Meet the Mayor

The Mayor of Weston-super-Mare Councillor Sonia Russe with Mr David Ray Mayor’s Consort. Councillor Peter McAleer acts as deputy and Ms Marianne McAleer as deputy Mayoress.

The Mayor’s office is in Grove House, situated in the historic Grove Park. The 17th Century building houses portraits of previous Town Mayors. The Mayor’s Parlour is a working office with insignia to be used during civic events.

The office of  Mayor is steeped in tradition and ceremony. The insignia of the mace, robes, and chains of office, connects the present day with history and acts as a symbol of continuity. The modern visionary Mayor has a central role in representing the Council and the people, as the Town’s First Citizen.  The Mayor can come from any class, gender or ethnic background. This diversity reflects the more open and democratic society we now live in.

Mayor’s Diary Events

The role is strictly non-political and representative of every section of the community. It is particularly focused on cultivating the positive image of the Town and enhancing the well-being of its citizens.

The many engagements are undertaken by the Mayor act as a link between the various groups and organisations in the town. The Mayor takes the Council’s message out into the community and works towards achieving the 5 pillars of the Town Council Strategy 2020-2030. Equally, the Mayor can share the views and concerns of the community with the Council. In line with the Town Motto, Weston-super-Mare Mayoralty is ‘Ever Forward’. 

You can view the Mayor’s diary online and if you would like the Town Mayor to support, open or attend your event, please phone or email the Town Mayor’s Civic Officer rebecca.saunders@wsm-tc.gov.uk

Follow the Mayor’s Facebook page to keep up to date with his news and events.

Film by Heidi Burton

Mayor Cllr Sonia Russe 

Cllr Sonia Russe
Councillor Sonia Russe Weston-super-Mare Town Mayor 2022 – 2023 Image by Heidi Burton

I was born in Montpellier, Bristol where at seventeen, I was a young married Mum. Sadly, the marriage was relatively short and I was then, an independent single parent and working Mum. When my two children left home and my mother had died, I decided to move to Weston. It was quieter, safer, more affordable with good communication links and was a fresh start.

I bought a flat on the Hillside with nice views but needed complete renovation. When I moved in, I realised I knew no one in the town but within weeks I was canvassing for the 2007 Local Elections for candidates I didn’t yet know. I joined TENONS (The Environmental Network of North Somerset) running meetings and popular seminars at the Blakehay Theatre relating to energy issues and climate change. I also became a member of FOOT (Friends of Our Tropicana) in opposition to the local authority’s collaboration with a developer called Henry Boot seeking to build a massive, inappropriate complex on the footprint of the Tropicana. Boot was clearly too big for FOOT and fortunately, the developer pulled out.

As an experienced Mentor in Bristol and Bath for challenged teenagers, I continued that work in Weston and also served as a Governor at two primary schools. I have been a long standing Trustee of the Weston and District Community Transport a charity transporting children to special schools and for disabled and elderly people in and around the town and to medical appointments.

Recently I joined the Weston Yacht Club and given a long standing practical interest in sailing, my chosen Cadet is one of Weston’s Able Sea Cadets. I hope soon to be out in Weston Bay being challenged by the eddies and tides for which the estuary is famous.

I became a dual hatted Councillor for North Worle in 2011 and again in 2019 for Mid Worle latterly for the Town Council only, which has led me to this happy state as the next Mayor of Weston super Mare.

I am immensely proud of the achievements of the Town Council in bringing communities together despite the devastating effects of Covid. I have never failed to be impressed by the common sense, good humour and aspirations of the hard-working residents of Weston. With their help, their inspiration and their generosity I will do my very best to help our town move ‘Ever Forward’ in line with the Town’s Motto‘.

Please follow the Mayor’s Facebook page to find out more www.facebook.com/mayorofwestonsupermare.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Peter McAleer

Cllr Peter McAleer

Councillor Peter McAleer, Weston-super-Mare Deputy Mayor 2022 – 2023 Image by Heidi Burton

For thirty-five years, Weston super Mare has been home to me and my family – half my lifetime – for I grew up in Billingham, near Middlesborough.

Elected as a Town Councillor for Milton, I have done my best to improve the facilities and image of our town. My particular campaigns have been to ensure the continuing provision of public toilets and to encourage “Fairtrade Weston” – raising awareness of ethical trading – and leading the steering group to achieve Fairtrade Foundation status for our town in December 2021.

I worked as a secondary school teacher of History and Humanities for forty years, the last twenty-three at Clevedon School. During my career I was elected twice as a member of the General Teaching Council and chaired the Children and Young Persons’ Committee as well as regulatory tribunals.

As a Union member I served as president of the South West N.U.T. (now the NEU) and was for many years an executive member for North Somerset.

My interests include reading, collecting Irish literature, song writing, walking, mycology and litter picking – I organise a fortnightly litter pick in Milton.

The Mayor’s Charitable Organisation 2022/23: North Somerset Parent Carers Working Together CIC (NSPCWT) 

North Somerset Parent Carers Working Together is the local parent carer forum for North Somerset, supporting parent carers of children between the ages of 0-25 that have an emerging need, additional need and/or disability.

Building an inclusive community in Weston-super-Mare and North Somerset

If you have any parent carers in your community, please do feel free to signpost them to NSPCWT on any social media platform or to our website: https://www.nspcwt.org/what-we-do
We can also be contacted at admin@nspcwt.org or tel: 01934 440844

SUPPORT – Providing a safe inclusive space where parent carers can access peer support and information helping to reduce isolation and signpost to further support for them and their families. Arranging regular coffee meetups in various settings around North Somerset aiming to reach as many parent carers as possible to grow an inclusive and supportive community. Offering and connecting parent carers to activities to support their wellbeing.

TRAINING – Facilitating free training and workshop opportunities for parent carers as well as professionals on topics chosen by the parent carer community.

EVENTS – Organising a variety of free large-scale information events to help families reach support from local professionals, charities & organisations with NSPCWT helping to signpost on the day.

INFLUENCE – Aiming to improve the service provision and the quality of life for children and young people with disabilities and additional needs by being the collective voice for parent carers in North Somerset.  Helping to influence provision from strategic partners across the Local Authority, Education and Health.