As the civic and ceremonial head of the authority, the role of the Chairman is to uphold the democratic values of the council as a whole and represent the council at civic and ceremonial functions.
Current Chairman is Tom Gates
Mr Thomas Gates (Tom) was elected to the County Council in May 1993 as the Conservative Member for Faversham.
During this time he has served on the Kent Police Authority, the Kent Fire and Rescue Authority and many other committees.
He was a member of Faversham Town Council from 1992 until 2015. Despite stepping down last year he is still heavily involved with the town, serving as a trustee of the Faversham Sea Cadets, the Bensted’s Charity, and the Faversham Municipal Charities.
He is President of the Faversham branch of the Royal British Legion and of the Faversham Charity Cup. Tom was Town Mayor from 2001 to 2003 and remains a member of the Cinque Ports Mayors’ Association.
Current Vice Chairman is David Brazier
Mr David Brazier was elected to Kent County Council in 1997 and has represented his division of Sevenoaks Rural North East for twelve years.
He has been Deputy to several Cabinet Members in different roles and was for two years Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport. He is currently Vice-Chairman of the Council.
He is heavily involved in his local community and currently a member of the governing body of New Ash Green Primary School and a trustee of Cyclopark at Gravesend.
David Brazier is married and has a family that is still growing. In such spare time as he has, he is a horologist and a vocal supporter of cycling for sport and health, and has had a professional career as a marine surveyor based in the City of London.
The Chairman is the civic and ceremonial head of Kent County Council, and represents the council at many events in Kent and the South East. The role of the Chairman is to uphold the democratic values of the Council as a whole and represent the Council at civic and ceremonial functions.
The Chairman and Vice-Chairman are elected annually by the county council.
- chair the full council meetings.
- receive petitions at county council meetings.
- host a programme of civic and ceremonial events throughout the course of the year.
- attend citizenship ceremonies to give the Welcome to Kent Community address to new citizens of Kent.
- become Chairman of Kent Volunteers Advisory Group, and as such an ambassador for volunteering.
- become a trustee of the Kent Foundation to provide a link between the foundation and Kent County Council and look for opportunities where the Kent Foundation might help the future of disadvantaged young people in Kent.
- become Honorary President of the Kent Active Retirement Fellowship – an organisation for retired public sector staff to meet with former colleagues and colleagues.
To invite the Chairman to an event, contact us with:
- a brief outline of the event
- note of any points that the Chairman should include in the opening address or thanking response
- dress for the occasion
- time of arrival and departure
- name of person who will meet the Chairman
- car parking arrangements.
Send your invitation to the Civic Office:
- call 03000 41 65 43 or 03000 41 62 38
- email email@example.com
- write to Civic Office, Members Desk, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1XQ.
Official order of precedence for civil dignitaries
Except for royal visits, it is not necessary for all the civic dignitaries to be invited to a function, but where any are invited this order of precedence must be followed:
- Lord Lieutenant of Kent
- High Sheriff of Kent
- Chairman of Kent County Council
- Mayor or Chairman of the borough or district in which the event takes place
- Borough or district Chief Executive
- Town Mayor of the town in which the event takes place
- Member of Parliament for the constituency in which the event takes place
- Member of the European Parliament for the constituency in which the event takes place
- Chief Constable of Kent.
If an event is hosted by a borough council, or relating to a particular borough, the mayor of that borough and the borough chief executive take precedence over the Chairman of Kent County Council.
Visiting members of the royal family take precedence over all civic dignitaries, but other visiting dignitaries, including Mayors of other boroughs, normally take precedence after those listed above.
Eight districts in Kent have borough or city status, and have Mayors as their civic heads, except Canterbury, which has a Lord Mayor. The remaining four districts (Dover, Sevenoaks, Shepway and Thanet) have Chairmen rather than Mayors as their civic heads.
Medway is a unitary authority that has a Mayor as its civic head.
The correct way to refer to the Chairman formally in writing is "The Chairman of Kent County Council, Mr/Mrs [NAME]"
The correct way to refer to the Chairman verbally is "The Chairman of Kent County Council, Mr/Mrs [NAME]"
After formal introductions, speakers are asked to refer to the Chairman as "The Chairman".
Address the Chairman in a preamble to a speech as "Mr/Madam Chairman".
Except where the Leader of the Council invites a local Member of Parliament or other eminent civic dignitary to perform a ceremonial function (including the opening of new highways, schools or other county council buildings or facilities) the Chairman (or Vice-Chairman) would attend and perform the ceremonial event and, if called upon, give a brief speech of thanks.
The Cabinet Portfolio Holder, Deputy Cabinet Member, Corporate Director, Committee Chairman or nominated senior officer, whilst acknowledging the precedence of the Chairman, should make a professional speech, describing the project.
The accepted etiquette at ceremonial events or functions that the Chairman has been invited to is for the senior member or officer attending and responsible for the event to welcome the Chairman on arrival and extend the arrival courtesies and introductions as appropriate to the dignity of the office.
- Mike Harrison 2015 - 2016
- Peter Homewood 2014 - 2015
- Eric Hotson 2013-2014
- Richard King 2012-2013
- Paulina Stockell 2011-2012
- Bill Hayton 2010-2011
- John Davies 2009-2010
- Peter Lake 2008-2009
- Leyland Ridings 2007 – 2008
- Fred Wood-Brignall 2006 - 2007
- John London 2005-2006
- Kent Tucker MBE 2004-2005
- Frank Gibson OBE 2003-2004
- Chris Capon MBE 2002-2003