From the Mayor's Parlour

Published on 31st July 2018

Despite the comment by the Greek poet Alexis c.350BC that committee meetings are a 'victory of the posterior over the mind', it's becoming ever clearer to me that they are essential. So essential, in fact, that the Town Council has decided to promote one mere 'sub-committee' into a fully blown 'standing committee' (Staffing).

Possibly most important of all, though, is the 'natter over a cuppa sub-committee', such as the one I recently experienced on the subject of fundraising for the mayor’s charity: Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team.  It wasn’t just about brainstorming – what kind of events, where and when – but also about who was prepared to do what for the charity.

One person, for instance, who suggested the committee in the first place, offered to go raffle-prize collecting; another, an experienced cook, was happy to take on all the baking; and a Council colleague promised to sort the social media side of things, very important in this day and age. So watch this space and online for announcements of what promise to be amazing events throughout the year. For our own safety, let's fund the Search and Rescue Team.

In terms of invitations, July is the quietest month in the mayoral calendar. But one doesn't have to wear a chain to be allowed to attend events. The Country Fair in Centre Vale Park was brilliant, I thought. The novelty of the camel racing was probably enough to make it stand out from a standard agricultural show, but there were so many other aspects which I found inspiring: the extraordinary arts and crafts section, for instance, and, on a pragmatic level, the tepees used to avoid damage to the drainage system in the park. It did seem that the organisers had worked together with Calderdale, a grown-up approach, however much the people of Todmorden feel genuinely let down by the original works.

Last Saturday there was an official invitation, this time to Asquith Hall's 80s themed Summer Fair. My son was not there as consort simply so he could check out the home for his dad’s future. We were there largely to support Dementia Friendly Todmorden, a group which has been doing extraordinary work running training sessions and a regular café, as well as raising dementia awareness throughout the town. This fits with Asquith Hall's own agenda. In the last 18 months I have been invited there three times, always to look at different aspects of dementia and dementia control. Once we had to wander round a spookily darkened bus and experience what it might be like to have dementia. Metal-spiked insoles, dark glasses, screeching ear phones and bellowed instructions – all very memorable. 



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