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Agenda item

Chairman's Remarks

The Chairman to report on functions attended since the last meeting and other matters of interest to Members.


The Chairman reported that he or the Vice-Chairman or other Members on their behalf had attended 21 events since the last Council meeting in December 2022.  He thanked Councillors Clive Hooker, Graham Pask and Alan Law for standing in for him when he was not able to attend events.

There were events such as carol singing that were attended in December, highly valued citizen events and he made reference to the Community Champion Awards that recognised outstanding community contribution by individuals and groups. He mentioned that at the Lord Lieutenant’s awards volunteers from Wash Common and Tilehurst were represented. There had also been a number of memorial events such as tree planting in memory of our late Queen and rose planting for the passing of a year of the Ukrainian war and the generosity of West Berkshire hosts. He also mentioned the Holocaust Day Memorial and how proud he was to go to Buckingham Palace and greet the King. He mentioned that as this was the last Council meeting prior to the local elections he hoped it could be a cooperative one showing respect for each other.

Councillor Lynne Doherty said that as this was the last Council meeting prior to going into the elections she wanted to take the opportunity, as Councillor Dillon had done at the last meeting, to thank all Members who were stepping down and thank those who were stepping forward to stand at the election. There were a number of long standing Councillors who would be stepping down, including Councillor Royce Longton who unfortunately could not attend this meeting and she echoed the best wishes given to him by his party. She thanked Councillor Garth Simpson who had been a councillor since 2011, been a member of the Executive and committee chairman, she appreciated the support that he had given her.  Unfortunately Councillor Law had given his apologies but Councillor Doherty highlighted the work he had done as a councillor since being elected in 2007 such as being a Member of Executive to his current role as Vice-Chairman.  Councillor Doherty also mentioned Councillor Hilary Cole who had also been elected in 2007 and was a dear friend and mentor. She also had held multiple Executive roles as well as being Vice-Chairman.  With regards to Councillor Jeff Beck she mentioned that he had been first elected in 2000 serving 19 years as a councillor with a great sense of duty and worked very hard in his role. 

Councillor Doherty thanked Councillor Pask who had been first elected in 1987 and had been a councillor for 36 years, 40 years if you included time as a parish councillor. He had held many roles including being the Conservative Leader and Portfolio Holder.  Councillor Pask had also been Chairman on three occasions.  She said he had a charismatic personality with lots of integrity and kindness. She appreciated the support he had given her and the work he had done for both residents of Bucklebury and the district as a whole.

Councillor Pask said that it had been a difficult decision not to stand for re-election and that he would miss all councillors, the work of being Chairman, working with planning and meeting a lot of wonderful people and organisations. He was privileged to have represented Bucklebury and thanked the Leader for her kind words.  He said it had been a privilege to represent the whole district, he had been Chairman three times meeting many people and as he had already said it had been a difficult decision not to stand again.


Councillor Brooks said that from his side he wanted to wish all retiring members well and the ones named this evening had done a very good job representing residents.  He mentioned that in a variety of meetings he had had many tussles with many of the councillors, particular Councillor Law. They had locked horns on many occasions but would be companionable outside the meeting. He thanked Councillor Pask as they had both served a long way back to the days of Newbury District Council. He thanked all those stepping down and particularly Councillor Longton on his side.


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