Council chairman announces charitable drive

The new chairman of Cherwell District Council, Councillor Dr Chukwudi Okeke, has announced that he will raise funds for Oxfordshire Mind during his term of office.

Published: Thursday, 30th May 2024

Councillor Dr Chukwudi Okeke and his wife and consort Dr Sandra Okeke
Oxfordshire Mind provides a range of services, advice and information for residents experiencing mental health problems. The charity facilitates mutual support, offers advice about where to find medical help or a safe haven, and it campaigns for positive change. 
Cllr Okeke was elected as chair of the council at the annual full council meeting on Wednesday, 22 May and is the council’s first Chairman from a black ethnic minority.
At the meeting, Councillor Dr Chukwudi Okeke, Chairman of Cherwell District Council, said: “Today is a remarkable day for the Cherwell district. I made history two years ago by becoming the first councillor from a black ethnic minority elected to this council. History has been repeated today as I become the first member of the same background to hold the position of the Chairman of Cherwell District Council. 
“I got into politics to promote a healthy society where everyone, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and social background, can thrive. Cherwell is a fantastic area to live, work, and do business, and I am eager to continue promoting it as such.”
Cllr Okeke was born in Eastern Nigeria and studied at Oxford Brookes University before moving to Banbury. He was elected as a district councillor in 2022.
The chairman of the council is the politically impartial civic leader of the authority and acts as an ambassador for the council and Cherwell district. 
Key responsibilities include presiding over meetings of district councillors, accepting invitations on behalf of the council to attend events and inviting individuals and representatives of key organisations to council events.
Cllr Les Sibley is the outgoing chairman of the council, having served two consecutive years. At the full council meeting, he thanked supporters of his fundraising work for Bicester-based charity Alexandra House of Joy. He handed its founders, Ian and Rachael Scott-Hunter a cheque for £9,550, bringing the total amount raised to over £20,000.
Cllr Dorothy Walker is Vice-Chair of the council for the new municipal year.

Get the latest news direct to your inbox

Sign up for Cherwell Link