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New Mayor looks forward to year ahead in borough she loves to call home

News release 8465, published on 10 May 2019
Basingstoke and Deane’s new Mayor Cllr Diane Taylor and her Consort, Andy Taylor moved to the borough over 40 years ago as a young couple climbing the career ladder.

But after four years living in Kempshott and 37 years in Oakley, any plans to move on have been ditched – they decided early on that Basingstoke was a great place to live, work and raise their family and they’ve stayed put.

Cllr Taylor, who represents the Oakley and North Waltham ward, loves everything about living in the town.

“It has been home for the greatest part of my life and I 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,” she said.

“I count it an honour to be Mayor of such a great borough.”

Born and raised in Surrey, Cllr Taylor’s father was a professional opera singer with the Royal Opera Company in Covent Garden. Happy memories of her childhood include holidays in France and at Glyndebourne for prestigious opera festivals and many visits to the theatre.

While studying maths at Sussex University, Cllr Taylor met physics student Andy. As a married couple, his work with Vickers Medical brought them to Basingstoke and they had two children, Barney and Pippa, who went to Oakley Infant and Junior Schools, the former King’s School and Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke.

Barney is now European Managing Director of a technology company, and Pippa is Executive Producer of the Chris Moyles’ Show on Global’s Radio X.

Before raising her family, Cllr Taylor worked for Sight Savers, previously The Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind, in PR and publicity. She is now involved with a number of charities and pastoral work, alongside her responsibilities as a councillor.

Dr Andy Taylor changed career path 15 years ago, from industry to the church. He now works as Community Pastor in Basingstoke where he has been instrumental in starting many initiatives, including Besom, The Town Chaplaincy, Street Pastors, Basingstoke Foodbank, the Night Light Winter Shelter and The Dwelling Place - both supporting local homeless people - and the Starfish Enterprise to help new community initiatives. He is also a member of the Social Inclusion Partnership.
Now married for 47 years, the couple regularly travel to India and other countries to support their charity work. They also enjoy spending time with their four granddaughters, aged from six to 19.

Cllr Taylor said: “I am delighted to be taking on the role of Mayor and look forward to continuing to meet and support the wonderful residents and those who work in Basingstoke and Deane.”

For more information on the Basingstoke and Deane Mayor visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/mayor

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