The Council has enacted its business continuity plans and is redeploying staff to priority services.

Please check our Coronavirus updates page for the latest information about Council services.

The Mayor

20 May 2020

The Mayoress and I would like to thank everyone for their support during our Mayoral Year.  I am delighted to announce that £14,859.87 was raised during our term in office through hosting and attendance at fundraising events to support the services and support that Compaid provide to disabled, elderly & vulnerable people across Kent.

Today I would have handed over the Mayoralty to my Deputy, Cllr Joy Podbury, but in these unprecedented times I will continue in office through to the autumn to carry out some virtual duties until the new Mayor can be appointed officially.

Compaid will remain as my chosen charity during this extended time, and further donations to support their work with vulnerable people through the Coronavirus crisis would be very welcome.

I would like to express my immense sadness at the number of Coronavirus deaths and send heartfelt condolences to the bereaved.  Our thoughts are with those who are laid low by the virus and thanks must go to those involved in their treatment, in the work that keeps the country going and those who are undertaking research to find a cure and inoculations.

I have been heartened by how everyone has come together in the community to help each other and want to say a big thank you to everyone but especially our NHS key workers. TWBC has worked closely with charities Age UK, Nourish and MHR and also MP Greg Clark, KCC, Parish Councils, GPs and the Police to help those most vulnerable in the borough. But we must not forget those still working in supermarkets and key areas like refuse, housing and benefits.

We are looking at ways to remember all of these groups once the battle with the virus is won, when we can come together again.

In the meantime, stay safe and well.

Councillor James Scholes
Mayor of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells

The Mayor and Mayoress for 2019-2020 are Cllr James Scholes and his wife, Mrs Jane Scholes.

The Mayor Cllr James Scholes

The high standing of the Mayor is one of honour and dignity rather than actual legal powers. The Mayor is expected to attend many formal and informal functions including:

  • Royal and State Visits
  • Civic Ceremonies and Functions
  • Town Twinning
  • Charity
  • AGMs
  • Fetes
  • Dinner/Dances

Other functions of the role are to:

  • remain politically neutral, as the office of Mayor is mainly a ceremonial position
  • chair full Council meetings
  • make speeches and address many different groups
  • act as ambassador to promote the Council's name at home and elsewhere

The Mayor on Twitter

Mayor Julia Soyke 2017-18

The life of Mayor Julia Soyke

Mayor David Neve 2016-17

The Life of Mayor David Neve.

The Mayor attends around 200 engagements every year. These range from school visits to opening new businesses and attending community events.

If you would like the Mayor to attend your event, you can invite the Mayor to attend an event by completing our online form.

We will pass your invitation to the Mayor and let you know as soon as we have an answer.

In normal circumstances the Mayor can only consider invitations with at least 2 weeks notice, so please give us as much notice as you can when inviting the Mayor to your event.

The Mayor attends many civic and community engagements throughout the year and we would like to make it as easy as possible for you to invite him to your event.

Invite the Mayor to your event

The Mayor attends and hosts a number of annual events, including:

Annual Meeting of Council & Mayor Making

This Council meeting follows a similar format to that of a normal Council meeting but is a much more formal occasion. This is when the current Mayor hands over the Mayoralty to the incoming Mayor. The incoming Mayor invites personal guests to attend and hosts a reception after the ceremony. The ceremony is usually held on a Wednesday in late May.

Civic Service

The Civic Service takes place at the church of the Mayor's choice, usually the Mayor's local church. The Mayor and his Chaplain will arrange the service and, following the service, guests are invited to a reception.

Civic Dinner & Dance

The Civic Dinner & Dance is held to celebrate the Mayor's year.

Remembrance Sunday

The service and parade is held at the War Memorial in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

All are welcome to attend this Service of Remembrance Service sheets will be distributed on the day of the Parade

The Mayor's Diary can be found in the menu on the right.

Mayoral diary

We publish the Mayoral Diary each week which includes details of all the events the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor will be attending.

If you would like to make your payment for your attendance at one of the Mayor’s events, please use the BACS details below quoting the event for example Civic Dinner as your payment reference.

Sorting Code: 30-00-02
Account number: 01397910
Account name: Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (Mayor’s Charity Account)

Please note: if you wish to make a donation to the Mayor’s chosen charity, DAVSS, you can do so using the payment details above. Thank you.

The Mayor chooses a charity or charities to support for the year and the charity for 2019-20 is Compaid.

compaid logoFounded in 1986, Compaid supports disabled people, in and around Kent to overcome the multiple barriers of social, digital and economic exclusion that they face every day. Through our core services of digital skills training and accessible transport, disabled, frail elderly and other vulnerable people are able to live confidently and independently to maximise their opportunities. Last year saw over 1,600 adults and children using one or more of our services.

We provide digital skills training to adults with learning, physical and sensory disabilities, as well as those recovering from strokes or acquired brain injury. Our training includes use of the internet and social media to reconnect with family and friends, build support networks and access online services such as recruitment websites and benefits advice.

We also provide accessible transport to disabled adults and children, enabling them to get to school and further education and training, go shopping and get their prescriptions, attend day centres and access community support, and to keep hospital and other medical appointments.

Compaid is reliant on the generosity of our donors and other supporters to continue to develop and improve our services for disabled and other vulnerable people. Volunteers are regularly in demand, so we would welcome any contribution to our valuable work.

About the Mayors Charities

If you wish to approach the Mayor with the possibility of him/her adopting your charity for the year then please write to the Mayor's Office.

The Mayor chooses a charity well in advance and it would be sensible to write to the Mayor-Elect, ie Deputy Mayor, to give as much time as possible for a decision to be made.

No results were found

Tunbridge Wells Mayor's Toy Appeal

Can you help Teddy Mayor spread a little magic this Christmas? The annual Mayor’s Toy Appeal is now underway.

The Appeal helps bring joy to children and teenagers in the area who are in need or whose families find Christmas an especially difficult time of year. Last year your generosity made Christmas a happier time for over 200 local children.

Please donate your gifts between now and 15 December to help disadvantaged children across the borough.

You can drop off gifts at various locations around the borough, or if you need ideas there are Giving Trees around Royal Tunbridge Wells. For more information, gift ideas and drop off and Giving Tree location points please visit

< previous next >
A - Z of council services