Four of Herefordshire’s six city and town mayors, and their deputies, are now in place for the year ahead.

The new mayor of Hereford, the 640th in the city’s history, will be Coun Mark Dykes, who was officially inaugurated on Monday May 9, taking over from the outgoing Coun Paul Stevens.

Hereford-born Coun Dykes grew up with his two brothers in the Whitecross area, and represented Whitecross High School in athletics, swimming and other sports.

He then had a 23-year military career, spent largely with the 29 Commando Regiment of the Royal Artillery based in Plymouth.

He now works as a fitness instructor, and as a member of Hereford Triathlon Club has completed several triathlons, including over the 226-km Ironman distance.

He has been ward member for Newton Farm in the city since 2015, representing It's Our County, now part of Independents for Herefordshire, and is also a trustee and chairman of Belmont Community Centre.

Coun Jacqui Carwardine was enrolled as deputy mayor, while the mayoral charity for the year will be Encore Enterprises, which provides musical education around the county.


On the same day, Ross-on-Wye Town Council elected Coun Ed O’Driscoll as its new mayor, with his wife Lynn as consort.

Coun O’Driscoll is head of the town’s tourism committee. Having previously worked in cruise ship entertainment, he then toured with a cabaret company that he and his wife founded, before moving into larger theatre productions.

He continues to work as executive director of Arts in Rural Gloucestershire, a theatre promoter he also founded over 20 years ago. He has represented the Liberal Democrats on the town council since 2019.

The new deputy mayor of Ross is Coun Bev Pope.

Also on Monday, Kington Town Council elected Coun David Redmayne as new mayor for the forthcoming year. He has been a councillor since 2020.

In the border town’s tradition, it also elected two deputy mayors: outgoing mayor Coun Bob Widdowson, and Coun Elizabeth Banks who has also previously served two mayoral terms.

Leominster Town Council voted in March to make current deputy mayor Coun Trish Marsh the town’s new mayor, and Coun Allan Williams to be deputy mayor.

Coun Marsh is also a Green Party county councillor, where she is vice-chair of the adults and wellbeing scrutiny committee.

The two will be confirmed in their new roles at the annual town council meeting on May 23.

However in Ledbury it is still all to play for ahead of the town’s annual meeting tomorrow (May 12) – at which nominations for both incoming mayor and deputy will be received and voted on, town clerk Angela Price confirmed.

Likewise in Bromyard, the election of mayor and deputy could also be contested at the town’s annual meeting on May 23.

While the role of mayor has traditionally gone to the incumbent deputy, currently Coun Dr Dee Dunne-Thomas, “there is nothing stopping anyone else throwing their hat into the ring on the night”, according to town clerk Karen Mitchell.

All English town and parish councils are required to hold an annual meeting, at which principal appointments are made for the year ahead, between March 1 and June 1.