New Mayor of Winchester is elected

Last night's Civic Mayor Making ceremony at Winchester Guildhall saw Cllr Neil Baxter become the 806th Mayor of Winchester.

First elected to Winchester City Council in May 1998 as member for the Itchen Valley, he has served on a number of committees and has held the positions of Vice-Chairman of the Planning Development Control Committee, Chairman of the Standards Committee and has been a member of the Licensing and Regulations Committee.

Since retiring Cllr Baxter spent nine years as a Member, Vice-Chairman and the last Chairman of the Community Health Council (CHC) for Winchester and Central Hampshire.  He was the CHC's representative on the Mid Hampshire PCT and Winchester & Eastleigh Healthcare (Hospital) Trust.

Cllr Baxter's career saw him serving his National Service with the Royal Army Medical Corps in the UK, Singapore and Sri Lanka, before graduating as a Chartered Physiotherapist from the Glasgow Royal Infirmary School of Physiotherapy.

Cllr Baxter's interest in healthcare was furthered by his highly successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, which saw him based in many locations across the world including Athens, Indianapolis and Rome.

In 1980 Cllr Baxter moved back to the UK as Corporate Affairs Director for the UK/Eire for Lilly International and bought a house in Itchen Abbas, which is the family home to this day.  In 1987 he was appointed Corporate Affairs Director for Lilly International based in Brussels, retiring back to Itchen Abbas in 1993.

Cllr Baxter is also very active outside of council life and has been a member of the Lions Club since 1976, in Athens, Brussels and Winchester. He is also a member and past President of Wykeham Probus Club.

Interested in working with and for the community he participates in village community life through activities such as the Church, Bowls and Boules Clubs.

Every year the Mayor of Winchester raises money for his or her chosen charities.  This year Cllr Baxter has chosen the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, The Stroke Association (Winchester & District Branch) and the Winchester Live at Home Scheme, which helps senior citizens who have disabilities or illness to continue living in their own homes for as long as possible.

On his appointment Cllr Baxter said, "It is a great honour to have been chosen by my fellow Councillors to be the Civic representative of the City of Winchester and District for the coming year and I will do everything I can to justify their trust in me.

"During my year of office I look forward to getting out and about in Winchester and District and meeting as many residents as possible.  I am at your disposal and if I can be of assistance to you in any way please contact Abbey House".

Handing over the keys to the City the retiring Mayor, Cllr Cecily Sutton said, "I wish Cllr Baxter every success as the Mayor of Winchester. I am sure he will make a splendid Mayor - the City is in safe hands."