Agenda item



Welcome everyone to today’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). I find it hard to believe that a whole year has passed since we were either elected or re-elected as County Councillors of our great county – and what a year it has been. We and our residents have all faced many challenges over the past twelve months and we have more challenging times ahead of us. From the terrific work I have seen over the past year, I am confident that we can meet these challenges head on and continue to provide excellent service to our residents and our county. I look forward immensely to continuing to work with each and every one of you.


Queen’s Platinum Jubilee ‘Thank You’ Party

On the topic of service, at the end of June I am hosting a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee ‘Thank You’ Party for the extraordinary volunteers of Surrey who worked so tirelessly – often at great personal risk – to provide invaluable service and support to some of our most vulnerable residents throughout the pandemic.


Earlier this month you all received an email from my office kindly requesting that you nominate the phenomenal volunteers in your areas. I do hope you have all taken the time to nominate your residents who did – and continue to do – so much to help others in less fortunate positions.


If you have not yet nominated but wish to do so, please drop my office a line with the details. All nominations must be received by 10am tomorrow morning so please get nominating!



Of course, the terrible, terrible situation in Ukraine continues at devastating cost. We remain shoulder to shoulder with our friends in Ukraine and will continue to do all that we can to support them. I am greatly heartened that so many Surrey residents have stepped forward and opened their homes to displaced Ukrainians who have suffered so enormously. I am very proud of our residents who have done so and invite everyone to consider whether they too could offer their home to help someone very much in need.


I am also exceptionally proud to say that Surrey County Council has played its part with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) donating essential equipment and our firefighters volunteering to help with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) distribution of equipment in Ukraine. Of the many firefighters who volunteered, six were selected to help deliver this equipment to Ukraine:


·         Rory Coulter – Logistics Lead  

·         Robert Clark – Firefighter – Training & Development 

·         Chris Clinnick – Crew Commander – Haslemere Alpha Watch  

·         Tom Westcott – Crew Commander – Dorking Red Watch  

·         Karl Jones – Firefighter – Egham Alpha Watch  

·         Matt Oakley – Fire investigation  


Among others, I waved them off from Woodhatch earlier this month and was relieved and delighted to hear of their safe return. I am sure you join with me in offering them our grateful thanks and respect.


Sad News – Cllr John Carruthers

It is my sad duty to inform you of the death of a former County Councillor - Cllr John Carruthers. John was a Surrey County Councillor for Ashford West for several terms in the 1990s to 2000s. I am sure you join me in sending condolences to his family.


Surrey Fire & Rescue Services – Pass Off & Platinum Jubilee Celebration

It was an enormous privilege and my absolute pleasure to attend the SFRS Pass Off and Platinum Jubilee Celebration at their Wray Park Training Centre here in Reigate. It was a wonderfully happy occasion, celebrating the graduates of the Wholetime Course from 2021 who were unable to Pass Off due to Covid restrictions, alongside graduates from Wholetime and On Call Courses in 2022. Last but by no means least, Suki, our Fire Investigation Dog, also received her much-deserved recognition at this fantastic event. I offer my heartfelt congratulations and thanks to you all for keeping our residents safe.


Thank You

As ever, I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Surrey County Council’s officers who do such a first-rate job of serving and protecting our residents. You are truly appreciated and valued – thank you for all that you do. Please do keep it up!