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‘Mr Ash’ Becomes the Mayor of Guildford and Encourages Community Spirit

Published on: 3 May, 2017
Updated on: 3 May, 2017

Cllr Nigel Manning the new Mayor of Guildford

The new Mayor of Guildford for 2017-18 is Cllr Nigel Manning.

His appointment was confirmed at the traditional mayor-making ceremony today in Guildford’s Guildhall. The event was attended by Michael Gove, the former cabinet minister and MP for the Surrey Heath constituency which includes Ash Vale, Cllr Manning’s home village which he represents at Guildford Borough Council (GBC).

Proposing Manning as mayor, Cllr Matt Furniss said that his colleague had become “Mr Ash” and listed his public appointments as parish councillor and then as a Conservative borough councillor from 2000 at GBC where he was quickly promoted to a position on the Executive, his financial management skills helping achieve for the council an AA1 rating.

Departing form the normally uncontroversial nature of speeches during a mayor-making and causing the current leader Paul Spooner to smile wryly, mutter and shake his head, Cllr Furniss referred to the controversial period of leadership under Stephen Mansbridge: “From 2003 he [Manning] has held nearly every finance role possible and even, for a stint, as [council] leader. I think our current leader’s job is safe as he was only in the job for three months but he was certainly much better than the one that left.”

Cllr Manning’s theme for his mayoral year is: “It’s our community, support it, embrace it!” and with this theme the new mayor wants to encourage residents, businesses and the local community to acknowledge and recognise individuals and groups who quietly give up their time and energy to help others.

After the mayor-making the mayor said: “My theme is all about making a positive difference to our local community and this is so important. Our local groups and individuals who do this add so much compassion and diversity to our borough. My aim is to visit as many people and organisations as possible to see the work they do within our community and to personally thank the volunteers on behalf of all our residents.”

The mayor’s chosen charity is the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and also the Mayor’s Local Distress Fund. During his year in office, Cllr Manning will be supporting events and activities to raise awareness for the two charities.

The new Deputy Mayor of Guildford Cllr Mike Parsons

Born in Brighton, Manning has been a resident of the borough since 1990. In 2000 he became an Ash Parish councillor. He has been ward councillor for Ash Vale since 2001.

The new mayor has been a lead councillor on the council’s Executive since 2003, a member of Guildford Local Committee since 2002 and a member of the council’s Policy Panels and Audit, Employment and Licensing Committees. He was also chairman of the Corporate Governance and Standards Committee.

In 2016, Nigel Manning retired after a 41 year career working for HMRC.

The deputy mayor for 2016-17 is Cllr Mike Parsons (Shalford).

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