Dorothy Thornhill has been the democratically elected Mayor of Watford since 2002. She is the first person to hold this position and was the first female elected mayor in the UK. In 2010 she became only the second Mayor to be elected to a third term.
Dorothy was a teacher for 25 years, working in schools across Hertfordshire, and held the position of the Assistant Head of Queen’s School in Bushey.
Prior to becoming Mayor she sat on Watford Borough Council representing her local area of Oxhey for a decade.
She was elected as Mayor of Watford in 2002 in the first elections of their type in the town. On becoming mayor Dorothy overcame a legacy of disastrous financial management, the highest council tax in the County, a damning Audit Commission Report and an unacceptable standard of public services from a Town Hall whose morale had reached rock bottom.
Since starting in her role as Mayor she has turned Watford into well-run and high performing authority without any significant increases in taxes.
In the years she has spent as mayor Dorothy has led on a number of major local investment projects, such as the Croxley Rail Link and Watford Health Campus, a project that will provide 1,300 new jobs, 750 new homes and new community facilities for Watford.
Dorothy received a MBE in January 2012 for services to local government.
She stood in Watford in the 2015 General Election for the Liberal Democrats.
In July 2015, Dorothy was appointed as the Spokesperson for Local Government in Tim Farron's first spokespersons team. In August, Dorothy was given a peerage as part of the Dissolution Honours. She stepped down from her role as Local Government Spokesperson following the 2016 local elections which saw the Watford Liberal Democrats take control of the Council.
Outside of politics she is married to Iain Sharp, a Lib Dem councillor for Oxhey on Watford Borough Council. She is an Honorary Vice-President of Watford Football Club, who are in the Premiership.