Cllr Geoff Acton has been formally sworn in at a virtual Council meeting as the 56th Mayor of Richmond upon Thames.
Cllr Acton, originally from Manchester, represents St Margarets and North Twickenham for the Liberal Democrats and has lived in the Borough since 1998. Cllr Acton has been a Councillor since 2006, he was Deputy Mayor in 2008 - 2009 and has been Business and Economics Lead since 2018.
He begins his Mayoral year after a career in marketing and communications in the Automotive Industry. He still works as a business consultant and lives in Twickenham with his wife who works for Kew Gardens.
Cllr Acton will serve Richmond as Mayor for the next 12 months and has chosen to raise money for South West London Environment Network (SWLEN, which has recently merged with the Environment Trust) and Dose of Nature.
The charities have been chosen to raise awareness of the impact of Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss within the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, and the practical and realistic steps local residents and businesses can take to make a positive difference. This will support the borough’s objective to become carbon neutral by 2030.
SWLEN enables and empowers residents and communities to work together to protect and enhance the environment in South West London.
Dose of Nature is a mental health charity that improves the mental health and wellbeing of individuals through increased engagement with the natural world.
Cllr Acton said:
“I am very much looking forward to being Mayor of Richmond upon Thames and representing our fantastic borough. The next 12 months are bound to be challenging as the COVID-19 emergency continues, but I look forward to working hard to make sure the borough recovers as strongly as possible.
“My chosen charities do fantastic work locally. The current crisis has shown the importance of nature and the outside world, something I imagine many of us previously took for granted, and it is my hope that this mayoral year will result in a greater focus on their excellent work.”
Colin Cooper, Chief Executive of SWLEN, said:
“We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the Mayor’s charities of the year by his Worship Cllr Geoff Acton, as well as the opportunity to work alongside our friends at Dose of Nature. We look forward to working with his Worship Cllr Geoff Acton and his Consort, Eileen McManus, over his mayoral year in raising awareness of the importance of protecting and enhancing our local environment, for nature and people, and how we can all reduce our impact on the planet.”
Dr Alison Greenwood, Founding Director of Dose of Nature, said:
“We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the new Mayor’s charities. Our innovative nature prescriptions have already been highly successful in treating many local people with a wide range of mental health issues. Now, with so many more people suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression due to the current Covid-19 crisis, the increased recognition from being one of the Mayor’s chosen charities will enable us to reach even more of the Borough’s most vulnerable people.”
Cllr Julia Cambridge, a councillor for East Sheen, will serve as Deputy Mayor. Cllr Paul Hodgins, Leader of the Conservative Opposition Group, seconded both motions for Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
– from a Richmond Council press release - 19 May 2020