The leadership and ceremonial roles in Torbay Council are distinct from each other.
The leadership - in the form of a directly-elected Mayor - deals with the business running of the council, and works with private enterprise, industry and the voluntary sector to improve the standards of living for the people of the Bay in delivering local services.
The Chair is responsible for chairing meetings of the council. The Chair also undertakes civic and ceremonial duties in the Borough and attends community engagements and represents Torbay at civic events outside the area on behalf of the Mayor. The Chair is always expected to act impartially and in a non-political way.
If you wish to invite the Chairman to an event you are organising, please complete the event information form and return no later than 14 days before the event to the ‘PA to the Chairman’, Governance Support, Town Hall, Torquay, TQ1 3DR.
Alternatively, you can return the form via email to the following address: Chairman@torbay.gov.uk
The Chairman for 2017-2018 is Councillor Anne Brooks and her escort is Mr William Taylor. The Chairman of the Council is elected by the Council at its annual meeting.
In 2015, the Chairman was elected as a Councillor for the St Marychurch Ward and was also fortunate enough to be selected by fellow Councillors as Vice-Chairman of the Council, which provided the opportunity to meet many interesting people and worthwhile community groups; as well as Councillor colleagues in neighbouring authorities. She has very much enjoyed these experiences and it has impressed upon how important the civic role is in representing the Council.
Councillor Brooks has served as a member of the Licencing Committee, Standards Committee, Transport Working Party, Waste Stream Working Party, as a substitute member of the Development Management Committee, and represents Torbay on the South Hams Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership.
The Chairman loves the arts, theatre and music she is a Vice President of TOADS and often visits the Princess Theatre, Little Theatre productions in Torquay or those at the Palace Avenue Theatre, Paignton and tries to make it to the Brixham Theatre and BOADS when she can. She is also Secretary of the Tessier Gardens Friends' Group, (a little garden jewel in the heart of St Marychurch). She is a Member of the Torbay Rail Users' Group, Torquay Museum Society, Babbacombe Local History Society and a Friend of Torre Abbey.
The Chairman will be supported by the new Vice-Chairman for 2017-2018, Councillor Ian Doggett.
At the Ceremonial Council Meeting held on 9 May 2017, at which she was inaugurated as Chairman of the Council, Councillor Brooks said:
“I should like to thank my fellow Councillors for bestowing on me the honour of Chairman of Torbay Council, especially Cllrs Barnby and Stockman for their kind words in proposing and seconding me. I shall endeavour to justify the faith that fellow Councillors have placed in me.
Having lived in Torbay for most of my life, I've always known what a naturally beautiful and special place it is and appreciated my good fortune in being able to live, work and play here.
Since becoming elected, I have been privileged to represent the residents of Babbacombe, Plainmoor, Maidencombe and St Marychurch, having been active in local politics before that; I'm very aware that Councillors, irrespective of political party or ideology, have the best interests of Torbay at heart. As Chairman, I intend to oversee respectful and healthy debate, during our meetings.
As Vice Chairman I have already been able to join in the celebration of achievements, and share in the community spirit of the people of Torbay. We all know that local charities, community groups, partner bodies and businesses do so much to contribute to Torbay's wellbeing.
One of the many groups of unsung heroes are the people who selflessly care for loved ones. Carers Aid Torbay (CAT) do sterling work in caring for the carers, of all ages. As this is something which affects many of us at different points in our lives, they are one of the organisations I have chosen to support.
My second charity will focus on caring for our rich heritage. This is Torbay Museums' Trust, who do a fine job of curating our past for present and future generations, and making it accessible to residents and visitors alike. Torbay's history goes back to pre-history; Kent's Cavern has the remains of one of the earliest humans in Europe. It has continued to be a place of national and international significance for its geology, biodiversity and people. As well as being a UNESCO Geopark, we have an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, European protected habitat sites on land and sea, with a multitude of blue plaques to recognise those many great writers, notable figures, artists and scientists who have resided here.
I also wish to recognise our civic heritage and celebrate a significant anniversary during my Year of office. April 2018 commemorates 50 years since Brixham, Churston Ferrers, Paignton and Torquay came together as a County Borough. This is signified on the badge of office with key historic emblems depicting Prince William of Orange arriving at Brixham Harbour, Churston Court Manor, Coverdale Tower and Torre Abbey.
I'm grateful that Reverend Fr. Peter Marsh of St. Luke's Church, Torquay has kindly agreed to be my Chaplin for this year. There will be a Civic Church Service held in the Autumn”.
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