Cumbria County Council has elected a new Chairman and Vice Chairman for 2012/13 at its Annual General Meeting in Kendal.
The new Chairman, Cllr Norman Clarkson, has taken over the role from Cllr John Woolley, while Cllr Alan Barry (Labour member for St Michaels, Workington) was elected as new Vice Chairman.
Cllr Clarkson, a Conservative member who represents the Gosforth and Ennerdale division, is the 32nd Chairman of Cumbria County Council since it was formed in 1974. Born in South Yorkshire, he first moved to Whitehaven in 1956 before joining the Household Cavalry where he served for nine years. He returned to Whitehaven in 1967 joining the Albright and Wilson Chemical Co, where he retired in 1994 as a Quality Audit and Systems Officer. In 1971 he joined and served for 10 years as a volunteer crew member on the St Bees inshore lifeboat.
In 1991 Cllr Clarkson was elected to represent St Bees on Copeland Borough Council, retiring from this position in 2011 when he was made an Honorary Alderman of Copeland. Cllr Clarkson served as Mayor of Copeland in 2005/2006. He was elected to serve as county councillor for Gosforth and Ennerdale in 2005 and is also currently a county council representative on the Lake District National Park Authority and has recently been elected as Chairman on the Board of the Rosehill Theatre Trust in Whitehaven.
The new Chairman also takes an active role on the Board of the Whitehaven Community Trust and is a member of the West Cumbria Site Stakeholder group for the Sellafield Nuclear Industry and serving Chairman of the Decommissioning Sub-committee.
He said of his election: "Itís a privilege and an honour to become Chairman of Cumbria County Council. Iíll now be able to serve all the people of Cumbria as well as the people in my division and Iím looking forward to the next year and promoting the council.
"In taking this role Iíd like to pay tribute to all the sterling work put in by John Woolley during his year as Chairman."
As there will be county council elections in May 2013, the new Chair and Vice Chair will have a slightly extended tenure. Next year's Annual General Meeting will be held on May 16 2013.
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