August - not so quiet after all!
Given that August is traditionally a quiet month with many people taking time off work to go on holiday, it’s been a surprisingly busy month.
I called in at High Peak Radio early in the month to record my regular Insider’s Slot with them – just as the riots that started in London began to head northwards to Manchester. Fortunately there were no disturbances in High peak, but I know shops in both Glossop and Buxton closed early, so the impact was felt locally. There was no excuse for the scenes we saw all too graphically on our TV screens and I am pleased that there will be a enquiry into the causes.
Much has been said about the use of Twitter, Facebook and Blackberry Messenger to spread news of the riots – and the impressive community clean-ups that helped to restore order after the chaos.
The immediacy with which news can now be spread is one reason why I think the borough council needs to look closely at how it uses these new forms of communication. For example it could be a quick and easy way to spread news about bin collections and gritting during severe weather.
Talking of which I met with council officers to discuss how we, as a borough council, can work with residents and community groups to improve our response if we again face a period of bad weather this winter. Technically, of course, it’s not our responsibility – that lies with Derbyshire County Council, who are currently consulting on their own plans for snow clearance and gritting, have your say here: www.derbyshire.gov.uk
Of course for some the summer is always busy – Buxton Opera House hosts series of festivals from July through to the end of August; while up the road Nestle is busy bottling Buxton water.
I was delighted to receive the Opera House’s new brochure in the post recently – with a programme packed full of goodies for all tastes and to see how well used the Pavilion Arts Centre has become in such a short space of time. But what really caught my eye was the Kaleidoscope - Learning and Participation Programme packed full of exciting ways in which people can get involved in the Opera House over the next 12 months, more details from firstname.lastname@example.org or find it on Twitter and Facebook.
I also met with Nestle to find out more about their plans for the new Waterswallows plant, including its plan to help local community projects. While my regular surgery at the Residents of Fairfield Association office left me with a pile of casework to do.
The last fortnight ended on a sad note with news of the death of friend and former High Peak borough councillor, Henry Playford (83). His funeral had obviously been carefully planned and was a genuinely lovely event, just glowing with Henry.
I was saddened too to hear of the death of former High Peak Mayor and Chapel parish councillor, Ann Young. Although we were on different sides politically, I recognise that Ann made a big contribution to High Peak over her many years as a councillor.
Both will be sorely missed by their families, and my condolences go to both families.
Last updated: 8th May 2013