Brighton and Hove elects youngest ever mayor

Brighton and Hove has its youngest ever mayor after councillors elected 33-year-old Green councillor Alex Phillips.

She took up the chains of office at Brighton Town Hall with her 19-month-old son on her lap and her husband, fellow Green councillor Tom Druitt, appointed as her consort.

She was nominated by Green convenor Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty and seconded by former Green mayor Councillor Pete West.

Council repairs

She first won a seat in Goldsmid ward in a by-election in 2009, becoming the youngest councillor ever elected, aged 23.

She is the only Brighton and Hove City Council member to have served in both Hove and Brighton. She currently represents Regency ward along with her husband Councillor Tom Druitt.

Even at 33, she is the second longest-serving member of the Green group after Councillor West.

Councillor Mac Cafferty quoted former US President Lyndon B Johnson and actor Clint Eastwood.

The Green convenor said: “Lyndon B Johnson said when the burdens of office seemed particularly heavy, I remind myself it could be worse. I could be a mayor.”

And the actor and director Clint Eastwood, the former mayor of Carmel, in California, said that being elected had been good news – “you’re the mayor” and bad news – “you’re the mayor”.

Councillor West said: “She will make a wonderful mayor, bringing an amazing energy to the office.”

After taking up the robes of office Councillor Phillips thanked her husband – and her son Rafi for being a quiet boy who slept through the night.

This was after he had sat on her lap and grabbed at the mayoral chain of office, prompting laughter in the council chamber.

Councillor Phillips thanked departing mayor Councillor Dee Simson, saying that she had learnt so much from her predecessor.

She wants to support 20 different charities, with a focus on promoting the work rather than focusing so much on the money.

Her chosen charities are Allsorts, BHT, Brighton Women’s Centre, CRUSE, Grace Eyre, Oasis Project, RISE, Survivors’ Network, Sustrans, Whoopsadaisy, Amaze, Brighton Table Tennis Club, Clock Town Sanctuary, Extratime, Hummingbird Project, Off The Fence, Rockinghorse, Sussex Night Stop and the Martlets.

When she travels around the city Councillor Phillips plans either to walk or take the bus.

She also aims to take 19-month-old Rafi with her.

Councillor Phillips said: “I’m going to be supporting active travel and meet  more people.

“I will be bringing Rafi to show people you can hold a position add a woman and raise a family.”

  1. Graham Reply

    This is a person who promotes equal pay through the EU to slow immigration to the UK quite simply away with the fairies!

  2. Joe Stains Reply

    When she was a Councillor she deserted her constituents for six months to do part of her teacher training in Africa, claiming that it was (quote) ‘vital for my spiritual growth’ (unquote) to do part of her course in that country.

  3. Rolivan Reply

    How will she cope with being The Mayor,a Councillor a possible MEP holding down whatever job she is doing and being a Mother and a Wife.
    She will be a real Life SuperWoman.

  4. Billy Reply

    “When she travels around the city Councillor Phillips plans either to walk or take the bus.
    She also aims to take 19-month-old Rafi with her.”

    That sounds very admirable, but, really? All the former mayors I have known have found the schedule quite arduous, and the need to be at several events in one day, sometimes in mayoral gowns, make public transport a difficult option.
    But I guess times change. The old gas-guzzling mayoral limo, CD1, was sold off years ago.

    • Valerie Reply

      It was sold off…by the Green Administration!

      Alex WILL become an MEP next week & it is morally wrong because If we do not BREXIT in October she will have to resign either as Cllr & Mayor or as MEP or almost certainly compromise marriage, motherhood, Regency ward & Mayoralty responsibilities AND Tuesday to Thursday voting responsibilities in Brussels.

      Something will have to give and, responsibly, it should be the MEP position to show proper respect for her pre-existing responsibilities to home, city & the Green Party voting position on the Council.

  5. jake Reply

    Fantastic!

  6. Jean Smith Reply

    Let’s wait and see, Valerie. It won’t be easy, but she’s a lot younger than many of us, and she might be much better organised. That might not be enough, but give her a chance.

    • Valerie Reply

      The sheer number of hours involved means juggling that lot over the next four years is a non-starter.

      Full Council is in a Thursday, Chaired by the Mayor. What if it clashes with voting need on a Thursday in Brussels? That is just one example.

      I think the MEP job is what Alex most wants but what are long-term consequences going to be?

    • Rolivan Reply

      It doesn’t matter how well organised she is she cannot be in two or three places at the same time,unless you know something we don’t.Public Transport isn’t that reliable either especially between Brighton and Hove and London then on to Brussels or Strasburg and back.

  7. Nadine Reply

    Why all the negative comments! Sounds great to me. Good for her!

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