Councillor Richard Bassett is the new Chairman of Epping Forest District Council.
His appointment follows the retirement of David Stallan. Councillor Ricki Gadsby is the Council’s new Vice-Chairman. Following the retirement of Will Breare-Hall at the local elections, Council Leader Chris Whitbread has added Councillor Nigel Avey to his Cabinet.
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- Leader – Councillor Chris Whitbread
- Assets & Economic Development – Councillor Anne Grigg
- Environment – Councillor Nigel Avey
- Finance – Councillor Gagan Mohindra
- Planning & Governance – Councillor John Philip
- Housing and Deputy Leader of Council – Councillor Syd Stavrou
- Leisure & Community Services – Councillor Helen Kane
- Safer, Greener & Transport – Councillor Sam Kane
- Technology & Support Services – Councillor Alan Lion
‘What a year and what an experience’
In his closing speech to councillors, David Stallan said that he would not have missed his year as chairman for the world! Among the ‘standout’ moments of his year, Dave listed teeing off at Chairman’s Charity Golf Day, his ‘visit’ to the gym, a steam train footplate, aircraft simulator, sports events the Petanque trophy wrestled back – all in fun – two Chinese delegations, the Ongar Festival, many arts events and working with the Youth Council. As Chairman, Dave learned that a few hundred pounds can make a massive difference. Through generosity of others he raised £5,500 for local charities and Diabetes UK.
It was Dave’s sad duty to announce the passing of 11 current and former councillors during his year. Concluding with thanks to his family he noted not only ‘two great women behind me – daughter Amy and wife Sue, but also a third Pat Seager, the Chairman’s Secretary.
Praise for David Stallan
Chris Whitbread led thanks to David Stallan. During a tough year including meetings on the Local Plan, Councillor Whitbread described Dave Stallan as first class, handling himself so well as he travelled across the district by being himself and being such a ‘nice guy’.
Councillor Whitbread said: “A good chairman brings the whole council together – you had a brilliant year – thank you”.
Councillors Stephen Murray, Caroline Pond, Anne Grigg, Jon Whitehouse and Stephen Neville echoed Chris Whitbread’s words – thanking David Stallan for a brilliant year.
Communities Director Alan Hall thanked Dave Stallan on behalf of the staff recalling their years working closely together on council housing and Dave’s support for council staff.
In one of his first presentations as Chairman, Councillor Richard Bassett also had great please in presenting Dave Stallan with a long service medal for 19 years representing the residents of North Weald.
Richard Bassett’s nomination for Chairman was proposed by Councillor Mary Sartin. Councillor Bassett took on his first cabinet role in 2010 before accepting the role of vice-chairman last year. As a former Chairman, councillor Sartin assured Councillor Bassett that he would meet many wonderful people over the coming year.
Thanking fellow councillors for bestowing the honour of Chairman on him, Councillor Bassett particularly singled out Dave Stallan for his support over the year. Councillor Bassett is making small business his theme for the year. He will undertake to get out and meet as many businesses as possible.
As a trustee of Epping Forest Community Transport, Councillor Bassett also wants to raise its profile along with young people’s sports groups during his year as Chairman.
Other key appointments at Annual Council included:
- Chairman Plans Sub Committee East– Councillor Paul Keska
- Chairman Plans Sub Committee West– Councillor Liz Webster
- Chairman Plans Sub Committee South – Councillor Darshan Sunger
- Chairman District Development Management Committee – Councillor Brian Sandler
- Chairman Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Mary Sartin
Council remembers Elizabeth Downes
Tributes were paid to former Nazeing ward councillor Elizabeth Downes who passed away on 7 May. As a fellow councillor from Nazeing, Richard Bassett shared some thoughts on his predecessor, remembered by local residents as a lovely lady.