County council agrees to lasting reminder of community efforts and loss of life from Covid-19
On Wednesday, 24 June at the first ever virtual meeting of the county council, councillors unanimously agreed to a series of events, to recognise and celebrate the exceptional efforts of residents, the NHS, social care and wider public sector workers, and to establish lasting memorials so we never forget both the volunteers and the tragic loss of life within Gloucestershire communities.
Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Leader of Liberal Democrat group, said: “So many people have gone above and beyond their duty and have gone to extraordinary efforts in the response to this situation. Without these people coming forwards, Gloucestershire County Council could never have hoped to respond to the thousands of calls for support – be it distributing food, collecting prescriptions or tackling isolation by offering time to talk on the phone. I was therefore very pleased to receive unanimous support for my motion calling for a permanent recognition of the work of volunteers and to commemorate the tragic loss of so many from within our county.”
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council said “The impact of Covid-19 has been significant and for all those grieving the loss of a loved one, my thoughts are with you. Whilst we remember those we have lost we must also recognise and say thank you to all those who, through their monumental efforts, have made a real difference and done Gloucestershire proud. NHS, social care, wider public sector colleagues, friends, family, neighbours and local businesses. The list is endless. We will continue to recognise people and we are developing plans for a Gloucestershire Day celebration, when the time is right. We will also look to preserve people’s experiences of Covid-19 through a piece of work being lead by our archives and library service.”
Cllr Lesley Williams, Leader of Labour group, said: “I’d like to thank all members for putting on record and highlighting what has been going on in their area. Everyone has done their bit and I give my thanks to the entire county.”
Cllr Rachel Smith, Leader of Green group, said: “A huge thank you to volunteers. In my ward there has been an amazing response. People haven’t waited for permission they have just got on and made things happen.”
Many councillors also took the opportunity to put on record their personal thanks to the many people who have responded to the pandemic. This can be watched again on the county council YouTube channel.
More information of the detail of events and memorials will follow once established.
The full motion is available here.