A bit of a do

Last week saw two interesting events for a local Councillor such as myself first came the Suffolk County Councils Chairman Reception, an annual event hosted by the Chairman of the Council this year my old friend and former cabinet colleague Cllr. Guy McGregor and the following evening the very same event at Forest Heath Hosted by Chairman Cllr. Chris Barker. Both events traditionally mark the end of the year of office.

The first was held in the splendid surroundings of The Suffolk Food Hall, reset for the function from its usual restaurant layout. It has probably one of the finest views in the whole of Suffolk sweeping down to the Orwell Estuary with the Orwell Bridge framing distant views of Ipswich. Guy had laid on a wonderful evening with Scottish Piper to welcome guests, he never misses an opportunity to mention his roots! There was a fine buffet to nibble on whist chatting to colleagues and politicians from across Suffolk (known affectionately as the Chain gang) not to mention a much wider cohort of business, community and voluntary sector Leaders. Naturally much of the chatter people engaged in with me was about the events of the past few weeks, personal circumstances meant that Mark Bee could not be there which was entirely understandable but surprisingly his Deputy Leader did not attend nor indeed his campaign manager, one or two colleagues were quite mischievous in their comments about us being allowed to gather without err……‘guidance’.

The following evening I was asked to act a toast master at the Forest Heath District Council Chairman’s reception at the splendid Bedford Lodge Hotel, this role has traditionally taken by Cllr. Malcolm Smith who died suddenly last winter and so I was honoured to be asked and try to do it as well as he did. Principally my job was to announce arriving guests to the Chairman, his wife Micky and my old friends Cllr. Andy Drummond who is currently vice-Chairman and his wife Boo, both of whom I have known for, well, shall we say a long time before any of us decided we wanted to be in local politics! Announcing many of those who attended was remarkable easy as I was surprised at how many of them I knew and indeed some I had been nattering to, the night before. At the evening drew to a close I was asked to conduct the auction of great events and prizes donated to raise money for the Chairman’s Charity and I did my best to maximise the bids.

My conversations were markedly different from the night before as West Suffolk often feels a long-way from Ipswich, as one Senior Councillor put it, our area has far more in common with the Brecks of which we are a part and working with St. Edmundsbury Borough Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council, as we look towards Cambridge as the economic powerhouse of the region. For my part I spoke about my increasing frustration at County meetings reminding senior officers and some councillors that we have LEPs not a LEP to work with on economic development for areas of Suffolk without a coastline.

Both were extremely useful gatherings but of course sometimes people question the cost of such events and it is of course understandable when set again say a care package for a vulnerable person but I would say that far beyond the services Councils provide, our quality of life is about how communities do things for themselves and these events are about people coming together to celebrate being a part of the Suffolk and Forest Heath communities. Working together across the business, voluntary, community and councils sectors is in part stronger because we know each other, we know who to go to gets things done and beyond anything else that is what such civic events are all about, our collective sense of purpose that makes Suffolk, well Suffolk.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal, anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Park Farm Cottage, Fordham St. Genevieve, BurySt. Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS

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