Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping
Contact: Council Secretary: Simon Hill Tel: 01992 564249 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: To confer the Freedom of the District on 56 Squadron RAF
This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Assistant Director of Governance will read the following announcement:
“The chairman would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such third parties).
If you are seated in the lower public seating area it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.
This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if you wish to avoid this you should move to the upper public gallery.”
The Assistant Director, Governance reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.
Declarations of Interest
To declare interests in any item on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest by members of the Council under this item.
(a) Apologies for Absence
There were no announcements for this meeting.
(Chairman of Council) To consider the attached report.
The Chairman welcomed Members, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex Michael Chapman, and the Officer Commanding 56 Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF), Wing Commander Matt Fleckney and honoured guests to the Extraordinary Council meeting.
The Chairman advised that Epping Forest District had a long distinguished association with the RAF, which had recently marked their 100th Anniversary on 1 April 1918. The relationship had begun as early as 1916 with the North Weald Royal Flying Corps and many areas had been impacted by the RAF including Stapleford Abbots, Willigale, Blake Hall, Nazeing and Chigwell.
The Chairman invited Councillor B Rolfe to move the Motion to confer the Freedom of the District on 56 Squadron – “the Royal Air Force” and express the residents’ thanks for the service and sacrifices of the armed services.
Councillor A Grigg seconded the Motion and called on all members to support the resolution. As a North Weald Ward Member, she advised that the airfield had played its part in history, with Squadron 56 taking part in battles including Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. She advised that although Squadron 56 was now based at RAF Waddington, it still retained close links with the airfield and local community. The Squadron’s Standard was held at St Andrews Church, North Weald which was also the resting place of some casualties. The Hurricane was the emblem and talisman of North Weald Airfield and the replica at the gates of the airfield was tribute and symbolised the Hurricane of the 56 Squadron. This honour, the Freedom of the District was a symbol of gratitude, a gesture of friendship and thanks to the 56 Squadron for the part they played in the history of the District.
Members and Officers paid tribute to the history of the 56 Squadron from personal stories to the history of the Squadron and how the District had played its part. This honour was a tribute to the bonds of friendship the Royal Air Force has with the District.
There upon the following motion was moved by Councillor B. Rolfe and seconded by Councillor A. Grigg
“That, in the year of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918, this Council reaffirms its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and the bonds of friendship between our Armed Forces and the people of Epping Forest District through the conferral of the Freedom of the District on 56 Squadron – the Royal Air Force.”
The Wing Commander Matt Fleckney accepted the Freedom of the District on behalf of 56 Squadron and spoke as follows;
“Chairman of Council, Members of Council and resident of the District, may I say thanks. It was with great pleasure that I, as the Commander of 56 Squadron Royal Air Force accept the Freedom of Epping Forest District on behalf of the Squadron.
The Royal Air Force has had a long and important connection to this District from the early days of military ... view the full minutes text for item 113.