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Councillor Liz Webster was nominated by Councillor Syd Stavrou as the new Chairman of Council. Liz Webster brings a highly distinguished record of service with Epping Forest District Council, Waltham Abbey Town Council, Essex County Council, the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and other organisations.
Seconded by Councillor John Knapman, councillors voted unanimously to appoint Councillor Webster as the new Chairman. In his final words before relinquishing the chain of office, Councillor Boyce also thanked his wife Jan for her support during his year.
Councillor Webster’s first act as chairman was to announce that the Royal British Legion will be her charity for the next municipal year. She expressed her deep gratitude to fellow councillors as the first Waltham Abbey Councillor to hold the role since her late-husband Don Spinks in 1992.
Without a partner to accompany her on a regular basis to events, Councillor Webster invited ward councillors to be her companions as she visits places, people and events over the next year.
Councillor Jeane Lea is the new Vice-Chairman of Council. Described as another formidable Waltham Abbey lady by Councillor Syd Stavrou, Councillor Lea’s nomination was seconded by Councillor Ann Mitchell.
New Councillors welcomed
Newly elected councillors Nigel Avey, Nigel Bedford, Lynn Hughes and Sam Kane were welcomed to the first meeting of Epping Forest District Council since the local elections in May. Outgoing chairman Councillor Tony Boyce entered the chamber for his last meeting as chairman to the strains of Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’.
Councillor Boyce thanked fellow councillors for their support over the previous year. In particular he drew attention to the support of Assistant Director Simon Hill and former chairman Mary Sartin for their guidance during a very successful municipal year.
Councillor Boyce announced with pride the purchase of a mini-bus with £9,000, part of a grand total of £24,000 raised for his charities during the year. Reminiscing about his favourite events Councillor Boyce reminded fellow councillors of the arrival of the Tour de France and the holiday atmosphere it generated across the district.
He also made special mention of the Chairman’s Officer Pat Seager who was not afraid to offer honest advice and humour.
Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Council led the tributes to Councillor Boyce, bringing a smile to the council chamber during a ‘brilliant and wonderful year’. Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens echoed those sentiments, drawing attention to the energy and dedication with which Councillor Boyce served the district. Chief Executive Glen Chipp thanked Councillor Boyce on behalf of staff.
Leader and Cabinet
Councillor Chris Whitbread was reappointed to the role of Council Leader and announced his Cabinet
- Anne Grigg – Asset Management and Economic Development Portfolio Holder
- Will Breare-Hall – Environment Portfolio Holder
- Syd Stavrou – Finance Portfolio Holder
- John Philip – Governance and Development Management Portfolio Holder
- David Stallan – Housing Portfolio Holder
- Helen Kane – Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder
- Gary Waller – Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder
- Richard Bassett – Planning Policy Portfolio Holder
- Alan Lion – Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder
Other key appointments included the reappointment of Councillor Brian Sandler as chairman of District Development Management Committee and Councillor Richard Morgan as chairman of Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Former Councillor Peter Gode retired from the Council in May and received a long service medal for his 12 years of service to the people of the Shelley ward in Ongar.