Our Mayor

Councillor Rachel Eden was elected Mayor of Reading on Wednesday 17th November 2021 and will now serve as Mayor for a period of 18 months, until May 2023.

Rachel Eden has been a serving Whitley ward Councillor since 2010 and was previously a lead councillor for Housing and Neighbourhoods and Adult Social Care.

Rachel is a Director of Reading Community Energy Society and is outgoing Chair of West Reading Together.

Outside of politics Cllr Eden is the founder of an accountancy firm that works with a range of local small businesses and charities. She’s also a proud mum of two amazing children who attend school in Reading.

She has chosen five themes to focus on during her Mayoralty which are:

  • Sustainability and the drive to net zero
  • The best start in life for our young people
  • Improving the end of life for all
  • Getting through – and recovering from – the Covid pandemic together
  • Equality and diversity

The Mayor’s chosen charities will reflect her chosen themes. They are:

  • Parenting Special Children (supporting families who have children with special needs)
  • The Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality (bringing diverse communities together)
  • The Sue Ryder, Duchess of Kent Hospice (supporting people coming to end of life, with specialist medical care alongside with other emotional, practical and spiritual support)

Councillor Eden said:

“Being Mayor of Reading is a huge privilege and honour. We are a truly great town and I hope to uphold the best traditions of the Reading Mayoralty in bringing our community together whether in difficult times or when we have things to celebrate. Every Mayor has their own style and I hope to focus on encouraging a sustainable Reading with our push to net zero carbon; encouraging the best start in life for our young people and promoting better support for people at end of life, as well as of course celebrating our town’s amazing diversity and pushing for equality for all as we get through the pandemic.”

Responsibilities

The Mayor represents the council at events, welcoming guests and visiting local organisations. She also chairs full council meetings. The Deputy Mayor (Cllr Ayo Sokale) may stand in if the Mayor is not available.

Invite the Mayor to an event

Contact the Mayor’s secretary with the date of your event. If there is a space in the Mayor’s diary, you can invite her to your event.

Our Deputy Mayor

Councillor Ayo Sokale has been elected Deputy Mayor of Reading until May 2022.

Cllr Sokale has served as a Caversham Ward Councillor since 2019. She is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Professionally Qualified Project Manager at the Environment Agency, as well as a TV Presenter. She presents science for BBC Bitesize.

Ayo is a keen sustainability advocate and co-founded and runs a Plastic Free Group in Caversham. She is one of the ICE’s Water Superheroes aptly named Eco Warrior (previously Angel). She was nominated one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35 in June 2017.She is a Supervising Civil Engineer & member of the ICE Thames Valley, ICE Policy and External Affairs and ICE Communication Committees. She becomes one of the youngest Deputy Mayors in the history of the borough, and the youngest in recent years.

Councillor Sokale said:

“I am honoured to represent Reading as Deputy Mayor, a place I have made my home since graduating university. I am excited to embark on this journey and supporting the Mayor and her agenda. These are worthy causes that I am thoroughly honoured to support in this role. I am pleased to be a positive role model for the brilliant town that is Reading, a place we all love.”