THE new chairman of South Derbyshire District Council took up his chains of office this week.
‘Man of the people’ Councillor Pat Murray was sworn into the role at the annual civic meeting on Thursday, when he accepted the symbolic chain from Councillor Ann Hood.
It is the second time the 66-year-old has held the post, and he says he plans to do the job a little differently this time.
“Things have changed in South Derbyshire. We have to keep things more local. We won’t be going to everything outside the district, but we will be going to a lot more things inside the district.
“This chain doesn’t belong to me, and it doesn’t belong to the council – it belongs to the people of South Derbyshire, and if they want to see it and me at any event I am prepared to go and help them as much as I can. I’m a man of the people,” he added.
Councillor Murray, who represents Woodville, last served as chairman in 2009. He said it would be ‘an honour’ to serve the district once again.
During his year in office, he will raise money for the Friends of Oakland Village and the 1211 ATC Squadron in Swadlincote.
In nominating the famously gregarious councillor to the post, council leader Councillor Bob Wheeler said: “Every chair brings his or her own personal qualities to the position, and Pat brings energy and enthusiasm above all things. He is a worthy ambassador for the district.”
Councillor Murray will be assisted in his role by his wife Sandra.
Councillor Neil Atkin, who represents Aston-on-Trent, is vice-chairman.