Meet West Northamptonshire Council’s new Chairman

Cllr John Shephard received the ceremonial chains of office from outgoing Chairman Cllr André Gonzalez De Sávage at the Council’s Annual Meeting in Northampton’s historic Guildhall.

Cllr Jo Gilford, ward member for Woodford and Weedon was appointed as his vice-chairman.

It’s a little-known fact that John took a commission in the reserve forces whilst at university and subsequently joined 4th (Volunteer) Battalion Royal Green Jackets, seeing short periods of service in Cyprus, Germany and Belize. He’s been a local councillor for over 40 years – and he plans to be equally active and dedicated in the year ahead as Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council, supporting local communities and businesses whilst also fundraising for his two chosen charities, Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT) and the Army Benevolent Fund.

"It’s an honour and privilege to be Chairman and I’m looking forward to doing everything I can in the coming year to further raise the profile of West Northamptonshire and the many great communities we have. 

"It’s really important that our council fully supports and connects with our residents, businesses and community groups and I will be working hard to continue to build these links as well as helping to showcase their amazing achievements.”
John, the WNC councillor for Moulton Ward

Originally from Bedford, where his parents were both teachers, John read law at Worcester College, Oxford and qualified as a solicitor in London before he moved to Northampton in the late 1970s to join Becke Phipps (known as HCR) where he was a partner for 35 years, practising in property and administrative law. Shortly after he started his political career serving Daventry District Council as an elected member for the Spratton Ward alongside this role John also chaired a number of committees, was leading on various projects across the area.

At WNC he has been a member of the Governance and Strategic Planning Committees. John’s passions outside the district have always been sailing, and his family being a proud dad and grandad.

“I have chosen to help raise invaluable funds for the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT) as I would like to praise and celebrate the work done by the NMPAT and other musical groups in the area and the Army Benevolent Fund providing support to soldiers, veterans and their immediate families.”Cllr John Shephard

The role of Chairman is a non-political, civic role, which involves representing the Council and West Northamptonshire at events and functions, as well as chairing Council meetings to ensure they are properly run in accordance with the Constitution.

As part of the role, the Chairman is keen to meet and engage with local businesses, schools, community and voluntary groups and other organisations to help raise their profile – if you are organising an event, activity or function and would like the Chairman to attend, please contact the Chairman's Secretary at

Find out more about the Chairman and their role.

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