Magistrate and transport fan Nicholas Bennett is new mayor
PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 May 2019
Bromley has a new mayor.
Councillor Nicholas Bennett, a magistrate from West Wickham Ward, was elected Mayor of Bromley for 2019-20 at the annual meeting of the council on May 8.
As one of his first mayoral duties, he appointed Councillor Kira Gabbert of Bickley Ward as deputy mayor.
Councillor Colin Smith, leader of the council, has re-appointed six fellow Conservative members to the executive, the council's key decision making body.
The mayor is married to Ruth, who represented Bromley Common and Keston Ward for 16 years.
Cllr Bennett has represented West Wickham since 2006. He was elected as a member of Lewisham Council in 1974 and served for eight years, including as leader of the opposition.
From 1978-81 he was a co-opted member of the Inner London Education Authority.
He was elected as MP for Pembroke in 1987, and appointed a Welsh Office minister in 1990, responsible for health, local government, planning, housing and social services.
Partially educated at Sedgehill Comprehensive School with members of the rock group Status Quo, he subsequently attended FE colleges, the University of London (BA Hons in philosophy) and the University of Sussex (MA).
Cllr Bennett has served on most of the council's committees and for the past seven years has been chairman of the education, children and families select committee.
He has a keen interest in history and architecture, and is the council's design and heritage champion and a member of the Bromley Borough Local History Society. He has contributed to several books including 100 Buildings in 100 Years.
Another of his interests is transport, having crossed the USA and Europe by train, and in 2015 he travelled on the Trans-Siberian Railway for seven days on his journey from Bromley to Shanghai via North Korea. To relax, he swims most evenings.
Cllr Bennett has been a magistrate for 21 years and a presiding justice on the SW London Bench.
As an RAF service child he lived for several years in Germany in the 1950s and retains his love of the country through membership of the Bromley Town Twinning Association.