Ledbury’s mayor will once again be Coun Phillip Howells, while his deputy for the council year ahead will be Coun John Bannister.

Coun Howells’ position was confirmed at the town’s annual council meeting last night (May 12), “following several nominations which were declined by the nominees”, the town council reported afterwards.

He thanked the outgoing Mayor, Coun Andrew Manns, for his service over the past year, which had been restricted due to Covid measures and ill-health.


A well-known figure in the town, Coun Howells was the town’s mayor in 2019-20 and served as its deputy in the term just ended.

He worked in electronics and IT for most of his career, and earlier rose to the rank of lieutenant during a six-year spell in the army.

A widower since 1997, he moved to Ledbury in 2006 and was elected to its town council in 2018.

The following year he was also voted onto Herefordshire Council, where he represents the Ledbury West ward for the Liberal Democrats, and chairs the children and young people scrutiny committee.

He then stood for the LibDems in Herefordshire North at the last general election in 2019, coming second to the Conservatives’ Bill Wiggin with 14 per cent of the vote.

Now in his mid-70s, he remains fit and active and continues to run marathons. He has also served on the national committee of British Cycling.

Coun Bannister is chairman of the town council’s planning committee and also sits on its economy & tourism and resources committees.

All six of Herefordshire’s city and town mayors and deputies have now been elected, with the exception of Bromyard, which will choose these at its annual meeting on May 23.