Lord Mayor of Birmingham - Councillor Raymond Hassall
Councillor Raymond Hassall was born in 1943 during the Second World War in Hallam Hospital, West Bromwich. The family originally lived in Hamstead Road, Great Barr before moving to Canada in 1957.
Ray returned to England in February 1960 sailing from New York to Portsmouth. Following a brief period as an apprentice engineer he joined Royal Corp of Signals in July 1960, where he served until July 1966.
On leaving the Army, Ray trained in gas welding and used this skill in building vehicles for a year before joining GPO Communications, which later became British Telecom. He remained at BT for over 20 years, his career culminating in him being appointed Manager of the Business Centre based in Broad Street in the City Centre.
During the late 1970s Ray became involved in politics. In 1990 he won the Perry Barr seat for the Liberal Democrat Party and has served continuously as a Councillor to the present day, more than 25 years.
In 1991 Councillor Hassall left BT to become a full time councillor. As well as serving local people Councillor Hassall’s passion has always been for leisure, sport and culture. He previously chaired the Leisure, Sport and Culture Overview & Scrutiny committee and was later appointed as the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture.
As Cabinet Member, Councillor Hassall reintroduced the half marathon to the City after a 22 year break, taking part himself in the first two events. The Birmingham Half Marathon now attracts more than 25 thousand entrants.
The Lord Mayor still enjoys keeping fit and, in addition to weekly ballet training, will shortly resume running on a regular basis.
During his year as Lord Mayor, Councillor Hassall is very much looking forward to meeting as many people as possible across the City and to promoting Birmingham both nationally and internationally. In addition to this the Lord Mayor will be encouraging people to become active and increase their health and fitness.
Like so many people, the Lord Mayor has lost close relatives to Cancer, including his son Jonathan in October 2013 and his sister Margaret in December 2014. He has therefore chosen Cancer Research UK as one of his charities for the year. The other charities chosen by the Lord Mayor this year are Fisher House, the MS Society and Birmingham Trees for Life.
Term of Office
Each Lord Mayor completes a one year term of office and then another year as Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham. The new Lord Mayor is installed at the Annual General Meeting of the Council (also known as Mayormaking).
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