Saturday, November 22, 2008
BEDFORD CHORAL SOCIETY and BSO
Tonight I am in for a musical treat. Bedford Choral Society are performing King Olaf by Edward Elgar with the Bedfordshire Symphony Orchestra at the Corn Exchange and I have been invited in my capacity as Vice Chairman of Bedfordshire County Council. The standard of music in Bedford is extremely high, so it will be good.
Today I organised an Autumn Lunch for 28 members and friends of Bedfordshire Branch of the European Union of Women, which I chair. Our Speaker, Jacek Gajewski, EU Counsellor at the Polish Embassy in London, gave us an insight into Poland's development before and since joining the European Union. We enjoyed an delicious lunch of guinea fowl or trout and raspberry brulee at the Hunt Hotel, Linslade, which provides a first class customer service.
The European Union of Women was founded in 1953 by Dr Lola Solar, an Austrian MP to stimulate an interest in European affairs and enable women to make a contribution to international understanding. The EUW has sections in 21 European countries including the UK.
On Thursday/Friday I attended an interesting new Conference at the Business Design Centre, London on Public Services Innovation - sharing bright ideas to improve people's lives. We had inspirational talks from Charlie Leadbeater, a top corporate thinker, Paul Sloane, ex IBM Managing Director and author of 18 books on creative problem solving, Sir Michael Bichard, Director, Institute for Government and Jonathan Kestenbaum, Chief Executive of NESTA, a £350 million body which fosters innovation in science, technology and the arts. Lots of ideas were generated on how to maintain high quality of public services when finances are increasingly tight.