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Mayor's Office

Those members of our Council who are elected to the post of Mayor are proud of its traditions and zealous to preserve its privileges which have been acquired through many years.

The Mayor - "the Head and Chief Governor of the Town" - had for a long time been recognised as being, in his or her own Borough, second only to Royalty and the Queen's Deputy, the Lord Lieutenant, a status which continues to be recognised in the Borough and District Council by Section 3(4) of the Local Government Act 1972. This high standing at the present time is mainly one of honour and dignity rather than actual legal powers, a distinct contrast to the days before the Municipal Corporation Act 1835, when the Mayor was often virtually and legally a dictator within his own Borough.

The Mayor

Mayor of Swale, Cllr Paul Stephen

The Mayor of Swale, Cllr Paul Stephen.

Paul worked for British Telecom for 38 years and was a manager there for 26 years. He was in charge of a team of engineers installing major services of copper and fibre networks to projects like Bluewater and the O2 Arena. 

Paul moved to Tunstall, Sittingbourne in 2005 after meeting his future wife Sarah on a yoga retreat in Majorca. Yoga is a very important part of both their lives, which led them to both train as yoga teachers from 2007 – 2011, and they still teach yoga in the Sittingbourne area. 

In recent years Paul helped run a yoga charity along with Sarah and other well known teachers. It raised money in the UK and Europe for yoga projects in areas of conflict in the Middle East. 

During the Covid crisis Paul and Sarah have volunteered to the Swale Hub to help local residents who were vulnerable. This they will both continue with for as long as they are needed. 

A keen DIY man, Paul has been putting his skills to good use by volunteering to help renovate the Raybel Barge at Lloyd Wharf, Milton Creek (behind Halfords). 

Paul is on the Planning Committee and Licencing Committee at Swale Borough Council and is a Trustee for Swale Citizen Advice. Along with MS Swale, he and Sarah will be supporting them both as their chosen charities for the Mayoral year.  

Deputy Mayor

The Deputy Mayor of Swale, Cllr Benjamin Martin

Having lived in Faversham all of my life, now with my wife and three daughters. My career in the building trade has given me many opportunities to travel around the country, working in the commercial sector for a large supermarket chain and, for the last 15 years, in the restoration and conservation of historic buildings. 

I enjoy sailing and I like to crew in the classic boat races that take place around Swale. I was first introduced to politics by Honorary Alderman Michael Henderson, then Cllr Henderson. I had been working at his house and was bending his ear over a cup of tea about an issue that I felt strongly about at that time. He sat and rolled his eyes at me, and pointed out that rather than moaning to him, why didn’t I get up and do something about it. 

So in 2015 I won a seat on Faversham Town Council. Four years at Faversham Town Council taught me a lot about local politics and with the announcement that Cllr Henderson was to retire in 2019, there was no stopping me. Onwards and upwards to Borough. I won the seat for Priory ward. I now hold the position of Deputy Chairman on the Planning Committee and am a member of the Joint Transport Board (JTB), Local Plan Panel, and Policy Development Review Committee (PDRC). 

I didn’t hesitate in my response when, late last year, I was asked if I would stand for Deputy Mayor. I am very grateful for the opportunity and to be voted in by my fellow Councillors at Swale, to represent the Borough and my ward in this honourable role. I hope to encourage younger people to consider taking up local politics and having their say where it matters. 

I look forward to being able to support the Mayor for the forthcoming year and getting out and meeting you all properly, soon. 

Mayor's Engagements Calendar

Events that the Mayor of Swale will attend or be represented at.

Inviting the Mayor to a function

Want to invite the Mayor to your function? Find out how with our guidance notes.

The Mace, Chain and Badge of Office

Information on Swale's Civic Mace and the mayors chain and badge of office.

Armorial Bearings of Swale

Find out about Swale's coat of arms or armorial bearings.
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