The Stephensons

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council is composed of 17 wards with 34 Councillors, each of whom is chosen to represent a defined Ward by the residents who live in it. A Councillor's term of office lasts four years, but Councillors often decide to submit themselves for re-election, so may serve on the Council for many years. Elections for Councillors to represent the Borough on the Warwickshire County Council are held every fourth year.

The Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth is elected by fellow councillors at the Annual Meeting of the Borough Council and Mayor Making Ceremony held in May of each year. The position is held for one year. The Mayor is normally a councillor of long standing or one who has made a significant contribution to the borough.

The Mayor's main function is to act as Chair of full council meetings, and as chair, ensures that proceedings are conducted in a fair and proper manner. The Mayor is also First Citizen of the Borough for their year in office representing the Council at public functions and at social, civic and ceremonial events, both in the borough and further afield.

The Mayor also acts as an ambassador for the community, acting as a figurehead for local appeals and events. Each year the Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth pledges their support to a charity (or charities) of their choice. All monies raised at special events held during the year are donated to the Mayor's Appeal.

An Officer of the NBBC was kind enough to send me a list of the early Mayors of Nuneaton and Bedworth in 2006. The two Authorities had merged in 1974.

 1974 F.B.J. Warr
 1974-75 J.F Diskin
 1975-76 A. Tallis
 1976-77 R.T. Walker
 1977-78 H. Jones
 1978-79 D.G.D. Woodcock
 1979-80 T.E. Short 
 1980-81 W. Deacon
Bill represented Abbey Ward as a Councillor for 26 years. He died in April 2015.
 1981-82 J.F. Place
Jeff was a Councillor for Abbey Ward for much of the 1970s and some of the 1980s. For a time he was also a Warwickshire County Councillor. He helped Leslie Huckfield win the Nuneaton Parliamentary seat in 1967 and was Bill Olner's agent when he was elected in 1992. He died in March 2014.
 1982-83 C.M. Ward
 1983-84 J. Haynes JP
 1984-85 S. Williams
 1985-86 A.H. Walker JP
 1986-87 G.W. Taylor
 1987-88 W.J. Olner

 Town MP 1992-2010
 1988-89 R.D. Walkden
 1989-90 T. Hargreaves
 1990-91 M.J. Jones
Mick died in May 2023. He and his team collected £60,000 for the Mary Ann Evans Hospice whilst in office. He had represented the Galley Common and Abbey Wards.
 1991-92 R.D. Hicks
 1992-93 A.A. Lloyd
 1993-94 M. Kedwards
 1994-95 R.G. Copland
 1995-96 D.T. Jacques
 1996-97 J. Glass
 1997-98 D. Ensor
Dave died from pneumonia in October 2015. He had represented the Abbey Ward for many years and had raised £40,000 for the NSPCC whilst Mayor.
 1998-99 R.N. Chattaway
 1999-2000 M.C. Beaumont
 2000-01 D.F. Hawkes
 2001-02 W.J. Hancox
 2002-03 G. Ashford
 2003-04 I.K. Lloyd
 2004-05 P. Henry
 2005-06 P.A. Bradley
 2006-07 J.A. Jackson
Julie is Councillor for Wem Brook and was first elected in May 1996.
 2007-08 W.H. Sheppard
Bill is Councillor for Wem Brook and was first elected in May 1996.
 G. Smith
Councillor Gerald Smith was born in 1938,  moving to Nuneaton in 1961 to work at the Observer newspaper. In 1975 he acquired his own milk round, working as a milkman until he retired in 1998. In 2000 he won Weddington Ward.

 T.G. Wilson
Tom was first elected to the St. Nicolas Ward of the NBBC in May 1999. His wife, Sonja, was a Borough Councillor for Arbury Ward.

Sadly Tom died from lymphona cancer in July 2014. He had served as a Borough Councillor in two periods: 1976-83 and 1999-2012. His civic appeal had raised £25,000 for the Meningitis Trust, for people with hearing difficulties and for the Nuneaton and Bedworth Heritage Centres. He had married Sonja, a Dane, in July 1967.
 D. Navarro
Don was first elected to the Exhall Ward in May 2002. His Mayoral Appeal was for The Special Care Baby Unit at the George Eliot Hospital.
 N.J. Phillips
Neil was first elected to the Abbey Ward in May 2006. Born in 1959, he has undertaken a variety of jobs and was a mature student at Coventry University. His Appeal was for the Mary Ann Evans Hospice.
2012-13J. Haynes
John is Councillor for Bede Ward in Bedworth. He was first elected in May 2010.
2013-14R.G. Copland
The Mayoral Appeal was for 'People in Action' whose aim is to help people with learning disabilities integrate into society. Specifically, he wanted to help raise enough money for a community cafe to be built in the Miners' Welfare Park in Bedworth. He is Councillor for Poplar Ward in Bedworth, being elected for the first time in May 1984. Bob was also Mayor in 1994-95.
2014-15B.L. Hawkes
Brian is Councillor for Heath in Bedworth and was first elected in May 2012. He is the first person to hold both the role of Mayor and of Consort, having been the latter in 2000-01, when his wife Diana was the Borough's Mayor. The Mayoral Appeal this year supports the Warwickshire and Northampton- shire Air Ambulance.
2015-16B. Longden
Barry became Councillor for Kingswood in May 2012. His Appeal is jointly for Maggie's Memory (brain tumour research, named after Maggie Davis) and Anker Radio.
 J. Sheppard
Jill became Councillor for Abbey in September 2007. Her chosen charities for the Mayoral Appeal are the Veterans’ Contact Point Armed Forces Centre based in Nuneaton but serving borough-wide (and often beyond), and a Mental Health Drop-In Centre based in Newtown Road, Nuneaton. Her daughter is also a Labour Councillor in Nuneaton.
2017-18W.J. Hancox
Bill was elected to the Council in 1990, repesenting Bede Ward in Bedworth. He retired in 2013 and enjoys gardening and crown green bowling. He has adopted the Lymphoedema clinic (a part of Mary Ann Evans Hospice) as his Appeal for the Mayoral year. Four thousand people were treated there in 2016. He was also Mayor in 2001-02.
2018-19 C. M. Watkins
Chris was first elected to the Council in May 2010, representing Kingswood Ward in Bedworth. He is supporting Doorway as his chosen charity.
J. Tandy
June represents the Attleborough Ward on the Council, being first elected in May 2012. Her chosen charity is The George Eliot Hospital Serenity Garden, which will provide a beautiful open space away from clinical areas for patients to relax and socialise during their hospital stay.