[To receive the Mayor’s announcements]
1. Former Councillor Gill Walton
The Mayor was saddened to announce the death of former Councillor Gill Walton who had passed away on 31 August. Gill represented Wednesfield North 1986 – 1994 and served on a number of committees before working as a Political Assistant in the Labour Leaders Office. Gill retired from the Council in June 2014.
The Mayor informed Council that the funeral would take place on Thursday 30 September at 2.15 at the West Chapel, Bushbury Crematorium.
The Mayor extended the deepest sympathies of the Council to Councillor John Reynolds and their daughter Alice.
2. Former Councillor Tom Larkin
The Mayor was saddened to announce the death of former Councillor Tom Larkin who had passed away on 13 August at the age of 90. Tom served on the Bilston Municipal Borough Council in the 1960’s prior to changes to local councils, then continued as a ward councillor for Bilston East into the early 1980’s and served on a number of committees. He was a well-known local historian with a breadth of knowledge about Bilston and the Black Country.
The Mayor informed Council that the funeral would take place on Friday, 17 September, at 12noon in Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Bilston.
3. Anne Guest MBE
The Mayor was saddened to announce the death of Mrs Anne Guest MBE, who passed away aged 84yrs on Friday 25 June 2021 after a short illness.
Mrs Guest was well known across Wolverhampton and among
public sector figures for her commitment to her community, having established the Spring Valley Tenants and Residents Association in 1987, while living on the estate on Cannock Road. She also served on numerous committees including Wolverhampton Homes’ Leasehold Forum and tenant action groups and was chair of the Federation of Tenants Associations.
Her outstanding service to the community was recognised in October 2000 when she was made an MBE by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
The Council stood in silent tribute to the late Gill Walton, Tom Larkin and Ann Guest.
4. Olympics 2020 (2021) and Paralympics 2020 (2021)
The Mayor reported it had been a successful summer for sport this year with Team GB seeing great success in both the Olympics and Paralympic Games, with Wolverhampton having been put on the global map following the delayed Olympics and the success of Ben Whittaker in winning Silver in the boxing.
The Mayor had the pleasure of letting Ben be Honorary Mayor for the Day on Sunday, 22 August where Ben robed as Mayor and undertook engagements at the Art Gallery and The Way prior to being hosted by the Wolves Chairman to watch the Wolves v Tottenham game.
The Mayor acknowledged and payed tribute to all our local competitors in both Games.
5. Relight Festival
The Mayor reported he attended the first ever Relight Festival which took place under the Big Top in West Park. The festival was put on to give something back to the people of the city after an extremely challenging 18 months dealing with the pandemic. It had something for everyone in the family and I really enjoyed the opening night of comedy, seeing top performers such as Reginald D Hunter and Bill Bailey. It was a fantastic night I look forward to attending future Relight Festivals.
6. British Empire Medal (BEM) Investiture
The Mayor was delighted to report he had earlier this day attended Birmingham University and witnessed the investiture of Wolverhampton citizens with their British Empire Medals, awarded in the New Year’s Honours List 2020 and 2021, and the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020 and 2021. These were:
The Mayor congratulated all on their award behalf of the Council.
7. Visit of Jathedar Shri Akaal Takht Sahib
The Mayor reported, that last Sunday, 12 September, saw the unveiling of the statue in Wednesfield to commemorate the 21 Sikh soldiers who lost their lives at the Battle of Saragarhi, on 12th September 1897, fighting for the British Raj in the Tirah Campaign. In attendance was Giani Harpreet Singh, the Jathedar of Akal Takht, who flew over from India for the unveiling.
The Mayor had the pleasure of hosting a Civic reception for local representatives from our Sikh community on 14 September, which would help develop and strengthen ties between our City, our Council and our Sikh community.
8. 999 Day - 9 September
The Mayor reported that he had recorded and published a video message paying tribute to our magnificent emergency services for “999 Day”. The police, fire service, NHS and ambulance services had all gone above and beyond the call of duty during the pandemic and he was truly grateful for the work undertaken by emergency services, 24hours a day, 365 days a year.
9. Suicide Prevention Day - 10 September
The Mayor reported that he had recorded and published a video message for Suicide Prevention Day. He had visited the local office of the Samaritans earlier this year. Wolverhampton’s Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum also used the day to raise awareness of the help and support available for people experiencing distress or despair, and to open up a dialogue around this complex issue.
10. Covid-19 Update
The Mayor reported there had now been nearly 325,000 vaccinations administered in the City, with 154,176 people having received two doses. There were 878 positive cases reported in the City in the seven days so it was important to remember that Covid was not over.
11. Letters of Condolence
The Mayor reported he had written letters of condolence to the Lord Mayor of Plymouth following the tragic shootings in the City on the 12 August, and to the Chair of South Staffordshire Council following the death in service of their Leader Cllr Brian Edwards MBE on 13 August.
12. Council Staff Highlights
The Mayor, wished a long and happy retirement to Ann Cox-McIvor (formerly Hodson), the longest serving member of staff in the Mayor’s Office, who was retiring after 33 years’ service with the Council.
The Mayor congratulated Ala Sairani in Legal Services who had won the Junior Lawyer Award 2021 at the Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) Awards. Ala was recognised for her impressive achievement and development throughout the pandemic, which encapsulated the spirit and professionalism of lawyers in local government.