About the Mayor
Local authorities were granted a number of emergency powers through the Coronavirus Regulations 2020. Due to the exceptional circumstances, the decision has been taken to postpone the borough council’s Annual General Meeting, at which the Mayor is officially appointed, until May 2021. Cllr Diane Taylor will remain in the office as Mayor for a second term and Councillor Onnalee Cubitt will stay on as Deputy Mayor until next May.
The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane 2019/21 is Cllr Diane Taylor
What can I say about Basingstoke? It has been home for the greatest part of my life and I simply love it. A town within easy striking distance of London, surrounded by fields, with a fantastic shopping centre, two superb theatres and an atmosphere of community and family. I love it, and count it an honour to be Mayor of such a great borough.”
Diane was born and raised in Surrey. Her parents met while both serving in the RAF during the World War Two. Her father discovered a talent for singing in the Burmese jungle (for those who remember It Ain’t Half Hot Mum!) and post-war he became a professional opera singer with the Royal Opera Company at Covent Garden, also singing bass roles in most of the major opera houses of the world. Needless to say, Diane’s upbringing revolved around the theatre. Happy family summers were spent at Nice, Aix-en-Provence and Glyndeboune during their respective opera festivals.
Diane and her husband of 47 years, Andy, have lived in Basingstoke for over 40 years. They met while studying at Sussex University – Diane gaining a degree in Maths, and Andy going on to get a PhD in Physics. They moved from their home in Brighton when Andy got his first career job in Vickers Medical in Priestley Road. As with many young people who moved to Basingstoke at that time, their intention was to regard this period as a stepping stone, but after four years living in Kempshott and 37 years in Oakley, that plan obviously didn’t work out. They decided that Basingstoke was such a great place to live and raise their family – son Barney and daughter Pippa – that careers took second place, and they stayed on.
Both of their children thrived in local schools, including Oakley Infant and Junior Schools and the former King’s School, and both went on to study at Queen Mary’s College. Barney is now European Managing Director of a technology company and Pippa, after several years at BBC Radio 1, is Executive Producer of the Chris Moyles Breakfast Show on Global’s Radio X. Two very different careers.
Prior to raising a family, Diane worked at Sight Savers (previously the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind) in PR and publicity. She is now involved with charities and pastoral work, alongside her responsibilities as councillor for the Oakley and North Waltham ward, travelling most years with Andy to India and other countries to support churches and charities. Andy and Diane have four granddaughters, ranging in age from six years to 19 years.
After several years working in industry – first with Vickers Medical then later as first Technical Executive at the newly formed Association of British Healthcare Industries – Andy started to work full-time as a church minister.
For the past 15 years Andy has taken on the role of Community Pastor in Basingstoke helping to start up, with the churches in the town, many initiatives – starting with Besom and following with projects such as Street Pastors, the Town Chaplaincy, Basingstoke Foodbank, the Night Light Winter Shelter, The Dwelling Place (a starter home for street homeless men who want to move on) and the Starfish Enterprise – an umbrella charity to help new community initiatives get off the ground.
Andy is a member of the Social Inclusion Partnership, representing amongst other projects the Camrose Centre, and was a Trustee of Basingstoke Voluntary Action for several years. He is probably as familiar with the council offices and officers as Diane.
The Deputy Mayor
The Mayor asks the Deputy Mayor to stand in if the Mayor is not available.
The Deputy Mayor for 2019/21 is Cllr Onnalee Cubitt.
Mayoral Events Coordinator