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Meet the new Mayor

Hillingdon's new Mayor was officially announced at the start of May, with Cllr Michael Markham taking the role of Hillingdon's first citizen for the year.

Mayor 2012/13 - Cllr Michael Markham

Hillingdon People met with him to discuss his council background and his plans for his Mayoral year.

Cllr Markham has been a councillor for Ruislip Manor ward since he was elected in 2006.

As well as his work with his constituents, he has also sat on a number of general committees and policy overview scrutiny committees, including that covering resident and environmental services.

As chairman of this committee he was responsible for two major reports - one on the legal-high drug Khat and the other on the environmental effects of telephone masts and phone cabinets. Both reports have generated attention nationally, and the report on Khat has been translated into Arabic, which is the first time this has happened to any Hillingdon report.

He is looking forward to his Mayoral year after a successful year as Deputy Mayor.

One of the things he is keen to do is to create a better understanding of the history of the Mayoral system and its relevance to today's complex society.

Cllr Markham said: "Hillingdon's Mayors have an important role to play in supporting all types of voluntary, charitable and community organisations across the borough, as well as local businesses, schools, colleges, universities and faith groups; in representing residents at events outside the borough; attending formal council and civic ceremonies and participating in ceremonies when we welcome people from around the world into British citizenship."

With the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics taking place during his year of office, he is expecting life for him and his wife Rosemary, the Mayoress, to be very busy.

He continued: "I know that we can expect to see many dozens of street parties, tree planting ceremonies, carnivals and fairs all taking place to celebrate Her Majesty's Jubilee and we hope to visit as many as we can.

"There are also a number of events planned to celebrate the Olympics. For example, there will be the Olympic torch run across the Hillingdon and receptions for the South Korean Olympic team and the Canadian Paralympic team, both of whom will be based in the borough."

Underlying everything he plans to do over the next year is his determination to support and applaud those who volunteer their time to their local communities and voluntary groups.

He concluded: "If something needs to be done, it's relatively easy to find a one pound coin and pay someone to do the work. It's much, much harder to find one hour of time to give. However, that one hour can often be worth a hundred times the value of the one pound coin."

The Mayor's  charity appeal will be raising funds for the children's hospice, Shooting Stars Choice, for Hillingdon Young Carers and for AgeUK Hillingdon.

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