Leader’s praise for volunteers

Cllr Helen Swiers, North Yorkshire County Councils new chairwoman (right) with the outgoing chairwoman Cllr Val Arnold.
Cllr Helen Swiers, North Yorkshire County Councils new chairwoman (right) with the outgoing chairwoman Cllr Val Arnold.
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North Yorkshire County Council’s new chairwoman is hoping to meet lots of people from all walks of life during her year in office.

Cllr Helen Swiers will also continue the work of recent chairmen and women in supporting and championing North Yorkshire’s many volunteers who give their time and skills to help others.

Cllr Swiers, who has been a county councillor since 2001, previously represented the Esk Valley division and now represents the Filey division following the county council elections earlier this month.

Prior to becoming a county councillor, Cllr Swiers was the first woman to be country chair of the National Farmers’ Union.

For 10 years she was a governor of Askham Bryan College and is now on the board of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where she is very supportive of its outreach programme.

Cllr Swiers said: “It is interesting to meet new people from all walks of life.

“That is something being on the county council has enabled me to do.

“I have met a great many people I would not have come into contact with otherwise, and I am particularly looking forward to meeting many more during my year in office.

“Meeting a wide range of people helps to give a broader understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the county.

“Some people give an awful lot of time and effort to projects within their community and it is only right that this is acknowledged.

“They are doing a huge amount to get the most out of the resources we have at our disposal in North Yorkshire. Anything that can support that has to be good.”

Cllr Swiers has a daughter, Elizabeth, and a son, John, who runs the family farm at Bickley, near Scarborough.

Cllr Robert Windass has been appointed deputy chair.

He has been a county councillor since 2013.

Cllr Windass also represents Boroughbridge on Harrogate Borough Council and has previously served as Mayor of the Borough.