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André’s new role as Chairman of the 'board'

Councillors and democracy

20 May 2022

WNC's new Chairman, Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage with his Vice-Chairman, Cllr John ShephardWNC's new Chairman, Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage with his skateboard and Vice-Chairman, Cllr John Shephard

West Northamptonshire Council’s new Chairman is skating into his role with 'wheel' enthusiasm in a bid to boost civic pride and better connect communities across the area.

Cllr André Gonzalez De Sávage received the ceremonial chains of office from outgoing Chairman Cllr Ann Addison at the Council’s Annual Meeting in Northampton’s historic Guildhall last night (Thursday, 19 May). Cllr John Shephard, ward member for Moulton was appointed as his vice-chairman.

It’s a little-known fact that André has been a keen skateboarder and BMXer for as long as he’s been a local councillor during the past 20 years – and he plans to be equally active and energetic in the year ahead as Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council, supporting local communities and businesses whilst also fundraising for his two chosen charities, The Air Ambulance and Northamptonshire Search and Rescue.

André, a WNC councillor for Northampton’s East Hunsbury and Shelfleys Ward, said: "It’s an incredible honour and privilege to be Chairman and I’m really looking forward to doing everything I can in the coming year to further raise the profile of West Northamptonshire and the many great things our area has to offer.

"It’s really important that our council fully supports and connects with our residents, businesses and community groups and I will be working hard to continue to build these links as well as helping to showcase their amazing achievements.

He added: “I have chosen to help raise invaluable funds for the Air Ambulance and Northants Search and Rescue as I really admire the amazing work and heroic efforts of these two charities, sometimes in harrowing circumstances, to support our emergency services and make a difference to people’s daily lives."

Originally from Barcelona and having previously lived in Switzerland, London and Bedfordshire, dad-of-three André moved to Northampton in 1987, immediately involving himself in local residents associations and serving as a parish councillor for the East and West Hunsbury areas, then later becoming a Northamptonshire County Councillor for 17 years where he also held a number of Cabinet roles around Customer and Communities and Public Protection.

From bike chains to ceremonial chains, André is also Chairman of Northamptonshire BMX and skate park Adrenaline Alley as well as being heavily involved in promoting culture and heritage through Surprise Northamptonshire and Royal and Derngate Theatres and the Made in Northamptonshire initiative which celebrates the county’s food and drink creators, manufacturers and providers.

He added: “We are at the heart of the country, with leading global industries including High Performance Technologies, Motorsports, Education and Public Protection and a superb and vibrant visitor economy – and we have the right aspirations of one of the UK’s most successful counties.

"Let’s promote and encourage pride and prosperity, locally, nationally and globally in all we do and support the growth, of a safe and prosperous West Northamptonshire in this notable year of the Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee."

The role of 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 [email protected].