New chairman of NKDC says being a councillor ‘sharpens the mind’

Coun Geoff Hazelwood accepts the chairman's chain of office from outgoing chairman Coun Sally Tarry. EMN-180518-121606001
Coun Geoff Hazelwood accepts the chairman's chain of office from outgoing chairman Coun Sally Tarry. EMN-180518-121606001

North Kesteven District Council members have elected Sleaford Councillor Geoff Hazelwood as their new chairman for the coming year.

The newly-elected chairman will be raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society during his year of office.

He takes over the chains of office from Coun Sally Tarry, having spent the last year as vice-chairman, saying what a ‘privilege’ the role is.

Coun Hazelwood said at the Full Council meeting yesterday (Thursday): “I appreciate the great responsibility that comes with this role and would like to thank Coun Tarry who carried out her duties in an enthusiastic and exemplary manner and with the utmost dedication.

“It is my intention to carry out the duties placed upon me with the competence and professionalism required, for the good of both the council and the communities within the district.

“It is a great privilege to have been elected to represent North Kesteven District Council as chairman for the coming year.

“I truly enjoyed my responsibilities as vice-chairman last year and look forward to representing the council and fulfilling the commitments of this respected position both in a civic and statutory capacity.

“I have chosen the Alzheimer’s Society as my charity for the year, a very worthy cause which I aim to raise as much money as possible for to support their work.

“The Alzheimer’s Society’s mission is to ‘transform the landscape of dementia forever’. Until the day we find a cure, we will strive to create a society where those affected by dementia are supported and accepted, able to live in their community without fear or prejudice.”

Coun Hazelwood, 72, has been on the council for 12 years, serving on the executive board for seven years and several years on environment and finance committees.

He told The Standard afterthe meeting: “During my year I want to travel the district and be seen as a representative of North Kesteven all over.”

He explained his mother-in-law had suffered with dementia for six years until her death and the care she received was very good, but the Alzheimer’s Society also helped the families affected by the disease too.

Coun Hazelwood is married to wife Diane and has lived in Sleaford for 40 years since moving from Heckington.

He worked as a sales executive with Sleaford Trading Company - also known as Sleaford Quality Foods - until retirement. Since then he has enjoyed his allotment and his golf, being a past captain and president of Sleaford Golf Club.

He has also served as a Sleaford Town Councillor in the past.

Of the council, he said: “I have enjoyed my 12 years immensely. It is invigorating to come to meetings. The training and learning sharpens the mind.”

Coun Mike Clarke was elected vice-chairman for 2018-19, although he could not attend to accept the office due to sudden ill health.

Outgoing chairman, Coun Tarry presented a cheque of £2,207.70 from her civic year to LIVES, a Lincolnshire charity that supports trained and dedicated volunteers who deliver vital care in those first critical moments in an emergency situation.

Coun Tarry said it had been an “honour and a privilege” to fulfill the role of chairman over the past year to the best of her ability. She particularly enjoyed her civic reception and civic service and she thanked everyone for their support.