The Councillor was phoned at the weekend to ask if he would stand as Chairman. The current Chairman was fulfilling the role under duress, and was unable to attend some of the external meetings. The Councillor expressed his thanks, but declined, feeling that his current work commitments would preclude him from doing a thorough job. He did, however, volunteer to try and coerce / cajole / bully a fellow councillor to accept the role.
The Councillor approached his colleague and won her over to the idea.
At the council mmeting The Councillor nominated said colleague, who was quickly accepted and took over there and then. The Parish's first female leader... then a debate started about what she should be called. All of the (spit!) Politically Correct (spit!) phrases were trotted out... Chair, Madam Chair, Chairwoman and so forth. Believe it or not, however, there has recently been a debate and ruling on this at national level. The correct form of address is, apparently, Madame Chairman. (And people wonder what goes on in the halls of government - you can rest peacefully in your beds knowing that there is national guidance on such matters).
Best of luck to our new Madame Chair. The Councillor thinks she will do a splendid job.