At the Annual Meeting of Elmbridge Borough Council held on Wednesday 16 May 2018, Councillor Shweta Kapadia was formally elected to serve as the Mayor of Elmbridge for the Municipal Year 2018-2019.
Shweta has been married to Ramesh for 40 years and they have lived in Long Ditton since 1987. They have one son. Ramesh was formerly Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools and now is an education consultant and visiting Professor at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria.
Shweta was born in Mumbai, India and has lived in the UK since 1977. She qualified as an architect in India and worked for one of the largest consulting engineering firms in Asia, becoming one of their chief architects. Her work there included design and site supervision of ancillary and auxiliary buildings for industrial projects, steel rolling mills, feasibility studies, socio-cost benefit analysis, a township, and desalination plant.
In London, she worked with a couple of different architectural practices working on designs for a boarding school, restaurants, hotels and shops. She also designed a Japanese tea ceremony house in Milton Keynes. Subsequently, she worked briefly as International Grants Assessor for the National Lottery Charities Board.
Shweta was elected as a Councillor in 2000 and feels honoured and privileged to have been able to serve the ward of Long Ditton ever since. She has served on the Planning Committee having been its Chairman for the last 2 years; and the East Area Planning Sub-Committee which she Chaired for 14 years. She has been a member of the Council’s Strategic CIL Spending Board since its inception and is also a member of the Local CIL Dittons & Hinchley Wood Spending Board. She has been on a number of the Council’s Working Groups including the Local Plan Group of which she has been Chairman for the last 2 years, and the Affordable and Social Housing Panel which works to address the shortage of affordable homes in the Borough. As a Council appointed Director of Elmbridge Housing Trust for 8 years she was involved in ensuring the provision of well-maintained homes and services.
Shweta has chosen Elmbridge Rentstart as her charity for her Mayoral year. Elmbridge Rentstart is a homelessness charity working in Elmbridge. Last year, Elmbridge Rentstart gave advice to over 400 people threatened with homelessness and of these, housed 150. Many of these people have complex needs and over 60% have a mental health problem. Without the support of Elmbridge Rentstart these people would not be able to access a home. Elmbridge Rentstart not only prevents homelessness but it also helps these people rebuild their lives and last year 40% of their young clients found work and 10% started to save regularly.
In Shweta’s Mayoral year, Elmbridge Rentstart’s aim is to make sure that no one sleeps rough in Elmbridge. Youth homelessness is a particular problem in Elmbridge with private rents out of reach for many young people trying to find a bedsit or shared flat. Elmbridge Rentstart is determined to help those most in need and, as Mayor, Shweta will be working hard to support Elmbridge Rentstart achieve its goal.
Having studied fine art at an early age, Shweta has been passionate about the arts, all her life. She has been a Trustee of the R C Sherriff Trust since 2004, and was a Board Member of Arts Council England, South East for 8 years. She strongly believes that the arts enrich and transform lives and transcend all ages and cultures.
Her interests and hobbies include painting on China and Porcelain, playing bridge, Indian and Western Classical music, theatre and art.
Shweta and Ramesh are looking forward to the coming year and representing and showcasing Elmbridge and in particular they look forward to meeting the many volunteers and organisations that help to 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. Shweta Kapadia web pages.
Councillor Mrs. Mary Sheldon was elected as the Deputy Mayor
A list of all past Mayors of Elmbridge is available online.