Bognor Regis Town Council elects Mayor for 2023/24


Jan Cosgrove
2 min readMay 25, 2023

Returning as a Town Councillor for the first time in quite a few years, Councillor Francis Oppler found himself taking over as Mayor at the Council’s Annual Meeting on Monday (22nd May).

He took over from Councillor John Barratt, whilst Councillor Claire Needs was elected as Deputy Mayor.

Outgoing Mayor, Cllr. John Barrett presented certificates to the outgoing Mayor’s Cadet, AC Amy Wales and welcomed the new Mayor’s Cadet, AC Kraig Melville-Bellwood, who will serve in the position for the next 12 months.

He spoke of Amy’s committed service and of the fine record of Kraig as a Cadet.

In his Mayor’s Address Francis spoke of his wish for all on the Council to work together for the Town, and also recalled the long service of Pat Stinchcombe who had died earlier in the year. She had been instrumental in the foundation of the Town Council in 1985, and had been its first Mayor. Later during Public Question Time, Jan Cosgrove also recalled the role Pat had played as the Chairman of the 39 Club, and alerted Councillors to the fact that one of its two weekly sessions was at severe risk due to funding issues- he urged the Council to look into this quickly.

Various appointments were made, such as Committees and their Officers. The key Committee of Policy & Resources, for example, remains under the Chairmanship of Cllr Bob Waterhouse. Full details of all Committees and Officers here:

It was clear that attention needs to be paid to this part of the meeting next year as it was very complicated and a bit drawn out.

The Council has various powers, provides grant aid, runs the Christmas Lights, runs allotments, organises events and other functions. It is the ‘lowest’ level of local government in the area, providing a voice for the Town.



Jan Cosgrove

National Secretary of Fair Play for Children, Also runs Bognor Regis Herald online. Plus runs British Music Radio online