Kerrier District Councillor Guy Mackenzie, Meeting of Breage Parish Council, 1st April 2003
It probably hasn't escaped the attention of anyone here tonight that next month there will be two new Kerrier District Councillors representing this new Ward, Breage/Germoe which is now included with Crowan at Kerrier District Council.
As you know I have served as District Councillor for Breage & Germoe parishes for 10 years and have been a Parish Councillor for 12 years which includes 8 years on this Parish Council. In that time I have been involved in five elections, four of which I have won. But while it was never my intention to spend the rest of my life in local politics, my decision not to seek re-election this year was made simply because my business commitments have taken off recently in a way that I never anticipated all those years ago.
Now I don't want to take up too much of this Council's valuable time tonight but as this is my last Ordinary Meeting of Breage Parish Council as your Kerrier District Councillor, I would like to make mention of a few highlights and a lowlight of the last few years.
With regard to this Council I'm delighted that the court case at Praa Sands is now resolved - not least (and it seems "for ever" ago!) that I recall that I was the Proposer of that motion!
On a Kerrier level I have been pleased to be involved in the dismantling of two megalithic departments (Planning and Services) and their replacement by the new Management Structure which has resulted in better relationships between Officers, Members and the residents of Kerrier, AND more accountability, which is a benefit to all.
I was also proud during my time as Chairman of Kerrier Direct Services to be part of a team which not only achieved record surpluses but also made enough profit to be able to hand back substantial amounts of money to each of our three Client Committees - something that has very rarely happened in the history of CCT (Compulsory Competitive Tendering).
At the same time, the fortunes of the loss-making Kerrier Leisure Contract were transformed into a surplus of nearly £100,000. I would make mention that although the District Auditor at one time didn't consider that that contract should have remained in-house (unlike some members of the present Government who were in opposition at that time - and not a lot of people know that!) most people now accept that subsequent events and experience have demonstrated that that would have been the best way forward for the Council.
However, the time I enjoyed most has been my 8 years as a Member of Kerrier Planning Committee and my involvement with a lot of Planning issues, many involving this Parish.
Finally I'm pleased that Kerrier Council's finances have turned out so satisfactorily - from a low of 18 months ago and in a tight financial situation, to set a Council Tax increase of only 5% compared to up about, for example, 39% for the Police Authority, is a remarkable result for Kerrier District Council - for confirmation of this just look at the rises across the U.K.
I'd also like to mention some of the personalities I've been involved with over the last 10-12 years.
Firstly, my Co-District Councillor, Terrye Jones (now Terrye Teverson). She was always competitive which was good for me because she kept me "on my toes". I'll always remember her as a "first class", "off the cuff" public speaker and a powerful ally in the battles we've fought together. I wish her well in her new venture into Ladies "smalls" (underwear). Unfortunately her prices are way beyond my means - but my wife lives in hopes!
I'd also like to pay a tribute to David Roberts (our Cornwall County Councillor) who was a highly respected "elder statesman" when I was just a "trainee" and now is still a highly regarded "elder statesman". The only annoying thing is that he doesn't look a day older!
I'd also like to mention Rod Coward, who in the early days of his Clerkship at Germoe Parish Council, helped me a lot and on a personal basis too. Now that he is once again "off on his travels", I'd just like to wish him the best for the future and say that I hope he finds whatever it is that he's looking for.
Finally I'd like to pay a tribute to Tony Woodhams - we haven't always agreed but that's as it should be after all - if there was no Politicising in Politics there would be no need for Politicians! (Please don't anyone say that the world would be a better place for that!). But I'll particularly remember Tony as being highly organised, a first class administrator and certainly the best Chairman of Breage Parish Council I've known. I wish him the best for the future.
I'd finally like to remember the late Bob Parker who got me into Politics all those years ago and Alan and Barbara Johns without whose help I'd probably never have been elected.
Last, but certainly not least, I'd like to thank my wife for putting up with all the phone calls, the late night meetings, the support she's always given me and especially just for "being there". Thank you, Sally.
Mr Chairman, it's been a great privilege to serve this community as your Kerrier District Councillor and I wish the two new Councillors the enjoyment I've had. From what I know of them I believe that they will both be a credit to this Parish and if either if them at any time feel I can be of assistance, please call me.
In closing, I'd just like to say that there are many things I shall miss as I go into "retirement" from Local Politics - not least the many good friends I have made and also Councillor Mick Clayton (Kerrier District Council, Cabinet Member) who is here tonight and has been a good friend of this Parish.
Also I'd particularly like to thank everyone who voted for me - without you I wouldn't be here - and I just hope that I lived up to your expectations. To those who didn't, I just hope that you feel that I've given you the fair hearing and support I've tried to give anyone seeking my help. That has always been my aim for everyone.
There's an old saying "parting is such sweet sorrow" - and it is, but it's also time for me to move on and as I do I'd just like to say again, it's a privilege to serve a community such as ours and I envy my successors that privilege. But, Mr Chairman, it's been MY PRIVILEGE to serve this community for the last 10 years.
May I wish each and every one of you and Breage Parish Council all the very best for the future. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for having me as your Kerrier District Councillor for the last 10 years. Thank you.
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