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The Mayor of Barnet

Councillor Alison Cornelius is the Mayor of the London Borough of Barnet

Councillor Alison Cornelius grew up in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, and moved to Barnet after her marriage over forty years ago and has lived in Totteridge with her family ever since.

After leaving school, she applied to study Italian and History of Art in Italy rather than attending an English University as she had always wanted to explore the treasures of that country.

On her return to London, she started working for the BBC and then Yorkshire and Tyne Tees Television where she joined the Film Research Department and was involved with programmes such as ‘Whicker’s World’ and the David Frost interviews. In 1998, she took over the running of her family’s retail business near Harrods for nine years before joining her husband’s company.

In 1998, Alison volunteered to join the Chaplaincy Team at Barnet Hospital visiting sick children and their families on the Children’s Ward for seventeen years. Alison was also a Governor at St John’s School, Whetstone, for ten years: a role she really enjoyed, especially attending all the Summer and Christmas Plays and the numerous fundraising fetes.

Alison was elected to Barnet Council in 2009. Among other committees, she was asked to join the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee where she could draw on her knowledge of the health service from her days as a Chaplain’s Assistant. She is currently chairman of the Health Committee. Over the years, she has sat on numerous Council Committees including Licensing, Planning, Environment, Financial Performance and Contracts, Children’s and the Residents’ Forum.

Together with her two Totteridge Ward colleagues, Councillor Caroline Stock and her husband, Councillor Richard Cornelius, Alison sits on the Totteridge Resident’s Committee and the Totteridge Community Action Panel working with the local police. She is also a member of St Andrew’s Church, Totteridge, Parochial Church Council.

All three Totteridge Ward Councillors are passionate about protecting the Green belt and recently managed to obtain a long lease from the Council and set up a Trust to maintain the Darlands Nature Reserve for residents to enjoy. 

Apart from her Council commitments, Alison is currently Vice Chairman of Eleanor Palmer Trust: a charity based in High Barnet with a 33-bed Care Home and 78 Sheltered Housing Units.

In her spare time, Alison enjoys visiting museums and exhibitions, going to the theatre, pottering in the garden, walking with friends or family in Barnet’s parks and open spaces, discovering new recipes and listening to music.

In 2007-8, Alison became Deputy Mayoress when her husband was Deputy Mayor and then became Deputy Mayor herself in 2015-16. She has wonderful memories of these two years, especially visiting so many organisations and attending engagements which highlighted the enormous diversity of the Borough. She also felt very privileged to meet so many wonderful volunteers who contribute so much and without whom numerous charities would not be able to offer the variety of services they do.

Alison is very much looking forward to her year as Mayor and carrying out an increasing number of engagements throughout the Borough as the country continues to have COVID-19 restrictions lifted.