Agenda item

Motions

To consider the following motions submitted in accordance with Standing Order 10:

 

(1) Motion submitted by the Leader of the Council, Councillor J A Kite MBE

 

‘This council expresses its sadness and profound sense of loss at the passing of Councillor Ann Allen and offers our sincere condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.  It reflects on the loss a good friend to all Members and a wise council colleague’. 

 

 

(2) Motion submitted by the Leader of the Council, Councillor J A Kite MBE

 

 

‘This council further reflects on the legacy of Councillor Ann Allen and commends her practical and compassionate approach to supporting those in need, empowering the vulnerable and giving a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard.  Ann loved this town and the people, groups and businesses in it. She understood that everyday local actions rather than rhetoric were the key to changing lives for the better. Her achievements were measured not in publicity or partisanship but in the relentless application of kindness, practicality and robust common sense in our community.  This council takes the opportunity to reflect upon and praise the many organisations, individuals and groups supported by Ann over the years and commits to carry on supporting them as she would wish’. 

 

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Members that two motions had been submitted by the Leader of the Council in accordance with Standing Order 10:

 

(1) Motion submitted by the Leader of the Council, Councillor J A Kite MBE

 

‘This council expresses its sadness and profound sense of loss at the passing of Councillor Ann Allen and offers our sincere condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.  It reflects on the loss a good friend to all Members and a wise council colleague’. 

 

 

(2) Motion submitted by the Leader of the Council, Councillor J A Kite MBE

 

‘This council further reflects on the legacy of Councillor Ann Allen and commends her practical and compassionate approach to supporting those in need, empowering the vulnerable and giving a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard.  Ann loved this town and the people, groups and businesses in it. She understood that everyday local actions rather than rhetoric were the key to changing lives for the better. Her achievements were measured not in publicity or partisanship but in the relentless application of kindness, practicality and robust common sense in our community.  This council takes the opportunity to reflect upon and praise the many organisations, individuals and groups supported by Ann over the years and commits to carry on supporting them as she would wish’.

 

In introducing the motions the Leader of the Council said that he had submitted two separate motions to allow Members to pay tribute to Councillor Allen both as a person and a colleague but also to celebrate her enormous contribution to the community and the many individuals, groups and organisations that she had supported. However he felt that it might be better to combine the motions so that they could be considered as part of a single debate, and with the Council’s permission, he moved that the motions should form a single motion.

 

This was seconded by Councillor Shippam and opened for debate.

 

The Leader of the Council said that he had been shocked by Councillor Allen’s passing which had come as a bolt out of the blue and that he had initially found it hard to come to terms with. He said that she had been the better part of us, in terms of her life, personal example and impact on others. She had existed to do good and to do the right thing, but was a modest person who never drew attention to the good that she did and was self-effacing. In the weeks following her passing he had received messages from a wide range of people and bodies that she had helped that he had been unaware of. She had a well-rounded personality and a wonderful, sometimes wicked sense of humour. He said that he knew that her death had had a heavy impact on her family, to whom he sent his condolences and best wishes. He said that it was difficult to imagine her not being present and that she always had a project or cause on the go to support and lobby for, whether for Wilmington, Dartford or Kent – she was a busy Councillor. She was kind, honest, understanding, never judgemental and had been his mentor, and conscience, when he entered the political arena and he would miss her enormously.

 

The Shadow Leader of the Council, Councillor S Gosine, said that although he did not know Councillor Allen as well as the Leader he had known her since he was a child through her association with Saint Anselm’s church. He said that he had spoken to her regularly during the pandemic, that their conversations were never political, and that she was a great person who had helped him personally and had been a true lady.

 

Councillor Hammock said that Councillor Allen had been the person who had encouraged him to stand for office. He commented on her great sense of humour and recounted an example of this from her time as Mayor where, as was her want, she declined to stand on ceremony and that this had remained an in-joke between the two of them thereafter. He mourned the passing of a great friend and lady.   

 

Councillor Grehan said that she had lived in Dartford since 1986 and that Councillor Allen had always been around the fringes of her life. Since her own election to Kent County Council she had got to know Councillor Allen better and that she had been a role model who was always honest, kind and positive and never tried to politicise the work that she did for people and had time for everyone.

 

Councillor Sandhu said that three generations of his family had known Councillor Allen and that she had been particularly kind to his father. Nothing was ever too much for her. He recounted a time when she had supported an application for his niece to attend Wilmington Grammar School and her joy many years later upon learning that his niece had just completed her Master’s degree. He also treasured a photograph that he had of himself with his father, the High Commissioner and Councillor Allen. He said that he was deeply saddened by her loss and that he would miss her very much.

 

Councillor Butterfill said that when she was first elected to the Council in 2011 her great friend, the late Brian Read, had told her that there was a lady on the Council who would be a great role model. She quickly discovered that this was Councillor Allen, who shared many of the caring attributes and dedication with Councillor Read. She recounted attending a meeting of the Elders Forum  where Councillor Allen took the time to speak to everyone in the room to make them feel welcome. Councillor Allen had indeed been an inspiring role model for a woman starting her political career. She said that her colleague, Councillor Barham, had wanted to say something but was too upset to speak. 

 

Councillor Thurlow said that she could still not believe that Councillor Allen was no longer present. She had known Councillor Allen for many years and their children had played together. She said that Councillor Allen was always a person who helped somebody and that, even before she became a Councillor, she was a familiar figure in the local community that people used to come to for advice. She was a unique and truly special person who she had never known to get angry or to shout, but who instead would sort things out. She had been proud to be able to call her a friend and thanked her for all that she had done for other people.  

 

Councillor Hunnisett said that there was not a single person in Wilmington who hadn’t known Councillor Allen and that he would miss her frequent calls at 8.30am listing tasks for him to do on behalf of others. She had been a great human being and an example to others, and her passing would leave an enormous gap in the local community.

 

Councillor Wells said that he had known Councillor Allen since he had been a child growing up in Joyden’s Wood and that she had been pivotal to everything going on in the community. She had also helped his mother return to work as a teacher and supported her to become a head teacher. She helped everyone and was everywhere, in Wilminton, Dartford and Kent, and always made time to stop and chat. Councillor Allen had been one of a kind and it had been a privilege to have her as a friend, who would be deeply missed.

 

Councillor Lloyd said that he had known Councillor Allen since 1985, and as a Councillor for the last 15 years. She was a great example and mentor, tirelessly lobbying for funds for various projects. In particular she had been a champion of young and older people, for whom she had a great interest, and those groups would miss her greatly.

 

Councillor Davis said that Councillor Allen had been a great role model for women as a Councillor, Cabinet member and Chairman of Kent County Council, who had never seemed to have aged. He felt that she would always be ever present to guide the work of the Council.

 

The Mayor paid her personal tribute to Councillor Allen and the help that she had given to her when she first joined the Council and when she first became Mayor. She said that she had received calls from so many people following Councillor Allen’s death and that she was a wonderful lady who she would miss greatly.

 

The Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Shippam, said that he supported all of the comments made by previous speakers and that Councillor Allen had been a wonderful human being, a great community champion and a role model who was always willing to help. He said that he would miss her and everything that she represented.

 

The motion was put to the vote and carried unanimously.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

‘This council expresses its sadness and profound sense of loss at the passing of Councillor Ann Allen and offers our sincere condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.  It reflects on the loss a good friend to all Members and a wise council colleague.

 

This council further reflects on the legacy of Councillor Ann Allen and commends her practical and compassionate approach to supporting those in need, empowering the vulnerable and giving a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard.  Ann loved this town and the people, groups and businesses in it. She understood that everyday local actions rather than rhetoric were the key to changing lives for the better. Her achievements were measured not in publicity or partisanship but in the relentless application of kindness, practicality and robust common sense in our community.  This council takes the opportunity to reflect upon and praise the many organisations, individuals and groups supported by Ann over the years and commits to carry on supporting them as she would wish’.