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Chairman passes the torch

Chairman Cllr Kate Rowbottom and Vice Chairman Cllr Karen Burgess

13 May 2020


‘It has been a great pleasure, and honour, to have been Chairman of Horsham District Council for the past twelve months.  I will pass on my chain of office (virtually not literally this year) to my current Deputy Chairman Cllr Karen Burgess at the online Council Meeting on the 20 May, with great sadness.

“It has been a very exciting twelve months, starting in the middle of the very successful Horsham District Year of Culture 2019.   Some 600 plus events took place over the year around the whole 204 square miles of Horsham District. From poetry in a brewery in January to a lantern parade in Billingshurst in December....and who will ever forget the spectacular ‘Light Up Horsham’ show outside Bill’s in the Market Square on the run up to Christmas. A very fitting end to an amazing Year of Culture.

“From May until Christmas there was rarely a day when I was not attending a school or college for a speech day or concert, a church for the inauguration of a new minister (three of these), and for Civic Services, including Horsham District Council’s at St. Mary’s Church in Horsham in October.   I visited many wonderful voluntary associations for their AGM’s, award winning ceremonies, money raising concerts and bazaars and met some wonderful people.  I understand there are around 700 charities in the Horsham District with thousands and thousands of volunteers.  The District would be a very different place without them - and never more so than now.

“My life as Chairman quietened down a little in January and February and I had time to catch my breath after the run up to Christmas.  It then came to an abrupt end on the 15 March after I had started the Horsham Lifesavers Swimmathon at the Pavillions In The Park.   The Covid-19 virus had struck and we went into lockdown.

“I have so many people to thank I don’t know where to start.  Firstly, to my fellow councillors who voted for me and gave me this brilliant opportunity, and to the officers of Horsham District Council whose assistance and advice have enabled me to carry out the job efficiently.  To all the people who have kindly invited me to attend their events, who have entertained me so royally and looked after me so well. I have loved meeting you all.

“As a person of mature years, residing at home with my daughter and dog, and rather enjoying pottering around in my garden and watching too much television, I cannot finish without thanking everyone on the front line.  Doctors, nurses, care workers, police, firemen, refuse collectors, shop assistants and volunteers, the list is endless, thank you all, you are wonderful.

Take good care, residents of Horsham District, and ‘thank you for having me.

Cllr. Kate Rowbottom - Chairman, Horsham District Council 2019 to 2020