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Exeter has elected a new Lord Mayor

Published: 14 May 2019

New Lord Mayor The new Lord Mayor of Exeter with children from Trinity C of E Primary School

Cllr Peter Holland was made Lord Mayor of Exeter at the Annual Council meeting. Cllr Yolonda Henson becomes the new Deputy Lord Mayor.

Cllr Holland has nominated CITY Community Trust as his charity for the year and is delighted to be working with the Trust to raise awareness about its activities and assist with fund raising.

He said: “I have chosen Exeter’s leading health and wellbeing charity, CITY Community Trust. This is an organisation which is delivering vital projects and programmes in the heart of our community. Last year their fantastic teams delivered health, education and physical activity programmes that supported 45,000 people, aged three to 83, to lead active and healthier lives.”

One of the Cllr Holland’s first engagements will be to start the Exeter Live Better Marathon, which takes place on Sunday (May 19) and is organised by CITY Community Trust. The day also includes a half marathon and a children’s running challenge, which will see 350 primary school children taking part.

Jamie Vittles, chief executive of CITY Community Trust, said: ‘We are delighted to have been selected as the mayor’s charity for the coming year. His support will enable us to reach even more people across the Exeter area and continue to deliver our vital services.

‘We are incredibly grateful for this support and look forward to working closely with the mayor and his staff over the next 12 months. Patronage like this is so important for us as we don’t receive any guaranteed core funding and rely on trusts, grants and people signing up to our events and programmes to enable us to develop and deliver our huge range of activities.’

Cllr Holland was born in London and grew up in Essex. He first came to Devon in 1968 to train as a teacher at Rolle College in Exmouth. His first teaching post was in Weston-super-Mare, where he met his wife Jacky.

Returning to Devon in 1981, he became Headteacher of Cheriton Fitzpaine Primary School. From there he went on to be the Headteacher of two larger schools in Central Devon before making a career change to work for The Royal Mail. He retired in 2010, but went back to teaching as a supply teacher in Exeter.

After becoming interested in politics he became a City Councillor for Pennsylvania in 2014. He continues to maintain links with education and was Chair of Governors at his local primary school and still teaches on a voluntary basis.

Cllr Holland has lived in Exeter for 38 years and is happily married with two grown up sons. He enjoys sport, is a qualified football referee, as well as an active member of Wingfield Table Tennis Club.

His deputy is Cllr Yolonda Henson, who was first elected onto the City Council in 1979 in what was the St Matthews ward. She was previously Mayor in 1992 and was awarded Freedom of the City in 2014.


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