Mayor - Councillor Mike Parsons
The Mayor of Guildford for 2018-19 is Councillor Mike Parsons.
Mike's support for the local community includes work with the Chilworth Community Association, Chilworth Care Committee and the Henry Smith Charity.
Since being elected to Guildford Borough Council, Mike has served on the Licensing Committee as a member and vice-chairman, the Borough Executive Advisory Board, Air Quality Working Group, Museum Working Group, Military Covenant Panel, Councillor Development Steering Group and as a trustee of Sunset Homes. He was Deputy Mayor in 2017-2018.
Mike describes his mayoral theme as "Volunteering for the people, by the people". Following this theme, Mike will be seeking the support of fellow councillors, the local business community, residents and local media to acknowledge and recognise the many people who volunteer in Guildford.
Volunteering is something to be proud of, and it is worth noting that there are more volunteers in Surrey than any other county in England. It is estimated that the voluntary sector contributes £36 billion to the UK's economy every year. Volunteers richly deserve our recognition, explains Mike.
As Mayor of Guildford, Mike would like to visit as many of these voluntary community groups and organisations as possible to see the work that they do and to personally thank volunteers on behalf of all the residents of our borough.
Mike was born in Cardiff, South Wales, where he also attended school. After leaving school, he carried out a variety of jobs, before settling on a childhood dream - aged 17, he took the Queen's shilling and enlisted in the British Army.
During his 22 years of service, Mike served in many countries and discovered his talents as an instructor, covering many disciplines within the military. He specialised in the field of logistics and finished his service in 1986 in the rank of Warrant Officer.
After leaving the army, Mike worked in the field of logistics in the brewing, retailing and air freight importing and exporting industries before retiring in 2010.
Mike was a volunteer Vice Chairman of the Philip Green Memorial Trust, a children's charity (now Paskin Children's Trust) for 10 years, helping to raise over £2 million for many causes. His mayoral theme will focus on recognising the invaluable work of volunteers in our community.
After moving to Chilworth, Mike joined the Guildford Tenants' Advisory Group, which represented the views of social housing tenants, as a volunteer member. He went on to serve as Chairman of the group for several years.
Mike has been married to Jean for 48 years and she has supported him in all his endeavours. The couple enjoys cottage holidays in west Wales and Mike is an avid beach fisherman, so they spend weekends at the coast in the hope of landing supper.
Staying true to his Welsh roots, Mike is a huge supporter and follower of rugby and can be found cheering on Guildford Rugby Club whenever he has the chance to do so.
During his Mayoral year, Mike will be supporting a number of fundraising events to raise awareness and much needed funds for the Guildford Young Carers Fund, Headway Surrey and the Mayor of Guildford's Local Distress Fund.