The Council's Annual Meeting and Mayor Making took place on Wednesday 19 May 2021 and accordingly, Councillor Tony Popham is the Mayor for the municipal year 2021-22 and his Mayoress is Mrs Jo Wright. The Mayor will be supported by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Simon Waugh.
Councillor Tony Popham is a Molesey Residents' Association Member and a Molesey West Ward Councillor. He was born in the Gower in South Wales.
Tony is a former Chairman of the Environmental Affairs Overview and Scrutiny Committee 2001/02 and 2002/03 and Vice chairman of the same committee. He was Chairman of the Sustainability Working Group (which led to Council’s Sustainable Strategy in 2006). He was a member of the North Area Planning Sub-Committee from 2010 to 2021 and he was a member of the full Planning Committee from 2012 to 2021.
Tony studied Climate Change and Sustainability at Brunel University and then worked as an engineer in the steel works in Llanelli until he was 23. He then moved to Africa and then Israel to work before moving back to the UK and settling in East Molesey in 1988. He formally ran a shop in East Molesey, called The Welsh Pantry in Bridge Road, and still runs a business in the area.
Outside the Council, Tony is a current Vice President at Esher Rugby Club and former Chairman of the Amateur sides.
Tony has two sons and a daughter. One son (David) went to the Orchard and St Lawrence Schools in East Molesey before moving on to Esher High and then to Southampton University. His daughter attends a local school. Gareth served with 2 Para in Kosovo and now works as a manager in the NHS.
A little known fact about Tony is that he served as a Shop Steward in the AUEW in Duport Steel Works in Llanelli at the age 21.
Tony has chosen The Grace Dear Trust as his charity for his Mayoral term of office. The Grace Dear Trust is a mental health charity that was set up after the Dear family lost their daughter and sister, Grace, to suicide aged just 27 in February 2017. Their aim is to help save the lives of other young people suffering with mental health issues. Grace had been suffering with depression and anxiety from the age of 13, but hadn’t felt she could reach out to anyone to help her make sense of her feelings.
1 in 8 young people are also affected and many suffer without the help they need. The charity wants to change that and let people know ‘it’s ok not to be ok’. Mental health is still at a disadvantage in public funding and requires more effective approaches to prevention, diagnosis and treatment. By supporting families with a whole community approach tragedies, like the one experienced by the Dear Family, can be prevented.
Tony is looking forward to working with The Grace Dear Trust over the forthcoming year and to increasing awareness of the support they can provide in collaboration with schools and clubs locally.
If you would like further details about the Mayor or his charity 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.