Saturday, November 13, 2010

Big Society in Llanfechain.

Really nice day. Was invited to cut the tape which officially opened the new Community Shop in Llanfechain, a lovely Montgomeryshire village near to the town of Llanfyllin. The Chairman asked me to perform the 'Big Snip'. Told him that the last time I accepted an invitation to a 'Big Snip' it was from Mrs D, after she had become pregnant for the 4th time, and we had finally found out what was causing it. Today, was much less painful.

For two years, extensive work has been carried out on Llanfechain's Village Hall, the most recent phase of which involved creating a 'community shop' in a redundant space at the end of the hall. The shop includes the existing Post Office, and is run entirely by volunteers. I'm told the whole venture has been a great success.

The new project is a wonderful example of community enterprise. I always ensure that I remain totally 'unpolitical' at events like today's, but I did say that such enterprise is going to become more important over the next few years if we are going to retain rural services - because the Government simply does not have enough money to do the job itself. I didn't say that I thought it was a great example of what constitutes part of the Big Society (even though I thought it) because these two words might be deemed by some to be 'Cameronian' - and thus political.

I have a special affection for Lanfechain, which none of today's attendees would have realised. Just over two years ago, No 3 son Tim and his Irish Catholic wife, Adrienne were married in the village church. Catholic services are allowed to be held there (or at least were allowed). I was told today that this may not be allowed in future. All in all, today was another great bonus of being elected MP for Montgomeryshire.

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