Agenda item

Chairman's announcements.


The Chairman, Cllr Esler, announced that after what seemed a lifetime of lockdown, isolation and general doom and gloom, she planned to offer many events over the year, all celebrating getting back to normality with good food, socialising and conversation in different locations, showcasing some of the lesser-known attractions the District had to offer.  Her first event being a Civic Service at St. Lukes on 17 July 2021, which she hoped many fellow councillors would attend.

The planned events were mostly outdoors and would highlight some of the many less visited places in the District. For example, a visit to Coakham Farm in Crockham Hill.  Truly an eco-farm of tomorrow, an eye opener as to what farming could and should be.

She also wished to thank and celebrate the District’s remarkable volunteers, who were the reason the district had not only been able to weather the Pandemic, but the reason the district had been able to offer caring support of many kinds and in so many ways to residents. She was planning a thank you event at the end of September/October to honour and acknowledge the contribution to the District made by so very many.  

She further announced that she would be hosting a Dinner Dance at the end of January 2022, at the Westerham Golf Club.  The function room was large and so she was delighted to be able to ask SDC staff and officers if they would like to attend and celebrate with her. She hoped many would be able to join her at what promised to be a fun night featuring Cllr Peter Fleming, as Auctioneer. 

It was her intention to be able to support not just the usual voluntary bodies but also expand the role to encourage innovation and new business ventures within the District.  In addition to supporting new and established business ventures she also wanted to raise the profile of the armed services organisations such as the Royal British Legion and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) amongst others.

She also aimed to continue to lend her support to those activities that ensured and promoted physical fitness and mental health amongst the less abled, not so young, sometimes lonely, and sometimes those who were either ill or vulnerable. To name a few groups she had already been associated with, forget me not cafes, every step counts, various care homes, Age UK and new initiatives not yet started.

She wanted to mention the outstanding and tireless hard-working officers and staff at SDC who had coped with enormous pressures and a never ending workload during the last many months.  Often working from home with children who needed home schooling and a partner who also needed space to work. She thanked everyone who made Sevenoaks District Council truly an example of how a Council should and could be.

She also gave an enormous vote of thanks to all at Democratic Services, who she thought were an incredible team, and thanked them for all their support and advice and what they would be doing for her during the year.

She thanked her wonderful husband and consort, Michael.  Not only for his endless support but also for taking it upon himself to create the administrative backstop to her Chairmanship. They looked forward to attending most events together and to being a team.

It had been an enlightening experience to have supported Cllr Edwards-Winser as his Vice Chairman.  She thanked him for including her in almost everything and his wife for her warm and friendly welcome and continuing support. 

Finally, she announced that she would be particularly supporting the charity DAVSS. DAVSS stood for Domestic Abuse Voluntary Support Services, and was conceived and innovated by a group of three ex council officers with ongoing financial support from their various councils. She was proud to have DAVSS representatives present and looked forward to helping raise their profile and supporting them over the next year.       


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