start to attend Kiwi Barracks in Bulford with Deputy Mayor Lisa Farrell for a briefing on the activities of 4MI Battalion, our adopted army unit. It was very interesting to hear about the many complex activities that they are engaged in around the world and quite rare to get over 100 of them together in one place. The morning ended with us judging their debating competition with the motion “Should serving generals sit in the House of Lords?”, (the motion was defeated!).
On Wednesday 28th June, it was a quiet day with Councillor training in the evening then on Thursday 29th the pace picked up again with the morning spent helping to clear out the old Youth Centre building to prepare for refurbishment as a Community and Youth Centre, a project that I hold dear. Then in the afternoon I chaired the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and in the evening attended the Scout Council AGM at the George Lane scout hut.
The month ended with a tour of the new Marlborough St Mary’s school building on the afternoon of the 30th. A very impressive new building but it comes with no new equipment or furniture so fundraising is going on to try and raise the £75,000 needed to provide this. So far, they have raised over £37,000 but continue to work very hard to get ready in time for the new term in September.