Chair and Vice-Chair of council for 2023/24 elected

NewsUpdated: 30 May 2023Elections and democracy
Cllr Debbie Morris officially handed over the Chain to the new Chair, Cllr Phil Williams

Three Rivers District Council unanimously decided to pass the chain of office to veteran Chair Cllr Phil Williams at the Annual Council Meeting on Tuesday Night (May 23).

Cllr Williams takes over the role of Chair of the council from Cllr Debbie Morris – who had a memorable time in the role and represented the district during the Platinum Jubilee, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, and the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.

The Chair’s role is a-political, presiding over Full Council meetings and officially representing the council at public engagements for a year.

Cllr Williams was first elected to the council in July 2017 and became Chair for a year in 2018. His dad, Graham Williams, was a Three Rivers District councillor and his brother, Tim Williams, was the youngest-ever councillor at Three Rivers back in the ’80s.

The incoming Chair has lived in Three Rivers most of his life and lived in New Zealand and Greece for 13 years before returning to the area in 1996.

He went to St John’s School in Mill End followed by Rickmansworth School. His partner of over 30 years and Consort is Catherine Perkins and have three sons.

Cllr Williams will be supporting Sustainable Three Rivers and the Maple Cross and West Hyde Community Centre as his chosen charities.

Cllr Williams said: “It is a huge honour to serve as Chair for the second time and I very much look forward to meeting local charities and voluntary organisations this year.

“Cllr Morris will be a tough act to follow but I will serve the role with honour and integrity as I did in 2018.”

Cllr Raj Khiroya will serve as the Vice-Chair for the civic year.

Cllr Khiroya was originally born in Uganda and came to the UK in 1969. He lived in Chorleywood for over 35 years with his wife Tanuja and has two adult sons who were both educated at a local school.

He currently represents the Chorleywood South and Maple Cross ward as a district councillor and had served as a Chorleywood Parish councillor since 2008.

The departing Chair, Cllr Debbie Morris, said: “Being Chair for the last 12 months has been an incredible experience. It was tremendous to engage with so many of our wonderful charities and voluntary organisations in the district. They make us proud every single day.

“I am particularly proud to have organised an emotional Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27 where we marked the Holocaust and other genocides in a meaningful way. I hope everyone who came along will never forget.

“I wish Cllrs Williams and Khiroya the very best in their roles. Given Cllr Williams has been Chair in the recent past, I am sure he will do a great job. The council will be well-represented by both the new Chair and Vice-Chair.”