So this is 2020? I’m liking it already!

If it shapes up even half as well as the out-going year did, it will be a great year.

The new Parkway train station will be the big thing of course. Now with most of the hard work done and with it, an end to the worst of the traffic nightmares, we can get on with the crucial job of developing Worcester and maximising the city’s endless potential. Result? An increase in population and its diversity, and a raise in our standards and aspirations.

If my opening duty as mayor is to herald things to come, then bring it on. Saturday’s high-action classical and colourful community cultural event staged by some 300 members of South Indian families that have made their home in and around the city, left me and my wife Naseem impressed beyond words.

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I’ve visited Nunnery Wood High School on many an occasion but rarely have I left so speechless with admiration. Quite magical.

On Tuesday, yet another reason for my boundless confidence in the city’s future was brought home – the induction of new employees to the city council.

Numbers are not increasing, but at this crucial period in the development of the city, all the pointers are that the calibre and promise of new staff is – the implication being that Worcester is still good at attracting new blood from outside – and that speaks volumes for our future.

It’s not often I look to Birmingham to show Worcester the way ahead, but I found myself edging that way on Wednesday when I was invited to the Second City to hand over the prizes at the Ashiana Community Projects’ Cricket League presentation.

The ACP League, created some 15 years ago to enhance the quality of life in some of the more deprived Birmingham quarters, is absolutely inspirational, and now includes more than 40 teams, all getting along just fine. Now that’s got me thinking!