The Mayor of Runnymede for 2019-20 is Councillor Parshotam Sohi
The role of Mayor is a non-political post and the Mayor is the civic head of the Council. Within the Borough, the Mayor takes precedence over all except the Queen and her representative, the Lord Lieutenant. This high standing is a traditional one of honour and dignity, rather than constitutional. The Mayor is the "first citizen of the Borough" and acts as an 'ambassador' for the Council.
In addition, the Mayor acts as Chairman at meetings of the Full Council and has an important role in regulating proceedings and debate. This role is formally set out in the Council's Constitution. Runnymede is one of the few councils which continues to operate a committee-based system, giving every councillor - as opposed to simply a smaller executive - a practical input into the way local services are administered.
The Mayor's charities
Parshotam has chosen to support the following charities this year:
First Virginia Water Scout Group - Parshotam had the privilege to see first hand how a small but intrepid number of volunteer leaders provide Scouts from the ages of six to 14 with the broadest possible access to a range of skills and interests that will serve these young people in good stead for the rest of their lives. Parshotam hopes that by supporting this group, it will continue to bring happiness into the lives of more of our young people for many more years to come.
Sight for Surrey - a charity that offers a lifetime of support for people who are blind, partially sighted, deaf or hard of hearing. The charity also provides support to their families, delivering specialist, practical, hands-on services tailored to the needs of the specific case. In their words, they support their partners to take the small steps today and achieve the breakthrough tomorrow. Parshotam hopes to be able to support them do even more.
Combat Stress - Parshotam is proud to support Combat Stress in their ongoing work to help former servicemen and women deal with issues such as post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. Today they provide specialist treatment and support for veterans from every service and conflict to give them hope and a future.
How do I invite the Mayor to my event?
Cllr Sohi is delighted to be invited to local events, including activities at schools, charity projects and hospitals. Anyone wanting to get in touch with the Mayor can do so by contacting his secretary via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01932 425645.
A diary of the events the Mayor is attending is also available.
View the Mayoral Moments Facebook album to see where Parshotam has been during his Mayoral year.
The Mayor's biography
Parshotam has been married to Davinder for 30 years. They have lived in Virginia Water since 1999. They have two children a daughter and a son. Davinder and Parshotam are self employed and run an independent family guest house locally.
Parshotam was born in Rajasthan (India). He came to England in 1972. He resided and schooled in West London. He attended Stanhope Boys School in Greenford and Featherstone High School in Southall, before undertaking retail management and transport management roles, then moving onto investing in retail business in various locations in Surrey and Middlesex.
Parshotam moved to Runnymede in 1986 after purchasing the post office in Bond Street, Englefield Green. Parshotam was a postmaster for more than 15 years, a role he enjoyed.
He then took on the role of publican at The Crouch Oak in Addlestone in 1990. Both roles led him to meet many residents and fellow councillors in the borough.
Coming from Sikh heritage, Parshotam is an active member within community and regularly visits his local temple in Southall.
Parshotam has served as a local councillor, representing Virginia Water since 2010 where he has represented residents on a broad range of committees, such as Environment and Sustainability, Licensing , Regulatory and Overview, and Scrutiny - along with being Chairman of the Cabrera Trust Management committee.
In his spare time, Parshotam's interests and hobbies include; football, rugby, freestyle wrestling and cricket. He enjoys listening to Indian and western classical music and going on nature walks.
Parshotam and Davinder are looking forward to the coming year and feel extremely privileged to represent the borough of Runnymede. They are excited to meet the vast range of volunteers and organisations that help make Runnymede such a wonderful place in which to live and work.
If you would like further details about the Mayor or his charities please contact the Mayor's Secretary directly.