Sue Bale
Sue Bale

First published in The Woodbridge Flyer, June 2020.

Labour councillor Sue Bale has followed in the footsteps of her ancestor Elizabeth Garrett Anderson by becoming the new Mayor of Woodbridge. She succeeded her predecessor Cllr Patrick Gillard at the AGM of Woodbridge Town Council on May 12.

Sue, who is the former Chair of Woodbridge Labour Party, was brought up in Little Bealings, went to primary school in Woodbridge, and married her husband, Jeremy, in the town. She has been on Woodbridge Town Council for two years as councillor for Kyson Ward.

Commenting on her appointment Sue said:

“This is a great honour for me – a born and bred Suffolk girl. But these are unusual times and our focus now is to help local residents during the Covid-19 crisis. I am very proud of the Council’s recent initiative to set up an Emergency Response Group.


“Emergencies bring out the best in people and this has certainly been the case in Woodbridge. Town councillors are working alongside volunteers and the Woodbridge County Councillor to offer help to residents in these trying times. We have over 300 registered volunteers, many of whom are helping to deliver prescriptions and food as well as reaching out to people who need support by phone.


“In the last year the Town Council has launched other initiatives like the re-opening of the Pavilion CafĂ© run by the charity Access Community Trust which supports people who are socially excluded and vulnerable. We are leading the way on environmental issues too, working with ecology experts and others to make Woodbridge greener.


“I like to think my ancestor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, would have been proud of our Town Council. She fought to become the first woman in Britain to be recognised as a doctor by the BMA in 1873, and founded the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital for Women – now a wing of University College Hospital in London. A wing of Ipswich Hospital is named after her too. She went on to become the first female mayor in England, becoming Mayor of Aldeburgh in 1908.”


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