The repatriation of Rifleman Sheldon Steel, of the 5th Battalion The Rifles, will take place tomorrow (Thursday 1st December 2011).
The aircraft is scheduled to land at RAF Brize Norton at approximately 12.30pm and the cortege is due to pass the Memorial Garden at approximately 14.45pm arriving at the John Radcliffe Hospital at around 15.30pm.
These timings that have been provided by RAF Brize Norton and Oxfordshire County Council and are always approximate and are subject to change at short notice. Please visit the OCC website as it will be updated with all the latest information.
It is unlikely that I will be able to attend the repatriation tomorrow as I have a hospital appointment which may require me to remain at the John Radcliffe Hospital for most of the day. I will of course be thinking of Rifleman Sheldon Steel, his family, colleagues and friends at this impossibly difficult time and I will take the time to pay my respects in silence for the sacrifice that Sheldon has made for all of us. Requiescat in pace.
I was elected as Independent Town Councillor for Carterton Upavon Ward in June 2007 and re-elected in May 2011. Unlike many Councillors in Local Government; I am Independent, with no affiliation to any political party or movement. I strive to be open, honest and accessible to the people of Carterton and I greatly enjoy working hard on their behalf.
But can a Sergeant in the Royal Air Force be a Town Councillor, the Deputy Town Mayor or the Town Mayor? In fact; can someone who holds a non-commissioned rank in the armed services be considered worthy of any of these offices?
I’m often asked how I am able to hold a political office in local government during the time that I am employed by the RAF. The answer is simple, but not widely known – A serviceman can indeed serve on a local council as long as he/she is independent from any political party or movement.
My role as Independent Town Councillor in Carterton is a great honour and privilege, I consider it to be a huge responsibility and I allocate a lot of my spare time to working for our town (just ask Mrs Coomber!). It is therefore very disappointing when I hear that some do not consider someone who holds the rank of Sergeant to be worthy to also hold the office of Town Councillor or Deputy Town Mayor. Disappointing, disrespectful and frankly discourteous.
During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. A work colleague of mine has been growing a top lip caterpillar for the entire month and a pretty impressive sight it is too.
I’m hoping to give his fund raising efforts a final push for the last couple of days of November – so please consider pointing your browser to http://uk.movember.com/mospace/1982530 or click on the Movember shield and donating to this excellent cause. I know that many of you will know of several local men who have been affected by prostate cancer in the very recent past and of at least one who is in the middle of treatment right now, so please give what you can
I have been advised by RAF Brize Norton and Oxfordshire County Council that the repatriations of Lance Corporal Peter Eustace from 2nd Battalion The Rifles, Lieutenant David Boyce and Lance Corporal Richard Scanlon both from 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards and that of an as yet unnamed soldier from 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment; will take place on Thursday 24th November 2011.
The aircraft will land at approximately 12:30pm and the corteges will pass by the Memorial Garden at around 14:45pm arriving at the John Radcliffe Hospital around 15.30pm.
The weather forecast for Thursday is sunny intervals please ensure you are prepared. Norton Way will be closed from approx 11.45am, whilst Station Road, Brize Norton, will be closed for approximately 10 minutes once the cortege leaves Britannia Gate at RAF Brize Norton.
Please note that times are subject to change at short notice, for the latest information please visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/repatriations or call 01865 816345
Christmas Around The World
[in aid of Seafarers UK]
7.30pm on Saturday 26th November 2011
St John’s Church, Burford Road, Carterton
Phone: 01993 842427