New Waverley mayor, and twice former mayor of Farnham, Councillor John Ward, has vowed to do “whatever I can to help support our residents, local organisations and charities within this wonderful borough”.
Cllr Ward, a long-serving town and borough councillor who quit the Conservatives for the Farnham Residents in 2016 amid a row over his opposition to Farnham’s East Street/Brightwells Yard development, was elected mayor at Waverley Borough Council’s annual council meeting on Tuesday, May 17.
A former geophysicist in the oil industry, he will hold the post for one year, attending a wide variety of engagements, acting as an ambassador for the council, chairing council meetings as well as raising funds for his nominated charities.
Cllr Ward said: “It is a privilege to have been elected. I am looking forward to undertaking this role with the support of my wife and mayoress Gillian.”
The mayoress, Mrs Ward, is herself on the board and vice-chairman of seven care homes across Waverley and the Home Counties, as well as serving on numerous local committees including Farnham Heritage Open Days.
Cllr Ward has chosen Jigsaw Trust and Creative Response as the charities he will be supporting during his tenure.
Cllr Ward added: “Jigsaw Trust was set up in 1999 and is based at Dunsfold Park in Cranleigh. The trust manages Jigsaw CABAS School which supports 80 pupils, aged four to 19.
“Jigsaw’s vision is that autistic people should be enabled to live a life that gives them the opportunity to reach their potential, and I am pleased to be able to support them in their efforts during my year as mayor.
“Creative Response helps approximately 75 adults every week at its Farnham centre. It’s a small local charity offering arts-based workshops for those experiencing mental health, learning and physical difficulties.
“Creative Response’s endeavour to provide people with an outlet through artistic expression with professional artists is one I am passionate in supporting.
“As well as raising funds for Jigsaw Trust and Creative Response, I hope I can help raise awareness of autism and the benefits of the arts in aiding people suffering with mental health issues
“I’d like to raise as much money as I can for both my nominated charities during my year as mayor.
“I also plan to help other charities, good causes and appeals, as I want to do as much as I can to help support the people of Waverley.”
The mayor has lived in Farnham for 23 years and was first elected as a councillor in 2007.
He added: “I would like to thank my outgoing colleague John Robini who, despite the pandemic, has worked incredibly hard to fundraise and serve the local community.”
Councillor Robini (Lib Dem, Haslemere Critchmere and Shottermill) was mayor from May 2021 and supported A Place To Be, Hydestile Resident Animals and Skillway in his year as mayor which ended with him carrying out a ‘Labour of Love’ charity challenge at each charity.