Cllr Eleanor Bell was appointed as the 820th Mayor of Winchester at a Mayor Making Ceremony at Winchester Guildhall on Wednesday 15 May 2019
Cllr Eleanor Bell was first elected to the City Council in May 2007. Earlier she had served on Hursley Parish Council, which she rejoined in 2007, serving as Chair from 2011 to date. She has served on a wide range of committees, held the Portfolio for Planning, Environment and Traffic & Parking in 2010-11 and at other times as shadow roles. An approved parliamentary candidate for both Westminster and European Parliament, she stood as PPC for Southampton Itchen in 2015, and again in 2017 (snap election).
Before entering local politics, Eleanor worked for the NHS Information Authority in Winchester, developing national clinical datasets, including the National Diabetes Audit dataset. Before that she worked in Further Education (South Downs College, Purbrook) and Higher Education (LSU College of HE, Southampton) as a lecturer in Modern Languages and later BA and European programmes director. In Southampton she worked closely with the city council on the Franco British South Coast Metropole, and with Hampshire CC on the Hampshire Normandie Accord.
During her time in education, Eleanor spent two years in France, first as an Assistante in a lycee in Annecy, and later as a Lectrice at the Universite de Rouen. Following graduation and PGCE, she spent two years in Sri Lanka as a volunteer teacher trainer with VSO, travelling home overland through India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey (not a journey you could undertake now!)
Finally, she spent a year on teacher exchange in Quebec Canada, the year leading up to their independence referendum, and later returned there on a study fellowship. Having developed specialist courses in Francophonie (French Speaking World), she was awarded the Prix du Quebec in 1993 by the Quebec Delegation in London.
Cllr Bell became Deputy Mayor in 2018-19, and in 2019-20, the 820th Mayor of Winchester, choosing as her charities The Firefighters’ Charity, Winchester First Responders, The Winchester Hospice, and the Children’s Society (focussing on older children and teenagers leaving care). She is very much looking forward to this year, with husband Alex at her side as Mayor’s Escort.