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Councillor Peter Heal

Chairman of the Council for 2017/18

The Chairman is elected at the Annual Meeting in May each year. The position is held for a period of one year and is apolitical.

The Vice Chairman is Councillor Bob Evans.

See also list of Past Chairmen.

What is the role of the Chairman?

Apart from the traditional legal duties such as chairing the meetings of full Council, the bulk of the Chairman’s duties consist of the "First Citizen" function of representing the Council, and indeed the whole of the District, and in so doing meeting employers, voluntary organisations and other bodies, mainly within the District but also some further afield.

The Chairman is responsible for:

  1. Upholding and promoting the purposes of the Council's Constitution, the interests of the wider Council and the public.
  2. Presiding over meetings of the full Council so that its business can be carried out efficiently and with regard to the rights of councillors and the interests of the community; to make rulings that are binding in the Council meeting.
  3. Ensuring that the business of the full Council is planned and managed effectively and transparently in the interests of the wider Council and the public, with the support of officers.
  4. To ensure that the plans and strategies that form the Council’s Policy Framework are considered by Council in a planned and co-ordinated manner.
  5. Ensuring that the Council meeting is a forum for the debate of matters of concern to the local community.
  6. Attending such civic and ceremonial functions as the Council requires.
  7. Be the face of the Council in times of sadness.
  8. Receiving members of the Royal Family and other important visitors to Mid Devon.

The Chairman has the opportunity to act as a link between the various groups and organisations visited and the Council and has a unique overview of the needs and concerns of the community he/she serves. The Chairman is also in a position to take out to the community the message and aims of the Council.

How can I invite the Chairman to my event?

If you'd like to invite the Chairman to an event or function, please read the guidelines below and download and complete the Chairman's Invitation Form. Please return your completed form by email to the Chairman’s PA, see Contact us.

If the Chairman is unavailable on the date of your function it might be possible to ask the Vice Chairman to attend in his place.

Guidelines

The Chairman and escort would find it helpful if you could supply some information about your function by completing and returning the Chairman's Invitation Form. The Chairman would also find it useful to have some background notes on your organisation, especially if you wish the Chairman to make a speech. The sort of information which is useful is:

  • when your organisation was started;
  • its aims and activities;
  • membership;
  • notable successes and achievements etc. and,
  • anything else which is special about the organisation or which you think would interest the Chairman.

As the First Citizen of the District, the Chairman takes precedence in the District (except in very exceptional circumstances, such as when royalty is present). Therefore, the place to be reserved for the Chairman should be in the Chair on the immediate right of the person presiding. The Chairman’s escort should be seated on the immediate right of the Chairman or the left of the person presiding.

The Chairman and escort must be met immediately upon arrival by some responsible person, escorted to their places, and appropriate introductions be made. Somebody in your organisation should take care to look after the Chairman and lady/escort throughout their stay.

If you wish the Chairman to propose or respond to a toast, or speak about any subject at your function, please don't leave it to the day of the event to ask. About a fortnight before the function, the organiser of the event should send:

  • the name of the toast or the subject on which the Chairman is required to speak;
  • together with appropriate details;
  • points you especially wish the Chairman to refer to, and;
  • the names of any people to whom reference should be made.

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