Meet the new Leader of Three Rivers District Council

Press ReleaseUpdated: 23 May 2024Your Council

Meet Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, the new leader of Three Rivers District Council (TRDC).

Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who became leader following the Annual Full Council meeting on Tuesday, 21 May, was elected unopposed. Cllr Matthew Bedford will serve as deputy leader and the lead member for resources.

TRDC’s new council leader said: “It is a huge honour to be appointed leader and to continue building on the marvellous achievements we have made over the last few years that put residents and our environment at the forefront.

“Three Rivers is a cleaner, greener and an ever more environmentally friendly place. I am proud of our green credentials, and I want us to retain as much of our green belt as possible as well as continue to make huge strides in our climate agenda to make the district net zero by 2045.

“We are a small district, but if we lead by example, we can inspire others to follow suit which will make our world better.

“The council is incredibly successful in leveraging extra money to push our ambitious green agenda, such as retrofitting homes and installing EV charging points. We will continue to bid for further funds to help us achieve our aims.

“There is still much to do, such as pushing through our Local Plan that will meet our housing needs and protect much of our green spaces. I look forward to rolling up our sleeves and cracking on with business as we have always done for our residents and to keep Three Rivers as a great place to live, work and visit.

“I am also keen to work with our residents and work in collaboration with the district’s parish and community councils on our journey.”

Cllr Giles-Medhurst takes over from Cllr Sarah Nelmes, who became leader in 2020 and who will now serve as the lead member for general public services.

He said: “I would like to personally thank Cllr Nelmes for her strong and pragmatic leadership over the years, especially for guiding the district during the Covid-19 pandemic where things had to be done differently very quickly.

“I particularly pay homage to her role in making the district recognised nationally for recycling and for her work in being the national lead on the District Council Network for waste and recycling.”

Born in Hillingdon in 1957, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst was first elected as the youngest elected councillor in the country at the time onto the London Borough of Harrow Council in 1978, being at the time the sole Liberal Councillor.

He served as a councillor Harrow, including a term as Mayor in 1995-96, and Chair of various Committees for 20 years before moving to Three Rivers in 1999. He became the district councillor for Leavesden in 2000, an Abbots Langley parish councillor in 2008 and the county councillor for Central Watford and Oxhey in 2001.

During his time as a district councillor, Cllr Giles-Medhurst held various lead member portfolios and chaired several committees. Most notably, Cllr Giles-Medhurst became the deputy leader of the council in July 2020 under Cllr Sarah Nelmes’ leadership. He was also the lead member for the Local Plan – a role he still has until the Local Plan is adopted.

Outside of politics, Cllr Giles-Medhurst was a civil servant for 35 years in various roles and later in law enforcement with HM Customs & Excise before taking early retirement from his final position as Head of Customs at Stanstead Airport in October 2010.

He is married to his husband Kevin Raeburn, who has been a Three Rivers Councillor since 2022. They have been together for 13 years. Cllr Giles-Medhurst was previously married twice and has two children and 12 grandchildren from his first marriage, which ended in 1986. His second wife was the late Cllr Susan Bartrick, who died in 2009.

When he gets time, Stephen enjoys travel, his garden as well regular gym sessions at Woodside Leisure Centre and a bit of boxing.

The following lead members were appointed by Full Council and are held accountable for their respective portfolios as well as holding council officers to account and shape work around their individual service or policy area.

· Cllr Stephen-Giles Medhurst – Leader and Lead Member for the Local Plan

· Cllr Matthew Bedford – Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Resources

· Cllr Sara Bedford – Lead Member for Housing and Public Health

· Cllr Chris Lloyd –Lead Member for Leisure

· Cllr Sarah Nelmes – Lead Member for General Public Services

· Cllr Louise Price – Lead Member for Infrastructure and Economic Development

· Cllr Andrew Scarth – Lead Member for Community Safety and Partnerships

· Cllr Jon Tankard – Lead Member for Climate Change & Sustainability

PHOTO CAPTION 1: (From left) Cllr Matthew Bedford, Deputy Leader of the Council, and Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Leader of the Council.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst.