Alan Millard becomes new North Hertfordshire District Council chairman
PUBLISHED: 15:57 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 23:02 21 May 2017
North Hertfordshire District Council last night elected its new chairman at its annual meeting in Letchworth.
The new chairman of the Conservative-run council is Councillor Alan Millard, of Walsworth ward in Hitchin, who replaces last year’s chairman John Booth.
Councillor John Bishop takes up Alan’s old position as vice-chairman, with Councillor Lynda Needham remaining leader of the council.
Councillor Julian Cunningham becomes deputy leader, replacing Councillor Terry Hone.
Alan was first elected in Walsworth ward in 2008, a year before his retirement from the Comet after 40 years as a photographer.
He said: “It’s a great honour to be elected as chairman – especially having been involved over many years photographing chairmen of councils, mayors and many council events, not realising that one day I would become one of them.
“Also, having been involved with the whole spectrum of society for over 45 years, I will be able to contribute my experience to this office.”
He added: “I would like to thank former chairman John Booth for his hard work during his year in office, and offer my congratulations for raising £2,160 for his chosen charities.”
Letchworth-born Alan has served on numerous council committees, and represents the authority on numerous outside bodies including the Arts Council of North Herts, the Hitchin Town Band, and the St Michael’s Mount and Walsworth community centres.
He has been married for 49 years to Maureen, with whom he has two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren.
His chosen charities for his year as council chairman are Hitchin-based Helping Hands, which gives transport for the disabled and elderly in North Herts, and Snappy G’s, a charity that runs activities in Hitchin on Monday nights for youngsters aged 13 to 24 with special needs.
Changes to the district council cabinet were also agreed at last night’s meeting of full council at the Spirella Ballroom.
Mr Cunningham replaces Mr Hone as executive member for finance and IT as well as deputy leader – with Mr Hone stepping down from the cabinet after taking on the Herts County Council portfolio for community safety and waste management.
Former council chairman Ray Shakespeare-Smith – who was re-elected this month after being unseated last year – replaces Mr Cunningham as the district council’s executive member for policy, transport and green issues, while Councillor Michael Weeks takes over as executive member for waste management, recycling and environment.
There are also new area committee chairmen. Councillors Michael Muir, Nicola Harris and Tony Hunter will now chair the Baldock and District, Hitchin and Royston and District committees respectively.
Councillor Cathryn Henry remains as chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee, with Councilor Steve Hemingway remaining vice-chairman.