New East Herts Council chairman is diversity champion Jonathan Kaye
A councillor who champions faith and cultural minorities in East Herts has been elected the district council's new chairman.
Cllr Jonathan Kaye was handed the chain of office by outgoing civic leader Keith Warnell, who lost his Bishop's Stortford Meads seat on East Herts Council in the May 2 local elections.
Cllr Kaye has been a Conservative district councillor for Ware since 2015 and set up the first Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in East Herts two years ago.
He chairs a new group called Living Together in East Herts, which held a celebration of diverse communities during last year's Interfaith Week.
"I'm honoured to have been elected as chairman and I'm looking forward to representing the district and meeting all sorts of people at events across East Herts," said Cllr Kaye.
"It's a wonderful opportunity to promote the diverse communities that make up our district and I'm delighted that we've already set the date for this year's celebration, which will be on September 15 at Rhodes Arts Centre, Bishop's Stortford."
His chosen charities are Isabel Hospice and CHIPS (Children's Integrated Playschemes). His deputy is Cllr Ken Crofton, who represents Walkern.
Cllr Kaye's career is in broadcasting and journalism working for the BBC and commercial radio. He was a presenter at LBC radio for three years and he managed a recording studio for a London charity, producing talking books and audio magazines for people with a visual impairment. His consort is his partner, Kezia Racher, who works in the music business.
During his year in office, former Cllr Warnell raised £10,560 for his chosen charities, Isabel Hospice, Mind and the Essex and Herts air ambulance.
He said: "It's been a fantastic year representing East Herts Council and meeting many people, especially volunteers, who are the backbone of our society.
"Of special note were a visit from Princess Anne to open a Riding for the Disabled Association stables [in Furneux Pelham], taking 22 children who had lost a parent to a pantomine and our first diversity event. I wish Jonathan every success and hope he and Kezia enjoy it as much as I did."