Councillor Ron Woodley elected as Southend’s 103rd Mayor

May 9, 2024

Councillor Ron Woodley was elected as the City of Southend’s 103rd Mayor at today’s Full Council meeting and takes over from councillor Stephen Habermel who has served as Mayor for the past year.

The annual Mayor Making ceremony took place in the Civic Centre council chamber and was attended by the High Sheriff of Essex, MPs, members of the faith community, council officials, family members and friends.

In his acceptance speech, councillor Woodley expressed his great admiration and pride at being elected to the role of Mayor. He thanked outgoing Mayor councillor Habermel, fellow councillors for endorsing him, and thanked the residents of Thorpe ward where he represents as an independent councillor.

Councillor Woodley said: “I really am delighted to have this opportunity to become Mayor of our great city. I very much look forward to meeting the amazing range of voluntary and community organisations across Southend and helping to promote their hard work and dedication.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Reverend Frank Smith from St Augustine’s Church in Thorpe ward who has agreed to act as Chaplain during my Mayoral year. I am proud to announce that my main charity fundraising efforts for this municipal year will be for HARP, Southend’s homeless charity, and the Jude Harvey Foundation which aims to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening, research and supporting families.”

Outgoing Mayor, councillor Habermel, said: “I wish councillor Woodley and his wife, Maureen, a successful Mayoral year, and I would also like to thank colleagues, friends, residents of Chalkwell ward, as well as everyone who supported me during the past year.

“I am extremely grateful to everyone who has helped raise over £25,000 for my nominated charities, Havens Hospices and The Music Man Project. I look forward to the next year continuing to serve our city and thank everybody involved in making the 2023-24 Mayoralty as memorable as it was.”

Deputy Mayor for this year will be councillor Nigel Folkard and his wife Deputy Mayoress Marianne Folkard.


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