The Deputy Mayor of Tunbridge Wells
The Deputy Mayor and Mayoress for 2020-2021 are Cllr Chris Woodward and his wife, Mrs Jenny Woodward.
The Deputy Mayor will assist the Mayor and will attend events and engagements to support. If the Mayor is unable to attend an engagement, the Deputy Mayor will go in their place.
The Deputy Mayor is also Deputy Chair for Full Council Meetings and is also a politically neutral position.
Councillor Chris Woodward
Born in Uxbridge in 1945, Chris spent all his school years in Nigeria and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Part of his heart remains there.
He won a scholarship from the Anglo-American Corporation of Africa enabling him to attend university at Imperial College, London for three years (1964-1967), studying electrical engineering. Although graduating in 1967 the most important event of that year was marrying Jenny (a Londoner). They are the parents of six children (all raised and schooled in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge) and currently grandparents of eight. Jenny was a keen dancer but focused instead on her roles as wife and subsequently mother; according to Chris, she did so with remarkable ease and self-sacrifice.
In 1967, Chris entered the information technology (IT) industry, first in a technical role for Britain’s main computer manufacturer, then for a British vehicle-components manufacturer, and subsequently a US-based international bank. In 1976, the year he and Jenny moved to Tunbridge Wells, he joined six others in setting up a new European business, providing IT strategy consulting and IT-best practice research. The company was subsequently ‘listed’ and taken over by a large US IT consultancy. Chris continued to work for them until forming a small independent IT consulting company in 2003, addressing the value-for-money concerns of large organisations that use external software services. He retired from commercial practice in 2017.
His decision in 2003 to work for himself allowed Chris to give time to serve in the community of Tunbridge Wells; he was elected to the TW Borough Council in 2006. Besides actively representing his local residents, he’s served in many other capacities including membership of Licencing, Planning and Overview & Scrutiny committees, most recently as chairman of the latter. For about five years he has been a Trustee of the Number One Community, which seeks to support the community needs of residents of Ramslye and Showfields.
Chris and Jenny have been members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for over 40 years, serving in many capacities, including running the local unit of the Church for about five years in the 1980s. They continue to play their part in their church, including expanding a web-enabled volunteer network called JustServe.org.
Chris, once a relatively lithe and keen squash player, motor biker, coastal sailor, and rock climber, has now adopted, as his current ‘figure’ reveals, the more sedate activity of country walking and occasional flurries into badminton and squash. Jenny continues to engage in dance, runs a regular keep-fit class, attends aerobics classes, and swims each week – all while continuing to care for her immediate and extended family.