The Chairman will mention a range of recent items of news which may be of interest to Members
Death of Former County Councillor Ignatius Kelly
The Chairman informed the Council of the death, on 23 March 2020, of former County Councillor Ignatius Kelly. Mr Kelly represented the former Wombourne County Electoral Division (South Staffordshire) between 1989 and 2001. He had served on a number of the Council’s Committees including the Education Committee, Enterprise and Economic Development Committee, the Fire and Public Protection Committee, the Planning Committee and the Social Services Committee.
Death of Mick Harrison MBE, Commissioner for Safety
Members were also informed of the death, on 2 April 2020, of Mick Harrison, the Council’s Assistant Director for Children’s System Transformation within the Families and Communities Directorate.
Mick had worked for the County Council for nearly nine years in leadership roles but was well known to many through his illustrious career with Staffordshire Police where he served both across the county and the city of Stoke-on-Trent. His contribution to public services was later recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in the New Year’s Honours list in 2012, where he received an MBE.
Members paid tribute to Mr Kelly and Mr Harrison following which they observed a one minute silence in their memory.
The Chairman made the following statement:
“These are, as we are all aware, unprecedented and difficult times.
I would like to express, on behalf of this Council, our immense sadness at the deaths suffered during this current pandemic. Our most sincere and heartfelt condolences are sent to all those in our communities who have unfortunately lost love ones, we are thinking of you all and understand the grief you have gone through and are going through.
I would also like to say that our thoughts and prayers are with those of you, or your family and friends, who are suffering from the virus at this moment, and our thanks are with all those involved in your own or your loved one’s treatment.
While many people are following government guidance and staying at home, this is not an option for frontline and key workers, you continue to care for and provide support to everyone within our communities who need you, in the most incredibly challenging circumstances. We have all been humbled and astounded at the total selflessness and devotion of our frontline and key workers, in whatever their capacity, they have given so much in the fight against coronavirus. An unreserved thank to each and every member of our frontline and key workers.
Throughout this amazing county there are also many in our communities who are volunteering to work daily to ensure support is given to our elderly and vulnerable residents, making sure everyone has food on their tables, and that vital supplies are delivered to individuals and organisations. Supporting the vulnerable at this time can also be simply going to the shops for a neighbour.
I have heard of some astonishing examples of work being undertaken in the communities throughout the county and I want you to know that I really appreciate all of your efforts. I would personally like to thank you all for going the extra mile during this difficult time.
I stand ready to play a full part in the recovery within this county, as and when our communities can seek to come to terms with all that has happened in recent weeks. The authority will be looking at ways to remember everyone’s efforts once the battle with the virus is won and we can come together again.”