Bexley's 55th Mayor is Brian Bishop
Councillor Brian Bishop, who represents Barnehurst Ward, became the London Borough of Bexley’s 55th Mayor at the Council’s annual meeting on Wednesday 23 May.
Brian’s wife, Councillor Christine Bishop, will be the Mayoress. Brian is the 79th person to hold the title of Mayor of Bexley, since the old Borough received its charter in 1937.
Brian was born in St Thomas’ Hospital, Lambeth, in 1953 – also the birthplace of his future wife and Mayoress, but they never met until they were 18 years old.
His early childhood was spent in and around Clapham and the famous Lambeth Walk, but at the age of seven, his family purchased a greengrocers shop in Shoreditch. Life changed for the young Brian and he found himself helping out, both in his parent’s shop and in the sweet shop over the road, where there seemed to be a greater attraction for him. Brian has always enjoyed hard work and by his early teens had jobs such as paperboy, delivery boy and shopkeeper on his CV.
Brian enjoyed his schooling in Shoreditch and remembers with great fondness his Head Teacher, who seemed to “glide around the school in a long black gown” and his Deputy Head Teacher from another school. Brian was a keen ‘scout’ and it was in his early teens that he became very interested in sports, which included sailing and football – a passion that he maintains to this day. While not an avid football follower, Brian admits to still looking out for the Chelsea FC score every week and has wonderful memories of being in the ‘Shed’ at Stamford Bridge during the heyday 70s.
His father was a very keen ‘DIY’er and taught Brian so much that has helped him with his own home refurbishments down the years. Brian said: “There is not much in the way of DIY that I can’t turn my hand to and I have really enjoyed transforming our two Bexley homes.”
Brian and Christine were married in 1974 and they have two children, Kelly and Laura. They now have five grandchildren.
First elected as a Councillor in 2010 in Colyers Ward, Brian was re-elected in 2014 and more recently in May of this year as a Councillor for the Barnehurst Ward. He remains very active in local life and local issues.
Brian’s career has seen him move from the Post Office/BT to the private sector within the packaging industry. His current role as an Information systems and Operations analyst will be put on hold now as he takes on the “biggest role of his career” as the Mayor of Bexley.
Christine sees her role as Mayoress as a continuation of her public service across the borough, both previously as a Senior Care Support Worker with the Crossroads charity and as a local ‘Brown Owl’ and Guider. She maintains her interest and love of working with people, both supporting residents and being involved in the Health and Social Care sector of our borough.
The Mayor says:”I am proud to have been elected as a representative Councillor for the residents of Colyers and Barnehurst Wards and I am grateful for the opportunities I have had already to serve residents in Bexley. I am committed to ensuring that this Council continues to provide appropriate Adult Social Care and to protecting our vulnerable children and the elderly.
“In particular, I am really keen to support those in our borough who suffer daily with mental health issues and children with Autism my charity appeal this year will raise funds for our residents affected by such difficulties.
The last words go to the Mayoress, whose ambition for their year in office is to visit and meet as many residents as they can and when they depart from an event, to leave those residents a little happier than when they first met them.
Brian has appointed Councillor John Davey to be his Deputy Mayor and John’s wife, Marilyn, to be the Deputy Mayoress.
The Mayor has appointed Chris Statter, who is the Pastor of the Abbey Wood Community Church, as his Chaplain.