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Weymouth and Portland Mayor's Office

Borough Coat of Arms

Information and upcoming engagements for the Mayor of Weymouth and Portland, Councillor Ray Banham.

Mayor Ray Banham and Councillor Pam Nickson

Mayor's Engagements

In general, the Mayor undertakes around 400 engagements a year, mostly within the borough, and is supported by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Kate Wheller, who is asked to attend those engagements where the Mayor would otherwise be double booked. 

About the Mayor

Councillor Ray Banham was formally elected as Mayor of Weymouth and Portland on 23 May 2013 to serve for the next Municipal Year.

Ray was born on 7 June 1944 (the day after D Day!) in a small village in Betchworth, Surrey. He has five children - two daughters and three sons - and now has four grandchildren.

After living and working in London, Ray came to Weymouth in 1962. He only came for a holiday but loved the area so much he has lived here ever since. Whilst in London Ray performed as Lester Cole in Agatha Christie's 'Verdict'.

Once in Weymouth, Ray secured employment with the Southern Electricity Board where he stayed until taking early retirement in 1994. He then started his own business and went back on stage performing as Freddie Mercury in a tribute act. Every Christmas Ray, with others, creates and performs in what they call a 'Christmas Madhouse' with the 'Crackers for Christmas Co'. Nearly all the shows have been sell outs and many of their sketches are performed by other companies throughout the world.

Ray produced, directed and performed in his own Variety Show at the Weymouth Pavilion Theatre to commemorate the theatre's 50th anniversary. The proceeds were used to lay a new stage surface. The only other time Ray has been on his local stage was with the Chuckle Brothers.

For many years Ray was also a football referee and, for the last ten years of his refereeing career, could be seen quite often on 'Match of the Day' and ITV's 'the Big Match'. He also officiated at the 1984 FA Youth Cup Final.

In 1994 Ray decided to stand for election. He was elected to represent the Westham East Ward which he did for 8 years, before being elected to represent the Westham West Ward for a further two years before standing down.

After a five year break, Ray stood for election again and was elected to represent the Melcombe Regis Ward. Ray has served on many committees, once being Vice-Chair of the former Harbour and Works Committee. He is currently Chairman of the Pavilion Steering Group. Ray has also been a parent governor at Beechcroft St Pauls Infant School.

Councillor Banham has chosen Councillor Pam Nixon as his Mayoress for the coming year. Councillor Nixon, like himself, is retired and for many years worked as librarian at the Wey Valley School. She represents the Wey Valley Ward on the Borough Council.

Ray feels very honoured and privileged to have been elected Mayor by his fellow Councillors and both Ray and Pam look forward very much to their Civic Year and meeting as many residents, both young and old from organisations and at events throughout the Borough.

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