After reader Jerry England asked how the candidates were qualified for the role of Mayor of Watford, we asked them for their CVs.

Here are the skills and experience of Labour candidate Jagtar Singh Dhindsa...

I am Watford bred having grown up in the town and raised a family here. I come from a working-class background but believe my achievements over 45 years demonstrate that you don’t necessarily need a privileged background or university degree to make a valued contribution to society.


1979 – 1983 Apprentice Automobile Engineering, Rolls Royce, Leavesden, Watford

I have clear understanding of the meaning of a high-quality apprenticeship which should be the standard of all apprenticeships locally

1983 – 1991 Automobile Engineer, Rolls Royce maintaining company’s fleet of vehicles

Experience of working in teams of local people in an industrial environment

1991 – present HMP The Mount Instructional Officer in the prison service.

Main tasks are to train and rehabilitate prisoners. This requires a range on complex skills to work with people who have a wide range of personal and social problems including mental health and personality disorders. Ability to be a good listener and not to be judgemental. Understanding of the need to work in an organised and disciplined environment to achieve results.


1973- 1978 Grange Park School, Bushey – 7 GCE O’ Levels

Good basic education

1978 - 1979 West Herts College 1st year automobile engineering apprenticeship (full time)

A high-quality apprenticeship is now recognised as an alternative of equal value to a University degree.

1984 - 1985 Institute of Management course (part time)

Knowledge of management skills

Local Government

1994 – 1998 First elected to Watford Council, Councillor for Leggatts ward

2001 – 2004 Watford Councillor, Vicarage ward

I am a long-standing and well-respected Watford councillor with experience of dealing with a complex individual and group case work on a wide range of issues

2001- 2002 Cabinet member for Leisure and Community Services

Experience of working strategically at corporate level with senior officers.

2006 to present Watford Councillor Vicarage ward

Senior roles (not all current)

Chair of Budget Panel

Deep understanding of the financial working of local authorities and ability to interpret financial information, budgets and to ensure financial accountability.

Chair of Scrutiny Committee

Ability to lead a team of councillors who scrutinise key decisions made by the Cabinet usually of a strategic nature.

Leader of Labour Group

Leadership and mediation skills and ensuring strategic direction

Member of various Committees including – Cabinet, Leisure, Licensing, Standards, Outsourced Service Scrutiny and Highways Panel

A deep knowledge of the functions and services provided by the Council and the standards required.

2014 Labour mayoral candidate

Experience of running for Mayor – came a good second!

2017 – 2018 Chair of Watford Council (formerly civic mayor)

Keeping Council meetings in order and ensuring fair debate. Knowledge of Council Standing Orders and Constitution. Promoting charities and attending community organisations in a civic role gaining knowledge of the diverse communities and organisations in Watford.

Member of Hertfordshire Probation Board

Functioning as a Board of Directors, ensuring key policies are implemented

Chair of national all-party forum of BAME councillors

Working collaboratively cross party to increase representation from BAME communities.

Trade Union

Branch Secretary and previously Chair of PCS

Representing members both individually and in collective bargaining with the prison service

National Secretary of RESPECT (HMP BAME organisation)

Good knowledge of equality policies in an employment environment

Whitley Council National negotiator for prison service employees

Ability to negotiate agreements at national and local level and to develop negotiating strategies

Watford Community (not all current)

Chair of Watford Racial Equality Council

Developed extensive knowledge of equality legislation and implementation, including equality impact assessments

Chair of Watford Labour Party

Widely respected within the Labour Party

Chair and Treasurer of Multi-Cultural Community Centre

Experience of managing a local community organisation

School Governor (Westfield)

Knowledge of how successful schools run including admissions and interacting with education authorities