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The Chairman and Vice-Chairman

11 November 2016

The Chairman is the civic and ceremonial head of Essex County Council.

The Chairman’s role is to:

  • be politically impartial and uphold the democratic values of the Council
  • represent the County Council at civic and ceremonial events, acting on behalf of and supported by the whole Council in a non-partisan matter
  • act as the principal spokesman for the Council on civic and ceremonial occasions
  • act as an ambassador and champion for the County Council and Essex
  • uphold and promote the purposes of the Constitution and interpret the Constitution when necessary, working with officers to keep the Constitution under review to ensure it is relevant to the Council’s needs
  • preside over Full Council meetings, acting impartially and ensuring that business is carried out efficiently and effectively whilst protecting the rights of individual County Members and the interests of the community
  • promote public involvement in the Council’s activities and ensure that at Council meetings, matters of concern to local communities can be debated by their County Members
  • promote and support good governance of the Council and its affairs
  • provide community leadership and promote active citizenship, fostering community identity and pride and promoting public involvement in the Council’s activities
  • support the office of the Lord Lieutenant and to provide an office to the Essex Lieutenancy
  • and ask questions of and offer support and advice to Members of the Council.
For the two-year period of his/her office the Chairman is politically neutral.
We also have a Vice-Chairman who acts on the Chairman’s behalf when the Chairman is unavailable.
The current Chairman of the Council is Councillor John Aldridge.  He has represented the Broomfield and Writtle Division since 2005. 
Since his election to the Council the Chairman has served as Chairman of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee and the Economic Development Scrutiny Committee 2009-2012 and was Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care 2012-2014. 
He has also served on a number of County Council Committees including the Essex Health & Wellbeing Board 2013-2014 and the Essex Pension Fund. 
He was a member of the Essex Police Authority 2009-2012.  He is a member of the Anglian Regional Flood & Coastal Committee. 
Cllr Aldridge has also served on a number of outside bodies including the County Councils Network and as Chairman of the Epping Forest Locality Panel 2012-2014.

Profile photo Cllr John Aldridge

John Aldridge
Broomfield and Writtle

Vice Chairman

The current Vice Chairman is County Councillor John Jowers. 

He has represented the Mersea and Tiptree Division since 2005.  Since his election to the Council the Vice Chairman has served as the Essex County Council representative on and Chair of the Police and Crime Panel. 

He was Cabinet Member for Libraries, Communities and Planning 2013-2014 and has served as Chairman of the Essex Countrywide Traveller Unit Committee 2013-2014.

Profile photograph of Cllr John Jowers

John Jowers
Mersea and Tiptree
All invitations to the Chairman, whether in the role of Chairman or as an ordinary Member of the County Council, should be sent to