Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's Official

The second day of the Fairtrade Roadshow coincided with the formal celebration of the Fairtrade Borough achievement. A lovely afternoon, recalling the 30 year journey from the first Fairtrade coffee and tea to the present day. We heard from Jenny Medhurst about the early campaigns and the huge support from individuals and church groups which started things moving. Then we heard from Ayshe Babur about the wonderful work being done at the Newtown Resource Centre to educate people about Fairtrade and give them the chance to taste for themselves, culminating in producing their winning entry to the recipe competition in the spring. Finally I had the chance to thank everyone for the work and commitment they've shown and present the certificate to the Deputy Mayor as representative of the people of the borough. I hadn't actually written a speech so I didn't feel I'd wasted time writing it when the press didn't arrive!
One of the local free papers, The Circuit, had done a lovely photo of the Billingham stall and a great write-up on the front page. Sadly, the rest of the press didn't turn up today! Why can't they write a good news story for once.
After finishing for the day in Stockton market it was time to head back to Eaglescliffe and have a look at the plans for rebuilding our local Health Centre. The building design looks like a pleasing mix of traditional and modern and the people visiting the display sounded happy. The ground floor will be able to be used in part for community activities in the evening, such as ante-natal clinics to fit in with working parents-to-be, healthy living drop-ins and possibly the occasional meeting that's not health related. That could be a big asset to the area. Parking will be no better than it is at present, but the site isn't expandable so there isn't much we can do. At least the centre is staying in the centre of population and near a good bus route - it might have moved to Preston Farm or Allens West and we'd all have had a much more difficult journey to see a doctor.
The building process will give 12-18 months of pain, so I hope the end result really is worth it.

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