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Your County, Your Councillors

The Chairman of Hampshire County Council

Every year during May, the full County Council elects a new Chairman and Vice Chairman at its annual meeting. The Chairman must be a County Councillor, but not a member of the Cabinet. The position of Chairman is held for a period of one year only.

The current Chairman of Hampshire County Council is Councillor Keith Chapman MBE and he was elected as Chairman at the Annual County Council Meeting held on 13 May 2016.

The current Vice-Chairman is Councillor Graham Burgess

The Role of the Chairman

The Chairman of Hampshire County Council is the civic and ceremonial head of the Authority and represents the County Council at a variety of events and functions in Hampshire organised by businesses, churches, local district and borough authorities and many other organisations throughout the County. The Chairman also attends events which are organised by County Council Departments, such as opening of community homes, schools, youth clubs and museum exhibitions, etc. The Chairman is ambassadorial, "flying the flag" for Hampshire both within the County and, at times, in neighbouring authorities. The Chairman is the "first citizen" of the County of Hampshire.

The Chairman’s theme for this year is ‘youth and music’.

Ceremonial duties include:

  • Being the politically impartial, neutral and non-executive civic and ceremonial head of the County Council
  • Promoting the interests and the reputation of the County Council and Hampshire and acting as an ambassador for both.
  • Carrying out civic, community and ceremonial activities and fostering community identity and pride.

Additional responsibilities include:

  • Presiding over meetings of Full Council to ensure that its' business is carried out fairly and efficiently and to ensure that the meeting is conducted in accordance with Standing Orders of the Council, set out in the Rules of Procedure in Part 3 of the Constitution.
  • Ensuring that the Full Council meeting debates matters that concern the local community.
  • To uphold the Constitution.
  • To promote public involvement in the Council's activities.
  • To promote the Council's corporate strategy.


Protocol and Etiquette

Specifically, the Chairman will take precedence (a) during Royal Visits to the County, (b) at events organised by Hampshire County Council or (c) when on Hampshire County Council owned property. However, at events organised within one of the Hampshire Districts or Boroughs, and the event does not conform with (a), (b) or (c), the Mayor or Chairman of that District or Borough will take precedence.

It would be appreciated if the Chairman is met on arrival and escorted throughout the function.

The Chairman should be seated on the immediate right of the person presiding.

In conversation, the Chairman should be addressed as "Chairman".

The preamble for speeches (unless a member of the Royal Family or the Lord-Lieutenant or local Hampshire District/Borough Mayor/Chairman is present) is, "Chairman, Mr Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen".


How to invite the Chairman of the County Council to an event or function

If you wish to invite the Chairman to attend an event, in the first instance, please send an invitation to:-

The Chairman's Office
The Castle
Hampshire SO23 8UJ

Please do not contact the Chairman direct or send correspondence to his/her home address.  All communication should come through the Chairman's Personal Assistant at The Castle.

The Chairman would also find it very useful if you could provide some background information about your organisation. This is especially important if you wish the Chairman to make a speech. Please tell us:

  • When your organisation started.
  • Your organisation's aims and activities.
  • Membership.
  • Achievements.
  • What do you consider to be special about your organisation?

If you have any queries, please contact the Chairman's Personal Assistant, Natalie Jones.

Telephone: 01962 846441


Councillor Keith Chapman MBE

Chairman of Hampshire County Council

Keith Chapman was appointed an MBE for services to arts and culture in the 2015 New Year Honours list, following a long record of active interest and involvement in arts, museums, libraries and culture in Hampshire.

He has lived in Hampshire for 46 years, and brings nearly four decades of local government experience to the role of Chairman. His career in public service began in 1979, and he has been a parish councillor in Pamber and Silchester for 36 years. Having served on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for over three decades, Keith was Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane in 1992/1993 and again in 2010/11. He has been a serving member of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority since 2001, and was Chairman of the Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils.

Councillor Chapman has served on Hampshire County Council since 2001 and held various roles as a committee chairman as well as on the County Council’s Cabinet – as Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside. In this role, he oversaw the establishment of a Hampshire Cultural Trust, delivering an ambitious arts, museums and heritage offer in southern England. Proposals for a multi-million investment to transform the County Council’s country parks to ensure that they are well equipped for the future were also approved by Councillor Chapman.

He chaired a working group established in partnership with the National Museum of the Royal Navy to deliver public access to the First World War ship, M33, now housed at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, ahead of its opening to the public in time for her centenary in August 2015.

He has a particular personal interest in music, and as a former Basingstoke and Deane Borough Councillor, he also led the administration which conceived of and delivered to the Borough, the Anvil Concert Hall, which plays a significant role in the economy of Hampshire. Additionally, he has served on the Board of Proteus Theatre and the Council of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.In addition, he is a keen supporter of the Hampshire County Music Service and takes a strong interest in its progress.

Born in Kingston-on-Thames, Keith worked for British Telecommunications for 30 years. He is married to Jenny and they have three grown up children.

He is now Chairman of Hampshire County Council.


Chairman of Hampshire County Council since 1974

  • 1973


    Lord Porchester DL (later became The Rt Hon the Earl of Carnavon KCVO KBE DL)

  • 1977


    L S L White MBE TD DL (later Sir Lynton White)

  • 1985


    C M Jones DL

  • 1987


    J Maynard

  • 1988


    Mrs S M Bartlet DL

  • 1989


    C M Jones DL

  • 1991


    R T Millard

  • 1992


    D Keep

  • 1993


    J Maynard

  • 1994


    K W E Lane

  • 1995


    G J Smith

  • 1996


    N A Best CBE DL

  • 1997


    Captain M Boyle DL

  • 1999


    F A J Emery-Wallis

  • 2001


    A R Rice TD

  • 2002


    P Hutcheson

  • 2003


    Mrs M Snaith

  • 2004


    J V Bryant

  • 2005


    J K West

  • 2006


    Mrs P West

  • 2007


    Mrs P Devereux

  • 2008


    M J Woodhall

  • 2009


    T Knight

  • 2010


    Mrs C Leversha

  • 2011


    Mrs A McNair Scott

  • 2012


    A Joy

  • 2013


    K Thornber CBE

  • 2014


    C Davidovitz BEM

  • 2015


    J Glen


Contact infomation

Chairman's Office
The Castle
Hampshire SO23 8UJ

Telephone: 01962 846441



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