Cllr Geof Driscoll has been appointed the new chair of Uttlesford District Council for 2023/2024.

Following the council's annual meeting on Tuesday, May 23, Cllr Driscoll - who was vice-chair last year - was appointed to replace Cllr Heather Asker, who served as chair in 2022/2023.

Cllr Asker, who is now Mayor of Saffron Walden, was presented with a past chair's medal and was thanked for her services during the year.

Cllr Martin Foley was sworn in as the council's vice-chair.

Speaking about his new role, Cllr Driscoll said: "It is a huge privilege to be elected as chair of this council and I would like to thank my fellow councillors for trusting me with taking on this role.

"I hope to be able to carry on the good work of those who have previously held the position and look forward to helping and supporting the district’s residents throughout the year."

The chair's chosen charities for the year will be selected in due course.

Uttlesford District Council has a chair rather than a mayor, however the role of chair is identical to that of mayor, in that it is a ceremonial position.

The chair's position should not be confused with the role of the leader - who is the political head of the council. Cllr Petrina Lees is the current leader of the council.


The role of the chair is to represent the council at civic and social occasions, and the chair is the 'first citizen' of Uttlesford.

Similar to the Speaker of the House of Commons, the chair is apolitical - and this unpartisan position is particularly relevant when the chair presides over council meetings, where their role is to preserve order.

The chair does, however, hold a casting vote which may be exercised in the event of a tied vote at a council meeting.

Photographs of all former chairs, dating back to 1973, can be viewed in the public gallery of the council chamber at the council's London Road offices in Saffron Walden. 

Cllr Geof Driscoll is a Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) councillor, representing Broad Oak and the Hallingburys.