Role of The Council Chairman
In line with other reductions that the Council has had to make to ensure that it lives within it means and continues to prioritise the provision of frontline services, the role of the Chairman of the Council has been reduced and will now be focused around the following key activities:
- Chairing Council meetings
- Citizenship Ceremonies
- Chairing Parish Liaison meetings
- Memorial Ceremonies (WW1, WW2 etc.)
- Royal or dignitary visits
- Any local or national significant events (planned or unplanned)
The Chairman has supported many local events and causes over the years and the Council recognises that it is very unfortunate that it has had to make this decision.
Organisations or individual may also want to contact the offices of the relevant Chairs or Mayors (where appropriate) of Town and Parish Councils to see whether they could assist with any future events.
If you have an event that meets one of the criteria outlined above, please still contact the Chairman office at Chairs_Office@BATHNES.GOV.UK and we will review any requests we receive.
During the year of office, the Chair is unable to use their position to influence or become involved in Council business and matters of a political nature.
Each year the current Chair chooses charities to raise awareness and funds through their year in office and undertake fundraising events in support of those charities. Any money generated is divided equally between them.
The charities this year are:
Dorothy House Hospice Care
Motor Neurone Disease Association
Chair's Awards and Future Events 2018/2019
The Chair's Community Awards.
The Awards recognise volunteers, community leaders, community organisations, carers and local businesses and highlights the positive impact they make on others and the wider community.
The Awards are organised annually in partnership with the Volunteer Centre Bath and beyond; social housing provider Curo; the Student Community Partnership, involving the University of Bath and Bath Spa University students unions; Virgin Care, Sirona care & health.
Chair of the Council - Councillor Karen Walker
The Chair of Bath & North East Somerset is Cllr Karen Walker, who represents the ward of Peasedown St John. Despite only being a relative newcomer to the Local Authority in 2015, Karen is well known for her community activism and achievements over the past decade. As a hard working campaigner and parish councillor in Peasedown since 2008, Karen is one of the creators of the village's Party in the Park festival. Thanks to her enthusiasm and dedication, the event is now one of the biggest in B&NES with over 2,500 people attending each summer. Success over the last decade has seen more £75,000 raised from the festival - all of which has been reinvested back into the community.
Cllr Walker's other achievements include:
- Launching a Community Award in memory of a villager who passed away
- Setting up a volunteer scheme for young people in Peasedown St John
- Raising £10,000 for a mother with cancer - all so her and her family could go on a dream holiday
- Organising fundraising events for MacMillan Cancer Research
- Securing £6,000 for community projects in Peasedown
- Setting up 'Peasedown In Bloom', which has helped local people feel inspired about their parks and open spaces.
Karen has also served as a parish councillor since 2011, which has included six years as Chair of the Planning Committee, and 3 years as Vice Chair of the council. When Karen, originally from Cornwall and who studied catering at college, isn't campaigning in her community she runs one of Bath's biggest corporate cleaning companies with her Husband David. She has four grown up sons, and makes no apologies for coming from a politically active, community-focused family.
Karen's mother Joan was a political activist in Cornwall in the 1960s, and her father Lloyd has a bench dedicated in his honour at Peasedown Methodist Church for voluntary work. Karen oldest son Nathan is a former B&NES Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children's Services, and now runs a national PR business consultancy. Her second son Craig owns one of Dubai's most successful sports agencies. Her third, Daniel, is a manager for one of the region's social housing landlords. And, her fourth son Chaz has followed in his mum's footsteps and now runs his own office and domestic cleaning company, employing staff from across the city of Bath.