New chairman appointed to county council

New OCC chairman Michael Waine
New OCC chairman Michael Waine
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A new chairman has been elected for Oxfordshire County Council.

Bicester Town ward councillor Michael Waine received the chains of office from former council chairman John Sanders at OCC’s annual general meeting this morning, Tuesday.

Mr Waine, who has lived in Bicester since he was a child, taught in Oxfordshire for 37 years, 27 as headteacher of Glory Farm School.

He said: “Having served as vice chairman to John Sanders and as a county councillor since 2005 I am aware of what this important job involves.

“I hope to visit each of the Oxfordshire localities see the areas through the eyes of local county councillors and attend one of their meetings so I can see for myself all that is positive about our county and all that needs to be improved.

“As a Bicester councillor I also want to work with others to promote our growth towns, especially in the provision of balanced employment.

“An ongoing part of my year will be to fully understand the work of outstanding county staff and assure them of our appreciation.

“It is an honour and privilege to be elected to this role and to follow in the footsteps of a host of highly respected county councillors to undertake this job since the council was formed in the 1970s.”

He is married to Jane, with two children and four grandchildren, and is a member of the Catholic Church of Immaculate Conception and Bicester Rotary Club.

He is a director of the Bicester Learning Academy and is currently chair. His interests are music, gardening, reading, walking and travel.

Zoe Patrick, who represents the Grove and Wantage ward, has been elected to the role of vice chairman.

John Sanders is a Freeman of the City of Oxford, a governor at Oxford Spires Academy and has also been a county councillor since 2005. His wife Gill is also a county councillor.

He said: “It has been a real privilege to represent the county council. During the year I have attended 150 engagements. Being Chairman has meant that I have been given the opportunity to meet many of the county’s residents from many walks of life who otherwise I would never have had the chance to meet – including schoolchildren, people in retirement homes and people in military service.”