Dorothy Thornhill

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Dorothy Thornhill
Dorothy Thornhill at Bournemouth.jpg
Mayor of Watford
Assumed office
May 2002
Preceded by New Office
Personal details
Born (1955-05-26) 26 May 1955 (age 59)
Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Political party Liberal Democrats
Website [1]

Dorothy Thornhill (born 26 May 1955) is the first directly elected mayor of Watford, Hertfordshire, England. She was the Liberal Democrats' first directly elected mayor, and was also the first female directly elected mayor in the United Kingdom. She has been Mayor of Watford since May 2002, being re-elected in May 2006, May 2010 and May 2014.

Political career[edit]

In May 2002, Dorothy Thornhill became the first elected mayor of Watford Borough with a majority of over 8000 after counting second choice votes.[1]

Thornhill increased her majority when she was re-elected as mayor in May 2006, gaining more than 50% of the vote in the first round, with a majority of over 7000.[2]

Thornhill was ranked the 41st most influential Liberal Democrat in the country, in an article by the Daily Telegraph. They stated:

"Dorothy Thornhill overcame tough opposition to become the first directly LibDem mayor in 2002 and she was re-elected in 2006. Watford is a target seat for the 'LibDems' at the next election and her tenure as mayor will prove crucial to their fortunes.[3] "

At a Liberal Democrat 'Town Hall' meeting in Watford, February 2010, the leader of the party, Nick Clegg was asked whether he felt the Mayor was right to earn the same wage as a Member of Parliament whether she was “value for money”, and in response he named her "one of the best mayors in this country".[4]

Thornhill was re-elected as Mayor of Watford in May 2010, for a third term in office, with a majority of 11,921, becoming the second directly elected mayor in the UK to do so.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Thornhill was assistant head teacher at Queens' School in Bushey for several years and had a teaching career spanning over 25 years.[6]

Thornhill resides in Oxhey, where she was a borough councillor for several years. She states on the Watford Council Website "In my spare time I enjoy spending time with friends and family, reading, watching rugby and football and visiting old churches." and she describes herself as "an avid viewer of Coronation Street" She is an Honorary Vice-President of Watford Football Club.[6] She is married to Cllr Iain Sharpe, a fellow Liberal Democrat. She uses the social networking site Twitter regularly.


  1. ^ "Dorothy Thornhill Sweeps To Victory (from Watford Observer)". 2002-05-03. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  2. ^ "Full Steam Ahead For Mayor Thornhill (from Watford Observer)". 2006-05-05. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  3. ^ Dale, Iain (2008-09-13). "The 50 most influential Liberal Democrats: 41-50 (from Daily Telegraph)". Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  4. ^ "Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg spells out vision for Britain during 'town hall meeting' in Watford (from Watford Observer)". 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  5. ^ "Dorothy Thornhill re-elected with huge majority (From Watford Observer)". 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  6. ^ a b About the Elected Mayor - Watford Borough Council[dead link]

External links[edit]

Civic offices
New creation Mayor of Watford
2002 – Present