COLUMN: Time to reflect after sad loss of Queen Elizabeth 11

The last few weeks have been incredibly difficult for all of us as we have had to come to terms with the sad loss of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest serving monarch in our history.

Councillor Wendy Bowkett, Executive Councillor for Adult Care & Public Health, Lincolnshire County Council
Councillor Wendy Bowkett, Executive Councillor for Adult Care & Public Health, Lincolnshire County Council

But it’s also given us the chance to reflect on her incredible life. The huge outpouring of affection is testament to the dedication and service she has shown for the country during many changes and challenges through the years.

I’ve had the privilege of attending a garden party hosted by Her Royal Highness at Buckingham Palace. She has always shown great interest in everyone she meets and has marked all her public engagements with great grace and dignity.

She visited the county on a number of occasions during her incredible 70-year reign, from the opening of Pelham Bridge in 1958 to unveiling the University of Lincoln’s first building in 1996 and a Royal Maundy Service at Lincoln Cathedral in 2000. And of course she has a special affection with our coastal lifeboat stations as patron for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

I’m sure that King Charles III will carry on his mother’s legacy and show the leadership qualities to unite our nation to ensure a prosperous and purposeful future. The proclamations announcing a new sovereign around the county was a real poignant reminder of shared history in the making.

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We also have a new Prime Minister in Liz Truss, which thankfully brings the period of uncertainty at the top of government to an end. We’ve already seen a renewed energy in leadership with the new cabinet moving swiftly to begin action on national issues which affect us all.

I’m thinking in particular of the announcement of an energy price cap for households and the government is also looking to implement something similar for businesses and not-for-profit organisations. There’s no doubt that this is a huge concern for many of our residents and businesses and it is good to see the government taking action.

We’ll be looking for the key lines of policy from the new cabinet over the coming weeks and months. As the executive councillor for adult care and public health, I’m particularly looking for a clear way forward on adult social care funding if the vision to transform support and care for adults is to work effectively.