New chairman for New Forest District Council
Councillor Godfrey (Goff) Beck has been elected the new chairman of New Forest District Council (NFDC) and was handed the chain of office at the annual meeting of the council on Monday 16 May. His vice-chairman is Councillor Christine Ward.
Cllr Beck said: "Thank you for allowing me to be your chairman. I will endeavour to do my very best to represent you. The role is a challenging one but one I am looking forward to"
The new chairman announced his chosen charities for the year as New Forest Disability Information Service and First Opportunities, and gave an impassioned speech to the assembled councillors about the important work they do in the area, "The more we can do for these charities the better".
The new chairman then went on to reveal, "I am going to do it too" when the outgoing chairman's Spinnaker Tower abseil for charity was discussed.
Cllr Beck lives with his wife Christine in Barton on Sea, New Milton and has three sons and seven grandchildren. Goff left school at 16 and enlisted with the Royal Marines. He served for 24 years reaching the rank of Warrant Officer and was frequently stationed abroad including longer tours of duty in the Far East (Malaysia) and the Middle East.
Goff was first elected to New Milton Town Council in 1995, becoming the town's inaugural Mayor. He was elected to New Forest District Council in 2001. He has held the crime and disorder portfolio, has chaired the general purposes and licensing committee, and serves as a ward member for Barton
The council's new vice-chairman is Cllr Christine Ward (see notes for biography)
The outgoing chairman Cllr Alison Hoare, who raised £5,000 for her charities (Oakhaven Hospice, and the Firefly Orphanage in Kathmandu) was thanked by her fellow councillors. Leader, Cllr Barry Rickman, said Cllr Hoare's year as Chairman had been a "pleasure and delight" and praised how Cllr Hoare was a "true champion of the New Forest".
Cllr Hoare said, "Thank you for the greatest honour of my life, I have enjoyed every moment".