Fringe Box



New Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Interim CEO Nominations Agreed

Published on: 25 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 25 Jan, 2024

By Martin Giles

The honour and duty of Guildford’s mayoralty continue to be shared among the political parties.

The current Mayor of Guildford, Liberal Democrat Masuk Miah, took over from R4GV’s Dennis Booth and will hand over in May to Conservative Sallie Barker. Her deputy will be Labour councillor Howard Smith.

Cllrs Sallie Barker, Masuk Miah and Howard Smith after the council meeting at which nominations for the next mayor and deputy mayor were agreed. Photo Cllr Geoff Davis

By tradition the deputy mayor is next in line to become mayor, so Cllr Smith can expect to become mayor in 2025.

A proposal to nominate Cllrs Barker and Smith for the future mayoral roles was approved unanimously at a full meeting of Guildford Borough Council on Tuesday evening (January 23).

As a formality, the council confirms the nominations by electing the councillors to the mayor and deputy mayor roles at its traditional annual mayor-making meeting in May each year in the Guildhall.

Mayor elect for municipal year 2024 to 2025, Sallie Barker, said: “I have long admired the great ceremonial traditions that Guildford keeps alive, and the role of mayor is key to this.

“As Deputy Mayor I have seen first-hand how the mayoralty can be a force for good in our community by supporting local charities, through attendance at events and helping with fundraising, and by interacting with, and helping, residents.

“Having lived in our lovely borough for nearly forty years, I am keen to put something back and to use my knowledge and skills to help the residents of Guildford and our villages, as well as raise the profile of the great local organisations who are working hard to support us all. I can’t wait to get started!”

Deputy Mayor elect for the municipal year 2024 to 2025, Howard Smith, said: “I am delighted to be nominated to be Deputy  Mayor for the 24-25 year.  As a Guildford-born lad, growing up here, going to school here and all the rest it is a great honour.

“I wonder what my late parents would be thinking now if they were still around? I am looking forward to supporting Sallie as Mayor and contributing as much as I can in representing and promoting the town I’m so proud to belong to.”

Annie Righton

Appointment of interim Chief Executive

It was also agreed that following interview of two applicants, a formal offer of appointment to the role of interim joint chief executive, and designation as head of paid service, for both Guildford and Waverley Borough Councils should be made be made to Annie Righton, the existing joint strategic director, Community Wellbeing.

Subject to the further agreement of Waverley Borough Council, Ms Righton is expected to act as chief executive until the new permanent appointee Pedro Wrobel takes up post in April.

The leader of Guildford Borough Council, Julia McShane said:
“I’m so pleased that Annie Righton has decided to take up this important interim role of CEO and I look forward to continuing to work with her.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Tom Horwood for his strong commitment to public service and his hard work for both Guildford and Waverley councils. I wish him all the best for the future.”


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