“Having been used to pushing Ashtead's case via committee meetings for many years, I was reluctant to step back when asked to become Chairman – a role, that in any case, I felt was above my station.
“However, many councillors contacted me to try to get me to agree to be nominated, and I was honoured to be elected by the whole council as their Chairman in late May.
“The role of Chairman of Mole Valley District Council is the same role as a Mayor in a Borough Council. In taking up the role I remain a councillor and so can continue to pursue my stated my aims of being able to help promote care of the environment, support those who improve the life chances of the disadvantaged, and those who promote community cohesion.
“As well as visiting projects, to encourage and recognise such work, I have launched a new initiative which I call it the Chairman's Certificate. The initiative aims to recognise the work that people do across the whole of the Mole Valley area and perhaps inspire others to do something as well. I am therefore inviting ward councillors in turn to nominate a local group in each category, in their wards, so that we can in celebrate their achievements in supporting the community.
“As Covid restrictions have eased, I have been to a variety of events including the celebration of the 75th birthday of the charity which runs Alms Houses around the country, including those in Ashtead. I have also visited a number of properties as part of the Heritage Open Days, opened a shop in Leatherhead and dedicated a large bench at Denbies.
“As well as chairing meetings of the full council, I have also been on a sponsored walk for one of my nominated charities, Leatherhead-based Happy Child International, and am looking forward to officially open a facility for the Ashtead based charity ALDAG, which is my other nominated charity for the year.
“I have already met many wonderful people, and it is a great honour to be the Chairman of the Council. My wife, Alison, is my Consort and I would like to thank her for doing this, as well as my fellow councillors and of course Village Ward residents for their support. I only hope that I am performing the duties well.
“If you are involved in a local group in Ashtead and would like me to come to meet you, do please ask.”
Cllr. Chris Hunt