Farnham’s new Mayor, Councillor Mike Hodge, has chosen two important local charities to support during his mayoral year, the Woodlarks Centre and Brightwells Gostrey Community Centre.

Councillor Hodge officially became Mayor on Thursday 11 May following his nomination by Councillor Pat Frost. He takes over from Councillor John Ward who received a warm vote of thanks from Councillor Carole Cockburn.

Born and educated in Surrey and having lived in Farnham for many years, Councillor Hodge represents the community in Hale and Heath End both on Farnham Town Council and as a borough councillor at Waverley.

Proud and delighted at his nomination, during his acceptance speech at the Mayor Making ceremony, which took place at Farnham Town Council offices, he said: “It is such an honour to be elected as Town Mayor and I am humbled that you would put your faith and trust in me. This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly, and I will endeavour to represent the town of Farnham and its people to the best of my ability. I will work hard to demonstrate to others what a wonderful place Farnham is and how much we have to offer as a town.

“Farnham is not just a town centre. It is surrounded by the most wonderful villages that have their own unique identities and character and it is the combination of them all that makes Farnham the very special community that it is.”

The new Mayor has chosen the Woodlarks Centre, a care home and activity centre in Farnham, as one of his charities because of the valuable support it provides to people with disabilities. Councillor Hodge hopes he can help raise its profile and that more people will benefit from its facilities as a result of his support as Mayor.

In his time as a town councillor, Councillor Hodge has been impressed with the work that Brightwells Gostrey Community Centre does for older people in the community so he has selected it as his second charity. 2017 promises to be a milestone in the history of the Gostrey Centre as it moves to the Memorial Hall in West Street.

Councillor Mike Hodge counts touring Europe on a motorcycle and riding classic British motorbikes among his hobbies and has kept honeybees for many years, which he says he finds relaxing and enjoyable.

Councillor Hodge’s professional background is in the civil service, having travelled the developing world for the former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food looking for new business opportunities for the UK agricultural sector, and later with the Department of Work and Pensions as its Strategic Events Manager, overseeing events relating to Job Centre Plus, the Disability and Carers Service and the Pensions Service.

Councillor Hodge will be supported by his Consort Councillor Julia Potts during the year. The Deputy Mayor is Councillor David Attfield.

The mayoral year runs from May 2017 to May 2018 during which Councillor Hodge and his deputy will attend hundreds of community, business and civic events. To invite the Mayor to an event email mayor@farnham.gov.uk or call 01252 712667.

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