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Report on AGM

November 17, 2020 11:37 PM

Penrith and the Border Liberal Democrats elected a new Chair at their Annual General Meeting on Friday 6th November. Adrian Waite, who is the prospective candidate for the Lib Dems in Kirkby Stephen in next May's County Council election, was elected unanimously by the meeting.

Former Chair, Lorna Baker, who stood down after three years in the role, was thanked for all her work, especially her contribution to the successful district elections in 2019 that saw a Lib Dem led administration elected at Eden District Council. During Lorna's tenure, the committee has grown in numbers and more social events have been organised. Lorna has supported councillors, organising selection committees for both district and county elections. All of this has been doubly difficult during the pandemic.

ZoomHeld on Zoom for the first time in the constituency's history, members managed to negotiate the technology, and were rewarded by several reports on the unpredictable year just past but, sadly, not the usually expected refreshments.

Councillor Virginia Taylor, Leader of Eden District Council, summed up the Council's activities over the stormy year that was 2020, describing:

Virginia Close Crop"All the new burdens that the pandemic brought - grant distribution and direct support for businesses, assistance from our Environmental Health team who have done awesome things in Tracking and Tracing covid cases, support for hardship and homelessness, licensing and support for town centres, tourism, and being part of Emergency and Community Planning."

It became clear how much of the response to the Covid19 crisis actually falls onto the shoulders of Local rather than National Government and that local councils across the land are efficiently implementing policy while the central Government mostly makes 'world-beating' speeches. Virginia extended her thanks to all her colleagues in the Council's administration as well as to the council staff for keeping the show on the road.

And, despite the diversion onto other activities, Eden Council is still making progress toward the different ways of working needed to deliver on the Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency declarations.

Patricia Bell - Close CropTackling the impact of Coronavirus and making progress on the green agenda were also themes of the report from Councillor Patricia Bell who holds the Health and Care Services portfolio in the cabinet at Cumbria County Council. She outlined the pivotal role of the County council on the public health front both in the first lock down and here again in the second; and reported that the County Council is poised to publish their carbon management strategy.

Both councillors were thanked by the meeting for continuing with their public service commitments despite all the recent pressures.

The following members were elected to the Executive: Adrian Waite (Chair), Lorna Baker (Vice-Chair), Deb Holden (Secretary), Andrew Baker (Treasurer), John Peel (Membership Development Officer), Judith Derbyshire (Data Officer), Neil Hughes, Chris Forrester, Mike Eyles, Mark Rudhall, Oliver Latimer, Andy Connell, Patricia Bell, Virginia Taylor.