Richmond's 56th mayor has been sworn in during a virtual council meeting this week.

Cllr Geoff Acton, originally from Manchester, represents St Margaret’s and North Twickenham for the Liberal Democrats and has lived in the Borough since 1998.

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 in Richmond, and the practical and realistic steps residents and businesses can take to make a positive difference. This will support the borough’s objective to become carbon neutral by 2030.

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.”

Cllr Acton has been a Councillor since 2006, he was Deputy Mayor in 2008 – 2009 and has been Business and Economics Lead since 2018.

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 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.