(1) The Chairman welcomed all newly elected and returning Members to KCC.
(2) The Chairman welcomed the Vice Chairman of Essex County Council, Mr Rodney Bass, as his guest for the day.
(3) The Chairman formally announced the sad passing away of former Members:
Mrs Jean Newman
Mrs Jean Newman, who passed away on 7 June 2009; a former Conservative County Councillor for Swale East. Mrs Newman was elected to the County Council in May 1995 and served until 2005. Mrs Newman was a long standing Swale Borough Councillor and was also Mayor of Swale for two years, 1989 and 1991.
Mr Bowles, Mr Ferrin, Mr Dance and Mrs Dean paid tribute to Mrs Newman.
Mr Wilf Shilling
Mr Wilf Shilling, who passed away on 15 May 2009. Mr Shilling served as a Liberal Democrat Councillor for the Maidstone Rural West Electoral Division. He was elected in 1989 at the age of 76 and served until1997. He was also Vice Chairman of the County Council 1996/7.
Mrs Dean paid tribute to Mr Shilling.
Mr Tony Hart CBE
Mr Tony Hart, who passed away on 13 June 2009. Mr Hart served as the Conservative County Councillor for the Malling Rural West Electoral Division (1975 – 1992) and was Leader of the County Council from 1984 until 1992.
The Chairman advised Members that Mr Hart’s funeral would be held at Shipbourne Church, Shipbourne Road, Tonbridge Kent at 12.30 on Tuesday 30 June 2009. There is limited capacity at the church but the family would be delighted if those Members and officers who knew and worked closely with Mr Hart during his time at County Hall were able to attend.
Mr Hart’s widow, Mrs Wendy Hart and his daughter Sally-Annwere present at the meeting. Mr Paul Sabin, former Chief Executive of Kent County Council, was also present.
Mrs Hohler, Mr A King and Mrs Dean paid tribute to Mr Hart.
The Council stood in silence as a mark of respect to the three former Members.
RESOLVED: that this Council desires to record the sense of loss it feels on the deaths of Mrs Newman, Mr Shilling and Mr Hart and extends to their families its deepest sympathy on their sad bereavements.
(4) Mr George Koowaree and Mr Christopher Smith
The Chairman advised the County Council that Mr Koowaree and Mr C Smith were both recuperating well from recent operations and the Council wished both Members a speedy recovery.
(5) Queen’s Birthday Honours
The Chairman was pleased to announce that Mr Avtar Singh Sandhu (Member for the Dartford North East Electoral Division) had been awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire for Services to the Community in North Kent
(6) New senior officers
The Chairman welcomed Rosalind Turner, Managing Director of Children, Families and Education and Mike Austerberry, Executive Director of Environment, Highways and Waste, to their first meeting of the County Council since their appointments
(7) Environmental Management Award
The Chairman announced that Kent County Council had achieved the ISO 14001 international standard for environmental management across all its services. This was confirmed following a 6 day assessment by Bureau Veritas at the end of April. KCC’s first accreditation was achieved by Commercial Services in 2003 and the stepwise accreditation programme culminated in April this year when Adult Social Services, Children, Families and Education and Kent Highways Services were all assessed for the first time.
ISO 14001 is the international standard for environmental management and organisations achieving this standard have demonstrated they are taking positive and continuous steps to reduce their environmental impact, become more resource efficient and prevent pollution. The Council was aware of only two other County Councils who had achieved this standard across all its services – Suffolk and Warwickshire.
(8) The Lawyer Awards 2009
The Chairman announced that KCC Legal Services had won the Public Sector Legal Team of the Year Award in The Lawyer Awards at a ceremony in London this week.
The Lawyer Awards was about the celebration of excellence in the legal profession across private practice, the public sector, commerce and industry and the Bar and is the biggest awards ceremony for the legal profession.
The Chairman stated that this was a fantastic achievement and the culmination of many years of hard work from all the staff in Legal Services, which now sat alongside their success earlier this year in the LGC Awards. Kent Legal Services was also short-listed for the Legal Achievement of the Year Award in the MJ Awards, taking place that evening. As no authority had ever won these three awards in the same year, the Chairman wished the Director of Law and Governance the best of luck for the MJ Awards ceremony that evening.