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Mayor - Councillor Richard Billington

The Mayor of Guildford for 2019-20 is Councillor Richard Billington.

Mayor 2019-2020
Cllr Richard Billington was first elected to local government in 1990 in the London Borough of Croydon. After moving to Guildford, he was elected to represent the Tillingbourne Ward on the Council in 2011. After a period on the back benches, he became Lead Councillor for Community Safety and Health and, more recently, Lead Councillor for Rural Economy, Countryside, Parks and Leisure.

These positions have given Richard the opportunity to use his experience to promote Guildford's countryside and the natural beauty of the borough.

Mayor's theme

Richard's theme for his Mayoral year is "Supporting health in our community". On this theme, he will be seeking to raise awareness of the importance of promoting health and wellbeing within our communities. Every one of us has a responsibility to look after ourselves. Our health is a precious commodity, but one that at times we neglect to pay attention to.

With the advances in health care and screening, we are now better equipped than ever to take care of our own health and wellbeing.

During his Mayoral year, Richard will be working with health professionals and other partners to promote and encourage people to take part in screening by supporting and participating in local screening events, for example, diabetes testing.

About Richard

Richard was born and educated in Croydon, where he attended Whitgift School. After leaving school, he became an apprentice with Smiths Industries, where he worked in the company's Aviation and Car Radio Divisions while studying for a degree in Business Studies.

During his degree studies, Richard found time to join the Territorial Army, first as an officer cadet in London University OTC and then as an officer in the Royal Artillery, and for the last ten years of his service, in the Intelligence Corps.

Over succeeding years he worked in a variety of roles in sales and marketing, finally joining BT in 1986 to work in its International Division and later in the emerging field of video-conferencing. 

It was during this time that Richard first became involved in local politics, becoming a councillor for the London Borough of Croydon in 1990. After eight years on a variety of committees, he was made an Honorary Alderman of the Borough.

Leaving Croydon Council was not the end of his roles in the Borough. Although he moved to Guildford in 1997, he continued in voluntary roles, becoming chairman of the Police Community Committee and chairman of the Independent Custody Visitors for the Croydon Division of the Metropolitan Police.

During the last fifteen years of Richard's working life, he has been looking after children with learning difficulties and autism in the care home he co-owned. Having retired in 2018, Richard is now looking forward to the challenges of being Mayor of Guildford.

Richard lives in Guildford with his wife Lynda and their two terriers. The couple enjoy travel and when not working on council matters, Richard loves to spend his free time walking with his dogs in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Deputy Mayor

Deputy Mayor 2019-20

The Deputy Mayor for 2019-20 is Cllr Marsha Moseley.