A new Mayor and her deputy assumed their roles at Kingston Council (RBK) on Tuesday (May 14).

Councillor Margaret Thompson is the borough’s 184th Mayor.

She has lived in the borough since 1985, she was first elected as a Liberal Democrat councillor for Chessington North and Hook Ward in 2010.

Prior to becoming Mayor, she was the council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and chair of the Children’s and Adults' Care and Education Committee.

Cllr Thompson qualified as a paediatric nurse and lives in Hook with her husband Richard Thompson, a Professor of Experimental Physics at Imperial College.

On assuming the position earlier this week, Cllr Thompson praised her predecessor Thay Thayalan and said she would try to act with humility in her new role.

"Thank you to Thay Thayalan, whose quiet grace has been inspirational — he will be a very hard act to follow, but an excellent role model."

"Becoming Mayor is a huge privilege, one that makes me feel very humble, and I will do my very best to serve the Royal Borough and its residents to the best of my ability," Cllr Thompson said.

Councillor Munir Ravalia was appointed as Deputy Mayor.

Cllr Ravalia was elected as a councillor in Coombe Vale ward in May 2018 and lives in New Malden with his family.

He has been a resident in Kingston for a number of years and was formerly a pupil at Coombe Hill Infants.

Cllr Ravalia qualified as a professional dentist and has worked with a number of refugee charities in the borough.

RBK said he is passionate about preventing and helping young people to stay away from getting involved in crime and violence.

Also on Tuesday it was revealed that the Mayor's chosen charities would be Kingston Centre for Independent Living (KCIL) and Oxygen.

KCIL provide a range of services to ensure that disabled people who live, work or study in Kingston are able to lead independent lives. KCIL also provide disability-related advice and information to other interested individuals or organisations.

Oxygen is a charity that provides help and practical support to local young people, working in schools, youth centres and other settings. It is particularly concerned with improving young people's mental health and also works to prevent knife crime and other kinds of violence.