A View from the Mayor’s Parlour - 23/06/08

A View from the Mayor s Parlour. I AM very grateful to the editor of the Ely Standard for the opportunity to have a monthly column, in which I can talk about the work of Ely City Council and explain some of the things we are trying to achieve. I would wel

A View from the Mayor's Parlour.

I AM very grateful to the editor of the Ely Standard for the opportunity to have a monthly column, in which I can talk about the work of Ely City Council and explain some of the things we are trying to achieve. I would welcome feedback from readers on some of the issues, which concern us all.

Already I have been mayor for more than a month and have had a very busy start. Two weeks ago I went to Vercelli in Italy to hear the Ely Choral Society give a wonderful concert in their basilica and, almost immediately, had to rush back in time for a service in the cathedral, hosted by the Cambridgeshire and Royal Anglian Regimental associations, celebrating the centenary of the founding of the Territorial Army. I was very proud of the City of Ely Military Band, who played magnificently during the service. The Duke of Gloucester took the salute at a parade afterwards, which was applauded by a large crowd - you may have seen pictures in the Ely Standard. It was particularly moving for us, as my husband had been a member of the TA for many years.

The week before, I went to Ribe in Denmark with the city's Twinning Association. We met with other twinning groups from Germany, Austria, Sweden and Norway, who joined with our hosts to celebrate 25 years of friendship. The weather and the hospitality were superb; we handed out information about Ely to encourage them to visit us, and anyone from Ely can be assured of a warm welcome there. Let me know and I can put you in touch with our Twinning Association.


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In addition to these enjoyable events, I have attended many meetings, some of which were looking at future developments for Ely. As summer approaches, it won't be long before the judges for Anglia In Bloom come to visit us. Please help us to improve on last year's Silver award by making your front gardens or window boxes look as beautiful as possible and let me know if you see public areas in need of attention. A new feature this year will be a competition to find the best decorated hotel or inn; the prize is a pen and ink drawing of the winning hostelry by local artist Virginia Mull. Part of my charity appeal is for Ely In Bloom, and I have written to many colleagues and friends asking for their support for Ely In Bloom and our Christmas lights; some of the money raised will be for a new winter garden in Jubilee Gardens. I will be organizing a number of fund-raising events - details of which will appear later.

Last Saturday, we attended a most exciting choral concert in Ely Cathedral, celebrating the centenary of the cathedral's organ. The Cathedral Choir and the Girls' Choir were joined by the Prime Brass ensemble and the Clare and Trinity College choirs from Cambridge. Everyone there hoped this would become an annual event. We are very fortunate in Ely to have such marvellous opportunities for music.

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Sheila Friend-Smith

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