The Chairman made the following announcements:
The Chairman referred to two recent fundraising events, a cake sale and dinner, which had raised over £1,300 for his charities. He reminded members of the civic dinner and business awards taking place on 5 April at the Radisson Blu hotel.
The Chairman referred to a recent incident where one of his neighbours who was suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s had taken a fall at home. He expressed thanks to Councillors T Eynon and D Harrison who had helped to get his neighbour all the help she needed. He welcomed the co-operation between the district and county council.
As this was the last full Council before the election, the Chairman thanked all members for their service to the Council during their term of office. The Chairman congratulated Councillor D J Stevenson who had first been elected to the Council in 1974 and had held office continuously ever since, and will have served for 45 years in May.
Councillor R D Bayliss recalled Councillor D J Stevenson’s election as a young man. He added that throughout his years as leader of the Conservative group, through the tough years in opposition, he was always an inspiration and a pugnacious proponent in the chamber. He hoped he would continue to be so for many years to come.
Councillor N Smith thanked Councillor S J Stevenson for the advice he had provided over the years.
Councillor R Blunt stated that Councillor D J Stevenson exemplified what the group stood for, being fair, respected by everyone in the chamber, and standing up for the community. He added that Councillor D J Stevenson was an inspiration and had supported him throughout his time as Leader of the Council.
Councillor S Sheahan recounted that Councillor D J Stevenson always addressed him as ‘my friend’, which he welcomed. He recalled the interesting advice he had provided and congratulated him on his long service so far.
Councillor J Legrys congratulated Councillor D J Stevenson on his long service. He stated that his everlasting image of him was as the Chairman of the Planning Committee; being a fair and balanced chair, and someone he could admire. He added that their views could differ, and debate would be allowed at Planning Committee, which was welcomed. He shared that the best thing Councillor D J Stevenson had ever done for him personally was having the courage in meetings to tell him that he had been speaking for too long, which he took as a compliment.
Councillor D Harrison recounted meeting Councillor D J Stevenson as Chairman of the Conservative Association and joining him on a canvass. He added that he was a man of the people; he knew all his constituents, was friendly and wanted to help. He stated that he had thoroughly enjoyed being on the Planning Committee with Councillor D J Stevenson and referred to the jokes he would tell on the site visits. He thanked him for his service and stated that he was a fabulous example for any young person who was new to politics.
Councillor M Specht congratulated Councillor D J Stevenson on his sterling service to the district council and Worthington parish council. He added that his name was highly esteemed in the area.
The Chairman paid respect to former Councillor Gordon Tacey who had passed away earlier this year.
Councillor S Sheahan stated that Gordon Tacey was known with great affection and was always a steady pair of hands and a great asset as Deputy Leader of the Council. He would not be forgotten and people would remember him very fondly.
Councillor D J Stevenson thanked members for their kind words.