At the Annual Meeting of Elmbridge Borough Council held on Wednesday 15 May 2019, Councillor Mary Sheldon was formally elected to serve as the Mayor of Elmbridge for the Municipal Year 2019-2020.
Mary has lived in Elmbridge since 1972, nearly 40 years of which have been in Hersham. She is married to John, a former Mayor who stepped down in 2016 as a Hersham Councillor, and they have two daughters, one son and four grandchildren.
Mary was born and educated in Salisbury, Wiltshire and followed a career working in radio and television production at the BBC, covering a wide variety of programmes in radio drama, and then transferring to work on music, arts and feature programmes in television. In 1976 the family moved to Italy for a work assignment, returning to England in 1980. Mary was then able to combine motherhood with part-time market research, as well as helping the elderly as a voluntary organiser for Age Concern Elmbridge, then part of the Borough Council’s service for the elderly.
Election as a Councillor for Hersham followed in 2006, initially serving on the Planning Committee, as well as Chairing the North Area Planning Sub-Committee for several years. Other contributions have been through membership of the Council’s two CIL Spending Boards, Strategic and Local, as well as the Countryside Consultative Group, Local Plan Working Group, Affordable Housing Member Panel, and as Chairman of the Older Persons Advisory Board, among other advisory groups. Mary has also served as Cabinet Member for Planning, and for Leisure and Cultural Services.
Since 2007 Mary has co-ordinated Hersham in Bloom, and, supported by an excellent team, has been involved with this community project for more than 10 years, achieving a high level of success including two Silver Gilt Awards. Mary’s other interests include membership of the Advisory Board for Burhill Children’s Centre, Hersham Residents Association, being a supporter of Hersham Library and Chairman of Trustees for Hersham Youth Trust.
Mary has chosen Elmbridge Mencap as her charity for her Mayoral year. Elmbridge Mencap supports children and adults with learning disabilities, together with their parents and carers. They were established in 1955 by a group of parents who wanted to improve the lives of their mentally handicapped children. Their focus is on Elmbridge residents, of whom some 250 make use of the various facilities at the purpose-built Burview Hall, in Queens Road, Walton on Thames. A hub for other charities working with learning disabilities, care homes and the local special needs school, Elmbridge Mencap provides leisure activities, including social clubs for young people and adults, family fun days and activities for those with more profound disabilities. Two sensory rooms, a games room and a large hall together, provide a range of indoor facilities for those in need of stimulation and respite.
In Mary’s Mayoral year she aims to help Elmbridge Mencap increase their specialist facilities for the benefit of more people in the Borough by developing a piece of derelict land into a Sensory Garden, to provide a wonderful outdoor experience for children, adults and the elderly, including those with autism, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease as well as those with learning disabilities.
Mary and John are looking forward to the coming year and meeting the many volunteers and organisations, and supporters, who make Elmbridge such a wonderful place in which to live and work.
If you would like further details about the Mayor or her charities please contact the Mayor's secretary, view the Protocol regarding the Mayor's Office and External Fundraising Activities or look online for the Mayoral programme.
If you would like to invite the Mayor to an event, please complete our online form.
You can view Councillor Mrs. Mary Sheldon web pages.
Councillor Tony Popham was elected as the Deputy Mayor
A list of all past Mayors of Elmbridge is available.