The Lord Mayor of Exeter

Show all parts of this guide

2. The Lord Mayor & Deputy

The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor & The Deputy Lord Mayor


Lord Mayor of Exeter – Councillor Peter Holland

Having been born in London, within the sound of Bow Bells and growing up in Westcliff-on- sea, Essex, Councillor Peter Holland first came to Devon in 1968 where he trained at Rolle College Exmouth to become a primary school teacher.  It was whilst at Rolle College that he experienced his first taste of becoming an elected representative when he became President of the Students Union!

Peter’s first teaching post was in Weston-super Mare where he met his wife, Jacky and subsequently became Deputy Head at East Clevedon Primary School.  They returned to Devon in 1981 when he became Headteacher of Cheriton Fitzpaine Primary School.  From there he went on to be the Headteacher of two larger schools in Central Devon.  Peter took a career change in 1995 and joined The Royal Mail as a Postman and quickly progressed a second career with the company when he became Investors in People Co-ordinator for the South West of England and later Customer Operations Manager for Bristol, Bath and Taunton.  Peter retired in 2010 and returned to teaching, working as a supply teacher across the City.   Following their eldest son, Mark, he became involved in local politics and eventually became a City Councillor for Pennsylvania in 2014.  Peter continued to maintain close links with primary education where he has been Chair of Governors at his nearby Primary School.  He still enjoys teaching and, in particular, working with Key Stage One and Key Stage Two children where he has undertaken a significant amount of voluntary teaching at local primary schools.

He enjoys a number of hobbies and interests which include football and table tennis.  As a former Football Referee he is enthusiastic about a sport where he has been Chairman of the largest Senior Football Club south of Bristol and officiated at a Senior Amateur Level.  He still plays competitive League Table Tennis and is a member of Wingfield Table Tennis Club. Peter has forged numerous professional friendships with colleagues and families which have survived the test of time!

Peter has now lived in the City for over 38 years and is happily married with two sons who were born in Exeter and who attended local schools.   He has enjoyed two colourful careers.  The role of Lord Mayor is but a third major chapter in his life and he looks upon this opportunity to uphold the long tradition of the Mayoralty in the City of Exeter and, in particular, to support the Lord Mayor’s chosen Charity, Exeter City Community Trust.


Deputy Lord Mayor of Exeter – Councillor Mrs Yolonda Henson

Councillor Mrs. Henson is a ward Councillor for St Loyes and has been a member of the City Council since 1979 (one year broken service in 1982). She served as Mayor in 1992/3 and has served on Housing / environmental Health Committees, Housing, Leisure, Policy and Highways. This led to her being made Freeman of the City in 2015.

Councillor Mrs. Henson has lived in Exeter all her life and was educated at Palace Gate and the Mount St. Mary Convent. She is a retired hotelier, having originally worked in the fashion industry. Married to fellow Councillor David Henson – Life President of the Football Association, they have four sons; Julian, Stuart, David and Nicholas.

Among many of the committees Councillor Mrs Henson has been a part of, she is also Ex Chairman of Governors at Ladysmith Middle School and Ex-Governor of Ladysmith First School, St. David’s First School and Beacon Heath First School, and is a current director of Exeter Homes Trust.

Councillor Mrs Henson’s interests are Horse Riding, Antique Collecting, cooking and travelling.