New Chairman of Hertfordshire County Council is fifth woman elected to post

Published: 24 May 2019

Hemel Hempstead Councillor, Colette Wyatt-Lowe, was elected as Chairman of Hertfordshire County Council at Tuesday’s Annual General Meeting of the County Council (May 21).

Cllr Wyatt-Lowe takes over from Cllr Richard Thake, who has been in the role for the past two years, making history as the fifth woman in the role and the 36th Chairman since 1889.

She is married to Cllr William Wyatt-Lowe, Vice-Chairman of the county council from 2017-19. The couple have three children and five grandchildren. A Hemel Hempstead resident for most of her adult life, Cllr Wyatt-Lowe has been the councillor for Hemel Hempstead North East since 2009.

She was Executive Member for Adult Care and Health for eight years until she stepped down in January 2019. Cllr Wyatt-Lowe is also a member of Dacorum Borough Council, representing Woodhall Farm since 2003.

Speaking about her appointment at the helm of the county council, Cllr Wyatt-Lowe said: "It’s a great honour to be elected as Chairman and I’m looking forward to representing Hertfordshire County Council in meetings and at a wide range of community events.

“I’d like to thank Richard Thake for his outstanding work in representing Hertfordshire and the county council over the past two years.”

Cllr Richard Thake said: "I’ve had enjoyed my time as Chairman immensely and it has been an honour to attend many events on behalf of the council. Throughout my time in the role I’ve met a great number of inspirational people who devote so much time and effort to making Hertfordshire a wonderful place to live and I’d like to thank them too.”

Cllr Dr Susie Gordon will take over the role of Vice-Chairman from William Wyatt-Lowe. A veterinary surgeon by profession, Susie is no longer directly involved in day-to-day practice so she can concentrate on her role as a county councillor. She has been the councillor for Hatfield East since 2017.

Cllr Dr Gordon is the wife of former Hertfordshire County Council Leader, Robert Gordon, who sadly died in 2017. Susie has sat on the Adult Care and the Public Health cabinet panels and the Adult Safeguarding and Domestic Abuse topic groups. She has also championed the use of dogs in therapeutic settings through her leadership of the Hertfordshire Takes the Lead initiative.

David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said: "I would like to extend my congratulations to Colette and Susie on their election as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the council. It is particularly pleasing to have women holding both these roles for the first time in the county’s 130-year history, according to our records.

“I know that they will fulfil their duties with enthusiasm and commitment and be excellent ambassadors for the county council. I'd also like to thank both Richard Thake and William Wyatt-Lowe for their dedicated service over the past two years."