Wealden District Council
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Chair of the Council

Elected 2023

Councillor Jessika Hulbert, who represents Withyham ward, is Chair of the Council. The high standing of the Chair is one of honour and dignity rather than actual legal powers.

The Chair is expected to attend many formal and informal functions including:

  • Royal and State Visits
  • Civic Ceremonies and Functions
  • Charity events
  • AGMs
  • Community events

Other functions of the role are:

  • To remain politically neutral as the office of Chair is a civic and ceremonial position
  • To Chair Full Council meetings
  • Act as an ambassador to promote the Council’s name at home and elsewhere.

Vice Chair of the Council

Councillor Blake-Coggins, who represents Hailsham East, is the Council’s Vice Chair.

The Chair supports the following charities:

Chestnut Tree House 

Sussex Wildlife Trust 

Hospice in the Weald

If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Civic Office on 01892 602720.

The Chair welcomes invitations to attend community events; to invite the Chair to your event, please complete the Chair’s Engagement Form (external link)

Except when Royalty or the Lord Lieutenant/Deputy Lord Lieutenant is present, the Chair as the First Citizen in the District, should be given due precedence at all proceedings and functions within their own District.

The Chair will always be considerate of the host’s requirement, but generally, except in cases where the Chair is asked to take part in the Reception, their time of arrival should be only five minutes before the function begins.

A responsible person should meet the Chair at the entrance on arrival address them as Chair – and should introduce them to the host or the assembled company.

If the Chair is to speak, their toast or reply should appear early on the toast list and any background information should be sent to The Chair’s Office in advance.

The formal announcement of the Chair is “The Chair of Wealden District Council, Councillor Jessika Hulbert.”

When the Chair enters on more formal occasions, those present should rise and this should be repeated when they leave. Unless the Chair occupies the chair, they should be seated on the immediate right of the person presiding (assuming Royalty or the Lord Lieutenant are not present). The Chair’s Consort should be seated on the immediate right of the Chair.

The Chair should be advised of parking facilities and the anticipated end time for the event.

In the Civic Office we keep a diary of events that the Chair is attending and we are always keen to promote and support these events; with that in mind, you can view the diary below and we encourage you to support your local community and attend the public events near you.

3/6/24 – Lord Lieutenant Reception 

6/6/24 – 80th Anniversary of D-Day

14/6/24 – Crowborough Almshouse Charity 150th Celebration

23/6/24 – Armed Forces Day Service, Hailsham War Memorial

31/7/24 – WDC Crematorium Open Day 

2/8/24 – Active Inspire Paddling Challenge

A list of Wealden District Council’s previous Chair can be viewed below:

  • 2023-24 Mrs Christina Coleman
  • 2021-23 Mr Ron Reed
  • 2019-21 Mrs Pamela Doodes
  • 2016-19 Chris E. Hardy
  • 2015-16 Mrs Barby Dashwood-Morris
  • 2013-15 Dr Brian T. Redman
  • 2011-13 Mrs Jonica M.M Fox
  • 2009-11 Mrs Sylvia D. Martin
  • 2007-09 Mrs Chantal Wilson
  • 2005-07 Mrs Pat A. Kennedy
  • 2005 John L. Vincent
  • 2003-05 Jack T. Gore
  • 2001-03 Norman A.D. Buck
  • 2000-01 James A. Fordham
  • 1999-00 Mrs Sylvia M. Tidy
  • 1997-99 Raymond I.F. Parsons
  • 1995-97 Mrs Valerie J. Chidson
  • 1993-95 Peter S. Clifford
  • 1991-93 Mrs Elizabeth M. Gabriel
  • 1989-91 Bernard H.F. Trew
  • 1987-89 Col. John D. Richards, O.B.E.
  • 1985-87 Herbert Smith
  • 1983-85 Edward W. Ellison, O.B.E.
  • 1981-83 Mrs Pamela M. Passmore
  • 1979-81 Geoffrey V. Humphrey
  • 1979 Michael A. Jennings
  • 1977-79 Lt. Col. Grattan H. Hart
  • 1975-77 Air Cdre Harold M. Russell O.B.E.
  • 1973-75 Herbert R. Searle

You can contact the Civic Office on 01892 602720 or email chair@wealden.gov.uk