Civic office holders
In this section:
The Lord Mayor
The Lord Mayor of Canterbury is Councillor Anne Dekker.
From the age of five, Councillor Anne Dekker was educated in a convent run by a French order of nuns just outside of Liverpool, and went on, years later, to graduate from Liverpool University.
She taught English in an Educational Priority Area school for several years, and when her husband's work began to take him away, had a difficult decision to make about their children's education and her career. They eventually worked out a compromise and she travelled to far flung lands without interrupting the children's educational needs.
Councillor Dekker has particularly fond memories of the Middle East (notably Kuwait and some of the U.A.E). Teaching enabled her to continue her career outside the UK, and she taught in the Netherlands for six years and worked with many notable Parliamentary Ministers, professional footballers (Johan Cruyff and Hans Kraay) and representatives from Unilever, Gist and Fuji as well as working on the 'script' for the GATT agreement (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) and the content, design and implementation of programmes of work for the teaching of English, some of which are still in use today.
Eventually back in England, she ran the Parliamentary Business Unit (Civil Service) during Tony Blair's term of office and taught interview skills for upper management candidates as well as holding the responsibility for training the teachers and trainers on staff.
After Councillor Dekker's first 'retirement', she and her husband went to live in France where they ran three businesses. She owned and 'cheffed' her own restaurant, employing local staff and enjoying the interaction with hundreds of farmers, city workers and local residents.
She worked closely with the Mayor of the largest nearby town and wrote books for other Europeans wanting to start and run businesses in France. After her second 'retirement' she thought that 25 years of teaching and 10 years of public sector work and service would reward her with entitlement to life in the slow lane, but then she discovered local councils and politics.
She now lives in Sturry, with children and grandchildren close by. She doesn't think she will consider a third 'retirement' as there simply isn't time! Councillor Dekker loves being a City Councillor; and the added bonus of being elected to serve as Lord Mayor is an honour for which she will be forever grateful.
The Lord Mayor's Chaplain is The Reverend Carol Smith, vicar of St Martin's in Herne and St Peter's in Greenhill.
The role of the Lord Mayor
The Lord Mayoralty is the highest office that the city council can bestow.
The Lord Mayor is elected annually from among the city councillors and is the 'first citizen' of the district, as well as the official representative of the Crown.
In effect, this means that anywhere within the district, the Lord Mayor of Canterbury takes precedence over all others except for royalty or the Lord Lieutenant of Kent (if representing HM the Queen).
Apart from these duties, the Lord Mayor plays a big part in community life in Canterbury district, where they are often involved in a variety of historical, ceremonial and charitable activities.