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Guildford has a new mayor, Cllr Jenny Jordan (Con, Merrow). Although her appointment and that of her deputy Cllr Pauline Searle (Lib Dem, Stoughton) was agreed at the previous full council meeting, the formal ceremony or Mayor Making took place today in the Guildhall.
The election took place in front of the begowned freemen, aldermen, councillors, council officers and invited guests. The ceremony, actually a council meeting held specifically for the purpose, started with the previous mayor, Cllr Terence Patrick (Con, Send), presiding.
First, Guildford’s Honorary Remembrancer, Matthew Alexander, read a summary report of the year. His address commenced: “It is a pleasure to dedicate this report to you [Mayor Patrick]; you who have shown your commitment to Guildford and its history over many years. It is satisfying to note that you have held the same position as your grandfather did a hundred years ago. He, too, was a man with a love of his home town and the well being of the people who lived in it.” The Honarary Remembrancer’s full report will be added to the town’s archive.
Then, Cllr Stephen Mansbridge, (Con, Ash South & Tongham) proposed Cllr Jordan and gave a speech describing the many accomplishments she had managed to achieve in her life to date.
Seconding the motion, Cllr Matt Furniss (Con, Christchurch) recalled that Cllr Jordan used to be his geography teacher at George Abbot School. He still, he said, found it awkward to call her Jenny. Producing one of his old school exercise books he read out a teacher’s warning written by Teacher Jordan that if he did not complete a certain piece of required work she would arrange a lunchtime detention!
Once the election was over, the old and new mayor both retired and re-emerged with Cllr Jordan in full mayor’s regalia, Cllr Patrick having reverted to a black councillor’s gown. Cllr Jordan then took over the chairmanship of the meeting: her first task to manage the election of her deputy, Cllr Searle.
Announcements were then made that the annual Civic Service will be held at Holy Trinity Church at 11.30am on Sunday, May 6, and the Rev’d Hugh Grear, rector of St Mary’s Worplesdon and St Alban’s Wood Street, would be the Mayor’s Chaplain.
Finally, the councillors agreed to the re-appointment of Mathew Alexander as the Honorary Remembrancer for the next municipal year.
With business over, participants and guests were all invited to the upstairs chamber for a reception.
Both Cllrs Jordan and Searle have served before as the Mayor of Guildford. They were selected to serve in this next, particularly important and demanding year – with London 2012 Olympic Games activities and the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations – following the withdrawal of Cllr John Garrett’s (Con, Lovelace) nomination on health grounds. Cllr Diana Lockyer-Nibbs (Con, Normandy) who was due to be Deputy Mayor, also stood aside, for reasons that have not been fully explained.