New Mayor takes the helm in Malmesbury!

New Mayor takes the helm in Malmesbury!

Lifelong Malmesbury resident and town councillor, Phil Exton, has become the new Mayor of Malmesbury.

Having already served on Malmesbury Town Council for around eight years, Cllr Exton says he is looking forward to his year in office, a post which his wife, Julie, held in 2019 when she was a town councillor.

“She beat me to it by a few years. In fact, it was Julie who got me interested. She has mobility issues, so I used to take her to council meetings, stay and listen to the discussions, and then wanted to get involved myself.”

Cllr Exton, 65, was born and brought up in Malmesbury. In fact, he has only ever lived away from the town for a few years, when he and Julie first married.

His family’s connections with Malmesbury go back hundreds of years. Cllr Exton is one of the town’s Warden and Freemen, a position dating to the time of King Athelstan. So, it is particularly poignant that in this, the 1,100th anniversary of Athelstan’s coronation, he should become Mayor.

Every year, the Mayor can nominate good causes to fundraise for. Cllr Exton has picked HEALS, which supports those in need in Malmesbury, and Malmesbury Boxing Club.

As a self-confessed sports fanatic, Cllr Exton wanted to lend his support to a local club, in particular one with a strong youth element.

Now retired after a career that started in the Army and took in British Rail and manufacturing, Cllr Exton is looking forward to a busy year. He has already carried out several engagements in a packed calendar, which will include official Mayor-making on May 21, the Mayoral Service at the Abbey, and round off with the Mayor’s Ball.

Cllr Exton is also involved in Malmesbury & District Twinning Association; is a life-long fan of Malmesbury Victoria FC, for which he is a former chairman – and he’s thrilled at the team’s recent promotion; and is a member of the Royal British Legion, as well as Malmesbury Skittles.

But Cllr Exton’s main love – other than Julie and their three sons and four grandchildren – is the town of Malmesbury.

“Malmesbury means everything to me. It’s my home, and I love the spirit of the town. I love it when I am driving back and see the Abbey on the skyline. Mind you, I wish it still had its spire, which was bigger than Salisbury’s. That would have been quite a sight.”

Phil acknowledges that Malmesbury has its challenges, housing development being one and the condition of the roads being another.

“There is only so much we can do as a town council, but we will continue to put pressure on Wiltshire Council to repair the roads. As for new housing, the numbers planned already exceed Malmesbury’s allocation set out in the Wiltshire draft local plan, so we will resist pressure for more.”

Cllr Exton succeeds Cllr Gavin Grant, as Mayor. Deputy Mayor this year is Cllr Stephen James.

“Gavin did a fantastic job, and there is no doubt his are big shoes to step into, but I hope I can do as well as he did.”



Local stories in and around the Malmesbury area to keep you up-to-date.


A wonderful place to visit with a wealth of attractions right on the doorstep.


MALMESBURY is a vibrant, market town, steeped in history going back to medieval times. Currently home to many famous & popular musical, cultural, and festival events throughout the year, visitors can browse the charming streets with independent retailers, or stop at one of the lively cafes, restaurants, pubs, and bars.

Attractions to visit include the stunning 12th century Malmesbury Abbey, 15th century Market Cross and the Athelstan Museum with a painting of Malmesbury Abbey by JMW Turner. There are also lovely walks along the River Avon.



Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 9BZ

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Please call us on 01666 822143, or visit our contact page here to contact a specific councillor or member of the council staff directly.