New Daventry District Council chairman receives the chains of office

Councillor Cecile Irving-Swift
Councillor Cecile Irving-Swift

The new chairman of Daventry District Council (DDC) was sworn in at the annual council meeting last week.

Councillor Cecile Irving-Swift has served the past year as vice-chairman and received the chains of office at the meeting from the outgoing chairman, Councillor David James.

Currently holding the Welford ward seat, Councillor Irving-Swift was first elected in 2012.

“In my time at the council I have learned to know this beautiful area and its district town quite well,” said Councillor Irving-Swift, who is a member of DDC's planning committee and is also the deputy leader of Northamptonshire County Council.

“I’m looking forward to getting out and meeting a lot of people in this ambassadorial role.

"I would like to speak to people to find out what they like about living in Daventry District, so I am more than willing to visit anyone who would like me to.”

Councillor Irving-Swift was born and educated in France. She lives in the village of Arthingworth with her husband of 35 years, Charles. The couple has two grown-up children.

A keen gardener, she will support both The National Garden Scheme (NGS) and The Green Health Project in Daventry during her year in office.

Supported by the mental health charity Rethink, the Green Health Project is based at the community allotments off the old Welton Road in Daventry and helps people with mental health issues through gardening.

The NGS helps thousands of people up and down the country open their gardens to the public each year, raising millions of pounds for good causes including the Queen’s Nursing Institute, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Carers Trust, Hospice UK, Perennial, Parkinson’s UK and others.

“We have opened out garden to the public as part of the NGS scheme for the last 15 years,” said Councillor Irving-Swift.

“It’s a wonderful charity. Gardening can be quite a selfish pastime but this is a great way to share your work with others, enjoy a cup of tea and some cake, and raise money for some fantastic causes.

“I also want to support the Green Health Project after I visited them last year during my time as the Vice-Chairman and was really impressed by their work and the dedication of their volunteers.”

Councillor David Smith was named as vice-chairman for 2018/19.