Mayor's Office

Mayor William Routley

The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Newport

Councillor William J. Routley is Newport's 387th Mayor.

William was born in Newport at St Woolos hospital. His early years were spent in Pill, where his grandparents also lived, before moving to Alway.

After leaving school at the age of 15, Will soon found employment with Hancocks Brewery, owners of the Kings Head Hotel. He also worked briefly at White Rose laundry and Standard Telephone and Cables.

Will went on to attend the Caerleon College of Higher Education studying social and trade union studies. He became president of the Student Union progressing to general manager of the Guild of Students. He currently works within the NHS.

Will has been a councillor for Alway, Stow Hill and Langstone.
He has advised at industrial tribunals and represents and advises
at department of work and pensions appeals as a volunteer representative.

William met his partner Alison while working in the NHS.
They now live in Langstone with Cleo the cat. Will has children and grandchildren of whom he is very proud.

Mayor’s Charity 2019/2020

The Mayor has chosen to support the David 'Bomber' Pearce Legacy which was set up in honour of Newport's only British Heavyweight Champion and coveted Lonsdale Belt owner.

The charity offers assistance to sporting individuals and community clubs that seek to inspire young people through community projects.  It also supports local benevolent charities within Newport and th South Wales area.

Deputy Mayor 2019/2020

The deputy mayor for 2019/2020 is Councillor Charles Ferris and Caroline Ferris is his consort.

The Deputy Mayor attends functions on behalf of the Mayor.  It is therefore very important that when the Deputy Mayor is attending functions, he is given the same respect and precedence as the Mayor of Newport. 

Inviting the mayor to an event

The mayor has a civic duty to represent and promote the city of Newport. Part of the role involves attending events which support and celebrate local people and raise the profile of the city.

To invite the mayor to an event, please complete the invitation form and return it to as early as possible (minimum of three weeks in advance). 

Please note that the mayor has a busy schedule and it is not always possible to attend events at short notice.

Protocol and advice

The mayor is Newport's first citizen and has a high profile role in maintaining and promoting the interests of the city and its people. 

The Local Government Act 1972 states that as Chairman of the City Council, the mayor shall have precedence in the district over all but members of the Royal Family or the Lord Lieutenant, representing the Royal Family.

When inviting the mayor to an event it is essential that the organiser of the event (or nominated person) accompanies the mayor for the whole time.

The correct title for introducing the mayor and mayoress is 'The Right Worshipful, the Mayor of Newport' and the 'Mayoress of Newport'. 

After initial introductions it is correct to address them as Mr Mayor and Madam Mayoress.

In formal seating arrangements (dinners etc.) the mayor should be seated on the immediate right of the host/chairperson.

The only exception to this would be if the Lord Lieutenant were present in his official capacity as the Queen's representative, or a member of the Royal Family in which case they would be given precedence over the mayor.

During the term of office the mayor is non-political and is unable to attend or become involved in any contentious issues.  

The role of mayor

The mayor's primary duty is to chair full council meetings, ensuring that the proceedings are conducted properly and that all shades of opinion are heard.

The Mayor of Newport is elected by order of seniority and holds office for a year, the seniority list (pdf) shows how long members have served. 

The mayor is elected at the annual council meeting.

Article 5 (pdf) of the council’s Constitution offers more information on the role and function of mayor.

Read about the mayoral Chains of Office

Past mayors

Newport’s first mayor, Mr Ralph Dery, is recorded as taking up office in 1314.

The role was then left unrecorded until 1401, when Roger Thomas held office. Over the years several mayors have held office for more than one term.

One of Newport's most famous mayors was John Frost in 1836, who, less than four years later, was condemned to death for treason for his part in the Chartist uprising.

This sentence was commuted to transportation for life and in 1856 he was given a full pardon and returned to Newport.

The Newport Past website lists the names and dates of former mayors of Newport. 


The Mayor’s Parlour, Newport City Council, Civic Centre, Newport
NP19 4UR
Telephone (01633) 656656


TRA95685 04/01/2019