Monmouthshire County Council has elected its new Chairman and Vice Chairman for the year 2011-12.
The Annual Meeting of the Council took place on Tuesday 10th May and elected Councillor Brian Hood as Chairman and Councillor Maureen Powell as Vice Chairman.
Photo: County Councillor Brian Hood with his wife, Jeanette
Councillor Hood represents the Llanover ward and has served on Monmouthshire County Council since its formation in 1996. Prior to this, he was a Monmouth Borough councillor starting in 1987. Born in Birmingham he spent much of his working life in the petro-chemical industry settling in Monmouthshire over thirty years ago.
Councillor Hood has participated in many roles with the council and is probably best known for his passionate work in the field of social services. He was awarded the MBE in this year’s New Year Honours List for services to local government.
A keen jogger and gardener, Councillor Hood is married to Jeanette who he met nearly 60 years ago. They have a son, Alan and daughter Jacquie.
Councillor Maureen Powell represents Abergavenny’s Castle ward and will deputise for Councillor Hood when he is unavailable for duty.
Councillor Hood said that he wished to use his new office to support a culture of ‘new enterprise’ in the county and to communicate to potential investors that Monmouthshire is open for business. The new Chairman added that he particularly wanted to attract and encourage the location of cutting edge digital and low carbon technology businesses to the county in order to improve the local skills base and drive up average incomes.
He said: “It is a little known fact that people in paid employment in the county are amongst some of the lowest paid in Wales. This is why it is so important we focus more on improving skills, investing in high growth economies and growing entrepreneurship. We do not want to lose our ambitious and gifted young people, who all too often have to move out of the county to get on. We are very clear about the task that lies ahead to encourage new businesses to cross the bridge, but are confident that the high quality of life we have to offer, will help us do the job”.
Councillor Hood’s chosen charities during his term of office are Help for Heroes and the Samaritans.