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 Ken Thornber, and he was elected as Chairman at the Annual County Council Meeting held on 23 May 2013.
The current Vice-Chairman is Councillor Colin Davidovitz.
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 supports the Heroes Welcome scheme.
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".
If you wish to invite the Chairman to attend an event, in the first instance, please send an invitation to:-
The Chairman's Office
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:
If you have any queries, please contact the Chairman's Personal Assistant, Natalie Jones.
Telephone: 01962 846441
Fax: 01962 847006
Ken Thornber left school at the age of 15 and served a five year apprenticeship upon completion of which he served two years national service in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Returning to civilian life he held two posts in commerce and after private study he became an undergraduate at Strathclyde University School of Business Studies. He graduated with a degree in Business Studies.
Ken joined the Philips Electronic Group within their human resources function, later becoming Group Industrial Relations Manager in the UK. This was followed by him joining the Price Waterhouse Consultancy and broadening his experience into general management operating in some blue chip companies and within national government. He joined the Unilever organisation and became an international trouble shooter operating in every continent but particularly the USA and the Far East. In fact his first six months of membership of Hampshire County Council in May 1977 were spent in the South Pacific on Unilever’s oil palm and coconut plantations.
Ken pursued three strands of life from 1977. He continued his career as a management consultant, he played an active role within the Conservative party, and he was elected to Hampshire County Council.
Within the Conservative Party he rose to become Regional Chairman having responsibility for 48 parliamentary constituencies during Margaret Thatcher and John Major’s prime minister years. He chaired a National Committee which advised Margaret Thatcher on trade union reform. He served on the National Executive of the Conservative Party for many years. It was for these activities that he was awarded the CBE in 1993.
Within the County Council of Hampshire he served on the Police Authority for 23 years becoming its Vice Chairman. He also served on every line committee over these years with the exception of Environment, and became Deputy Leader of the Council in 1997, and then Leader of the Council in 1999 until 2013. In this time he was Chairman of the County Council Network of England and Wales, he has served on the Executive Board of the Local Government Association for years, and served on its Improvement Board, Wellbeing Board and latterly its Workforce Board. He even competed for National Chairmanship of the LGA with disastrous results!
Ken is a former European Union candidate and in 2010 was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts, and he is a Fellow of the University of Winchester.
He is now Chairman of the County Council of Hampshire.
Lord Porchester DL (later became The Rt Hon the Earl of Carnavon KCVO KBE DL)
L S L White MBE TD DL (later Sir Lynton White)
C M Jones DL
Mrs S M Bartlet DL
C M Jones DL
R T Millard DL
D Keep DL
K W E Lane
G J Smith
N A Best CBE DL
Captain M Boyle DL
F A J Emery-Wallis
A R Rice TD
Mrs M Snaith
J V Bryant
J K West
Mrs P West
Mrs P Devereux
M J Woodhall
Mrs C Leversha
Mrs A McNair Scott
Hampshire SO23 8UJ
Telephone: 01962 846441
Fax: 01962 890467