The new Chairman of Watford Borough Council has been named as Councillor Kareen Hastrick.
She will spend her year in office, which begun on Wednesday 20 May, attending community events and raising money for the charities New Hope and Watford Food Bank. She said: “I am looking forward to finding out what Watford residents do for each other and themselves – be it volunteering, charity work, sports clubs, and generally being community-minded. It is such a diverse community.”
The Chairman’s two charities are both based in Watford, offering practical help to people who need it. Councillor Hastrick said: “They are supporting people, not spoon-feeding them. It is really important to have charities like that in Watford. New Hope has been going for 25 years.” She said she hopes to give her charities ‘the little bit of oomph’ they need to kick-start certain projects.
Councillor Hastrick has been a Watford Borough Councillor since 2006, and a Herts County Councillor for three years, but this is her first time as Chairman. She represents the Meriden ward on Watford Borough Council and the Meriden Tudor division of Herts County Council.
She replaces Councillor George Derbyshire as Chairman. Councillor Derbyshire raised £1,583.71 for each of his charities, the Watford and District branch of Arthritis Research UK and Herts Inclusive Theatre – which is based in Watford’s Holywell Community Centre.
He said: “What one soon realises when one takes on the role as the civic face of the Council – and begins to visit the many and varied community organisations with which Watford is blessed – is the enormous contribution which they make to the health and well-being of the town. It is the volunteers of these organisations, supported in varying degrees by paid staff, who are at the heart of their activities. I have never ceased to be impressed by the commitment and dedication of these volunteers and have done my best in my visits to let them know that the Council is fully conscious of their contribution to the life of the town and appreciative of what they do in sustaining our community.”