Weston councillor is new North Somerset chairman

PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 May 2016

Council chairman

Council chairman

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A long-serving Weston-super-Mare councillor has been named the new chairman of North Somerset Council.

Cllr John Crockford-Hawley was handed the ceremonial chains at the authority’s meeting last week.

He was voted into the role unanimously, winning support from the Conservative majority despite being a member of the Liberal Democrats.

At the meeting, deputy leader of the council Elfan Ap Rees nominated Cllr Crockford-Hawley, and said: “I have known John as a friend, and as an enemy, for 40 years.

“He has been a member of North Somerset Council for eight years now and the only mistake he has made since then is voting for the Silica – but then so did I.”

Cllr Crockford-Hawley was first elected in May 1976 to Woodspring District Council while he was still a geography teacher at Wyvern School.

He entered office before any other current councillor – with only a few breaks since due to election losses.

He has belonged to the Conservative party, stood for election as an independent candidate and joined the Liberal Democrats – the party he belongs to now.

He has been chairman of the planning committee and executive member for planning, during which time he took forward the seafront flood defences, and the renovation of Marine Lake and the promenade.

Now in his task as chairman, he must represent North Somerset at formal events and chair meetings.

He spoke to the meeting about his hopes to see the successful regeneration of Weston, and said: “But it won’t happen unless we are all determined champions of the cause. I’m delighted to be playing a part in this process and as chairman will use whatever clout the office affords me to further this council’s Prospectus For Change and our college’s university aspirations.”

Cllr Crockford-Hawley says he hopes to use his time in the role to promote Weston, and told the Mercury: “I certainly intend being an ambassador for Weston.

“Our town is at a critical point where all those exercising authority or influence need to pull together to enable high quality town centre regeneration. We only need to open our eyes to see what deterioration has taken place and yet positive changes are now beginning to flower.

“There’s a great future for Weston but only if we all go for gold.”

Clevedon councillor Chris Blades was named the vice-chairman.

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