Councillor Alan Preest
That this council write to the Prime Minister David Cameron MP requesting that full consideration be given to re-allocating one of the existing national public holidays to 11 November each year thus serving to create a true proper and fitting memorial on the most appropriate day to those who have given and continue to give the ultimate sacrifice the day would provide the opportunity for people to participate in acts of remembrance and reconciliation.
Cllr Preest proposed and Cllr Edey seconded the motion as at the agenda.
Cllr Preest stated that since the Great War 11 November at 11am had been acknowledged as the time to commemorate all service personnel killed or injured in armed conflict. Since that time there had been many conflicts and people continued to be killed or wounded. Public concern had been growing recently and now was the appropriate time to designate 11 November as a national public holiday, a multi-faith opportunity for every person to remember.
As an ex-serviceman and being closely involved with the Royal British Legion, he was proud to propose the motion and asked for members’ support.
Cllr Hiett stated that the likely holiday to be reallocated would be May Day, which he held dear in nationally recognising workers. As an ex-serviceman he fully supported the idea of the motion and proposed a friendly amendment, which Cllr Preest was happy to accept.
To replace re-allocating one of the existing national public holidays to 11 November with establishing an additional public holiday on the 11 November.
Cllr Amos was pleased to support the motion, although he personally did not need a special day, since, as an ex-serviceman, he remembered every day the loss of many of his friends in conflicts.
Cllrs Easton, Lawton, Horne, Morgan, Quaile, Fraser, Riley and Edey also voiced their full support, giving examples of personal and family experience.
Cllr Allaway Martin agreed, giving her professional support as a mental health professional to a day where families can remember together.
Cllr Gardiner emphasised that the two minutes silence was no longer strictly observed by everyone and a public holiday based around the poppy appeal would help.
Cllr Stephens fully sympathised with the amendment, saying that he thought of the loss of life and injuries daily, but asked whether the country needed an additional public holiday.
Cllr Hogan argued that the country had fewer public holidays than others in Europe and that the public holiday would be a good way for families to share in remembrance and also do good things together. He saw no better use for a public holiday.
Cllr Robinson had much sympathy with all the sentiments expressed. He was just concerned that the day might simply turn into a holiday without remembering why it was one. He valued being with other people on 11 November, a normal working day, and stopping for two minutes, sometimes even taking the time to explain why to those who did not know. However he totally supported the motivation for the motion.
Cllr Hiett thanked members for their kind and decent words. He praised Cllr Preest for proposing the original motion and commented that 11 November was a day where all conflicts, some of which were never publicised, were remembered.
Summing up, Cllr Preest thanked members for their moving comments and commended his motion to the meeting.
RESOLVED - That this council write to the Prime Minister David Cameron MP requesting that full consideration be given to establishing an additional public holiday on the 11 November each year thus serving to create a true proper and fitting memorial on the most appropriate day to those who have given and continue to give the ultimate sacrifice the day would provide the opportunity for people to participate in acts of remembrance and reconciliation.
Voting was as follows:
For (34) – Richard Long, Venk Shenoi, Carole Allaway Martin, Jane Horne, Frankie Evans, David Easton, Grace Bensted, Len Lawton, Peter Ede, Alastair Fraser, Philip Burford, Norman Stephens, Maria Edey, Dave East, Andrew Gardiner, Alan Preest, Mike Meredith Edwards, Heather Dalziel, Sue Henchley, Paul Hiett, David Thomson, Bruce Hogan, Lynn Sterry, Max Coborn, Graham Morgan, Di Martin, Terry Hale, Terry Glastonbury, Denis Riley, Patrick Molyneux, Brian Robinson, Peter Amos, Diana Edwards, Martin Quaile
Against (0) –
Abstained (2) - James Bevan, Arthur Thomas,