The new chair of North Yorkshire County Council is keen to support businesses, organisations and charities as much as possible as they emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic during his year in office.
Cllr Stuart Martin, a retired firefighter, was elected chair for the coming 12 months at today’s (5 May) annual general meeting of the County Council.
“I am looking forward to supporting organisations and charities as much as possible as we open up,” said Cllr Martin, “and I am looking at setting up a chairman’s fund, because so many charities have taken such a hit over the last 18 months.
“It is essential that the civic side of things carries on and whoever is in this role continues to support businesses and the community. I know from previously being mayor of Ripon and of Harrogate district how appreciative businesses and organisations are of that support.
“It is vital we open slowly and don’t try to rush things, but as things open up I am keen to help. I think it is important that we all try to do our bit to help.”
Among his ambitions, Cllr Martin hopes to find an opportunity to mark both VE Day and VJ Day appropriately to recognise the sacrifices made by individuals in the Second World War, as last year the pandemic curtailed major commemorations.
Cllr Martin has been a county councillor since 2017, representing Ripon South division on North Yorkshire County Council. He also represents Ripon Moorside ward on both Harrogate Borough Council and Ripon City Council.
On the County Council, he sits on the Skipton and Ripon Area Constituency Committee and the Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
He has been involved with Ripon Community House, which is a base for a number of charitable organisations. He is a member of the Friends of Hell Wath and the Judson Trust and chair of the TASC Madagascar charity. In 2010, he received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours for his charity work both in Ripon and in Madagascar.
Cllr Martin is married and has two children and six grandchildren.
The new deputy chair is Cllr Margaret Atkinson, who represents the Masham and Fountains division.