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
David Cotton. Picture: Sussex Police

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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.