Welcome everyone to today’s Council meeting. I would just like to address the technical issues we had in February’s Council. I think we can all agree it was a very turbulent meeting and I wanted to assure you all that since February, our wonderful Democratic Services Team have had technical engineers in, and have run tests to ensure the technology does not let us down again. So, fingers crossed that technology is on our side today.
I do not think we can proceed without acknowledging the devastation we are currently witnessing in Ukraine. It is almost impossible to believe that in this day and age we are witnessing such atrocities which since the end of World War II, we thought we would never see on European shores again. It really is hard to express the horror, anger, despair, and heartbreak that we feel right now.
You may have seen when you arrived this morning that we have raised the flag of Ukraine in solidarity with Ukrainian people. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends in Ukraine and pledge to do all we can to support them and indeed the democracy and freedom that we too often take for granted.
So, I ask you all to join me this morning for a one-minute silence for those not only in Ukraine but their friends and families around the word.
We stand with you. (After silence) Thank you!
International Women’s Day
It is wonderful to see International Women’s Day becoming a more prominent, worldwide recognised event. This year’s theme is ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’. Standing here today I am a big advocate of women being effective, powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation, mitigation and response to build a more sustainable future for all. This month I was lucky enough to join the High Sheriff, Dr Julie Llewelyn at Royal Holloway and come together with a host of remarkable women. We crossed our arms in the #BreakTheBiaspose to show solidarity. My online post, accompanied with our photo can be found on SCC Daily.
Surrey Police – Pass Out Parade and Ceremony
It was a joy to attend the Surrey Police Pass Out Parade and Ceremony at Loseley Park. It is always a great honour to mark the end of months of hard work and training for the new recruits and welcome them into force. I am pleased to see so many joining Surrey Police and I wish them all the very best in their future policing careers.
Queens Award for Voluntary Service
Congratulations to all Surrey residents who have been nominated to receive a Queens Awards for Voluntary Service. HM Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Mr Michael More-Molyneux held a ‘thank you’ reception where I had the pleasure of meeting Surrey’s nominees. Our volunteers dedicate their valuable time and experience to help individuals and communities across the county. This award is the equivalent of an MBE and is the highest honour given to UK volunteers. Exceptional voluntary work has been carried out across a wide range of sectors in the county that has really made an incredible difference to so many peoples’ lives. So, from all of us, thank you!
Finally, I would like to offer my continued thanks to the fantastic people of this Council as they continue to do their utmost to serve and protect the residents of our county. A sincere ‘thank you’ to all our staff for the immeasurable difference you are making to so many lives. Please do keep it up!
The Chair noted:
· That her full announcements could be found in the Council agenda front sheet and led the Council in a one-minute silence in solidarity for Ukraine.