[A] new Chairman and Vice Chairman of Cumbria County Council have been appointed at this year’s Annual General Meeting, held yesterday.
Cllr Elizabeth Mallinson will be the first female chairman for over 20 years and only the third female Chairman since the County Council was formed in 1974. Her appointment coincides with the centenary year of women getting the right to vote. Councillor Elizabeth Mallinson is Conservative member for Stanwix Urban and has been since 1997.
Since being elected as a councillor, Elizabeth has carried out a number of key roles including being the first chairman of scrutiny management, she also oversaw the formation of Cumbria’s first health and wellbeing scrutiny panel. She has previously been Cabinet Member for Organisational Development and has throughout her years as a councillor been a committed advocate and champion for children in care and is the current ‘Care Leavers’ Champion for the Council.
Elizabeth is committed to improving the quality of life within our communities and in this capacity has also supported the following:
- Cumbria Probation Board
- North Cumbria Acute Hospital Trust
- Represents Cumbria on the Local Government Association on Health and Wellbeing
- Friends of Rickerby Park and
- Stanwix in Bloom (who are now in the national finals)
She was handed the chain of office by outgoing Chairman John Bell, Labour member for Morton, at the Full Council meeting in Kendal today.
Councillor Elizabeth Mallinson, Chairman of Cumbria County Council, speaking on her appointment, said: “I am both proud and delighted to hold the honorary role of Chairman and I am looking forward to a busy and exciting year. I feel this role is exceptionally important in raising the profile of the council and all the good work it does and one of my aspirations is to meet as many of our staff as possible over the coming months.
“I am particularly delighted to be elected in a year that is proactively celebrating women’s rights and I follow in the footsteps of two other amazing female chairs from some time ago, Nonie Wrightson in 1991-92 and Muriel Dinning in 1997-98. Given the fact that is 20 years since we last had a female Chairman I intend to embrace the role and help raise the profile of women across the County.
“As regards my charities I would like to lend my support to Jigsaw Children’s Hospice and also to the Carlisle and Stanwix Branch of the Royal British Legion. Finally this year I also intend to champion our Children in Care, as well as children with special education needs, to ensure that they all reach their full potential.
“I am very moved that I have been entrusted with this honour and I am really looking forward to representing Cumbria and its communities in the year ahead.”
The new vice chair is Councillor Christine Bowditch, Labour member for Belle Vue Ward, Carlisle. Christine has been a county councillor since 2014. Christine’s interests include the support of effective social care to those in need. She is an active committee member on a number of trusts and organisations including the Henry Lonsdale Trust, acting as a Governor on Belle Vue School, is a SEND governor, sits on the Morton Community Centre Committee and she is a champion for people with autism living in the Carlisle and District Area. Other interests include support to the Carlisle food bank(s) and the Waverley Viaduct Trust.