In my final week of the “conference recess” I managed further local activities. I attended the open day at the Ayrshire Muslim Education Centre. It was a great event, warm welcome, some education and inspiring words….and fantastic food. It was great to see so many members of the wider community pop in for a visit. I have to admit to being slightly embarrassed at taking a doggy bag of food home, but it seemed rude to say no!
I managed a visit to Brodie Engineering, a company born and bred in Kilmarnock. They do fantastic work in refurbishing out of date rolling stock; repairing crash damaged engines and carriages, manufacturing specialist engineering kit for the rail industry and travelling all over the UK to help with specialist repairs. The rolling stock they refurbish comes from all over the UK as well, so they are a fantastic asset to Kilmarnock. Companies like this not only provide valuable skilled jobs, but due to the fact that they partner with other European companies, it means there can also be accommodation and catering spin offs for other companies in the area. It was great to be able to see success first hand.
I also took part in a workshop organised by EACHa, to look at building on a previous report that made recommendations on what needs to be done to tackle homelessness (and associated causes/symptoms such as addition issues). It is inspiring to be amongst so many members of the community working to change things for the better. It gives hope. However, there was also a reality check of one contributor, who is recovering from addiction and was able to advise that he did not see any of the progress that some of the contributors were stating has happened since the last workshop in May. So, there is still a long journey to go. However, with the will in the room, and the leadership and determination of the Rev David Cameron, I am still confident we can make real progress in helping those who need it, to improve their lives, and life chances.
I was interested so see how much the SNP were referenced at the Tory Conference…David Mundell took a break from talking about Independence to talk about how “Nicola should get on with the day job” and that she should stop talking about independence; Ruth Davidson spoke about independence and how the Tories will block a referendum and Teresa May herself launched a broadside at Nicola Sturgeon too. It shows that for a party in opposition at Westminster, we must be doing something to be referenced on the main stage so much for what is a UK (or more accurately England and Wales) Tory Conference. I am tempted to suggest the Prime Minster stick to dancing, but perhaps not. I like when people can have a laugh at their own expense, and in that regard the Dancing Queen idea could be commended. However, does anyone think that performance and idea was well executed?