Denton Carnival is always one of the highlights of my year. If you’ve never been then you are really missing out – it’s the biggest and best free day in the town. And I’m not just saying that because I’m Carnival President!
It’s not just about all the fun and games, the music and the dressing up, the Carnival is also a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and hear more about the fantastic things that Dentonians are getting up to.
This year it was a particular pleasure to meet up with pupils from Russell Scott Primary School (of which I’m a proud former pupil) and their excellent headteacher Steve Marsland. They were launching Walk Ride Denton, the first Walk Ride group in Tameside.
This is all part of the wider Walk Ride GM campaign to get more people walking and cycling (and scooting if that’s your thing!) for their everyday journeys across Greater Manchester.
At Russell Scott, they’re focussing on the school run – as anyone who has ever had the “pleasure” of doing the school run will know, it can all be a bit of a chaotic nightmare, with roads clogged up with parking cars and children darting in between traffic on their way in. Pupils and teachers at the school want parents to consider better alternatives – that are both safer and healthier.
One thing that Russell Scott has pioneered is the Junior PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) scheme, where pupils issue tickets to people who drive to school or park outside dangerously. This is simple but effective and is already having a positive impact on behaviour around the school gates.
Of course, changing how you do the school run is not necessarily an easy thing to do – early mornings are a busy time for families with young children and cars are very convenient. However, as convenient as it may be, it’s certainly not pleasant so why not follow the lead of the Russell Scott pupils and have a think if there might be a better way?
Oh – and one more thing – if you didn’t make it to the Denton Carnival this year, then I hope you’ll join us in 2020!