Meet Daventry District Council’s new chairman

New chairman Councillor David James and vice-chairman Councillor Cecile Irving-Swift.
New chairman Councillor David James and vice-chairman Councillor Cecile Irving-Swift.

Councillor David James is the new Chairman of Daventry District Council (DDC) after being sworn in at the annual council meeting.

Cllr James has served the past year as vice-chairman and received the chains of office at the meeting from the outgoing chairman, Cllr Alan Chantler.

Cllr Cecile Irving-Swift, a ward member for Welford, was named as vice-chairman for 2017/18.

The new chairman is a chartered surveyor who enjoyed a long career in the land profession. He was first elected to DDC in 2012, and has held his current seat on Abbey North since 2015.

A previous holder of both the strategic planning and the economic, regeneration and employment portfolios on the council, Cllr James said he hopes his latest role will prove a rewarding one.

The chairman is a non-political, civic role which involves representing the council at various events and functions throughout the year, as well as chairing council meetings.

“I’m most looking forward to getting out and about in the county and meeting old friends and new,” said Cllr James.

“I’ve been very fortunate that on the odd occasions I deputised for the previous chairman I met people, some of whom I’ve not seen for nearly 40 years.

“It’s been very rewarding to share experiences with those people. I’m also looking forward to taking a bit of a back seat in terms of the day-to-day work of a portfolio holder and taking the chair for a change.”

Born in Northampton, Cllr James spent most of his life in the county and currently lives in Everdon with his wife of 44 years, Janet. The couple have three children and four grand-children.

He will support Macmillan Cancer Support during his year as chairman.

“Something like 2.5million people in the UK are living with cancer and that figure is set to rise in future years,” said Cllr James.

“We are an ageing population and sooner or later most of us will have a brush with cancer – indeed I have myself – but Macmillan can offer a range of support services.

“It can be lonely for cancer sufferers but they’re not alone and Macmillan can offer support to them, whether one-to-one or through group sessions. They can also translate some of the technical jargon that the medical profession uses, which is also really helpful.

“I see being chairman as a great opportunity to not only raise the profile of the charity locally, but also to raise some funds too.”

To invite the chairman to a community event contact the chairman’s secretary on 01327 871100 or email

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