Chairman of the Council

Chairman’s Speech – HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

On Friday, 9th April 2021 we received the very sad news that His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh had passed away at the age of 99.

His contribution to our nation serving loyally at the side of Her Majesty the Queen for more than 70 years cannot be under estimated. In addition, the young people in the District have benefitted significantly from participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme for a number of years, a scheme founded by him, which has enabled many young people to build the skills, confidence and resilience they have needed in order to make the most of their lives.

Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family who have lost a husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. I have written to the Queen’s Private Secretary to express condolences to her and the Royal Family on behalf of Rochford District Council. The Council’s flag has also been lowered to half mast as a sign of respect. I have also cancelled any civic engagements of a social or fundraising nature during this sad time.

A period of national mourning has begun and will continue until the funeral takes place at 3.00 pm on Saturday, 17 April.

The Royal Family has asked that during this difficult time floral tributes should not be left at Royal Residences and that we should all continue to follow public health guidance, particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel. I would therefore urge residents not to travel to London or any of the Royal Residences, in order to respect the wishes of the Royal Household.

I know that many residents will be feeling saddened and will want to commemorate this sad loss; however, can I please urge you to follow the wishes of the Royal Family relating to floral tributes and to refrain from leaving floral tributes within our District. The website of the Royal Household has suggested that residents may wish to consider instead making a donation to a charity of their choice or to one of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Patronages.

Due to the need to maintain the prevailing public health coronavirus restrictions the Government has stipulated there will be no physical Book of Condolence at the Council. The Royal Household has set up an online Book of Condolence, which can be found at: so that residents can leave their personal messages during this national time of mourning.

Formal arrangements are currently being finalised so that we can all commemorate the life of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Please go to the Royal Household website at if you would like more information.

In the meantime, Rochford District Council will be holding two minutes silence in honour of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh which we will be streaming live on our YouTube channel on Friday, 16th April at 9.30 am so that residents can watch live. The link can be found on the front page of the Council’s website: 


Cllr Robin Dray

Chairman of Rochford District Council


 Cllr Robin Dray - Chairman of the Council

Chairman of the Council

The Chairman of the Council is the ‘First Citizen’ of the Rochford district.

As well as presiding over Council meetings and attending local events on behalf of Rochford District Council, the Chairman represents the district at functions organised by neighbouring civic heads and other organisations which may benefit the district and its residents.

The Chairman of Rochford District Council for the period May 2020 - May 2021 is Cllr Robin Dray

Currently a District Councillor for the Wheatley Ward, Councillor Dray has been a member of Rochford District Council since 2013 and served as Vice-Chairman of the Council for the 2018/19 Civic Year. Cllr Dray has lived in the district for 24 years, currently residing in Rayleigh, and has one daughter.

Cllr Robin Dray will be supported in his role as Chairman by Vice-Chairman, Cllr Mrs Carole Weston, currently serving as a District Councillor for Hockley and Ashingdon Ward

Inviting the Chairman to your event

If you would like to invite the Chairman to your local event, please complete a Chairman’s Engagement Form – available in the Related Content section.

If you require further information or have any queries please contact the Civic Officer by email at: