Cllr Ed O’Driscoll has been selected as Ross’ new mayor.

The former deputy mayor was the sole nominee for the position and received the backing of his fellow councillors on Ross Town Council. He was selected at the town council’s annual general meeting last Monday (May 9). Whilst the role is largely ceremonial and meant to promote the town, they also chair full council meetings.

Outgoing mayor John Winder reviewed his last year in office. He described it as interesting and fun, adding: “If you’d have told me 13 years ago when I was a scruffy layabout that one day, I’d be mayor, I wouldn’t believe you, yet here I am.”

Cllr John Winder said: “I would like to express my thanks to all of the staff of the council, but in particular to Charlotte because—quite frankly—keeping me organised, getting me to respond to emails in a timely fashion must have been like herding cats, I don’t know how she’s managed it.”

After accepting the office of mayor, Cllr O’Driscoll said: “I’d like to start by thanking Cllr Winder for his incredible efforts over the last 12 months and to his consort Camilla. I think you’ve done a sterling effort. I know you’ve raised a hell of a lot of money for EnviroAbility and I think we should be very grateful for that.”

“During my mayoral year I will be raising money for Ross-on-Wye Community Development Trust (CDT), which I am a trustee of. The first event will be the jubilee where we will be raising money for the CDT, and the CDT will be organising the bar on the Saturday of the jubilee weekend.”

He added that the fact that there are 17 street parties planned for the weekend was a really good sign and invited councillors to help steward the events or help out at the bar.

There will be a mayor making ceremony of June 20. Cllr O’Driscoll was initially unsure about whether or not to have a mayor making ceremony, but because the position of mayor has become a largely ceremonial role it was a chance to raise the profile of the town council amongst the community.

His mission this year is to work with the office and the committees as much as he can to help the council raise external funding.

He said: “I think we’ve been missing a trick over the years. I think there are pots of money out there and funders out there who will be more than happy to give money to us. We owe it to the good citizens of Ross to try and keep council tax down as much as we can, we can still do what we want to do, and do it better by getting money from external sources. I’m going to work with all of you as best I can to try and make that happen.”

Cllr O’Driscoll’s wife Lynn will be his consort for the year. Cllr Bev Pope and Cllr Rob Taylor were nominated for the role of deputy mayor with Cllr Pope winning in a vote amongst the councillors.