Meet The New Mayor Of Merton

Merton's first citizen announces her charities

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The next Mayor of Merton will be Councillor Gilli Lewis-Lavender, who was unanimously elected at Merton's full council meeting last night.

Councillor Gilli Lewis-Lavender (right), a Conservative representing West Barnes, has served as a councillor in Merton for 11 years.

Fellow Tory, Councillor Chris Edge, representing Dundonald Ward, was elected as Deputy Mayor for 2011/12.

Councillor Lewis-Lavender said her main charity would be Parkinson's Merton and she would be committed to supporting a number of other local charities throughout the year with a series of fundraising events. These include Merton and Morden Guild, Merton Vision, Age Concern, Crossroads, Merton Music Foundation, Merton Concert Band, Dean City Farm and Merton Priory Project.

She said: "I would like to thank all of my councillor colleagues so much for electing me as Mayor of Merton. I am very excited about the forthcoming year and value the responsibility of being first citizen for the London Borough of Merton.

"I'm looking forward to involving residents in many exciting, fun and family friendly events in the coming year and to rallying support and funds for my chosen charities which play such a valuable role in the borough."

Councillor Debbie Shears, Leader of the Conservative opposition in Merton, said: "Gilli is an extremely hard working councillor who has served her local community with tremendous vigour for the last 11 years. I know she will make an excellent Mayor. On behalf of all Conservative councillors here in Merton, I offer my sincere congratulations to Gilli and her family and wish her well for the year ahead."

May 12, 2011