Town marks anniversary with pledge for the future

By Ian Dipple Monday 14 April 2014 Updated: 15/04 11:26

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Buy photos » Mayor Wanda King, Redditch MP Karen Lumley, Coun Bill Hartnett, leader of Redditch Borough Council and Ken Williams, chairman of Redditch Town Centre Partnership. Picture by Marcus Mingins 1614014MMR6

RESIDENTS, business and community leaders have marked the 50th anniversary of new town status by pledging to do their bit to make the town a better place to live over the next half a century.

People from all sections of Redditch society joined together to sign the 50th anniversary So Redditch pledge during a special ceremony at the bandstand on Monday (April 14) - 50 years to the day the document marking out Redditch as a new town was formally signed.

The event was organised by Redditch Town Centre Partnership and officially launched the So Redditch anniversary programme which includes a week of celebrations at the end of July.

Ken Williams, chairman of the TCP, told the crowd despite the many changes the town had witnessed in the decades since 1964, its sense of community had remained constant and was the foundation on which the Redditch of the future would be built.

"It is not up to one individual or organisation to create that change, every single one of us, in however small a way, has a contribution to make. Change is not something that should be done to us but created by us, in our words and actions each and every day."

Before members of the Palace Youth Theatre read out the pledge, Sue Hanley, deputy chief executive of Redditch Borough Council, read out the opening statement of commitment. She said there was no doubt the new town project had changed the face of Redditch in a way many could not have imagined.

"But as we look back over the last 50 years, we do so with the gift of hindsight, the wisdom of knowledge gained and the desire to improve still further," she said.

"Unquestionably there will be more change to come for Redditch over the next half a century as the town responds to the evolving world in which we live.

"But rather than this being something to fear, it's a chance for us to do things differently, to get involved and play a part in the kind of town we want to create."

Afterwards members of the crowd signed up to the pledge which included statements about job creation, supporting the vulnerable, providing more housing and a thriving town centre. It will be handed over to the Mayor of Redditch at a meeting later this year.

Prior to the event the crowd was entertained by the So Redditch brass band, especially created for the occasion.

Visit www.so-redditch.info for more information on the anniversary celebrations.

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Buy photos» Members of the Palace Youth Theatre read out the So Redditch 50th anniversary pledge. Picture by Marcus Mingins 1614014MMR5

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Buy photos» Sue Hanley, deputy chief executive of Redditch Borough Council, says the anniversary offers a chance to look forward to the future. Picture by Marcus Mingins 1614014MMR4

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Buy photos» Jan Higgitt, from Jestaminute Community Theatre Group signs the pledge. Picture by Marcus Mingins 1614014MMR7

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Buy photos» Town crier Kevin Ward announces the start of the pledge signing. Picture by Marcus Mingins 1614014MMR2

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Buy photos» The So Redditch brass band performed for the crowd. Picture by Marcus Mingins 1614014MMR1

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