Past chairman's badge
The chairman to present a commemorative badge to Marrilyn Smart OBE, the retiring Chairman of the Council, in recognition of her service to the council and the local community. The outgoing chairman to address the council.
The chairman commented that Cllr Smart had at times been endured difficult situations in the chamber, but had always chaired meetings with great dignity.
She had been instrumental in setting up the Pride of the Forest Awards, which had now been running for four years celebrating unsung heroes across the district.
She had raised significant funds for two local charities: Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) and the Great Oaks Hospice
In support of this, last year she had changed the Chairman’s Civic Dinner into the Chairman’s Charity Dinner so that the dinner and the Pride of the Forest awards ceremony were cost neutral to the council and also raised funds for Cllr Smart’s chosen charities.
She had been tireless in her support of the local battalion 1 Rifles and their families – perhaps the main highlight being the Freedom of the District Parade and family fun day in June 2009. She had been the driving force behind the event.
She had undertaken a wide range and high number of civic engagements and always gave 100 per cent in all her duties as Chairman of the Council, acting as an excellent advocate for the council and the district.
He ended by saying that it gave him great pleasure to present Cllr Smart OBE with a past chairman’s badge.
Cllr Smart thanked the chairman for the commemorative badge, which she would always treasure, and for his kind comments. Hers had been an interesting term of office and, despite some difficult meetings, she would not have missed it for the world.
She thanked all members and officers, past and present for their support and friendship and to Vice-chairman Dr Richard Long who has now retired from the council. She wished him well for the future.
She thanked in particular Sue Pangbourne, Peter Hibberd, Julie Jones and all in Democratic Services for their help and support and at times, their patience. She also thanked her original team of Simon Harper, Tony Wisdom and Marsha Llewellyn, and latterly Rachael Orchard, Karen Williams and Linda Macdonald.
She said that it had been a huge honour to be civic head of the district, following a family tradition of public service.
She paid tribute to the late Cllr George Read MBE, missing his sensible and wise counsel. She added that the magnificent seat erected on Plump Hill was a wonderful tribute to his service to the community.
She hoped that she had conducted fair debate with a little humour and given everyone in this chamber an opportunity to speak, whatever their political persuasion. She thanked members for the support given to 1 Rifles and their families, particularly during their deployment to Afghanistan in 2008 and again today in 2011. She would always remember with great pride Armed Forces Day, 27 June 2009, when the council bestowed the Freedom of the District on 1 Rifles. She hoped that Pride of the Forest Awards and chairman’s charity dinner would continue as an opportunity to hand something back to the community and she thanked Viv Hargreaves and her team at the Forester for their invaluable help and support. She was also grateful for the support given to her chosen charities, Great Oaks Hospice and SARA. Finally she thanked her family, and particularly her husband Charles for always being at her side at civic occasions and her sounding board in good times and bad.
She envisaged an interesting and challenging time ahead. The electorate had placed great trust in all members to represent this council and their communities and she wished them all an enjoyable term of office. She also gave her best wishes to Cllrs Stephens and Horne, urging the new chairman to enjoy his time in office.
Cllr Molyneux thanked Cllr Smart on behalf of the Conservative group for her tireless service and dedication to the cause, keeping everyone in tow. She had been a fantastic ambassador for the council and the district. He hoped she would enjoy her time on the ‘back benches’.
Cllr Gardiner commented that Cllr Smart had always been fair, never favouring one political group over another. She had been an excellent help during the recent visit to Westminster and had offered superlative support to I Rifles soldiers and their families.
Cllr Martin thanked Cllr Smart on behalf of the Labour group for being very fair. Her chairmanship had been appreciated by all members and Cllr Martin wished her well.