Councillors assemble online to elect new mayor

Cllr Rosemary Absalom

Reigate councillor Rosemary Absalom was elected as Reigate & Banstead’s mayor for 2020-2021 at the annual council meeting on 28 May.

The meeting was held online because of the coronavirus pandemic, with councillors logging in from home.

Cllr Absalom chose the Community Fund for Reigate & Banstead as her charity for the year, which runs to the end of May 2021.

Aimed at need, disadvantage and community participation, the fund is currently making grants to local charities and projects to help them provide services during the pandemic.

Cllr Absalom said: “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.”

Cllr Absalom will give three-quarters of her mayoral allowance during the crisis to the fund.

First elected as a borough councillor in 2015, Cllr Absalom has been deputy mayor for the past year.

Cllr Absalom’s interests include volunteering and the arts.

Her husband, David Absalom, will be the mayor’s consort.  They have lived in Reigate since 1980.

Merstham councillor Frank Kelly will be this year’s deputy mayor, a role he held in 2017.

Outgoing mayor’s announcements and election of new mayor