Mayor Councillor Meena Bond swaps robes for cabinet after record-breaking year of fundraising

Fantastic year: Among many highlights for Meena Bond was meeting Prince Charles

Fantastic year: Among many highlights for Meena Bond was meeting Prince Charles

First published in News Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Richmond’s mayor broke borough records when she raised more than £60,000 - double the average amount - for her chosen charities.

Councillor Meena Bond, who represents the Kew ward, handed back her robes and chain this week as she concluded her year as the mayor of Richmond.

Inthe past year the Conservative councillor raised cash for her chosen charities - Homestart and the Avenue Club, Kew - at various fundraisers including a tea party at Kew Gardens and polo match at Ham Polo Club.

Highlights of her time as mayor include meeting Prince Charles and giving her childhood hero, Sir David Attenborough, with Freedom of the Borough.

She said: "It has been the most fantastic year.

"I grew up in this borough so to represent it is a huge honour.

"I was lucky to have such an amazing team of people working with me and a fantastic charity committee.

"Sir David Attenborough has been a childhood hero of mine so giving him Freedom of the Borough was quite surreal. I was completely in awe of him."

The keen rower and theatre enthusiast has now taken up the cabinet post for arts, culture and sport.

Councillor Geoffrey Samuel, deputy leader of the council, said: "She has been an outstanding mayor, largely because of her genuine love of people, which communicates itself to everyone she meets.

"The warmth she displays to people she has met for the first time gets a great response and that is why she has raised more than double the average for her charities."

Coun Bond and deputy mayor Councillor Stephen Speak attended about 470 events between them.

He said: "Anyone who has ever met Meena will know how she lights up any event with her enthusiasm and warmth.

"When Meena asked me to be her deputy I agreed on the basis that we would have fun.

"It's been a huge privilege to work with her, serve the borough, raise money for charity and still have had so many laughs along the way."

The ward member for North Richmond replaced Chris Harrison, who lost his seat at the election, as cabinet member for transport.

Councillor Jane Boulton is the incoming mayor of the borough and has chosen to raise money for carer respite charity Homelink and Momentum, which supports children with cancer, during her mayoral year.

Cabinet posts

Arts, culture and sport - Councillor Meena Bond
Public health and housing - Councillor Lisa Blakemore
Transport - Councillor Stephen Speak

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