Lower Morden Councillor Sally Kenny has been elected unanimously to serve as the Mayor of Merton for the year 2020/21 at a special meeting of full council on Wednesday 16 September.
The new Mayor took over the role from Wimbledon Park councillor, Janice Howard, who served as Mayor of Merton for the past year.
Cllr Kenny, who was elected to Merton Council in 2014, has lived in the borough for most of her life. She is currently working with the Initial Teacher Training Programme at Roehampton, and she was previously a school teacher, spending much of her career in several Merton schools.
Having spent a career in education, and as mum-of-two who chaired on the council’s Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Panel, she is a strong advocate for the borough’s youth. This passion led her to select Morden Little League as one of her two Mayor’s charities.
Cllr Kenny said: “I first saw the wonderful work of the Morden Little League whilst walking my Miniature Schnauzer, Archie, through one of our local parks. Children are dear to my heart, and the Little League brings many of our local young people from a wide variety of backgrounds together in the community spirit of sport.”
The new mayor’s second charity will be the Merton and Morden Guild of Social Service, a local charity who support carers in the borough.
Speaking about why she chose the Guild, Cllr Kenny said “When I take Archie for his walks I meet a lot of my neighbours, and so many of them have become carers for their spouses or other family members at some stage in their lives. Caring for a family member can be incredibly challenging, often you will be the sole carer and have to devote all of your time to meeting the needs of your loved one and keeping them safe. That’s why the respite care offered by Merton and Morden Guild is so vital, it allows carers to have time to themselves to get the little things done that suddenly become so much harder and mean so much more, like going for a haircut or going shopping.”
Looking ahead to her year as Mayor, Cllr Kenny said “With the ongoing pandemic, it’s going to be a very challenging year indeed. I’m looking forward to the challenge of being more of a ‘virtual’ mayor than we have seen in previous years. It’s going to be very different, but we’ll be thinking outside of the box when it comes to this year’s events. One priority for me is to recognise all those people in the borough who have shown real selflessness and community spirit over these last few testing months. I’m very excited to say that we’ll be announcing the details of a project that will do this in the coming days.” The new Mayor will be supported in the forthcoming year by her Deputy Mayor, Councillor John Dehaney and her consort will be her daughter, Amanda Woodman.