Agenda item

Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman in accordance with Standing Order No. 29.


The Committee proceeded to elect a Chairman in accordance with Standing Order No. 29. A list of Members eligible to stand was read and Deputy Keith Bottomley, being the only Member expressing willingness to serve, was duly elected Chairman for the ensuing year.


The Chairman welcomed both new and returning Members to the Committee and thanked those Members who are no longer on the Committee for their service. Furthermore, upon taking the Chair, the Chairman read out the vote of thanks to the outgoing Chairman of the Committee.


Vote of Thanks: at this point in the proceedings, the Chairman delivered a Vote of Thanks to the immediate past Chairman.


RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY, That - at the conclusion of his three year term of office as their Chairman, of the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee, the Committee wish to extend to:


Jeremy Lewis Simons


their sincere thanks and appreciation for the manner in which he has presided over their deliberations and the detailed care and interest he has shown in all aspects of the work of the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee.


During his Chairmanship, Jeremy has been a real champion for air quality. He has made himself available to attend numerous events and has always been incredibly polite, helpful and constructive. Achievements have included the low emission neighbourhood in the north of the City with its pop-up garden, no idling initiatives, pioneering work to reduce pollution levels at the City’s primary school, the City’s Emissions Reduction Bill now progressing through parliament and the Capital’s first zero-emissions street. He is a real asset to the City Corporation and the Air Quality Team has appreciated his unwavering support and good humour.


Jeremy was responsible for the City of London Corporation becoming a signatory to the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s United for Wildlife Taskforce, an initiative with the financial and transport sectors to tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade.


Jeremy has also overseen significant increases in trade at the ports over the last three years, which has meant a large investment in developing staff resources and a move to new office accommodation.  He has also been at the forefront of the City’s EU exit responses and preparations. 


Jeremy has supported the investigation into the causes and solutions to the operational rail noise experienced by residents of the Barbican Estate. He has been instrumental in negotiating improvements with London Underground in this technically complex challenge and his detailed consideration has been invaluable.


The City of London Crematorium currently meets all environmental and air pollution requirements. Under the guidance of the Chairman a one million pound project is now progressing for the replacement of the old cremators and the installation of new fully abated ones, to achieve twice the requirements of the legislation to abate (remove all mercury and other toxins) from cremations taking place at the beautiful City Cemetery.  The process of cremator abatement creates a large amount of hot water, and during Jeremy’s tenure the use of this hot water has increased, so that now the operational areas of the crematorium are heated at little or no cost.


Jeremy encouraged the Superintendent to invest cemetery income in the landscape, in new signage and in equipment, including an all-electric minibus for the public to move gently around the 200 acres of the Cemetery.  Affordable cremation is another area of development where it has been possible to support families on low income by offering a fee structure that suits all.  During the last three years the reuse of graves for further burial has become more mainstream and is now the second most popular choice for burials.  This is an area where the City truly leads the country and is now being replicated in the private sector through private Acts of Parliament. 


Jeremy oversaw the implementation and progress of the Plastic Free City Campaign, he chaired numerous panel discussions on the subject and was keen to engage with businesses and members alike. During Jeremy’s tenure the scheme signed up over 100 businesses covering 90,000 city employees. Through actions that businesses have taken after signing up to the scheme they have avoided the use of twenty million single use coffee cups and twelve million items of single use plastic cutlery.


Jeremy was also a keen advocate of the City’s Tech Takeback events which allow residents and City workers to safely recycle or make available for reuse or recycling, data bearing technology which would otherwise be thrown away. He even brought along some of his own items. The most recent event saw 663 items weighing over 1.3 tonnes collected.


Jeremy was involved with the award of the new waste collection and street cleansing contract, overseeing numerous officer discussions and debates as part of the tender moderation process. He has been extremely supportive of the City’s drive towards mobilising the UKs first fully electric fleet of Refuse Collection Vehicles, providing invaluable technical insight and was also good company on a visit to the factory to witness the vehicles being built.


An enthusiastic supporter of the Port Health Rowing Team, Jeremy has been the passenger in many races, including the Great River Race and the Admiral of the Port Rowing Challenge - the Lord Mayor’s race. He participated in the WW1 Anniversary Flotilla and Service of Remembrance and has escorted the Sheriffs on the River.


Jeremy has performed his role as Chairman with great passion and commitment.  His unfailing willingness to provide support through the varied and interesting challenges that the Committee faces in the twenty-first century, has been greatly appreciated by the Members, staff, and stakeholders alike.


Finally, the Committee wish to thank him for his generous hospitality during his years in office and to convey to him their good wishes and to wish him future health and happiness.