The Chairman of Hampshire County Council

Every year during at its Annual General Meeting, the full County Council elects a new Chairman and Vice Chairman

The Chairman must be a county councillor, but not a member of the Cabinet. The position of Chairman is held for a period of one year only.

The current Chairman of Hampshire County Council is Councillor Graham Burgess.

The current Vice Chairman is Councillor Elaine Still.

Past Chairmen of Hampshire County Council

The Role of the Chairman

The Chairman of Hampshire County Council is the civic and ceremonial head of the Authority and represents the County Council at a variety of events and functions in Hampshire organised by businesses, churches, local district and borough councils and many other organisations throughout the County.

The Chairman also attends events which are organised by County Council departments, such as opening of community homes, schools, youth clubs and museum exhibitions. The Chairman is ambassadorial, 'flying the flag' for Hampshire both within the County and, at times, in neighbouring authorities. The Chairman is the 'first citizen' of the County of Hampshire.

The Chairman’s theme for this year is ‘Armed Forces in Hampshire'.

Ceremonial duties include: 

  • being the politically impartial, neutral and non-executive civic and ceremonial head of the County Council
  • promoting the interests and the reputation of the County Council and Hampshire and acting as an ambassador for both
  • carrying out civic, community and ceremonial activities and fostering community identity and pride

Additional responsibilities include:

  • presiding over meetings of the full Council to ensure that its business is carried out fairly and efficiently and to ensure that the meeting is conducted in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Council as set out in the Rules of Procedure in Part 3 of the Constitution
  • ensuring that the Full Council meeting debates matters that concern the local community
  • to uphold the Constitution
  • to promote public involvement in the Council's activities
  • to promote the Council's corporate strategy
Protocol and etiquette when the Chairman attends an event

Specifically, the Chairman will take precedence (a) during royal visits to the County, (b) at events organised by Hampshire County Council or (c) when on Hampshire County Council owned property. However, at events organised within one of the Hampshire districts or boroughs, and the event does not conform with (a), (b) or (c), the Mayor or Chairman of that district or borough will take precedence.

It would be appreciated if the Chairman is met on arrival and escorted throughout the function.

The Chairman should be seated on the immediate right of the person presiding.

In conversation, the Chairman should be addressed as "Chairman".

The preamble for speeches (unless a member of the Royal Family or the Lord-Lieutenant or local Hampshire District/Borough Mayor/Chairman is present) is, "Chairman, Mr Mayor, ladies and gentlemen".

Biography of the current Chairman of the Council

Councillor Graham Burgess

Graham Burgess joined the Royal Navy in 1966 as a Radio Electrical Mechanic.

He served both above and beneath the waves and completed his service in 1989 as a Weapons Engineer.

He later served as a Sonar Trials Officer before being promoted to run a large technical department in Portsmouth Dockyard.

He was elected to Gosport Borough Council in May 1998 to represent Lee on the Solent and to Hampshire County Council in May 2013 to represent Lee on the Solent, Grange and Rowner, known as the Lee Division. He has been Deputy Leader of Gosport Borough Council since 2009 and is presently Chairman of the Community Board. He was Mayor of Gosport 2005/6

His theme this year is the Armed Forces in Hampshire, which has the largest number of Armed Forces personnel and Veterans. Graham hopes to raise their profile to Hampshire residents.

Graham has been married to Marylin for 43 years and lives in Lee on the Solent. They have two daughters and one granddaughter. His interests are rugby and sailing when time allows.

Elected Vice Chairman in May 2016, he was elected Chairman of Hampshire County Council on 25 May 2017.

Honorary Aldermen

The title of Honorary Alderman is a formal title which can be conferred by the County Council to former Members of the Council to recognise what is considered to be outstanding service during their time as an elected Member of the County Council.

View the Honorary Aldermen of Hampshire County Council

How to invite the Chairman of the County Council to an event or function

If you wish to invite the Chairman to attend an event, in the first instance, please send an invitation to

The Chairman's Office 
The Castle 
Hampshire SO23 8UJ

Please don’t contact the Chairman direct or send correspondence to his/her home address. All communication should come through the Chairman's Personal Assistant at The Castle.

Please provide some background information about your organisation. This is especially important if you wish the Chairman to make a speech. Please tell us: 

  • when your organisation started
  • your organisation's aims and activities
  • your organisation’s membership
  • your organisation’s achievements

what you consider to be special about your organisation

Contact details

If you have any further queries, please contact the Chairman's Personal Assistant, Natalie Jones.

Phone 01962 846441


Or please write to the address above.