Who is the Mayor of Derby?
Mayor of Derby
Councillor Robin Wood is the longest serving member of Derby City Council having been first elected in May 1979 as Councillor for Littleover. He served his first term as the Mayor of Derby in 1993-94. Since 2007, he has been Councillor for Oakwood. From 2019-2021, he was the Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism following several terms as Chair of Planning Control.
Robin was the Civil Partner of the late former-Alderman Jeffery Tillett who was Mayor of Derby from 1977-1978. Robin has attended over 50 Annual Mayor-Making ceremonies and has known all his predecessors since 1969 on first-name terms.
Robin married the Mayor’s Consort, Andy Flint, in the Council Chamber in 2014. By profession, Robin is CEO of an international examination board in Music, Speech and Drama; and Andy is a plumber and handyman. They live in the inner city and share their home with a variety of cats.
At the age of 14 Robin attained a Royal Naval Officer Cadetship and later a Royal Naval University Cadetship at the age of 16. He holds several fellowships and qualifications from cultural and professional bodies. He was recently awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Tracing his ancestry back 420 years within Derby city-centre, Robin has a passion for Derby’s heritage and has been an active member of Derby Civic Society since 1978. He believes that the city will prosper best economically and socially if it embraces the best of the old as well as the best of the new, and that Derby offers many unique features that can attract inward investment. He combines duty and pleasure by supporting Derby as the world’s capital of Real Ale. He is the longest-serving Board Member of Viva Sinfonia orchestra and a Trustee of Derby Museums. He was vice-chairman of the former Metro Cinema and has served on the boards of Derby Quad and Derby Playhouse.
During his previous term of office, he co-founded Disability Direct and remains an active board member of the Disability Syndicate Ltd.
Robin has spent a lot of time working within prisons, having served maximum terms as Chair of the Independent Monitoring Boards of both HMP Sudbury and HMP Foston Hall. In a professional capacity he has worked in many of the country’s maximum-security prisons particularly with vulnerable prisoners. He has given employment to ex-offenders.
Politically, Robin is a Conservative and is currently President of Mid Derbyshire and Derby Conservative Association. He has always championed equality of opportunity for all minorities whatever their background, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability.
During his year of office, Robin wants to be associated with the post-Covid recovery and to give recognition to the people who gave their time and effort during the pandemic. He also wants to be able to promote Derby as a place to visit, to invest and to live. He will do all in his power to promote the heritage assets of Derby and provide hospitality for the city’s rich culture.
The Deputy Mayor
Councillor Balbir Sandhu was born in Punjab, Northern India and moved to the UK with his family in July 1976. After arriving in the UK, Balbir took a job at Shaws Metal on Ascot Drive where he worked until 1977, before moving to Sir Francis Ley's on Colombo Street.
Balbir met and married his wife, Jaswinder Kaur, in 1979. They have three sons; Kuljit, Dapinder and Jatinder, and three grandchildren; Kartar, Amrit and Rashyan.
Alongside running his business, Balbir has dedicated much of his time tirelessly serving his community. He has been the Chair of the Indian Community Centre since 2003, chaired the Derby Race Equality Council since 2007 and was first elected to Derby City Council in May 2011. In 2020, he was elected as the Deputy Mayor for the 2020/2021 municipal year.
Balbir is a fan of football, cricket and weightlifting and maintains his interest in sports by serving as a member of the Derby Sports Committee. Balbir is looking forward to meeting many Derby residents and supporting more local projects and organisations over the next year.
How to invite the Mayor
Information about invitations to the Mayor can be found on our page How to invite the Mayor to an event.