Sławek Szczepański became the first Polish-born Mayor in the UK

At a full Council meeting on 22 May, Councillor Sławek Szczepański was elected as the new Mayor of Merton in south London, marking a historic milestone as the first Polish-born resident to hold the position.

Councillor Szczepański from Poznań, who arrived in the UK 20 years ago as a joiner, has dedicated significant time to volunteering and supporting various charities, most notably the Polish Family Association, which he leads. His tenure as Mayor will be characterised by his commitment to inspiring Merton’s residents to make a difference and achieve their aspirations within the Borough.

Councillor Szczepański played a crucial role in aiding Ukrainian refugees, providing essential support as they settled into Merton, recognised as a Borough of Sanctuary. He has pledged to serve with dedication, compassion, and integrity.

In his address, Mayor Szczepański stated: “I have lived in Merton since I moved to the UK and have worked alongside many community groups, promoting cultural understanding and celebrating the rich diversity that makes this Borough unique […] After many years of experience across our different communities, I’m honoured to have been elected to serve Merton and all its residents as Mayor, and I look forward to carrying out my duties with compassion and integrity […] My journey from being a volunteer to this honourable position is a testament to the power of community and the importance of perseverance. In Merton, no dream is too big, and no barrier unbeatable.

Councillor Szczepański will be assisted in his role by his consort, Kamila Dyczko. He has chosen not to appoint a chaplain but will continue the tradition of having prayers before council meetings led by members of various faith groups.

The Mayor’s chosen charities for his term are the UCL Hospitals Charity, in support of research into glioblastoma, and Christian CARE, an organisation committed to alleviating poverty in Merton across different denominations.

The new Deputy Mayor of Merton is Councillor Brenda Fraser. With her extensive experience as a previous Mayor and former Cabinet member, Councillor Fraser brings valuable knowledge and expertise to her role. She will be supported by her consorts, Gareth and Julie Fraser.

 

Image: (@Merton_Council)

Author: Sébastien Meuwissen

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