Published Friday, 29th May 2020

Cllr Rosemary Absalom has taken up her role as the new Mayor for Reigate & Banstead.

A photo of the new Mayor, Cllr AbsalomShe was elected at last night’s virtual Annual Council meeting, held online for the first time due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.

Cllr Frank Kelly was elected as Deputy Mayor, a role he also held back in 2017. Both councillors have lived in the borough for many years, and have an extensive background working for the Council.

As Mayor, Cllr Absalom has chosen the Community Fund for Reigate & Banstead as her charity for the municipal year, which runs until the end of May 2021.

The Community Fund provides support to local projects which tackle need, disadvantage, and community participation across the borough. Currently, all grants from the Fund are now being made specifically to local charities and projects that need financial support to provide their services to assist with the Coronavirus response.

Cllr Absalom explained: “There’s never been a better time to get behind the Community Fund. Even before these strange, unprecedented times, there were residents in the borough facing extreme hardship – poverty, homelessness, domestic abuse – and now, more than ever, they need our support.

“While the start of my Mayoral term is going to be a little different to usual, there’s still lots to be done from home, thanks to the great technology of today! I look forward to being able to attend events and meet our wonderful residents and organisations around the borough when the time is right.”

Due to the current circumstances, Cllr Absalom announced in the virtual meeting last night that three-quarters of her Mayoral allowance that she receives during the crisis will be donated to the Community Fund.

Previous recipients of grants have included Voluntary Action Reigate and Banstead (VARB), Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid and Welcare.

Cllr Absalom, who has been Deputy Mayor for the past year, has a keen interest in volunteering and the arts. She has lived in Reigate since 1980 with her husband, David Absalom, who becomes the Mayor’s Consort, and their adult son. 

Cllr Kelly has been a borough councillor for Merstham for eight years and Hooley, Merstham and Netherne for the past year, is currently Deputy Chair of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee as well as holding roles with YMCA East Surrey both Housing and Children and Youth committees.

You can find out more about the Mayor and Deputy Mayor on our website, and keep up-to-date with the Mayor’s adventures in and around the borough on Facebook and Twitter.