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Monday, June 13, 2016

Mayor of North Hertfordshire

The Chairman of North Herts District Council is Councillor John Booth. John was born near Stoke-on-Trent, moving to Wick (Caithness), Rockhampton (Queensland) and Uddingston (near Glasgow) as a child. He studied Electronic Physics at Queens College, Dundee, before joining ICL (then known as ICT) in Stevenage in 1965 and worked in computer hardware design and network consulting for 39 years, based in Stevenage and Letchworth Garden City.

John is married to Helen and has three children and three grandchildren. John lived in various places in Hertfordshire, including Hertford and Stevenage, before moving to Hitchin in 1975 and then Letchworth Garden City in 1982, where he now lives.

After retiring, John became interested in local politics and was elected to serve as a District Councillor for Letchworth South East Ward in 2007. He has been a member of the Planning Control and Overview & Scrutiny Committees, as well as having been Vice-Chairman of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee and Chairman of the Letchworth Area Committee.

John enjoys travelling, particularly to see friends and family in far flung places, and is a member of the Letchworth Garden City Town Twinning Association. He is also interested in preserving our heritage and environment and is a member of the National Trust and of the Royal Horticultural Society.

He is an active member of St Hugh of Lincoln Church and is involved in charitable work through the Knights of St Columba, whose activities include supporting a project in rural Uganda to improve health and children's education. When there is an evening free from family, church and Council affairs, he enjoys visiting the Broadway Cinema or tasting a good bottle of wine at the Wine Society in Stevenage.

His chosen charities for his Civic Year are the Herts MS Therapy Centre and Jackie's Drop-In Centre, both situated in Letchworth. The MS Therapy Centre provides therapies for people with Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological conditions across Hertfordshire and surrounding counties. Cllr Booth has known several people who have benefitted from the facilities provided, some of whom were among the founders, over 30 years ago. Jackie’s Drop-In Centre provides a safe environment for vulnerable adults with disabilities, five days a week, with facilities for entertainment, education and preparing meals. Cllr Booth chose the Drop-In Centre because it provides a vital service that has no equivalent in North Hertfordshire or surrounding districts. In the four years it has existed, the numbers attending have grown to over 250.

The Chairman of the Council is elected by the whole Council and serves for one year. He or she represents the District at a wide range of public events on a non party political basis. The Leader of the Council is nominated by the majority party and is the political head of the administration.

If you belong to an organisation that is community-based, are planning an event to celebrate a special occasion and wish the Chairman to join you, please contact the Chairman’s office to check his availability to attend. You can either ring 01462 474648 or email Susanne.gow@north-herts.gov.uk. Alternatively, you could download the attached Chairman’s Engagement Form and return it to her secretary by post or by email.

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