It was a first for Godalming Town Council and a first for the Waverley Web as we Zoomed in on its council meeting – we believe unnoticed?
Why can’t all parish and town councils be held remotely? It was slick, efficient – lasted just an hour and a half – and we all had time to go outside and applauded the NHS – along with everyone else in the country. Well done Godalming Town Council – now tell ‘Your Waverley’ to get Zooming?
The Parish Clerk Andrew Jeffery had obviously been on a Zooming ‘Masterclass’ judging by the efficient way he brought in speakers, handled the meeting and recorded votes. Mayor of Godalming Penny Rivers chaired the meeting and appeared completely unphased by the new technology marching through the business of these ‘unusual and challenging times.’
Of one thing there was no doubt – Godalming Town Councillors are working together as a team – for the good of its residents. Party Politics (PP) alive and well before Coronavirus (BC), has no place in the workings of today’s town’s leaders. Proving that good sometimes raises its head when all about appears to be losing theirs?
In addition to the everyday business – approving policies and the work of its committees – Godalming councillors spoke as one – of the commitment, dedication of its staff who had worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the town and village folk they serve.
Mayor Penny Rivers welcomed everyone to Zoom – saying: “This is a new experience for us all.”
Wasting no time, she called on Cllr Paul Rivers for the introduction of an Initiative to declare Godalming a Plastic Free Zone. This followed an earlier presentation by Karen McDonald of The Plastic Free Campaign. Cllr Adam Juce and Cllr Steve Williams will represent the council on the newly-formed committee, which will promote the council, its residents, and business efforts to reduce the use of plastic, wherever possible.
But it was to applaud the community of Godalming on which councillors concentrated. Paying tribute to organisations including – the WI, Godalming Churches, etc, the council staff and numerous volunteers who had all responded to the Covid-19 Emergency.
The enviable achievement of setting up The Godalming & Villages Community Shop at the Wilfred Noyce Centre had been nothing short of a miracle. Everyone had come together in the shortest possible time frame to bring about the phenomenal success of the community initiative.
Council Leader Paul Follows said he had been “humbled’ by the response – saying it had made him proud to call Godalming home. Cllr Steve Cosser echoed those sentiments saying the flexibility and imagination shown by everyone in setting everything up in just a couple of weeks had been simply astounding.
Cllr Steve Williams said his Green Group was proud of the commitment shown by all his colleagues in responding to a situation nobody envisaged would ever happen. He said the grounds and cemetery staff had worked tirelessly dealing with more than 30 percent more burials in 10 days than in an average year.
The Clerk said that the council’s policy of having its own labour force, well-prepared to deal with all eventualities, had proved highly effective.
It was stressed, following comments made by Cllr Williams that local school headteachers had revealed numerous cases of hardship- that the Community Shop was open to everyone in Godalming and Villages – which includes, Bramley, Dunsfold; Hascombe Witley, Wormley Elstead and more.
Help was offered sensitively and confidence, in these difficult and unprecedented times. If you need it – use it as it is a benefit by the community for the community.
The council voted a further £2,000 towards the £2,000 already given in donations – and thanked all the individuals, businesses and organisations for showing how much Godalming Cares.
Posting on other issues raised at the meeting to be continued…