Mr Orson Duncan Lucas
It was with great sadness that the Chairman reported the passing of a former Chairman of the County Council, Mr Orson Duncan Lucas.
Mr Lucas had served on the County Council from 1985 to 2005 representing the Bushloe Electoral Division in Oadby and Wigston. He had been Chairman of the County Council during the 1993 – 1994 municipal year.
He served on the Arts, Libraries and Museums Committee, the Agriculture Committee, the Environment Committee and the Resources Committee.
The Chairman reported that Mr Lucas’ funeral service would be held at Wigston Magna United Reformed Church on Long Street on Tuesday, 1st March at 1pm.
Members of the Council joined the Chairman in standing in silent tribute to the memory of Mr Lucas.
Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
The Chairman welcomed Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, Mr Mike Kapur OBE, to the meeting and thanked him for being his guest at lunchtime.
As Members were aware, her Majesty the Queen had now become the first British Monarch to celebrate seventy years on the throne and therefore celebrating her Platinum Jubilee. The Chairman commented that this year was going to be very special. To mark the occasion an extended bank holiday, Thursday 2nd June to Sunday 5th June, would provide an opportunity for communities and people to come together to celebrate this historic milestone. There would also be a number of celebrations such as Street Parties, the Big Lunch, Beacon Lighting and national celebrations.
In addition to the national initiatives the Chairman reported that the Lord Lieutenant would be leading the celebrations in Leicestershire and Leicester City and that he had his own three initiatives which were launched earlier this month. They were: -
· An arts competition for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children;
· A 70 at 70 garden party at Beaumanor Hall for seventy people who were born in 1952;
· An award for 70 organisations whether that be a business, community or voluntary group, or a school that has done something exceptional and positive to develop community spirt.
The Chairman on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant encouraged all Members to promote these initiatives within their electoral divisions and communities and advised that further information could be found on the Lord Lieutenant’s Platinum Jubilee website.
The Chairman was also pleased to inform Members that the County Council would be supporting the Jubilee. The Chairman, along with the Lord Lieutenant, would be planting a tree at County Hall on Friday, 11th March as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy. In addition, a beacon would be lit at Beacon Hill on Thursday 2nd June, as well the lighting up of County Hall.
This Chairman commented that this would be a very special year and one which all Members should try and promote in their communities.
Paula Murray BEM
The Chairman asked Members to join him in congratulating Paula Murray, Group Support Manager in the Environment and Transport Department, who had been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List.
In addition, he congratulated everyone in Leicestershire who had also received a personal honour.
The Chairman was pleased to inform Members that the Lord Lieutenant had commissioned seven new Deputy Lieutenants in honour of their service to the local community. One of the seven was Mike Sandys, Director of Public Health, and he called on Members to congratulate Mike on his appointment.
Chief Constable of Leicestershire Constabulary Simon Cole QPM
The Chairman reported that Simon Cole, the Chief Constable for Leicestershire, would be retiring shortly. Simon had taken up his position in June 2010 and had been responsible for not only leading the Force, but also developing and managing relationships with key partners and the community. He had also chaired the multi-agency Local Resilience Forum and led it admirably throughout the Covid pandemic.
The Chairman commented that Simon’s contribution to both policing and community life in Leicestershire had been immense and his close support and leadership had provided assurance for our communities. The Chairman placed on record his appreciation and that of the Council and said that Mr Cole would be a hard act to follow, wishing him the best for the future.
The Chairman reported that over the next few months he would be hosting a number of events including his Charity Dinner in aid of Dementia UK, a volunteers reception and the County Service.