Thursday, 2 July 2009

Thursday 2nd July 09 Meeting the Prime Minister

Quite an early start as although I was told to come as I am (ie scruffy) I of course wanted to be reasonably tidy for meeting the VIP, whoever it is. So, cleaned and ironed tee-shirt and freshly washed shorts.... Did a quick email check and cycled off to the Credit Union Office where Nick took me in his car down to Sherburn in Elmet. There were lots of police around the library and people being searched on the way in. I offered my penknife to the policewoman who said she'd look after it until the visitor had gone. We found out that the visitor was to be Gordon Brown the Prime Minister.

The event was to thank three organisations and for the PM to tell them what a good job they were doing... the local SureStart Children's Centre which is based at the library, the Citizens Advice Bureau and North Yorkshire Credit Union, of which I'm the founder and member number one! NYCU is a good example of partnership working and use of technology, as we are just rolling out a web-based paying in system for use in libraries, are going to use PayPoint, and start financial education and a Junior Savers Account, which will be done in conjunction with schools and Children's Centres. There are other developments too, which I'm not at liberty to divulge. I had some interesting chats with people from North Yorkshire County Council, the Department of Work and Pensions and other agencies. I was pleased to meet John Grogan, who is perhaps my favourite MP. I've known him for at least 10 years and I like his friendliness and approach to life. He is one of the 'old socialists' from pre NewLabour days, and I'm surprised he's still with them. However, he is standing down at the next election. I asked him if he'd consider not doing that and going for the leader's job, as I think he'd make a smashing PM! His face crinkled up into his lovely big grin and said definitely not!

So the Prime Minister arrived, with hoards of TV cameras and photographers jostling to get the best view. A group of us was invited to sit in a ring of chairs, people from CAB and NYCU, as well as two people from the local community who had used the services of CAB. Gordon came from visiting another part of the library and went round the group, shaking our hands, then sat and conversations were had with some of the CAB people, the local people, then Mike from NYCU had his 5 mins, where he briefly outlined the history of the group and it's recent change into a county-wide service. He was careful to explain about the partnership working and innovative use of technology. I was not asked any questions and I didn't speak to the Prime Minister.

However, when he left I was near the door and said thank you for coming and he patted me on my shoulder. Very soon, Nick said we should go back to York, and he was able to explain about the developments following the conversations at this meeting. Very exciting and well worth going.

Nick dropped me off at Priory St and I cycled through town to Millers Yard, where Dylan had put aside six sacks of halved squashed oranges and coffee grounds. I carefully loaded these up and took them to St Nicks to their big composting area. They have regular deliveries of sawdust and wood shavings from a pet shop, so I layered the squishy oranges with the sawdust on top of the existing pile.

Glad to get home and have a couple of pints of water plus my lunch, sandwiches as normal.

Soon Gill got home and the boys followed, Melody soon arrived and worked out her SUMA order.

We need to defrost our freezer so Gill found an old nutloaf which is what I had for tea, with some home made tomato sauce on, and potato and broccoli.

After tea I did a bit of work down the garden and then popped round to Lynn's to deliver something for LETS. Raided two ripe skips on the way back... got a load of copper wire and wood from one, and more wood from the other. Excellent!

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