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The Mayor of Tunbridge Wells

The Mayor and Escort for 2020-2021 are Cllr Joy Podbury and her Husband, Mr Bob Podbury.

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
  • annual general meetings
  • fetes
  • dinners / 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

Councillor Joy Podbury

When asked, Joy describes herself as community spirited, proactive and collaborative.

After leaving school, she went to work for Balfour Beatty before marrying Bob in 1969. They now have three children and seven grandchildren who all live locally.

Working in finance, Joy continued to enjoy a successful working career whilst raising her family.

In the late 1990s, Joy moved to Speldhurst and volunteered in assisting a group of residents before becoming a Trustee of the Village Hall. During the fireman strike in 2002, a devastating fire broke out where the Green Goddess failed to save the hall.

Joy set about raising funds and was highly involved with the rebuild. As a member of the Parish Council, she has chaired various committees including Planning, Amenities and
Highways. Joy has also been a member of the Finance and Aircraft committees. In addition, she has been instrumental in organising a number of community groups, including setting up a Community Speedwatch Team and producing detailed Parish Vision reports.

In 2015, she was elected as Borough Councillor for Rusthall and can be regularly seen shopping, visiting residents and participating in village life. She is a Trustee of the Molyneux Alms Houses and a member of Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Commons as well as being a Commons Conservator.

A lover of the outdoors and the environment, Joy is concerned with climate change and single use plastic. She chaired a cross-party working group, driving a number of changes which have resulted in significant plastic and cost savings. Joy was a member of several Tunbridge Wells Borough Council committees, including Planning, Licencing and Chairman of the General Purposes Committee.

As active members of Kent U3A network, Joy & Bob enjoy walking, gardening and visiting places of interest as well as reading.