Have you noticed your council leader sporting a more relaxed facial hair style this summer?

Councillor Stephen Alambritis' laissez-faire approach to his grooming regimen is not just a symptom of the summer holidays.

The unshaven leader is growing a beard and inviting people to sponsor him to have it removed in an open-air 'shave off' outside the Merton Civic Centre in aid of the Mayor of Merton's charities.

The 'big shave off', which is due to take place in early September, won't be the first time coun Alambritis has experimented with his facial hair for charity.

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In 2011 he grew a grand curling moustache and raised more than £2,500 for Parkinson's UK Merton Branch.

Coun Alambritis, who is currently touring barber shops to see who will shave him, said: "I like to do my bit for the Mayor’s charities and this is a grand way to raise some money. It also pleases my wife as she hates it when I go unshaven for this length of time."

"I want to see a scrum for which barber raises the most money to take part in the shave off. This way I hope to double the money raised from the 2011 effort."

Money donated via sponsorships forms distributed in shops around Merton will be donated to the Mayor of Merton's charities: Shooting Star Chase, Merton Street Pastors, Colour House Theatre and Pilgrimage Trust.

Prim and Pampered's barbers in Morden Court Parade, has already put in a bid to shave the councillor.

Michael Wood, who started working at Prim and Pampered (formerly Palmers Barbers) aged 15 in 1965, said: "I know Stephen is always up for a challenge and growing a beard for charity must be a real chore especially if you are used to being clean shaven.

"I shall be urging my customers to donate for this excellent cause and if Stephen wants me to shave him I would take a very close look at the offer."

The Big Shave Off is due to take place in early September outside Merton Civic Centre in London Road, Morden.

To sponsor Coun Alambritis, send a cheque made payable to Mayor of Merton’s Charities to the Leaders Office, Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX.