AFTER 14 years on North Yorkshire County Council, a Pateley Bridge councillor has been chosen as the authority’s civic head.
Coun John Fort BEM, a retired police officer, was elected unanimously as chairman on Wednesday.
Married to Jennifer and with two children and five grandchildren, Coun Fort has been a county councillor since 1997.
He said: “It is a great honour and privilege to be elected chairman of North Yorkshire County Council, and I am looking forward to my year of office immensely.
“I would like to take the opportunity of being chairman to promote close links between the council and the people it serves, and to acknowledge the hard work of people in voluntary organisations who give so much to the community so selflessly in these austere times.
“I will also be supporting the work of the air ambulance and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, RABI, during my time as chairman.”
He will be supported by Cliff Trotter as vice chairman, who represents Pannal and Lower Wharfedale.
Coun Fort was previously vice chairman and it was in that capacity he attended the Freedom Parade in Boroughbridge last week, where Prince Charles was present to celebrate with the crowds.
Coun Fort said: “We talked about the Nidderdale Show, which he always finds interesting. He really likes to come to Yorkshire.”
As well as the chairman of North Yorkshire County Council, the Nidderdale area will be represented at Harrogate Borough Council by the new mayor, Coun Les Ellington, following a ceremony this evening.
For more details and an interview with Coun Ellington, turn to Page 5.