Cllr Seamus Quilty elected as chairman of Hertfordshire County Council
As chairman he will run the meetings of the full county council
The new chairman of Hertfordshire County Council is Cllr Seamus Quilty.
Cllr Quilty – who represents Bushey South – was unanimously elected to the position at the annual meeting of the county council on Tuesday, May 25.
For the next two years as chairman, Cllr Quilty will run the meetings of the full county council.
And he will also be the civic representative of the council at a range of events that can include citizenship ceremonies, awards presentations, openings, visits and fund-raising events.
In proposing Cllr Quilty for the position, leader of the Conservative group Cllr Richard Roberts – who would become leader of the county council later in the same meeting – said Cllr Quilty was “warm and welcoming”.
And he said he could not think of a better person to take over from retiring chairman Cllr Colette Wyatt-Lowe.
Meanwhile Cllr Morris Bright told the meeting Cllr Quilty was the ‘ideal’ person to be taking on the role.
And he suggested he would be champing at the bit to get out amongst the people to listen, communicate, offer help and to celebrate the very best of what the county has to offer.
Cllr Roberts acknowledged that Cllr Wyatt-Lowe’s time as chairman had been ‘terribly disrupted’.
Pointing to the online county council meetings, he said it had been ‘a wild ride at times’.
But he said that Cllr Wyatt-Lowe had held them all together, using technology that hadn’t really been pulled together until the pandemic – and he said that they were hugely in her debt.
Meanwhile Cllr Wyatt-Lowe said that there had been ‘no Jackie Weaver moments’ in Hertfordshire – referring to a meeting of Handforth Parish Council that went viral.
But she did note that after the Handforth experience the number of people watching Hertfordshire’s meetings increased from around 10 to 200.
She pointed to highlights from her time as chairman that included the St Albans Pilgrimage, a lunch for paralympic athletes and an event to commemorate staff that had been at the county council for 40 or 50 years.
And she reflected on a solemn commemorative event at County Hall held following the death of Prince Philip.
She also urged new councillors to ‘rise above the political’ representing all residents whatever their political affiliations.
And she said: “You have the opportunity to use your words to create real change and real benefit for the people of Hertfordshire.”
Congratulating Cllr Quilty, she said: “Seamus will bring his own particular flavour to how this assembly functions over the next two years.
“And that is one of the joys of this continual renewal of tenure because you do get a new flavour and it does bring a fresh energy to what we have to say and do.”
Meanwhile Conservative Cllr Annie Brewster (Harpenden Rural) was elected as vice-chairman of the county council.
Proposing Cllr Brewster, Cllr Roberts said she would bring a dignity and support to the chairman and together he said he thought they would be a “dynamic duo”.