I got a taste of the role of a sports coach apprentice, training pupils from Kelvin Grove Primary school in football skills, to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week (7-11 February).
Later in the week 36 Lewisham apprentices graduated in a special ceremony held at the Town Hall. Their graduation was the culmination of two years of hard work on the job and in the classroom. Every one of them is an absolute inspiration to others, and a great advertisement for what young people in Lewisham can achieve.
Go to Millwall’s website to see the apprentices (and me) in action.
The search for Lewisham’s local leaders
I’m delighted that the Council will again be teaming up with Operation Black Vote to run a second Civic Leadership Programme to nurture Lewisham’s future leaders. The project aims to increase Black and Minority Ethnic participation in all areas of civic and public life. This unique scheme gives individuals from under-represented parts of the community the opportunity to develop the skills that will enable them to take up key roles in public life. We’ve already seen some extremely talented individuals emerge from the scheme and I encourage others who also want to help build even stronger communities to get involved.
Last week I attended the funeral of Cllr Ron Stockbridge. Ron was a great servant to Lewisham and he will be missed by his many friends all across the borough. I feel Ron’s passing personally as he was one of the first councillors I got to know after being elected in 1982.
Ron was someone to whom we younger councillors looked to leadership and inspiration. He was Leader of the Council from 1984-1985 during the most difficult year Lewisham has ever experienced as a council. The fact that he continued to serve his borough for so many years afterwards is testimony to Ron’s decency and commitment. His good humour and friendship will be sorely missed – it is hard to think of Lewisham without him.
Mayor and Cabinet will meet on 17 February to consider final recommendations on the budget. Savings totalling some £8.8m will be considered by Mayor and Cabinet. More than half of these would be achieved by making the Council more efficient. The Council continues to protect services to the most vulnerable as much as possible – 6.5 per cent of savings come from services that protect children and 5.5 per cent come from services that care for adults and older people. Decisions on the budget continue to be informed by the results of consultation with the public (including Our Lewisham, Our Say) and with service users and stakeholders. Full Council will meet on 1 March to set the budget.
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As part of our budget savings we are reducing the number of issues of the Lewisham Life magazine that we print. However, we will be transforming this enewsletter into the Lewisham Life monthly.
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham
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