Lee Moor diary April 2010
The North East used to be...
I get to go places... see things... and speak to people that other farmers might not. I had a very informative trip with ONEnortheast to Redcar and Cleveland to see what they are doing. I was very impressed by their ambition and by the changes to the Corus steel plant there - they need to be doing as much regeneration as possible. Also great to see a seafront scheme with both my organisations (Environment Agency and ONEnortheast) involved. A vertical pier on top of a sea defence is pretty unusual. I look forward to going back as a 'civilian' in a few years to see how they have done.
University of the 3rd Age event on Climate Change
A society that respects its elders is a decent society. I say this as somebody who is likely to be in the second half of his life now, and may soon be in the last third! A few weeks ago at the Lindisfarne Centre a group of 70 U3A members heard me talk on the local impact of climate change. It was a great day. I spoke for 45 minutes and then we had a robust round of questions. As I have a paid role for the Environment Agency I see this sort of event as an extension of those duties, and certainly that has given me my grasp of the detail around such complicated topics as the impact of climate Change. As I explained to the audience, I am paid to be a professional lay person. The academic mind can be very bright but, like the lighthouse in the desert, not overly helpful in the specific circumstances!
Freedom of The County
The end of April I was present at the marching of The Northumberland Fusileers through Morpeth. I had a good catch up with a number of my former Councillor friends and other Honoarary Alderman. It was also good to catch up with His Grace and Lord James for a chat on a range of issues. I have little to do with the army but I was glad to give up three or four hours to show my support..
I have been taking part in events with CURDS on behalf of Lee Moor and Colling Construction. I have found this very thought-provoking, but I worry at the mix of academics, representatives of 'the state' and only a smattering of private sector companies. I think futuring should mean getting all sides of society in a room around a loose proposition, such as 'what does the built envionment need to look like in the north east in 20 years' time?' That would be a valuable thing to do.
Bong... Vote cast
I have just cast my vote in the 2010 election and as such placed it in the box in the same room in the village hall at Rennington that saw my primary education from 1969 to 1976, the same space where I danced with my future wife Lindsay at Young Farmers Dances in the 1980s and where I am now Chairman of the Village Hall Committee... One building, so much history - on a personal level.
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