Former leader gains chairman role after 20 years in the making at Daventry District Council

A former leader was sworn in as the new Chairman of Daventry District Council – 20 years after he was originally due to take up the top civic role.

By James Averill
Monday, 27th July 2020, 3:58 pm
Updated Monday, 27th July 2020, 4:02 pm
Former leader Cllr Chris Millar will oversee meetings as the final chairman for Daventry District Council before it is abolished next April.
Former leader Cllr Chris Millar will oversee meetings as the final chairman for Daventry District Council before it is abolished next April.

At Thursday evening’s online meeting of the annual council meeting (July 23), Councillor Chris Millar received the chains of office from the retiring Chairman, Councillor David Smith.

Councillor Millar was originally due to become the chairman in May 2000, but stepped down from the preceding vice-chairman role in 1999 after becoming leader of the council – a post he then held for two decades until stepping down in October last year.

Councillor Millar becomes the 48th chairman of Daventry District Council and the final member to take the reins before the authority is replaced by the new West Northamptonshire Council in April next year.

The chairman role is non-political and involves representing the council at events and functions, as well as chairing council meetings to ensure they are properly run in accordance with the constitution.

Councillor Millar, who was first elected to the council in 1998 and represents the Long Buckby ward, said: “You could say that it has taken me 20 years to get from vice-chairman to the role of chairman!

“I’m hugely honoured to have been chosen for this wonderful civic role and represent the council in its final year before local government reorganisation. There are so many wonderful things our district has to offer and I’ll be doing as much as I can to raise their profile as widely as possible.”

Originally from Bristol and having previously lived in Surrey, Manchester and London, father-of-three Councillor Millar moved to the Daventry area in 1993.

He said: “Becoming a councillor was not something I had really thought about, but when I was asked to stand as a candidate and was elected in 1998, it was a great feeling being able to serve my local community and help people. I had the privilege of leading the council for 20 years, pursuing a progressive agenda for our district, and really enjoyed my varied political journey. Taking on this new and very different role at the council is the icing on the cake.”

During his time as chairman, Councillor plans to raise money for Daventry-based charity Time2Talk and Marie Curie.

Councillor Mike Warren was appointed vice-chairman for the year at Thursday's meeting.