The Independent View: Thank you Dorothy!


Watford Mayor Dorothy Thornhill visits the Vibe 107.6FM studios.

Whether you’ve lived in Watford all your life or just a few years, you will probably notice the transformation of the town. Over last sixteen years Dorothy as Mayor has made Watford the town it is today.

In 2006, I set out to bring Watford its own brand new local radio station. The idea was to try and convince the regulator Ofcom that Watford could sustain a full-time community radio station, predominantly aimed at under 35’s. It was important that the station was presented in an upbeat, vibrant way that would encompass the feel of the town. With this in mind, I led a team of volunteers to put together four trial broadcasts from 2006 to 2010. Shortly after our final trial broadcast, we had the opportunity to apply for a full-time broadcasting licence, which we applied for and won in 2010. Vibe 107.6 FM officially launched full time on 11th August 2011 and is still on air today.

There is one person who was absolute key in helping me start the ball rolling in the early stages – Mayor Dorothy. At the age of 22, I remember meeting Dorothy in the town hall to discuss my idea to bring a brand new local radio station to Watford – a radio station that would reflect Watford’s diverse young community and help to promote small businesses and fellow social enterprise projects.

Dorothy was supportive from the outset of the project and helped point me in the right direction for funding. Dorothy was present for the launch that took place at the studios in Watford Community Housing Trust HQ on Clarendon Road and had seen the whole project through from its first trial, to full-time launch. I am absolutely thrilled that Vibe 107.6 is still going strong in 2018, twelve years after its initial trial. It is a great example of a non-profit radio station being run to serve the local community.

Aside from supporting local businesses like Vibe 107.6. Dorothy has been an extremely positive influence in Watford becoming the country’s first female directly elected Mayor in 2002. Some examples of her contributions include: improvements to Intu Watford shopping centre, Green Flag award for Cassiobury Park, supporting Watford’s Big Events and community fireworks. Dorothy has been a courageous leader for Watford and has always focused enriching the lives of the communities in town.

I’ll never forget Dorothy and her time as Mayor. The improvements she has made for Watford have been drastic and I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours.

Thank you Dorothy!

* Matt Cadman is founder of Vibe 107.6 FM in Watford

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This entry was posted in The Independent View.
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4 Comments

  • David Evans 13th Apr '18 - 5:44pm

    Dorothy is a star and we must not allow her legacy to be squandered. Everyone north of London (and any in north London) in no hope areas or who hasn’t got local elections in their patch should be there at least once a week. This is one we must hold!

  • Richard Underhill 14th Apr '18 - 3:41pm

    Cleaning up graffitti had a big effect quickly, done first.

  • James Tyler 17th Apr '18 - 1:28pm

    Dorothy has an incredible legacy in Watford, and our party should be proud of what she has achieved as the first Liberal Democrat and first female elected Mayor in the country.

    Peter Taylor, her Deputy and former school teacher, is looking to replace her and would be a first class Lib Dem Mayor. This is, as the gentleman has said above, one we must hold!

    If you would like to come and help please email [email protected]

  • OnceALibDem 17th Apr '18 - 7:14pm

    Dorothy achieved a huge amount but I’ll always feel let down by her position reversal on elected mayors once in office.

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