Chairman of the Council
The Chairman of Braintree District Council for 2023-2024 is Councillor Diana Garrod.
I have lived in the Braintree District all my life and was delighted to be elected District Councillor to represent the Bumpstead Ward in October 2016 and again in May 2019. This ward comprises the rural villages Steeple Bumpstead, Helions Bumpstead, Sturmer, Birdbrook and Baythorne End. My role is to represent the Ward and the interests of individual constituents, to contribute to the good governance of the area and actively encourage community participation and citizen involvement in decision making. Also to represent Braintree District Council and contribute to the achievement of the priorities of the Council and the District as a whole. This requires personal judgement to balance the needs of local communities against the broader strategic needs of the District.
Between 2016 and 2019, I served on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, incorporating the Task and Finish Group Scrutiny Review into ‘Social Isolation and Loneliness’, a topic I suggested in recognition of this being prevalent in rural communities. Also the Task and Finish Group Scrutiny Review into the Role of the Highway Authority. In 2018 I served on the Community Governance Review Committee.
I was appointed the Council’s Representative of the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Stour Valley Joint Advisory Committee in December 2016; an outside body committed to conserving and enhancing the special qualities of the Stour Valley and a post I find extremely rewarding.
In May 2019 I was appointed to the Appeals Committee and Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny ‘Community Development Group’.
I am Chairman of Sturmer Parish Council and have been a member for over fifteen years. I consider it a great privilege to serve the community in which I reside and since Sturmer borders Suffolk, I also regularly attend the Haverhill Forum meetings to maintain cross-border communication between local authorities.
I have been an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development since 2013. I am a member of a local Action Medical Research (for children) Fundraising Committee; a charity which provides funding for medical research to beat the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children. I am also a Director of a private health company where I operate a Bone Density Scanner which tests for Osteoporosis, hence, I have a particular interest in health and wellbeing and have a good understanding of the challenges that businesses face.