Archive for May, 2012
Twelve town centres across the country – including Bedford – will have a unique opportunity to revitalise their high streets after being selected to be the first Portas Pilots.
Richard was delighted to learn that the Bedford ”Town Team”, led by BedfordBID and created to bid for Mary Portas cash, has been awarded £50,000. Richard welcomed the announcement as another positive piece of news for Bedford that will bring a much needed boost to our town centre and he congratulated the Town Team for their “enthusiasm and vision, which clearly came across in the application”.
Local Government Minister, Grant Shapps, praised the exceptional quality of the winning bids, which will each receive funding and a tailored package of support from both the Minister and retail guru Mary Portas.
The winning video submission can be found here.
Last Saturday, Richard waved off a train load of people from Bedford railway station, who were treated to a day out in Brighton by First Capital Connect (FCC).
On board was a party of almost 40 from Foxgloves Children’s Home and Sunflower House, as well as other children with disabilities from around Bedford. On-board, the group was entertained by a clown, face painters and a magician and in Brighton, they enjoyed events put on by the Brighton Fringe.
The trip was organised by FCC to celebrate the end of cross-London engineering works on the Thameslink route.
On a chilly Sunday in May, Richard was delighted to join Newnham Meltis Cricket Club in celebrating the first match on their new ground at Meltis Sports Club.
The Meltis ground has a strong history as a cricket venue but no match had been played there for 15 years. So to mark the return of cricket to Meltis, a special invitational match was played between a Newnham Meltis side and an opposition XI picked by Councillor Apu Bagchi. The match was dedicated to long time Meltis Club member, Rowland Sharpe, who had long dreamed of cricket being played at Meltis but sadly passed away before it came to fruition.
Richard had the honour of bowling the very first over of the match and, despite not having played since his school days, he was very close to bowling a maiden over. The two sides – each made up of a mix of men, boys and some ladies! – played a tightly fought game. Councillor Bagchi’s side made 77 in their allotted overs before the Newnham Meltis side fell just a few runs short in the final over.
Despite losing out to Councillor Bagchi’s team, Richard was very pleased with his side’s performance and all involved had a fantastic day.
The Opposition front bench believe the Coalition Government has exaggerated the problem in the public finances. “Too far, too fast” is their easy, guiltless mantra.
In a culture – media and political – that has become used to “solving problems” with public money and leaving future generations to pick up the bill, every step the Chancellor is taking to reduce the deficit is met with varying degrees of hyperbole, with predictions of disaster ahead or fairness undone.
In truth, the concern should be that by focusing on deficit reduction rather than debt reduction, the Coalition government has not yet gone far enough in creating the conditions for stable, long term growth. The greater imbalance in the economy is not between sectors, it is between what we demand and our ability to pay – an imbalance between generations.