Culinary expert becomes 43rd mayor of woking
Originally from Shenfield in Essex, Cllr Murray moved to Woking in the early 1980s, where she developed a successful career as an IT consultant in the City, before leaving work to begin a family.
As her family grew, Cllr Murray was able to devote more time to her first passion – local politics. “I’ve always had a keen interest in the place where I’ve lived, and played an active role in the local community” explains Cllr Murray, “I was privileged in 2003 to be elected Conservative councillor for Horsell East and Woodham. Since then, I’ve taken an active role on numerous committees and working groups, becoming Leader of the Council in 2007.”
Despite the ‘cut and thrust’ of local politics, Cllr Murray found time to rekindle her love of cooking. “Since my teens I’ve had a real passion for cooking, thanks to an inspirational teacher. With my background in computing, I have an analytical mind and to me, cooking is like chemistry. By combining different ingredients you can create something wonderful.”
Cllr Murray’s passion even turned into an involvement with Chobham Country Market where each Thursday morning she sells traditional home cooked food. Cllr Murray explains: “It all started when I would bake birthday cakes for my daughters. Their friends’ parents would then ask me to bake their child a cake and it’s grown from there.”
As an active member of the local community, Cllr Murray is excited about her Mayoral year. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed holding the position of Deputy Mayor for the past year, and now look forward to meeting the many individuals and organisations that make a difference to our communities” she explains.
From now until next year, Cllr Murray will be raising the profile of and funds for, her chosen charity: Woking and Sam Beare Hospices. They provide palliative care and support for patients and their families living in central Surrey, helping people achieve the best possible quality of life.
“Whilst I’m grateful that friends and family haven’t had to use the Hospices’ services,” Cllr Murray reveals, “I’m acutely aware of the tremendous care and support that they provide to many in our community. Work is currently underway to create a new purpose-built hospice in Goldsworth Park where patients will receive the best care possible. Yet the need for fundraising continues, so by supporting the Hospices we can all make a difference for generations to come.”
During her Mayoral year, Cllr Murray will be supported by her husband Michael, and her two daughters, Sarah and Rachel.
Woking’s Deputy Mayor this year is Cllr Graham Cundy, currently a Conservative Councillor for St Johns.