We had Full Council last night, a fairly straightforward half-hour of deciding who does what for the next year.
First of all Cllr Joan Mockford stepped down as chairman of the council. She has commendably raised over £11000 for her chosen charities during her year. Joan had prepared some cheques - £8000 to Southend Hospital (towards cancer research), £1500 to the Mushroom Theatre Company, £1500 for the local talking newspaper for the blind, and £770 to Holy Trinity Church.
Secondly, Cllr Barbara Wilkins, who has been vice-chairman, was elected Chairman. There was some interesting moments during her first moments in the Chairman’s Chair, as she is a petite lady and needs a cushion! However Barbara is a very popular choice as chairman and we very much wish her well for her year in office. Her chosen charities were , she said, ” small local ones where a small amount of money makes a difference.” They are the local Multiple Sclerosis society, the South Essex Youth Orchestra and the Ryan Tolley Leukaemia Trust Fund.
And then we elected the new-chairman, who normally becomes chairman one year later. This decision lies completely in the control of the Conservative Group, who vote on this in one of their private group meetings beforehand. Rather unusually , and to their credit, the Conservatives proposed a Liberal Democrat – June Lumley. Naturally we are delighted by this, and see it as deserved recognition of June’s work on the District Council, the Town Council and especially with local voluntary groups. Responding to the nomination, Chris Black said: ‘The words’ grace’ and intelligence’ come to mind. The nomination was made with grace and intelligence, and I’m sure June will show her usual grace and intelligence in her new civic duties”