THIS WEEK IN 1973: Havant gains borough status following Royal Charter award

John Derben, the first Mayor of Havant
John Derben, the first Mayor of Havant
Have your say

Havant council’s chairman would soon become a mayor as the area was granted a Royal Charter – allowing it to become a borough from April 1, 1974.

By a uninanimous vote at its July meeting, Havant District decided to seek the charter to give the town ‘unity and dignity’ by changing its status from a district to a borough.

A fervent campaigner for the promotion was Lt-Commander TJC Williams (RN, Retd), a former chairman of Havant and Waterloo Urban Council, who said: ‘I am delighted.

‘I feel that the powers-that-be have recognised the size and importance of Havant’s district and have granted

us a status that has been long overdue.’

He had earlier told fellow councillors: ‘It is the difference between being a first-class citizen and a

second-class citizen.’

The man in the limelight at the time, however, was then-chairman of Havant District Council, John Derben, pictured.

Mr Derben became the first mayor of Havant as a result of the changes.

He said: ‘We should have been made a borough long ago, but it is marvellous that we now have.’

The current mayor of Havant is Battins councillorFaith Ponsonby.