To note the results of the elections held on 2 May 2019.
The Managing Director, Mr Graham Harris, announced the results of the Local Government Elections which had taken place on 2 May 2019 and which were set out in the Agenda for the meeting.
Arising from the report of the results Councillor Kite addressed the Council.
He firstly reviewed the composition of the Council and noted that there had been a large turnover in Members in the Chamber with a number of retirements and some notable Members losing their seats. He thanked all of those who had left the Council and welcomed both the new Councillors and the Members re - joining the Council after a period of absence.
Councillor Kite then spoke of a number of former Members, Councillors Jonathon Hawkes – the former Leader of the Labour Group and Keith Kelly – the former Cabinet Member, both of whom had lost their seats in unexpectedly at the election. He thanked them both for their service to the Borough and commented that they had both accepted defeat with good grace.
In conclusion Councillor Kite drew Members’ attention to the retirement of two stalwart members.
Councillor Pat Coleman had retired from the Council having served as a Member for 44 years. He had served both in opposition and in power as both a back bench member and in Cabinet. He was a great servant to the Borough, and Councillor Kite took the opportunity to announce that it was planned to invest Councillor Coleman as an Honorary Freeman of the Borough at some time in the forthcoming year.
In response to this Councillor Coleman thanked all Members past and present for their help and stated that he had enjoyed his time as a Councillor and felt privileged to have served the people of Dartford for as long as he had.
Councillor Kite then moved on to speak about former Councillor Bryan Read who had chosen not to contest this election.
Bryan Read had served as a Councillor for 36 years, and had been instrumental in formulating the coalition which had bought the current administration to power in 2003.
He was recognised as a man of great honesty, integrity and experience and his retirement deprived the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents’ Association of a great Member.
In reply Councillor Sacha Gosine, the new Leader of the Labour Group, congratulated the Conservative Group for their success in the recent elections and announced that, on the positive side his Group had gained three new seats, but on the negative they had lost their former leader Councillor Jonathon Hawkes.
Councillor Gosine concluded that he was looking forward to working with Councillor Kite in order to improve Dartford for the good of all residents.
Councillor Sue Butterfill, the Leader of the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents Association said that she was very proud to be elected as a Councillor again and expressed her sadness that the former Group leader had chosen to stand down. Councillor Butterfill also paid tribute to former Councillor Read, recognising his experience and leadership over his long time in office.