Councilor Cynthia Barker, first Filipina deputy mayor of Hertsmere, UK

Mayoral chain being presented to Councilor Cynthia Barker

COUNCILOR Cynthia Barker, a long-time British resident, beat the odds recently by winning one of three Council seats in a traditionally Labour ward in the town of Elstree & Borehamwood for the Conservatives. In a hotly contested count of votes (6 counts/recounts), Barker emerged victorious, beating her Labour opponent by a mere three votes which saw her return to the Council for another 4-year term.

Councilor Alan Plancey, the worshipful mayor, and Councilor Cynthia Barker, deputy mayor of Hertsmere.

Barker was elected to serve at Hertsmere Borough Council. At their first Council meeting for the municipal year 2019-2020, which was also the Annual Council meeting in Hertsmere (15 May 2019). Elected as the worshipful mayor of Hertsmere was Councilor Alan Plancey and Barker as deputy mayor.

Councilor Cynthia Barker
Cynthia Barker presenting DISRUPT 3.0 to UK fashion model Kiara Giel Hamlig Gregorio of ABS-CBN Lifestyle Network Global.

Councilor Meenal Sachdev, who nominated Cynthia said: “Today, I am proud to nominate my fellow councilor, change-maker, and friend for the position of deputy mayor. Of course, I am referring to Councilor Cynthia Barker, whose passion resonates boldly within her communities, and whose dedication to both local and national policy have proven her fit for the most nuanced of assignments. A leader, cultural ambassador, volunteer and elected councilor, she has the knowledge, maturity, and experience to thrive in this important role.”

Council deliberations
Democracy in action

Sachdev continued: “Cynthia isn’t one to fly under the radar. In the 28 years, she has lived in Hertsmere, she has lifted those around her as she built her world from the ground up. A proud champion of her cultural heritage, she is also a trustee for the Filipino Women’s Association (UK) and continues to engage with and strengthen the Filipino community in a variety of ways. Cynthia will continue to serve the residents in Hertsmere and represent Borehamwood Kenilworth Ward while she also supports the mayor.”

Councilor Sarah Hodgson-Jones, who seconded Barker’s nomination, indicated: “I am delighted to second Councilor Cynthia Barker for the position of Deputy Mayor of Hertsmere. I have known Councilor Barker for several years since just before her election as councilor for Furzefield Ward in Potters Bar. I have seen first-hand her enthusiasm and dedication given to serving the residents of her ward. Councilor Barker has made an invaluable contribution as Trustee to the Sixty Plus Club and in helping establish Christmas in Potters Bar. She has become a familiar face on the streets of Potters Bar supporting the local residents and campaigning on local issues. She played an active part in the work of the council itself, and in the various committees on which she served. She has been a champion of local democracy but is not constrained by local matters in her outlook. She has promoted the interests of the Filipino Community, here in Hertsmere and nationally. I share her wider outlook, and we have attended many conferences together. It is thus no surprise that she was recently elected to represent district and borough councils on the CCA. In that capacity, she will work to raise the profile of Hertsmere as one of the best-run boroughs in the county. I am glad to say that the residents are most fortunate to have a councilor of such high caliber. It is my sincere belief that Councilor Barker will make an excellent Deputy Mayor; she will carry out her civic duties in a most professional manner, she will work alongside and support the Mayor, and she will make Hertsmere Proud.”

Cynthia Baker makes her Declaration of Acceptance.
The Hertmere Council begins with a prayer.
The Hertsmere Council

In Hertsmere, the mayor is elected annually, and in his/her absence, the deputy mayor will have a formal role, including representing the Council as the Borough’s first citizen and maintain the historical and ceremonial traditions of the Office Mayor; and, chairing the council meeting.

Barker has this to say: “It has been pretty overwhelming. I am still smiling right now because I feel so proud to be part of our council and being given the privilege of serving as deputy Mayor. I find it really humbling.” Cynthia (FWN100(tm) GLOBAL 2017) shared her leadership journey in “Building My Political Backbone” in DISRUPT 3.0. Filipina Women: Rising, Filipina Women’s Network third leadership book.


Photo Credit: Cynthia Barker and Hertsmere webcast

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