Lesley becomes new Lord Mayor

June 02 2017

FROME Vale councillor Lesley Alexander has been named as Bristol's new Lord Mayor.

FROME Vale councillor Lesley Alexander has been named as Bristol's new Lord Mayor.

The Conservative councillor will take over the ceremonial role from Councillor Jeff Lovell who stepped down after his year in office on May 23.

Lesley, 70, has a busy year ahead of her and will have around 800 engagements, from greeting royals to attending charity events, scheduled in her diary.

Her husband Charles will accompany her, acting as consort for her varied commitments.

The role will see Lesley promote the city of Bristol and support a wide range of Bristol-based organisations.

"I'm delighted," Lesley said of her prestigious appointment.

"I'm a bit apprehensive but so far it's been absolutely brilliant and people have been lovely to me."

As a young woman growing up in Somerton in the Yeovil constituency, Lesley took a keen interest in politics, becoming a Young Conservative at 17.

"It didn't kick off much further than that until I came to Bristol 40 years ago," Lesley said.

"I was an activist until I retired from work and stood for council in 2003. I've been a councillor for Frome Vale ever since."

Lesley was nominated for the role of Lord Mayor by her party group before receiving the backing of all councillors.

As the role of Lord Mayor is non-political, Lesley will not sit on any committees during her year in office but will continue as councillor of Frome Vale.

"It's normal for Lord Mayors to choose a theme that they want to concentrate on and mine is older people, especially those who can't get out of their homes without any help. Loneliness is very bad for your health.

"Previous Lord Mayors have said it's wonderful to find out just how many organisations there are out there doing helpful things for the people of Bristol so I will look forward to finding out about them."

Lesley is very keen to give help and support to people and councillors who are interested in starting retirement clubs.

"I started the Begbrook Club about three years ago and I've now got a very good team of people on the committee there. We do all sorts of things and it's been one of my success stories, along with saving the library."

Lesley says she will continue to support her ward.

"Frome Vale is a very attractive ward with a lot of green open space. The people are very friendly and I've always enjoyed being a councillor there. Community spirit has gone up tremendously since I started as a councillor.

"I just like helping people and want to make Fishponds a better place."