This afternoon we had a small get together in the Canmore Room in Forfar to say thank you and farewell to current councillors not seeking re-election on 4th May.
The council term is nearly over and like me you are probably asking where did those 5 years go?
Officers and members work closely together and in many ways running the council is a truly a team effort. This is far more the case than most members of the public realise.
In my experience council officers have great respect for those who put their heads above the parapet to stand for election and then commit to a role as an elected member – often on top of a busy family or working life – often both.
As the council term comes to an end it’s only right that the service given to our community by departing councillors is recognised. That’s why we organised the event this afternoon, in particular so that senior officers and colleagues in Committee Services, who work closely with councillors, could say thank you to members for their very real assistance and support over the last 5 years.
The last term has been one of the toughest I have known in my almost 40 year career. And there have also been personal losses for us all to come to terms with.
In particular I am thinking of the death of Provost Oswald last year. Helen gave so much to our communities in Angus and to this council that it is hard to quantify. The numbers attending her funeral service were a clear testament to the high esteem in which she was held. I was so pleased that her husband Ed was able to join us in at the event.
For the last 2 council terms we have provided departing councillors with a certificate recording their service to the community. It’s always seemed slightly wrong to me that those who give so much to our community walk away with not even so much as a piece of paper that confirms that yes, they were once part of something, and made a difference.
In ascending order of years served those leaving Angus Council and not seeking re-election are –
Cllr Martyn Geddes 5 years of service
Cllr Jim Houston 5 years of service
Cllr Ewan Smith 5 years of service
Cllr Mairi Evans MSP 10 years of service
Cllr David May 10 years of service
Cllr Margaret Thomson 10 years of service
Cllr Paul Valentine 10 years of service
Cllr Iain Gaul 14 years of service
Cllr Rob Murray 22 years of service
My thanks, those of my colleagues, and of the people of Angus go to them all.