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New Mayor Masuk Miah Says He Will Focus on Serving Guildford

Published on: 10 May, 2023
Updated on: 11 May, 2023

Focussing on ‘serving Guildford’, The new Mayor of Guildford for 2023-24 is Masuk Miah.

By Martin Giles

The new Mayor of Guildford was appointed today at the traditional Mayor Making ceremony at the Guildhall in the High Street.

Masuk Miah is the first Mayor of Guildford from a minority ethnic background, a fact celebrated by council leader Julia McShane when formally nominating him.

The former mayor Dennis Booth was unsuccessful at last week’s elections but councillor status is not a requirement to be mayor so he was able to continue in post for the five days until today’s handover.

The nominated deputy mayor for the next year, Nigel Manning, was also unsuccessful at the election and the council agreed that the selection and appointment of an alternative should be deferred to the council’s selection meeting next week.

The normal convention is for the deputy mayor to become the mayor the following year.

In addition to the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, the Earl of Onslow, Hon Freemen, Aldermen and 33 councillors, many of them elected for the first time last week, directors and officers of GBC,  around 25 members of the public were present.

Masuk Miah moved to Guildford in 1986 and began to quite literally serve the people of Guildford when he opened his first restaurant. He also raised funds for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

He is married to Parvin and together they have three grown-up children. When time allows, Masuk enjoys participating in sporting activities and working out at his local gym. Through his businesses and charity work, Masuk has gained respect in the community.

In his acceptance speech, he said: “My mayoral year will focus on ‘serving Guildford’. I’m a people person and love helping others. I’ve lived in Guildford for 37 years and got to know a lot of local people from many different backgrounds.

“These connections have given me a window into the ways many of our residents serve our communities. I want to help more local people come together to support one another.

“We’re still overcoming challenges brought on by the pandemic. This makes the focus of my mayoral year all the more important to me. It gives a greater need to make sure we pull together. I hope to meet and get to know as many groups and individuals as possible throughout the year.”

The mayor’s chosen charity for the year is The Fountain Centre. Located in the St Luke’s Cancer Centre in the Royal Surrey Hospital, it supports families living with cancer. They provide information, psychological support and therapies.

Masuk, who said he had lost both his parents to cancer, added: “I look forward to raising more awareness of, and funds for, The Fountain Centre. The charity supports families living with cancer. The centre is there for patients and their families from the initial cancer diagnosis until treatment finishes. They are a true source of comfort for people at the worst time.

“One of the reasons I have chosen to support The Fountain Centre is because its service could not run without our local community. Inspiringly, whilst they have a paid core staff, they are primarily run by over 100 volunteers. Throughout the year I will be supporting fundraising events to promote the work of The Fountain Centre.”

The Mayor will also continue to support the Mayor of Guildford’s Local Support Fund. The fund provides vital support by granting small sums of money to help those in genuine need.

The outgoing mayor Dennis Booth reported that he and his wife had thoroughly enjoyed the past year but his speech contained some pointed comments following an election campaign where content published on social media has been blamed by some members of his party, Residents for Guildford & Villages, for affecting the result.

Speaking about the need to take care in communications, he said we should be concerned about the clarity of the words we use because using the wrong words can injure people and “tear the fabric of society” damaging relationships and destroying trust.

He developed his theme by saying that instead of valuing truth, “society believes in what cannot be seen and cannot be verified”.

After the council meeting concluded, councillors and guests were invited to a reception in the upper room of the Guildhall.

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Responses to New Mayor Masuk Miah Says He Will Focus on Serving Guildford

  1. Jan Messinger Reply

    May 10, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    Many congratulations to Masuk Miah.

    I am a trustee and volunteer at the Sime Gallery, Worplesdon and I hope he is able to visit the art gallery during his mayoral year.

    There are so many amazing places in Guildford Borough I am sure a year won’t be long enough to visit them all, but he would be very welcome indeed.

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