Monday, May 20th, 2024

New mayor takes over and there are special awards for Harry, Linda and our own Steph

THE Town Council rang the changes this week when a new mayor was appointed for the coming year.

At the Sevenoaks Annual Council Meeting held on Monday (14 May) 2018, outgoing Mayor, Cllr Maxine Chakowa handed over the Mayoral Chains and Robes to the incoming Mayor for Sevenoaks Cllr Roderick Hogarth.

Maxine, with her husband Bryan as Consort, has attended hundreds of engagements in the town supporting local community groups and visiting areas outside of the town to promote Sevenoaks.

Maxine Chakowa (left) presents the annual Mayor’s Award to Steph Harrison in recognition of her charity fund raising efforts and support for Breast Cancer Care. PHOTO: JFW Photography

During her year of office she chose to support breast cancer charities – Breast Cancer Care and the weekly local Breast Cancer Support Group. With the help of supporters and organisers of these groups, she raised an impressive £25,805 for Breast Cancer Care and £10,000 for the local support group – a total of £35,805.

As a fitting finale, Maxine presented the annual Mayor’s Award to Steph Harrison for her tireless work for Breast Cancer Care, not only this year as the Mayor’s charity but also for many years previously.

Steph, who is the sales manager on My Sevenoaks Community, was instrumental in bringing Pink Week to Sevenoaks raising awareness and thousands of pounds of funds to help those suffering from breast cancer.

During the Mayor’s year of office Steph has helped provide a more permanent form of assistance for local people by the opening of a weekly Support Group.

Funding has been provided by Freemasons to enable this Support Group to be available for three years.  Steph and her good friend Ann Ruddle provide helpful and welcoming advice and/or a listening ear.

Maxine said: “There are few people in Sevenoaks who do not know of the Pink Lady and how hard she works for the charity. However, I wanted to officially recognise her work in the community.”

There were also other awards made on the night (see photos and stories at the end of this article).

The incoming Mayor is Cllr Roderick Hogarth (pictured left) who grew up in Sevenoaks and attended Freston Lodge, the New Beacon and Sevenoaks School.

After gaining his Bachelor’s degree in Business Studies he moved to the United States, first living in California and then in New York where he gained his MBA from New York University while initially working in shipping. He then managed a venture capital fund before returning to England in the 1990s. Apart from a brief interlude in Surrey, he has lived in Sevenoaks ever since.

He works as Head of Greater London Regional Development for an international management systems company.

He was first elected as a Town Councillor for St John’s Ward in 2007 and most recently has chaired the Community Infrastructure Committee. In 2015 he was re-elected as a District Councillor for Seal, Underriver and Weald and is currently the Portfolio Holder for Community & Economic Development. Mrs Mary Hogarth will be the Mayoress.

The Mayor and Mayoress chosen charities for the Civic Year will be Sevenoaks Powerchair Football. In addition he will be supporting three other organisations linked to the Sevenoaks Fund – Sevenoaks Rugby Football Club, Sevenoaks Day Nursery and the Stag.

It is proposed to rename the Sevenoaks Fund the ‘Sevenoaks Mayor’s Fund’.

Cllr Nicholas Busvine OBE has been elected to the post of Deputy Mayor. Mrs Madeleine Busvine will be Deputy Mayoress.

PHOTO: JFW Photography

THE Sheriff of Pontoise Harry Garrett (pictured left) has been appointed as a Freeman of Sevenoaks Town in recognition of his outstanding work and services to the community, particularly for his role volunteer of Pontoise open space. Mayor Roderick Hogarth presented Harry with a scroll on behalf of Sevenoaks Town Council. Harry had brought along the telegram he recently received from HM Queen Elizabeth II congratulating him on his 100th birthday. After accepting his award Harry recounted some of his war experiences in Dunkirk, El Alamein and Arras before finishing by saying: “This is a wonderful honour – thank you very much indeed.”



THERE was a special award for Town Clerk Linda Larter MBE, at the Annual Council meeting in recognition of her past 10 years’ service to Sevenoaks Town Council. Cllr Parry presented Linda (see picture right) with an antique pearl and diamond broach as a thank you. Cllr Parry mentioned some of her achievements which included drawing up a business plan to take over the Stag Theatre from the District Council whose past two tenant had gone into bankruptcy. The Stag has over 300,000 visitors. Linda also helped put together the Northern Master plan for Sevenoaks, which has received public endorsement as the vision of the future. This included the Bat & Ball Station, boarded up for the last 20 years, for which the Town Clerk was awarded with a grant of £755,600 by the Heritage Lottery Fund. In total the Town Clerk has brought in £2.5 million extra funding for the Town of Sevenoaks.


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