Teacher turned city councillor is new Lord Mayor of Exeter

Councillor Peter Holland takes up role, with Cllr Yolonda Henson named his deputy

A teacher turned city councillor is the new Lord Mayor of Exeter.

Councillor Peter Holland was elected to the role at the Annual Council meeting, with Cllr Yolonda Henson has been named as Deputy Lord Mayor.

Cllr Holland has nominated CITY Community Trust as his charity for the year and is delighted to be working with it to raise awareness about its activities and assist with fundraising.

Vital projects and programmes

He said: “I have chosen Exeter’s leading health and wellbeing charity, CITY Community Trust. This is an organisation which is delivering vital projects and programmes in the heart of our community. Last year their fantastic teams delivered health, education and physical activity programmes that supported 45,000 people, aged three to 83, to lead active and healthier lives.”

One of the Cllr Holland’s first engagements will be to start the Exeter Live Better Marathon, which takes place on Sunday (May 19) and is organised by CITY Community Trust. The day also includes a half marathon and a children’s running challenge, which will see 350 primary school pupils taking part.

Jamie Vittles, chief executive of CITY Community Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as the mayor’s charity for the coming year. His support will enable us to reach even more people across the Exeter area and continue to deliver our vital services.

“We are incredibly grateful for this support and look forward to working closely with the mayor and his staff over the next 12 months. Patronage like this is so important for us as we don’t receive any guaranteed core funding and rely on trusts, grants and people signing up to our events and programmes to enable us to develop and deliver our huge range of activities.”

From teaching to city council

London-born Cllr Holland grew up in Essex and first came to Devon in 1968 to train as a teacher at Rolle College in Exmouth. His first teaching post was in Weston-super-Mare, where he met his wife, Jacky.

Returning to Devon in 1981, he became headteacher of Cheriton Fitzpaine Primary School. From there he went on to be the headteacher of two larger schools in central Devon before making a career change to work for Royal Mail. He retired in 2010, but went back to teaching as a supply teacher in Exeter.

After becoming interested in politics, he became a city councillor for Pennsylvania in 2014. He continues to maintain links with education and was chair of governors at his local primary school and still teaches on a voluntary basis.

Cllr Holland has lived in Exeter for 38 years and is happily married with two grown-up sons. He enjoys sport, is a qualified football referee, and is an active member of Wingfield Table Tennis Club.

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