Tony Raynor's Blog

The thoughts and ramblings of a small business owner

The Positive Face of Blackburn


Today I stopped dealing with phone systems for a while and went to a meeting with the Mayor, Councillor Mrs Karimeh Foster, in her chambers. I, together with a bunch of other small business owners, was invited by the Community and Business Partnership. I can report that she is a great ambassador for our town. She opened the proceedings by highlighting that we as businesspeople have a responsibility to give the correct spin on our locality by discussing the successes of our Borough.

Attendees included; Mark of TPW Design Consultants, Kam Kothia of eBusiness UK, MD of Laura Hartley Recruitment Ltd, Margo Grimshaw the columnist, Ali Handscomb of GTR Coaching, David Veevers of Heartbuddies, Danny Gordon the management consultant and my old friends the girls from Simply Snacks.

Sure we discussed austerity and how many are suffering as a result of the economic climate but her narrative is largely upbeat. She’s an avid listener and gives a good potted history as to how she learnt vital tips from her mother during upbringing. It is what makes her the principled person that she is today. Earlier in her term she rejected expenses to fund her visit to meet the Queen as she felt that she should pay herself.

As a trained nurse she has a leaning towards empathy for carers and is supporting four charities this year that are centric around caring . Those who wish to support her can contact her Officer, Graham Brunton, to discover how, no matter how tiny.

I have had a degree of involvement with her predecessors historically as Abbey Telecom has sponsored the Mayor’s Ball to promote our phone systems on a few occasions. They have all been hard workers with a thorough grasp of local issues, whatever their political persuasions. It’s clearly a role for the elder statesman and it’s not been awarded without some serious deliberation by the councillors who elect them. These guys are not nine till five they attend 500 engagements per annum!

To my knowledge, she has set a precedent by actively seeking to engage with entrepreneurs. That’s quite remarkable and hopefully to be continued by her successors.

These movers and shakers can be followed at;

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