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Mayor of Chelmsford marks end of mayoral term

Mayor Dobson presenting award to Scout volunteer

Councillor Sue Dobson’s term as Mayor of Chelmsford has come to an end. Councillor Dobson was appointed Mayor in October 2022 following the death of the late Councillor John Galley. Her husband, Keith, served as her Consort, and Councillor Bob Massey served as her Deputy Mayor alongside his wife, Ali.

The Mayor’s final weeks of office featured a volunteer awards ceremony, the unveiling of The John Galley Memorial Ground in Boreham, and a visit to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

Councillor John Galley commenced 2022–23 term of office

The mayoral year began with Councillor John Galley elected Mayor of Chelmsford on 18 May 2022, with his wife Jackie as his Mayoress. Mayor Galley appointed Councillor Sue Dobson as his Deputy Mayor with her husband, Keith, as her Consort.

Mayor Galley And Deputy Mayor Dobson With Partners

The pair served various engagements together, including Jubilee events, the Great Baddow Races, Chelmsford Carnival, and local business launches.

Mayor Galley also led the City of Chelmsford through the period of national mourning for the late Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, and had the honour of reading the official Proclamation for the new King.

Councillor Sue Dobson appointed Mayor

Mayor Galley sadly died in October 2022, following a period of illness. On 8 November 2022, a funerary procession for the late Mayor Galley passed through the city centre before a civic funeral service took place at Chelmsford Cathedral.

After the death of Mayor Galley, the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Sue Dobson, was appointed Mayor of Chelmsford. She selected Councillor Bob Massey as Deputy Mayor for the remainder of the term.

Mayor Dobson And Deputy Massey wearing official robes and chains, standing with their partners

Supporting local organisations and charities

Between 18 May 2022 and 24 May 2023, the mayoralty attended a total of 331 engagements across Chelmsford. These included local choir concerts, amateur dramatics performances, graduation ceremonies, Christmas fayres and tree plantings.

A further 22 scheduled engagements were cancelled or postponed due to the period of national mourning for the late Queen Elizabeth II and the period of mourning for the late Mayor Galley.

During their term of office, £16,500 was raised for the mayoralty’s chosen charities, Farleigh Hospice and Parkinson’s UK Chelmsford.

Councillor Dobson reflects on the unusual and busy mayoral year, which was filled with historic events:

"I am very honoured and privileged to have had this opportunity to become mayor of this city, albeit unexpectedly, and we have many very special memories on which we will no doubt reflect in the weeks to come.

It has been a most unusual year; along with the usual engagements we have had the Platinum Jubilee, the death of the Monarch, the Proclamation, a civic funeral, the Commonwealth declaration, and the Coronation – all in one mayoral year. All these events are one-off and it certainly ensured the mayoral rulebook had several of its pages dusted off for the first time this year!

I’d like to thank my husband, Keith, for his support, together with my deputies, Councillor Massey and his wife Ali, and all those involved in the mayoralty of this council who have all worked incredibly hard during a unique and often emotional year."

Outgoing Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Sue Dobson

During the Annual Council meeting on 24 May, Councillor Roy Whitehead thanked the outgoing Mayor Dobson for stepping into the demanding role of Mayor of Chelmsford following the death of Mayor Galley:

"Councillor Dobson took this role seamlessly, and both the council and our residents are hugely grateful for this."

Cllr Roy Whitehead, Leader, Conservative Group
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Cherelle Nightingill
Cherelle Nightingill

Cherelle writes about Chelmsford Theatre, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford Museum, the Mayor of Chelmsford and culture and events in the city.