To receive any communications or announcements from the Leader of the Council.
The Leader welcomed the Mayor back to the Council following his recent illness and thanked him for all his hard work as Mayor over the past year, and also for his work in raising money for his Charity.
The Leader read out a statement on behalf of Councillor David Goodwin in which
he expressed his thanks and appreciation to colleagues and officers who had helped and advised him throughout his 24 years as a councillor.
The Leader updated the Council on further plans for the Voter ID Roadshow to visit some of the parished areas to raise awareness of residents about the upcoming local elections and their need for photo ID when they go to vote at a polling station.
The Leader reported that website accessibility user testing was taking place with disabled members of our community to ensure that our digital content was accessible for everyone.
The Leader also reported that the Guildford Design Awards 2023, which were organised by the Guildford Society in partnership with the Council, were now open. The Awards recognised and rewarded excellence in architecture, urban design planning and public art across the borough. The deadline for receipt of nominations was no later than Friday 26 May 2023.
The Leader updated councillors on the continuing work and support being given to our local communities. The Council continued to support our Ukrainian guests a year on from the introduction of the Homes for Ukraine initiative. The Council’s commitment to our communities and residents experiencing difficulties associated with the cost-of-living crisis had continued and we would be administering the further tranche of household support funding from April.
Voluntary sector partners continued to work with our Community Services teams to ensure we were reaching as many of our most vulnerable residents as possible, and this had been highlighted in our recent cost of living partnership forum. Our teams, along with other agencies, were co-ordinating a one-stop agency hub on the road in various locations at various times across the borough to enable people to access help when needed. Councillors were asked to share posts on social media and on our website about where those events were taking place with their local communities.
The Leader reflected on the huge challenges faced by the Council over the previous four years in supporting people and strengthening communities across the borough, particularly through the pandemic, and paid tribute to officers, councillors and local communities for all their hard work during those difficult times.
The Council had also managed unprecedented financial challenges by making savings and finding new ways to deliver services. The collaboration with Waverley would assist in making ongoing savings and protecting public services. Despite these challenges, the Leader was very proud of the Council’s unprecedented investment in council housing and plans to build more on Weyside and at Guildford Park Road.
The Leader thanked councillors for their contributions to the Council and to the community over the past four years and noted the sad passing of Councillors Patrick Sheard and Richard Billington during that time.