The role of the Chairman
The Chairman of Watford Borough Council is the first citizen of Watford. The Chairman wears a chain of office bearing the Coat of Arms of the borough and, on formal occasions, may wear traditional robes and be led by the Mace of the Borough.
Watford was first granted the status of a borough in 1922, due to the efforts of a number of leading citizens and the 6th Earl of Clarendon, who became Charter Mayor. Following local government reorganisation, Watford received a new Borough Charter in 1974 and the town's first modern shopping centre was named 'Charter Place' in celebration of this grant.
Since 2002 the political leader of the town has been elected directly by the people of Watford and is known as the (Elected) Mayor, with the civic leader elected by fellow councillors, known as Chairman.
The Chairman holds office for one municipal year, running between annual meetings of the council, which are usually held in May. At each annual meeting, the council also elects a Vice Chairman who, by convention, is Chairman-elect to serve during the subsequent year.
The Chairman and Vice Chairman may each appoint an consort to assistant them throughout their terms of office. Consorts do not have to be councillors.
The Chairman has a number of duties and functions, one of them is to lead meetings of the full Council. However, the main role is to act as the official representative of the council on civic and ceremonial occasions and to be a figurehead in the community which the Council serves.
How to address the Chairman
- The Chairman should be introduced as: 'The Chairman of Watford Borough Council, Councillor Jagtar Singh Dhindsa'.
- When the Chairman and Consort are to be introduced: 'Councillor Jagtar Singh Dhindsa and his Consort Mrs Rajinder Kaur Dhindsa'.
- Vice Chairman should be introduced as: 'The Vice Chairman of Watford Borough Council, Councillor Rabi Martins'.
- When the Vice Chairman and Consort are to be introduced: 'Councillor Rabi Martins and his Consort Ms. Natasha Martins'.