Welcome to today’s first Council meeting in the Council Chamber!
I am sure you will agree it is a fantastic space and we are extremely lucky to have access to this state-of-the-art equipment, that will no doubt help in facilitating today’s meeting.
Thank you to the Democratic Services Officers for having us set up and ready to go! As always, we are all extremely grateful to you for ensuring the smooth running of Council.
Farewell to Tom Sharp & Heather Hawker
A moment of sadness now as we have recently said farewell to former Councillors Tom Sharp CBE and Heather Hawker MBE DL.
Tom was a generous, compassionate and intelligent man who cared deeply for the people of Surrey serving them tirelessly, first as a Surrey County Councillor from 1989 to 2005 and then also as a Guildford Borough Councillor from 1991 to 1999.
Heather was a committed and energetic County Councillor who was first elected to the county council in 1985, she became Chairman of the Libraries, Leisure and Countryside Committee in 1993 and finally she served as Chairman of the Council for three years before standing down in 2001.
Please let us all take a moment to remember Tom and Heather.
I am over the moon to relay that Surrey County Council obtained for three projects, one Silver and two Bronze awards at the IESE Award Ceremony last month. This is a tremendous achievement and many congratulations to all Surrey staff involved. You have certainly done Surrey proud.
Young Mayor of Surrey
The Young Mayor, Natalie Winfield is studying hard at Boarding School but we are thrilled to have Tallulah flying the flag as Deputy, and we look forward to hearing about the work they are doing with Surrey’s young people in due course.
Chair’s work in the County
I have been exceedingly busy in my role as Chair across the county since the last council meeting and as some of you may have seen, I have been using my Facebook page to promote some of the engagements, meetings and visits I have made.
Here are just a few highlights:
· Wood Street Jaz Festival – All of the money raised went directly to Challengers, helping to break down the barriers to play, for local disabled children and their families.
· Rededication of the SFRC – Memorial Dedication to the 100 Surrey firefighters who lost their lives in World Wars I and II.
· Surrey Hill’s – Sharing experiences of how we can all help to promote better access for more people of all abilities to access and enjoy our beautiful countryside in a sustainable way for their health and well-being whilst reducing conflict.
· Dorking Museum and Heritage Centre – awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service and a special commendation from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for outstanding service to our community during the early Covid lockdowns. The award was presented to the Museum by Sir Michael More-Molyneux, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey.
· Surrey Civic Network Event – I welcomed the newly elected Mayor’s and Chairs of Surrey’s District and Boroughs to Woodhatch to meet and discuss their themes and charities for the year.
· The Bula Festival – A day to and raise awareness of the cultural diversity within the Armed Force and celebrate Surrey’s diversity by bringing together Service communities, veterans, their families and local communities through cultural exposition whilst celebrating Fijians contribution to the UK Armed Forces.
· Bloomin’ Arts – A visit with HRH The Duke Of Gloucester to support people with learning difficulties to enjoy, develop skills, perform and work in the arts.
The next few months look like they will be equally busy but I would encourage members to get in touch with any concerns or proposals for visits to their divisions.
The Chair noted:
· Farewell to former Members Tom Sharp CBE - a correction was made to his surname in the supplementary agenda front sheet (published 11 October 2021): removing the ‘e’ - and Heather Hawker MBE DL, leading a moment of silence to remember them.
· That under the Ministry of Defence Employers Recognition Awards Scheme: Guildford Borough Council, Runnymede Borough Council and Veterans & Families Listening Project based in Camberley, were all awarded Silver; Spelthorne Borough Council was awarded Gold - all four were personally mentored by Canon Peter Bruinvels.
· That Surrey County Council was one of only two local authorities in the United Kingdom to have its Gold award revalidated and she was proud to chair the Surrey Civilian-Military Partnership Board. The Council was now formally recognised as an Employer of Choice with the Military and by the Ministry of Defence.
· That the Council had been reaccredited with the Charter Plus award for Member Development, following an assessment day on 30 September.
· That to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, the Council was proud to be taking part in the Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting initiative and she invited all Members to take away a small free tree after the meeting.
· That she promoted her engagements as highlighted in the agenda front sheet via her Facebook page and encouraged Members to contact her over any concerns or proposals for visits to their divisions.