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Meet Len Horwood, the new Mayor of Tunbridge Wells

by William Mata

Meet Len Horwood, the new Mayor of Tunbridge Wells

New Mayor of Tunbridge Wells Cllr Len Horwood, who recently suffered a stroke, has committed to serving charities and the community.

The sports enthusiast and former financial consultant was sworn in this week and pledged to carry on the charitable work of Cllr Julia Soyke, whom he has succeeded in the historic position.

Cllr Horwood, 70, used the occasion in Town Hall to thank friends and colleagues for their support throughout his illness.

He said: “It is my intention to promote the borough wherever I go, support businesses where I can and support community organisations where possible.”

The Mayor will continue in his role as councillor for Pantiles & St Mark’s ward, which he has represented since 1992, and will be supported by Mayoress Judy Horwood, his wife since 1971.

In his election at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday [May 23] it was announced Tunbridge Wells Mental Health Resource Centre would be his chosen charity of the year.

Cllr Soyke raised £32,103 throughout her tenure for domestic abuse charity DAVSS.

Cllr Horwood is a keen cricket, horse racing and Chelsea football fan. Council members voted unanimously to elect him to the post.

He will now chair council meetings and attend events on behalf of the local authority, sometimes being accompanied by new Deputy Mayor James Scholes, who takes over from Cllr Horwood.

Both were asked to take on these roles by Council Leader and their Conservative Party colleague David Jukes.

Cllr Jukes said: "Len took a lot of persuading, but I am pretty persistent in what I want to get done. 

"I think he will be an excellent Mayor and an asset to the town. He had had every position there is and he has carried them out very well. 

"I am looking forward to a sporting year with him." 

Cllr Soyke added: "I think he is a good guy and will have a good innings batting for the council with Judy by his side." 

The announcement will mean Cllr Scholes shall become Mayor for an unprecedented second time from 2019 to 2020.