Mayor's Office

Mayor David Williams and Mayoress Ruth 2021

The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Newport

Councillor David William is Newport's 389th Mayor.

David was born and educated in Barry, South Glamorgan. He moved with his family to Newport in 1972 to take on a farm in Bassaleg. Although David is no longer a full time farmer, farming still forms part of his daily life as he tends a flock of sheep, come rain or sunshine.

Alongside his councillor role and his farming commitments, David also works for Farming Community Network, a national charity across England and Wales which supports farmers in times of need.

Singing is one of his favourite pastimes and David is a member of St Basil's Church choir in Bassaleg.

David has served as a Councillor for the Graig Ward for 15 years.

His wife Ruth will join him as Mayoress for the year.

Ruth was born and brought up on the family farm in Rhiwderin, where she and David now live. She attended the village primary school and attended Bassaleg School – returning there later in her career to teach.

Mayor’s Charity 2021/22

The Mayor has chosen to support Newport Mind and the Friends of Gwent Music during his year in office.

One of twenty local Mind associations in Wales, Newport Mind is a mental health charity which provides support, advice and services to people in Newport facing mental health problems.

The Friends of Gwent Music support the work of Gwent Music by sourcing and providing funding to help them run their activities. Funding that the friends have raised in the past has supported transport to music competitions, and helped pay for instruments.

Deputy Mayor and Mayoress 2021/22

The deputy mayor for 2021/22 is Councillor Martyn Kellaway and he will be supported by his wife Helen

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. 

Martyn moved from Barry to Newport in 1988 to work at Llanwern Works. In 2008 he became a Councillor representing the Llanwern Ward.

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 online invitation form.

Alternatively please complete the invitation form (doc) 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


TRA137154 11/05/2021