Councillors have formally voted to thank “dedicated” staff from the county council and the NHS – and other key workers – who have carried on working through the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a motion – agreed by a meeting of the full council on Tuesday (October 20) – councillors also recognised ‘all the local volunteers who stepped forward to help those in need’ in the county.

And they agreed: “In a time of crisis, the hard work and resilience shown by so many is something we are all truly grateful for and we want to thank you most sincerely”.

The motion was proposed by leader of the county council’s Liberal Democrat group Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst.

“This is thanking and praising all of our dedicated staff at Hertfordshire county council, the staff at the NHS and key workers who have  carried on – and continue to carry on – working through this current crisis and what may be a worsening crisis in the next few weeks and months,” he said.

In addition Cllr Giles-Medhurst highlighted work of the district and borough councils, of ‘test and trace’ and the hard work to ensure people had been fed and assisted in difficult circumstances.

He said: “It has been a difficult time across all sectors of the county council and all structures of it – whether senior officers down to very junior staff, having to put considerable effort into ensuring services are delivered for our residents.”

Seconding the motion, leader of the Labour group Cllr Judi Billing pointed to the “astonishing flexibility” that staff had had to show.

She highlighted the many staff who had taken on entirely new roles, to care for and to provide food for those who needed to ‘shield’.

But she also pointed to the “important lessons” learned from staff about inequalities and the unfair ways the pandemic had affected different communities.

Supporting the motion, leader of the council Cllr David Williams said it had been an “astonishing few months”.

He highlighted the work of a number of individuals, including the county council’s chief executive Owen Mapley, director of children’s services Jenny Coles, director of public health Jim McManus and chief fire officer Daryl Keen – as well as Helen Maneuf and Simon Newland.

And, in addition, he highlighted the many people who had done “absolutely remarkable things”.

“So all around we are blessed with the people who have been working and supporting Hertfordshire over the last few months – and I am extremely grateful for their efforts,” he said.