Merton swears in new mayor

Councillor Brenda Fraser was officially elected Mayor of Merton 2016-2017 at tonight’s annual council meeting (18 May 2016).

Following Councillor David Chung’s year as Mayor for 2015-2016, Councillor Fraser has been appointed First Citizen of the Borough after being a councillor for Longthornton ward since 2010. She will be the first ever female Jamaican mayor in Merton. The Mayor’s chosen charities for her tenure are Age UK Merton and The Avanti Club (a mental health support group). Councillor Fraser will be supported by her husband, Lloyd Fraser, and daughter, Gillian Fraser.

New Deputy Mayor for 2016-2017, Councillor Stan Anderson from Lower Morden, will support the Mayor in her duties over the coming year. Councillor Anderson will be supported by his wife, Jennifer Anderson.

The annual council meeting also recognised the work completed by Councillor David Chung during his year in office, including more than £40,000 he raised for his charities, Friends in St Helier and Merton Centre for Independent Living.

As a mark of respect for a much-loved councillor, leaders of all the representative political groups in Merton, Councillors Stephen Alambritis (Labour), Oonagh Moulton (Conservative), and Peter Southgate (Merton Park Independents), spoke fondly of Councillor Maxi Martin, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Councillor Martin was remembered as a passionate advocate for children and young people in Merton in her role of cabinet member for children’s services. Her dedication to public service, how she represented her St Helier ward constituents and raised the profile of the armed forces also featured in the leaders’ addresses, as did her work to highlight the issue of domestic violence.

Mayor of Merton, Councillor Brenda Fraser said: “I am honoured to have been elected Mayor of Merton and am looking forward to the year ahead. I will be focusing particularly on supporting the most vulnerable people in the borough.  Along with my councillor colleagues, I am extremely grateful for all the wonderful work done by outgoing Mayor, Councillor Chung. In this special council meeting, where we heard about the work of our late colleague Councillor Maxi Martin, I would like to pay my personal respects to her as a former Mayor for the borough. She was an inspiration to many people. I will uphold this wonderful tradition to the best of my ability as I follow in the footsteps of those who have held this position before me.”

Outgoing Mayor, Councillor Chung said: “I have hugely enjoyed my year as Mayor of Merton. It was an honour to represent this great borough at so many wide and varied events. I have met so many inspirational residents who do such great work for Merton and the wellbeing of the people who live and work here.

“I would like to thank my wife the Mayoress for her invaluable support. Without her support I could not have carried out my function as the Mayor. I thank my family for their love and patience. Thanks to the Mayoral staff for the excellent work they do.

“My thanks also go to the many people who have supported me and helped me raise money for my chosen charities. I know that the work they do benefits many older and disabled people in the borough. Councillor Fraser, my fellow Longthornton councillor, will do an excellent job as Mayor and I wish her the very best for her mayoralty.”