Councillor Christine Bateson has been elected as Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead for the 2022/23 civic year, with Councillor Gary Muir continuing as Deputy Mayor.
She took on the ceremonial, non-political role yesterday evening following a vote at the annual council meeting, held in the Desborough Suite, Town Hall, receiving the robes and chain from Councillor John Story, who has served as mayor since December 2020.
As first citizen of the borough, she will chair full council meetings and represent the Royal Borough and its people at functions both inside and outside of the area, accompanied by her son Richard Bateson as Mayor’s Consort.
Originally from Prestbury in Cheshire, Cllr Bateson and her late husband Peter lived in Canada for 10 years, where she worked as a dietician, before they returned to the UK in 1979. First moving to Crowthorne, she became a parish councillor for Wokingham, and then in 1984 they moved with their three children to Ascot where she became a parish councillor for Sunninghill for 10 years.
Cllr Bateson, who represents the Sunningdale and Cheapside ward, was first elected to the Royal Borough in 1995 and over the past 27 years has held a range of roles at different times, including 10 years as a Cabinet member, deputy leader from 2000 to 2003, and a member of the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority for 25 years.
She said: “It's a wonderful honour to be asked and elected to represent our great borough and its people in the historic role of Mayor. I would also like to pay tribute to Cllr Story for his outstanding service and example.
“I look forward to raising money and awareness for my chosen charities and getting recognition for the many volunteers and community groups who selflessly do such great work across our community. After 27 years, I am retiring from the council at the next election and I hope to use my last year as a councillor, and as Mayor, to meet as many residents as I can and to give back to the place so dear to my heart.”
Her chosen charities include Ascot Day Centre for the Elderly, which is run by volunteers and is self-funded by local supporters in Sunninghill, Sunningdale and Ascot, as well as running ‘Meals on Wheels’ for those who are unable to attend the day centre.
Cllr Story said: “It’s been a genuine privilege to serve and represent the wonderful people of the Royal Borough as Mayor, supported by my wife Barbara as Mayoress. During my extended Mayoral term, I have been fortunate to meet so many inspirational people from across our community who make a positive difference and make our borough a truly special place.
“I have particularly enjoyed representing the borough during this Royal Jubilee year, which has really brought the whole community together, and I very much look forward to joining in with further celebrations later this year marking Her Majesty’s 70 years of dedicated service to the nation.”