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 2016-2017 is Councillor Ray Hill, and his Consort is Mrs Patricia Hill. The Chairman of the Council is elected by the Council at its annual meeting.
As a resident of St Marychurch, Councillor Hill was voted in as a Councillor for the St Marychurch Ward in 2011 on the basis of his election pledge to concern himself with 'the two areas that concern local people, a good environment and a financially sound council'.
From 2011 onwards Councillor Hill served as Chairman of the Audit Committee, was a member of the Development Management Committee, and become Chairman of the Transport Working Party. He also became a Trustee of the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust and was appointed to the Environment Agency. Councillor Hill then took on the role of Executive Lead for Transport, Highways and Environment from 2013 until his nomination and election as Vice-Chairman of the Council in 2014.
At the Ceremonial Council Meeting held on 11 May 2016, at which he was inaugurated as Chairman of the Council, Councillor Hill said:
"For the last five years, I have been privileged to serve the residents of my local community in the St Marychurch Ward which incorporates Babbacombe, St Marychurch and parts of Plainmoor. I was honoured that they recognised my work by re-electing me as their resident councillor in May of last year. I will continue to serve them faithfully, whilst this year also holding the office of Chairman of Torbay Council for an unprecedented second term.
I feel honoured to be chosen to hold this office as first citizen of the Borough for a second time, and to continue to undertake the civic and ceremonial duties attached to this role.
As before, I intend to be a positive force for good in my role as Chairman of the Council and continue to encourage full and fair cross-party debate on the difficult economic and environmental issues that continue to face us in the year to come.
I say to my fellow councillors of all parties that we must forget national political agendas this year in our communal efforts to move forward to a brighter future for Torbay.
In spite of the millions of pounds worth of savings that we are forced to make again this year and in the years to come, I trust that the wealth of experience, qualifications and knowledge among my fellow councillors who were re-elected to office with me in May 2015 will be used to good effect.
In my official capacity as Chairman, I travel around much of Devon and visited many towns. Torbay has its problems, as have other towns. However the potential for Torquay is great, and it is in our hands to ensure that all residents have the services they expect from a Council.
In accordance with the motto of Torbay: Salus et Felicitas and the twin aims of health and happiness, my joint charities will be the Torbay Holiday Helpers Network and the Disabled Sailing Association.
I am delighted that Father Paul Jones of All Saints Babbacombe, has agreed to be my chaplin for this coming year. This year my Civic Church Service will take place on Sunday, 9 October 2016 at All Saints Babbacombe."
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