The Mayor

Find out who the Mayor is, what she does, how to invite the Mayor to your event, and about the coat of arms.

Mayor of Rushmoor 2017 - 2018

The mayor

Councillor Sophia Choudhary was elected as the new Mayor of Rushmoor at the Annual Council meeting on 23 May.

First elected as a borough councillor in 2010, Councillor Choudhary represents Rowhill Ward in Aldershot. She is currently on the Environment Policy and Review Panel and a member of the Licensing and General Purposes Committee.

Councillor Choudhary was born and brought up in Aldershot, where she still lives. She studied at local schools and at the Sixth Form College in Farnborough before reading Law at university. 

Councillor Choudhary said "I could not have achieved the honour of being elected Mayor without the support of my family, friends and the residents of Rushmoor, and I intend carrying out my civic duties with energy, commitment and pride." She also added: "I intend to make working together a theme throughout my mayoral year and will constantly look for opportunities to play a part in further strengthening partnerships, tolerance and understanding throughout our community, including amongst young people and between faiths."

Councillor Choudhary is the youngest ever Mayor of Rushmoor and the first ever female Mayor of Asian descent in the borough. Her Mayoress for her mayoral year is her sister, Attika Choudhary.

Mayor and Mayoress

Councillor Choudhary has selected three Rushmoor charities for her mayoral year and will be fundraising for the Alzheimer Cafe Farnborough, Creating Futures (which supports children and young people to overcome barriers through enabling achievement) and Parkside (which works with people with learning disabilities).   The Mayor's fundraising events include a cycle ride, golf tournament, afternoon teas and a charity ball.

 If you would like details of fundraising events for the Mayor's charities, please contact the Mayor's office using the contact details on this page.

The Mayor is supported by Councillor Steve Masterson as her Deputy Mayor.

The Deputy Mayor 2017 - 2018

Deputy Mayor

Councillor Steve Masterson first joined the Council in 1991 and represents the Cove and Southwood Ward in Farnborough.

Mayoral invitations

The Mayor welcomes invitations to attend events held by local organisations. Please complete our Mayoral invitation form if you would like the Mayor to attend a function or event.

We will contact you about the Mayor's availability for your event within seven working days. Due to demand, the Mayor may not be able to accept all invitations.

Before inviting the Mayor to your event, please read the pdf icon Guidance notes for Mayor's visit [173kb].

The role of the Mayor

The Mayor is the first citizen and the Queen's representative in the Borough and, as such, she takes precedence over all other citizens in the Borough. The only exception to this rule is when royalty or the Lord Lieutenant are visiting the Borough.

The office of Mayor dates back as far as AD 451. The title is derived from the French, "Monsieur le Maire" and before that it probably originated from the Latin "Major".

Local authorities, which have been granted borough status by the crown, have no more powers than ordinary district councils, but the chairmen and vice-chairmen of borough councils have the right to be styled 'Mayor' and 'Deputy Mayor'.

In her role as the civic head of the borough, the Mayor represents the borough at all civic ceremonial events.

  • At major civic events, such as ceremonies relating to the granting of the Freedom of the Borough, she wears the robe, chain and badge of office and is preceded by the Macebearer with the mace
  • On other occasions, she will wear the chain and badge of office but for most functions she attends she wears the badge of office on a ribbon. It is the badge that is the symbol of her authority

During her term of office, the Mayor will attend about 400 engagements, possibly more. These include:

  • Meeting royalty
  • Visiting other local authorities
  • Various events in partnership with the military
  • Visiting schools
  • Welcoming overseas visitors
  • Opening fĂȘtes
  • Supporting charity events

The public look forward to welcoming the Mayor at their various events and the number of engagements performed by the Mayor steadily increases every year.

The Mayor also chairs full meetings of the council in accordance with standing orders, and conducts the meeting in a fair and impartial manner.

The Mayor is formally appointed to the office of Mayor at the first meeting of the Council in the municipal year. This meeting is more of a ceremonial event and is normally referred to as 'Mayor-making'.

As Mayor, she cannot be a member of the Cabinet, although she may be a member of any of the Council's standing committees and policy and review panels but only in her capacity as an ordinary Member of the Council.

pdf icon Criteria for selection of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor [40kb]

The Borough's coat of arms

Coat of arms Arms

The coat of arms was granted by the College of Heralds, 7 August, 1975.

The crossed swords in the first section of arms depict the borough's close association with the army, and the key surmounted by an astral crown in the second section signify the connection with the Royal Aircraft Establishment. The rose in the third section is the Hampshire rose, the emblem of the county in which Rushmoor is situated.


The fern leaves and roses are similar to those in the crest of the former urban district of Farnborough.


The lions used as supporters are similar to those in the coat of arms of the former borough of Aldershot, although the right hand lion now has wings to denote the borough's association with aviation. The right hand lion also has an astral crown around its neck, with a Latin cross hanging from it. The left hand lion has a mural crown with a gold star.


The motto 'strength in unity' was selected by the council from many suggestions submitted as signifying the amalgamation of the two towns of Aldershot and Farnborough.

Past Mayors

2016 - 2017Jacqui Vosper
2015 - 2016M.J. Tennant
2014 - 2015Mrs. D.B. Bedford
2013 - 2014T.D. Bridgeman
2012 - 2013P.I.C. Crerar
2011 - 2012A.H. Crawford
2010 - 2011B.W. Parker
2009 - 2010R.J. Kimber
2008 - 2009A.M. Ferrier
2007 - 2008D.M. Welch
2006 - 2007J.H. Marsh
October 2005 - 2006J.H. Marsh
2005G. Dawson
2004 - 2005C. Balchin
2003 - 2004P.F. Rust
2002 - 2003B. Jupp
2001 - 2002M.S. Choudhary
2000 - 2001J.E.C. White
1999 - 2000D.E. Clifford
1998 - 1999P.J. Moyle
1997 - 1998J.E. Hiscock
1996 - 1997M.W. Banner
1995 - 1996Mrs. P.M. Devereux
1994 - 1995P.R. Lillywhite
1993 - 1994T.R. Davies
1992 - 1993R.J. Kimber
1991 - 1992B.L. Willcox
1990 - 1991A.M. Ferrier
1989 - 1990B.A. Oliver
1988 - 1989D.M. Welch
1987 - 1988A.J. Callan
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Mayoral appointments
Tel: 01252 398821
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Mayoral events
Tel: 01252 398829
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