Chairman of the Council 2023 - 2024

The civic head is the Chair of the Council who was elected at the Council's Annual General Meeting and will hold office for one year.

This year's Chairman is Councillor Deborah Merryweather.

This year's Vice-Chairman is Councillor Gillian Freeman.

Biography for Councillor Deborah Merryweather

I have lived and worked in Bassetlaw most of my life with the exception of fours years when I lived in Rotherham.

I have been married to my husband Fraser for 22 years, and we have two children, Courtney 20 and Sam 19, both of whom have autism. They are the most loving and caring children I could ever have hoped for.

I work full time at Bassetlaw Hospital in Procurement, my role is that of procurement inventory management Team Leader (buyer of all products used in the Trust).

I enjoy my role as a Councillor. This will be my ninth year and every day brings different situations to deal with. I find  working with the council to help people is very satisfying and I hope to be able to do this for a long time.

My hobbies are walking our two dogs, soon to be three a rescue from Bulgaria, going to the cinema with my family and bowling (even though the kids beat me and their dad every time).

I hope through my role as chair to champion children and adults with special needs and to also steer a campaign to help people with mental health issues.

The number of people with mental health issues is growing so I feel it is time to reach out and give people a voice and a listening ear, so that they know they are not on their own.

I know this council cares for the whole of Bassetlaw that is why I am proud to hold this position.

Invitations to the Chairman

The Chairman, or the Vice-Chairman, will attend most events within the District, time permitting.

The Chairman welcomes invitations to attend events in the District. The Chairman likes to be well briefed about any function to be attended, therefore it is best that you provide as much information as possible.


  1. Within the District, the Chairman has precedence, subject to Her Majesty’s Royal prerogative.
  2. This means that when attending functions in the District, the Chairman is the most important guest, except when Members of the Royal Family or the Lord Lieutenant are present.
  3. There is one exception to this rule. If the event is taking place within a County Council establishment, the Chairman of the County Council takes precedence over the Chairman of the District Council.
  4. When the Vice-Chairman of the Council is deputising for the Chairman, the same precedence rule applies.

Chairman's Arrival

The Chairman of the Council should be met and officially welcomed at a function by a responsible person and escorted to their correct position. The Chairman should always sit on the right hand side of the host as the appropriate place of honour. The Chairman’s Escort should be placed immediately to the left of the Chairman at a meeting or dinner.


If the Chairman is required to make a speech or reply to a toast, it would be greatly appreciated if as much information as possible could be submitted in advance of the event, such as information about the body organising the event and any words of welcome and thanks which should be included.

Last Updated on Thursday, June 1, 2023