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Guildford Has A New Mayor – Nikki Nelson-Smith

Published on: 14 May, 2015
Updated on: 14 May, 2015
Guildford's new Mayor - Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith

Guildford’s new Mayor – Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith

Guildford has a new mayor, Nikki Nelson-Smith, a Conservative councillor who represents and lives in the Christchurch ward of Guildford.

She was installed as Mayor last night at the annual Mayor Making ceremony at the Guildhall. Cllr Nelson-Smith takes over from Cllr David Elms (Con, Worplesdon) who said that his year as mayor, during which he had raised £30,000 for the Army Benevolent Fund, had been: “Truly memorable and fantastic – I met so many people and saw places in the borough that I had no idea existed.”

Cllr Billington (Con, Tillingbourne) proposing Cllr Nelson-Smith as the new mayor recalled his first meeting with her when they were two new councillors. He offered to employ her in his business but she had immediately responded, “I wouldn’t work for you if you were the last man on earth.” He concluded that she was obviously a lady of “exquisite judgement and good taste who possessed real analytical ability. She will make a very fine Mayor.”

The new Mayor with her Deputy Cllr Gordon Jackson (Con, Pirbright)

The new Mayor with her Deputy Cllr Gordon Jackson (Con, Pirbright)

An enthusiastic supporter of the science and technology sector. Nikki’s mayoral theme is ‘Inspiring Guildford’s Future Innovators’, recognising the illustrious history of Guildford as a notable centre of innovation.

She said in her address: “Guildford’s future clearly lies in its young people so my aim is to help those between 15 and 25, to raise their aspirations and inspire them to be the best they can be, to learn the skills needed in today’s world and to chase their dreams.”

The new mayor’s chosen charity is SATRO (the name does not stand for anything) which was founded in Guildford 30 years ago, and aims to inspire Surrey’s young people to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Nikki worked as an economist for many years and retains a strong interest in economic affairs. For three years she was a Trustee of Guildford Citizens Advice Bureau and she was a member of the Management Committee of the Guildford Job Club for its four years of operation.

The club helped people back into work during the recession; its model was a world leader and visitors came to study it from far and wide including Reykjavik, Iceland.

On the educational front she was a trustee of a charity for six years, teaching life skills and the dangers of drug abuse to young people.

As a borough councillor the new Mayor has been a member of all the formal committees and been involved in a number of working groups.

In her spare time Nikki has sung in various choirs since her school days and enjoys supporting our local entertainment venues and artists. She chaired the working group looking at the arts in Guildford Borough and devised an action plan that is being implemented to continue to support the arts.


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Responses to Guildford Has A New Mayor – Nikki Nelson-Smith

  1. Shirley West BEM Reply

    May 16, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    As chairman of the Guildford and Godalming Branch of the British Heart Foundation and President of the Castle Green Bowling Club I would like to congratulate the new Mayor of Guildford Nikki Nelson-Smith on her appointment as Mayor for 2015-16.

  2. Gordon Bridger Reply

    May 18, 2015 at 9:12 am

    I would like to congratulate the new Mayor for identifying the priority we need to give to younger people and to science and technology. Guildford has already established itself as an important centre in this field but is now seriously handicapped by its very high housing prices which means that these young people can no longer live here. There is not much point in training young people and then finding they leave.

    I trust she will follow up this and review our housing policy which is basic to her wishes which needs to find a way of providing more houses for this aspirational class.

    Our current housing policy will never be able to get very far as it concentrates on developers building expensive executive housing to fund the required 33% “affordable” component. And much of this “affordable” is for well intentioned and indeed desirable welfare housing.

    But without attracting dynamic science trained younger people we will not be able to fund this type of welfare housing. We need a “silicon valley” solution.

    I hope she will appreciate that the key to her policies lies in an appropriate housing policy.

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    May 18, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Having worked for silicon valley companies, I found that the valley had the most expensive real estate in the US, and we had to massively increase salaries of staff relocating from elsewhere in the US, to make the move affordable.

    How will this help those needing starter and affordable homes?

  4. Valerie Thompson Reply

    May 19, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    The only way for the young, the homeless, the newly-recruited workers for the newly-created businesses that Guildford wants to attract, is to provide council houses and flats of a decent standard, at sensible rents, built in the town centre, not far away in villages with no transport.

    What is wrong with renting? Most people do in Paris, New York and Germany. People there do not feel the need to buy.

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