People: The Essex lad gone west – meet the mayor

Rob Appleyard

By Harry Mottram: It is possibly the most impressive meeting room in the city with its paintings, a cabinet filled with ceremonial plates and cups and the names of former mayors of Bath listed on the walls in the Guildhall.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Rob Appleyard is the city’s latest mayor following in a long line of civic servants beginning back in 1230 when John Da Porta first took on the role and he has the meeting room at his disposal for functions and ceremonies and meeting Bath Voice.
Observers of local politics will have noted that the mayor’s job is ceremonial rather than the more political one – that of the head of the council – currently Cllr Kevin Guy.
So how do you become the mayor? Cllr Rob Appleyard explained.
“When a councillor gets elected to Bath and North East Somerset Council, those councillors who are Bath ward councillors are charter trustees,” he said, “they form a committee and that’s how you get a mayor and a deputy.
“You have to do a minimum of six years to qualify to become mayor but you don’t have to become the mayor.
“There are some councillors who will do the role and there are some who won’t do the role while there are those who definitely do the role as it is a chance to connect with different parts of the city and people who they might not otherwise meet.”
The Charter Trustees of the City of Bath elected Rob at their annual meeting in May this year for a term of one year.
“How I hold the office is as important as the context,” he said, “I really enjoy meeting people and helping where I can.”
He’s served on the boards of Citizen Advice, B&NES Carers Centre, and social landlord Curo Group and holds several Trustee positions, which include the B&NES Dementia Action Alliance Charity. The mayor is clearly many things but Rob is not a born and bred Bathonian, unlike his wife Amanda. He said: “I’m an Essex boy, born in Clacton and grew up in a place called Burnham-on-Crouch known for its sailing.”
He moved several times and finally lived in Woodford Green when as a 20 year old he had the choice of moving to Thetford or Weston-super-Mare.
“After talking to my brother who had lived in Weston at one time I chose the town as there were lots of young people and a vibrant music scene and I was in my 20s so I wanted to meet other young people.
“When I moved there I was working as a welder before moving into retail and finally corporate sales for BT,” he said.
Married, with four grown up children between him and his second wife Amanda, Rob now lives near Bath City Farm and has represented Lambridge as a councillor since 2015.
For more on the mayor and his role visit