Council Chairman | Sevenoaks District Council

Council Chairman

Cllr Laurence Ball, our new chess playing Chairman, is confident he can make all the right moves in the coming year.

Laurence, who is now retired, spent most of his working life in insurance and more recently for a company in Swanley. But chess has always been his passion.

Laurence says: “I have played chess since I was seven and have been lucky enough to qualify and play twice in the South African Championship and twice in the British Championship. I’ve been involved in the administrative side of the game too as the President of Chess South Africa and on the Ethics Committee of FIDE (the International Chess Federation). I still love the game. These days I play for Kent and help out with coaching at local schools.”

“I also have a passion for hockey. I began playing at the age of 14 and I’m still involved as an umpire.”

Laurence has been a Sevenoaks District Councillor for the past 13 years. “It feels humbling to be appointed as the Council’s new Chairman,” says Laurence. “I can’t wait to meet our residents and community groups and promote the Sevenoaks District at every opportunity.”

“I’m also keen to use my year as the Chairman to promote the SUMS charity in Swanley. They offer oxygen therapy to people living with MS and other neurological conditions and injuries. I had a health scare some 20 years ago. Since then I’ve seen first-hand how they help people so I’m keen to raise as much money as possible for this very worthy cause.”

Laurence has lived in the Sevenoaks District for the past 17 years. Previously, he lived in Edenvale in South Africa after his parents emigrated there when he was 14 years old. Laurence has two married sons who live in Hong Kong and Cape Town respectively and a granddaughter who is nine months old.

Laurence, who represents Farningham, Horton Kirby & South Darenth, became our new Chairman on 14 May 2024.

Contacting the Chairman

The Chairman welcomes invitations to attend community events.

To invite Laurence, please complete our online form.

You can also follow or contact the Chairman via Twitter.

The Vice-Chairman

Cllr Lynda Harrison who represents Fawkham & West Kingsdown is the Council's Vice-Chairman.