West Northamptonshire Council welcomes new Chairman

Published: 20 May 2024

Cllr Alison Eastwood, ward member for Silverstone was appointed as her Vice-Chairman. 

Throughout her career, Cllr Gilford has demonstrated a tireless commitment to public welfare, balancing family responsibilities with professional excellence. With 25 years of experience in various sectors including public service, private enterprise, and healthcare management, Cllr Jo Gilford brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her new role. Her time as both an officer and a member of local councils, along with working in the NHS provided her with a rich understanding of the needs of the local community.  

Cllr Jo Gilford's dedication to public service is underscored by her family background, with her mother being a nurse and her son serving in the navy aboard the Navy’s flagship carrier the Prince of Wales. This legacy of service has imbued Cllr Jo Gilford with a deep sense of responsibility towards her community, evident in her tireless efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic as the Managing Partner of a medical practice which put her directly on the frontline. 

In her new capacity as Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Jo Gilford outlines her priorities for the upcoming year, focusing on enhancing civic pride and community engagement across West Northants. These priorities include attending civic and ceremonial functions across the Council's wards, hosting events to promote council interests and traditions, and ensuring the efficient conduct of council meetings. 

Cllr Gilford will also spotlight charitable initiatives, with two charities chosen to receive support throughout the year. Reflecting on her family's legacy of public service, she aims to support SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and the Stop Hate UK through charitable activities.  

Stop Hate UK is a charity that Cllr Gilford has been working with to launch The Stop Hate Line in Northamptonshire. This line provides a safe and independent space for victims and witnesses of hate crimes and hate incidents to discuss their experiences and explore options for taking further action. The Stop Hate Line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year on 0800 138 1625. The helpline is also available by text message on 07717 989 025 and by email to talk@stophateuk.org.   

Cllr Jo Gilford, Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council, said : "I am deeply honoured to serve as Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council, especially as 2024 marks my 25th year of dedicated service to the residents of our area. 

“As I embark on this new chapter, I carry with me the stories of our residents, the challenges we've overcome, and the triumphs we've celebrated together. 

“My aim for the year ahead is simple yet profound: to bring our community closer, to celebrate our diversity, and to champion the causes that matter most to each and every one of us. Whether it's a local charity event, a neighbourhood gathering, or a community initiative, I would be delighted to offer you my support as we build a more vibrant future for West Northamptonshire.” 

The role of the Chairman is a non-political, civic role, which involves representing the Council and West Northamptonshire at events and functions, as well as chairing Council meetings to ensure they are properly run in accordance with the Constitution. 

As part of the role, the Chairman is keen to meet and engage with local businesses, schools, community and voluntary groups and other organisations to help raise their profile – if you are organising an event, activity or function and would like the Chairman to attend, please contact the Chairman's Secretary at chairman@westnorthants.gov.uk