Councillor Keith Chapman MBE is Hampshire County Council’s new Chairman, taking over the chain of office from Councillor Jonathan Glen.
Councillor Chapman was elected Chairman by fellow councillors at the Annual Meeting of the County Council on Friday 13 May 2016. His chosen theme for this year is ‘youth and music’.
As the civic and ceremonial head of the Authority, the Chairman presides over County Council meetings ensuring they are conducted in line with Standing Orders and that they remain a strong forum for debating issues. The Chairman also represents the County Council on royal visits and ceremonial occasions in Hampshire as well as other civic activities and duties.
Accepting the Chain of Office for the next 12 months, Councillor Chapman paid tribute to the out-going Chairman, Councillor Glen, and his achievements during his term.
Councillor Chapman added: “I have a great love of music and in particular, how music can have such a positive and inspirational impact on all people. I think it is especially important for young people to have the opportunity to take part in and enjoy music, either as a player or as an audience member. With this in mind, and with the help of the Hampshire Music Service, I hope to use my theme of the Chairman’s year of music, to actively encourage people to get involved with the many events and music groups on offer across the county.”
Councillor Chapman was appointed an MBE for services to arts and culture in the 2015 New Year Honours list, following a long record of active interest and involvement in arts, museums, libraries and culture in Hampshire.
Keith Chapman has lived in Hampshire for 46 years, and brings nearly four decades of local government experience to the role of Chairman. His career in public service began in 1979, and he has been a parish councillor in Pamber and Silchester for 36 years. Having served on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for over three decades, Keith was Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane in 1992/1993 and again in 2010/11. He has been a serving member of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority since 2001, and was Chairman of the Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils.
He has served on Hampshire County Council since 2001 and held various roles as a committee chairman as well as on the County Council’s Cabinet – as Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside. In this role, he oversaw the establishment of a Hampshire Cultural Trust, delivering an ambitious arts, museums and heritage offer in southern England. Proposals for a multi-million investment to transform the County Council’s country parks to ensure that they are well equipped for the future were also approved by Councillor Chapman.
He chaired a working group established in partnership with the National Museum of the Royal Navy to deliver public access to the First World War ship, M33, now housed at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, ahead of its opening to the public in time for her centenary in August 2015.
He has a particular personal interest in music, and as a former Basingstoke and Deane Borough Councillor, he also led the administration which conceived of and delivered to the Borough, the Anvil Concert Hall, which plays a significant role in the economy of Hampshire. Additionally, he has served on the Board of Proteus Theatre and the Council of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he is a keen supporter of the Hampshire County Music Service and takes a strong interest in its progress.
Born in Kingston-on-Thames, Keith Chapman worked for British Telecommunications for 30 years. He is married to Jenny and they have three grown up children.
Councillor Graham Burgess has been appointed Vice Chairman of Hampshire County Council.