British Empire Medals
On 1st April I joined the Lord-Lieutenant for a ceremony to invest three local deserving people with their British Empire Medals, awarded in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List.
The BEM was reintroduced to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and is awarded to people who dedicate themselves at the local level. The medals are presented by the Lord-Lieutenant on behalf of Her Majesty. I was pleased to offer Beaumanor Hall as a venue for this special occasion which was rounded off with a pleasant buffet luncheon for the medallists and their families. It was a very special occasion enjoyed by everyone present.
Armed Forces Community Covenant
As part of the County Council’s work in support of the Armed Forces Community Covenant, we recently established a joint project with the Defence Animal Centre, with financial support from the covenant. I attended an event to launch the new project last week. This project is a natural extension of the longstanding relationship which the County Council has enjoyed with the Defence Animal Centre and which was reinforced in a partnership last year. The DAC has been based in Melton since 1946 and there is a strong bond with the community of Melton, who are proud of that association.
We are delighted that this new project will help build on the partnership between the Defence Animal Centre and Melton Carnegie Museum, which explores the history of all aspects of Melton Mowbray and its district. The Army Medical Services Museum near Aldershot in Hampshire, holds an archive of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and Defence Animal Centre. The partnership and project will allow us to strengthen our relationship and use the archive with the experiences of the Armed Forces to foster community cohesion, understanding and learning among the public, schools and also the Armed Forces itself.
On 3rd April I attended the 2014 Leicester-Shire & Rutland School Games Spring Championships.
The ‘School Games’ is a new approach to competitive school sport designed to motivate and enthuse all young people. It is a key Government priority for realising a meaningful sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The School Games Spring Championships were held at Loughborough University’s world class facilities, where we had up to 1,000 of our most talented young athletes and disabled athletes, representing our 10 School Sport & Physical Activity Networks, in 9 sports and 17 competitions, all of which will have qualified from ‘Level 2’ area competitions to compete in these ‘Level 3’ Championships.
We started with an Opening Ceremony and after a day’s competition we concluded with the presentation of awards. It was a delight to be able to lend my support to an event which aims to enthuse young people in sport.
The United Nations comes to county Hall
On 4th April County Hall’s Council Chamber opened its doors to the Model United Nations Assembly (Munga). The students were briefed to remember that at all stages of the debate they were role playing ‘their’ country’s diplomat and they had to present that country’s point of view accurately and convincingly, even if they did not agree with it.
The chamber was filled with passionate debate around four key resolutions: Global Warming; Genetically Modified Crops; Peace Keeping and Peace Making; and Human Trafficking.
This event provides an excellent opportunity for students to come together from a range of schools and to experience structured debate.
High Sheriff’s Choral Evensong
The High Sheriff’s traditionally change over ahead the rest of the civic ‘chain gang’. Just before the end of her term of office as High Sheriff, Sally Bowie hosted a choral Evensong at Leicester Cathedral to give thanks for her successful year in office. It did serve as a reminder that it is just another month to go before I hand over to my successor. How time flies!
The Prince’s Trust
On 9th April I attended another presentation – this time in Hinckley –
by a group of young people who had recently completed their Prince’s Trust programme. I do enjoy attending these presentations and meeting the young people involved. They rightly are proud of their achievements and it is good that they are able to explain their work to a wider community audience.
With the support of the Leicestershire Fire Service they are able to learn new skills and build their confidence during the programme.
To learn more please visit: www.princes-trust.org.uk
Freedom of the Borough
A magnificent parade of military horses, military working dogs and their handlers (including 12 who have served in Afghanistan) marched through the streets of Melton Mowbray. Hundreds of people lined the streets to watch the parade that marked the long association the town has with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC). The Corps was awarded the Freedom of the Borough 37 years ago.
This was the fifth time the RAVC has exercised its right to parade through Melton Mowbray with bayonets fixed, drums beating and Colours flying.
The Band of the Parachute Regiment led the parade followed by 13 mounted military horses and around 120 soldiers and 24 military working dogs from both the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment (Royal Army Veterinary Corps) and the Defence Animal Centre. The parade also featured RAVC veterans.
It was a day to remember and a proud day for Melton and the RAVC.