Ray Tovey was Chairman of Gwinear –Gwithian Parish Council for 4 years so on behalf of the Councillors and the Parish Clerk we would like to express our condolences to Mrs Jenny Tovey and her family and to convey our thanks for all the time, effort and energy he put in to improve and benefit the lives of all Parishoners at all levels.
Ray was driven by a deep-felt sense of fairness and justice for all – especially young people- who he felt were often unfairly judged as not “pulling their weight”. Much of his efforts were directed towards creating a better environment in which they could flourish. He was especially concerned that everyone at Cornwall Council recognises the importance of rural deprivation as well as its better known cousin – urban deprivation.
Ray was a natural leader, but was also a diligent reader of ponderous Government documents and able to articulate, in simple terms, a plan of action that was simple, clear and relevant to the needs of our community both for our Parish and our neighbours, St Erth Parish Council– and to communicate that in his usual forthright but persuasive manner.
Ray “raised the game “ for our Parish Council , leading to its visibility (for a small Parish) in the eyes of Cornwall Council and the ground-breaking decision to allow our Parish to develop ( amongst other innovative projects) a significant streetscape improvement to Reawla village centre – thus creating the prospect of a more united community with a focus.
As our Divisional Elected Member he reached out, not only to our communities, but also to fellow CC Members. This was recognised in his appointment to Cabinet Member for Localism and Devolution – a difficult task – and one that won the support of almost all Cornwall Councillors “across the floor” of the Council. No mean task.
Ray will be remembered for his vision, leadership and inspiration to achieve greater aspirations – and to develop the confidence in others to actually make those aspirations happen. The word “impossible” meant nothing to Ray ! Anyone willing to give up early or cave in got very short shrift. Ray had a gifted touch to produce “people friendly” communications and solutions within the more daunting framework of government.
Ray’s humour, passion for change, leadership and friendship – and his wise counsel- will leave behind a great legacy and hopefully, will be an inspiration to others that – in his words- “we can make things happen for the better”
Whilst not a born-and-bred Cornishman, he represented exactly what being Cornish stands for.
Councillor Brian Pocock
Chairman Gwinear-Gwithian Parish Council