Councillor Raj Mehta was elected as Mayor for 2018/19 at the Annual Council Meeting and Mayor Making Ceremony on Thursday 24 May 2018. Raj was supported during his term in office by the Mayoress, his wife, Dr Poonam Mehta.
Raj was brought up in Anfield and after moving to Telford over 13 years ago, he became a Borough Councillor for the Horsehay and Lightmoor Ward at the 2016 by-election. Raj has also served as a member of Ketley Parish Council since 2012 and finished in 2019 and is now a member of both Lawley and Overdale and Dawley Hamlets Parish Council’s as well as Great Dawley Town Council.
Raj has been working with the NHS for nearly two decades and runs a surgery practice in Aylesbury where he is also Chairman of the Health & Engagement Forum. In 2016, he was awarded by the Community Foundation, the Inspiration Award for Health and Well Being in the Community and in 2017, the Bringing People Together Award.
He lives with his wife, Poonam who is also a local GP and their two children, Swastik and Rahul.
Raj has previous experience serving as a Police Constable for West Midlands Police for 10 years and currently holds the position of School Governor for Lawley Primary School. He is also Vice-Chair for the Confederation of Indians and has experience as an Interpreter for the UK Border Agency with the ability to speak in several languages including Punjabi, Hindu and Urdu.
In 2001, Raj raised £20,000 to aid resources following a natural disaster in Gujrat and continued his fundraising in 2018, raising another £20,000 for the John Taylor Hospice and Severn Hospice Telford. As Mayor Raj launched the Mayoral Grant Fund as part of his Building Bridges – Bringing Communities Together Appeal. The aim of the Telford & Wrekin Mayoral Fund was to support the local community by making grants for the benefit of local voluntary organisations undertaking charitable activity in support of individuals in need within the borough of Telford and Wrekin. In particular, Raj decided to focus on community and voluntary groups working to support the multi-faith community and broaden diversity.
As Mayor, Raj noticed there was a gap between the younger and older generations and had an idea of bridging the gap between the two generations by establishing the Building Bridges Appeal. It is his promise, commitment and passion to deliver and expand on the Building Bridges Appeal which has proved very successful in Telford, for example, in School children visiting elderly nursing establishments in socially interacting with residents such as reading books together. Raj has also implemented a plaque to award to those Schools and nursing establishments who make a pledge to the Building Bridges Appeal with the Appeal gathering interest in other Towns across the Country.
Raj was appointed by the Leader of the Council the position of Cabinet Member for Communities & Inclusivity following the May 2019 local election results and remains a Ward Councillor for Horsehay and Lightmoor.
As Cabinet Member, Raj has recently been appointed Trustee of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and appointed as Chair of the first Interfaith Council to build community ties and support cultural celebration with representatives from Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Islamic and Jewish groups as well as West Mercia Police.