The Right Worshipful the Mayor of St Albans City and District, Councillor Janet Smith

2019 Mayor Cllr Janet Smith 200pxJanet became a District Councillor for Sopwell Ward in 2003 and served until 2008.  She returned in 2012 and has been a Sopwell Ward Councillor ever since.  Recently she has sat on the Audit Committee, Plans South Committee, the City Neighbourhood Committee and the Housing Liaison Consultative Forum as well as a variety of working groups.

Janet has been representing the District Council at Trustee meetings of Citizens Advice St Albans  District and has chosen them to be her charity for the year.  As her theme she has chosen “Knowledge and Confidence” as this is the ethos of CASTAD.

Janet was born in Oldham, which at the time was part of Lancashire, and lived there until the age of 11.  She then moved with her parents, Hazel and Jack, first to Bolton and then at the age of 16 to St Albans, doing her A-levels at the Girls School.  Following this she trained as a teacher.

After teaching locally for a year Janet went to Hong Kong where she lived for 15 years.  During this time her son, Sebastian and daughter, Sonia were born and she ran a playgroup.  She was the founder secretary of the Hong Kong Pre-School Playgroup Association, which still exists today.  During this time she helped to set up a pre-school training course for parents run at the University of Hong Kong.

Janet returned from Hong Kong in 1991 and has lived in St Albans ever since.  Her children attended local schools and were both very interested in learning German.  For 6 years Janet had German exchange pupils coming to stay and thought it would be a good idea if she learnt some German as well.  She signed up for a beginners’ class at the college in Harpenden and then progressed to doing a 3 year Open University German course which led to a diploma.  Having got a taste for further education Janet then signed up for further Open University courses, acquiring first a diploma in European Humanities and then in 2005 a degree in Humanities with History.

Janet joined the St Albans Worms Partnership in 2003 and became the Honorary Treasurer in 2005, a post she still holds. She has enjoyed many trips to Worms, the St Albans twin town in Germany, during this time and made some good friends there.  To ensure that she does not forget how to speak German in between visits she has been attending a German class once a week since 2001.

Janet believes in the ethos of encouraging young people to save and has been running the Credit Union’s children’s bank, known as Treasure Chest, at Mandeville School every Thursday morning before school starts.  She has been doing this since it began in 2005 and she then stays on at the school as a volunteer listening to children reading.

During her spare time Janet loves reading novels, mainly historical and enjoys spending time with her family.

Date of last review: 30 May 2019