Agenda item

Notice of Motion of Condolence

To receive the following motion for which the necessary notice has been provided.

 

This Council expresses its deep sadness at the death of Her Majesty the Queen and offers its sincere condolences to His Majesty the King and other members of the Royal Family.  We recognise Her Majesty's enduring commitment to public service and duty, including her support for many Welsh charities and organisations, and her lifelong association with Wales and its people.

 

The motion is to be proposed by the Leader of the Council, Councillor J Mudd and seconded by Councillor M Evans.

 

Minutes:

The Presiding Member advised councillors that, by agreement between the political groups, this was the last item on the agenda, and any replies to questions for Leader or Cabinet Members would be provided in writing .

 

The Leader proposed the following motion to Council:

 

This Council expresses its deep sadness at the death of Her Majesty the Queen and offers its sincere condolences to His Majesty the King and other members of the Royal Family. We recognise Her Majesty's enduring commitment to public service and duty, including her support for many Welsh charities and organisations, and her lifelong association with Wales and its people.

 

Councillor M Evans seconded the motion.

 

The Leader reserved her right to speak at the end.  The Presiding Member invited Councillor Evans to speak:

The last few weeks had been an emotional rollercoaster from shock, grief and disbelief to feelings of proudness and hope, about the way the Nation and the city paid tribute to a much loved and respected lady. Even the staunchest of Republicans cannot deny her complete devotion to public service.

 

Some of us here had been fortunate to have been Mayor of our City, while others would have that opportunity.  A great honour privilege and, it had to be said, a very rewarding but demanding year.

 

I cannot even imagine doing this, on a much larger scale for over 70 years, but the Queen did it right up until the day before she died, at the age of 96 years.

 

I never met her, but was one of the few remaining Councillors here, to attend the dinner at the Newport Centre when she came to celebrate city status in 2002. The streets were packed with well-wishers, and it was a day I would never forget.

 

On another occasion I attended a church service in Ebbw Vale to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. Sitting opposite her, she had an immense presence despite her small stature, and her smile lit up the room.

 

We would all have heard about or seen some truly vile posts on social media, from a mindless minority, and sadly Newport was no exception. But the overwhelming strength of feeling has been to unite the city, the country and the nation, like we are doing here today.

 

As we come to terms with the Queen’s passing, perhaps the greatest tribute we could all make, is to emulate her great dedication and service to the people we represent, from Ringland to Ridgeway, and work hard to better our city.

 

The Queen was a much loved, stoic, duty-bound and respected Queen of the ages, a symbol of stability and resilience. She was a Monarch and a Matriarch and would be truly missed.  But she left behind a monumental legacy after 70 historical years in reign. May our beloved Queen rest in peace and God save the King.

 

Councillors Lacey, Marshall, Councillor Fouweather, Drewett, Cocks, Spencer, R Howells, D Davies, D Harvey and Morris all spoke in support of the motion, along with expressing their admiration for the Queen during her 70 years reign.  Highlighting her great strides for peace in Ireland, her recent Platinum Jubilee and the events surrounding this in Newport, her role in a male dominated world and her work for the Commonwealth. Councillors also shared their stories of meeting the Queen, her legacy and their respect.

 

The Presiding Member invited the Leader to make her closing statement. 

 

Councillor Mudd thanked the Presiding Member and all colleagues that spoke in support of the motion as well as speaking on behalf of their constituents.

 

The Leader wanted to express her thanks on behalf of all elected members to our teams within the Council that made all the necessary procedural operations to ensure that everything ran smoothly and effortlessly during this period. Within the Council, following the death of the Queen, there was a lot of organisation carried out in the background, as it all happened very quickly.  The Leader paid particular tribute to the Mayor and Councillor J Hughes for their reading of the Proclamation in the Council Chambers. 

 

Listening to the reflections by council colleagues, made the Leader reflect on all the celebrations that took place earlier in the year to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  Many Councillors would have been involved in those activities and the Leader highlighted one of those in particular, which was the planting of the trees for the Jubilee campaign and many of our schools would have these trees planted as well as in public spaces.  These were truly a lasting legacy and fitting memorial to our Majesty the Queen and may they live on to provide a living memorial for the future. As human beings we all knew the agony of grief and loss and our thoughts were very much with the Royal Family at this sad time, but thoughts were also with the citizens and families in Newport, dealing with grief and loss at this time.

 

Finally, the Presiding Member also agreed with the sentiments of his colleagues and the motion was put to the vote and carried unanimously.

 

The Presiding Member thanked members for their attendance and closed the meeting.