New chairman of Kent County Council states themes for year ahead
THE new face of Kent County Council has promised to champion young people and the efforts of volunteers during his time in office.
Councillors elected long-serving member Richard King as chairman for the year ahead.
The representative for Ashford Rural West will act as the council's figurehead, meeting residents and community groups throughout Kent, as well as dignitaries from other authorities.
He said: "There will be two themes to my chairmanship. One is trying to encourage more young people into proper employment or training after they leave school.
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"The other is to promote voluntary work in the county. We need our volunteers, they do a very important job and we need more of them."
Mr King was first elected as a councillor in 1997.
A retired media executive, he spent 22 years with the Independent Broadcasting Authority between 1981 and 1993. He has also had stints in business management, haulage and public transport, and travel.
A former director of both Kent and Maidstone chambers of commerce, Mr King also chaired the Maidstone Enterprise Agency and Maidstone Business Point.
His varied list of interests includes walking, travel, vintage cars and model railways. His two chosen charities for his time in charge are the Kent branch of Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, and the Kent Wildlife Trust.
His deputy for the year will be Councillor Eric Hotson, who represents Maidstone Rural South.
Outgoing chairman Councillor Paulina Stockell said highlights of her year included meeting the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
"It has been a busy but enormously enjoyable year," she said.
"I have met so many people and visited a huge number of organisations and charities that are doing massively good work across Kent, for Kent."