Agenda and minutes

Mayor Making, Council - Thursday, 18th May, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: Frank Jeffrey, Head of Democratic Services  on 01483 743012 or email


No. Item


Apologies for Absence.

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No apologies for absence had been received.


Declarations of Interest.

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary and other interests from Members and Officers in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.

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No declarations of interest were received.



To approve the minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 30 March 2023, as published.

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That the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Council held on 30 March 2023 be approved and signed as a true and correct record.


Urgent Business.

To consider any business which the Chairman rules may be dealt with under Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

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No items of Urgent Business were considered.


Presentation of the Young People's Civic Awards 2023.

The Mayor will present the 2023 Young People’s Civic Awards.

The Young People’s Civic Award Scheme aims to reward young people who make an outstanding contribution to the community whose work or achievements may not normally be recognised. 

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The Mayor presented awards to the winners of the 2023 Young People’s Civic AwardsScheme.  The Scheme aimed to reward young people who made an outstanding contribution to the life of the community in Woking and whose work or achievements might not normally be recognised.

Each winner received a certificate, a trophy and a voucher from The Ambassador Theatre Group which had sponsored the Award Scheme.

James Howell – Outstanding Contribution

The winner in the first category, Outstanding Contribution to the Community, was James Howell, a Year 11 student at Woking High School.  James was an active member of both his school and local community and had a passion for improving the town’s sustainability for future generations.

Annabelle MacAlister – Outstanding Achievement

The winner in the second category – Outstanding Achievement – was Annabelle MacAlister, a young carer from Goldsworth Park who cared for her parents alongside her two older siblings.

As a valued member of Woking Young Carers, Annabelle supported the younger members and was involved in activities such as bingo sessions at Brockhill Care Home and supporting community events in Sythwood.  In 2022, Annabelle completed her Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Chloe Harding – Triumph Over Adversity

The winner of the Triumph Over Adversity category was Chloe Harding, a remarkable young lady who deserved true recognition for her exceptional resilience and determination to overcome enormous challenges. 

Chloe had joined Hoe Valley School five years previously and had suffered the tragic loss of her parents during her time at secondary school.  With the support of her family, her school and the Hope Service, Chloe had slowly managed to rebuild her life in the face of adversity.  Since achieving her GSCE’s, Chloe had started a new college to pursue her wish to work with young children. 


Announcement of the 2023 Eminent Citizen.

The Mayor to announce Woking’s Eminent Citizen of the Year.

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Each year, the outgoing Mayor selected a resident who had provided an ‘eminent service’ to the community and appointed them Eminent Citizen.  The Mayor announced that this year’s honour would be bestowed on Julia Hopkins from Knaphill, an outstanding resident who had worked tirelessly to support local communities and various charities.

In 2019, Julia had opened Woking’s first community fridge. What had started as a shed in the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Knaphill, was now a purpose-built cabin that supported hundreds of families each week.  Aside from her work at the community fridge, over the years Julia had also raised money for mental health and pancreatic cancer charities.

In recognition of her work for the Community, Julia had also been awarded the British Empire Medal in December 2022.


The Mayor's End of Year Speech.

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The Mayor spoke of the many events he had attended throughout the past year, including spectacular live performances, fundraising events and award ceremonies.  However, it was the chance to meet individuals that stood out, including Margaret Ripley, a local resident aged 99 years and 10 months who had recently fulfilled her dream of walking her great granddaughter down the aisle.

The Mayor stated that it had been the greatest honour and privilege to meet so many Woking residents, volunteers, businesses and entrepreneurs, all of whom did so much to make Woking a truely special place.


Election of Mayor 2023/24.

To elect The Mayor for the ensuing year who will then make the statutory declaration of acceptance of office. This will be followed by a short adjournment for robing.

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Councillor Aziz moved and Councillor Lyons seconded that Councillor Raja be elected Mayor.


That Councillor M Ilyas Raja be elected Mayor of the Borough for the ensuing year.

The Mayor signed the Statutory Declaration of Acceptance of Office.


Mayor's Communications.

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The Mayor thanked all those present for attending and for the honour bestowed on him by the Council.

Past Mayor’s Badge

The Mayor thanked Councillor Saj Hussain for his service to the Borough over the past year as Mayor and presented him with a Past Mayor’s Badge.  The Mayor further presented Faaria Sahi, daughter of Councillor Hussain, with a Past Mayoress’ Badge.

The Mayoress

The Mayor was pleased to announce that his wife, Nargis Ilyas Khan, would support him as Mayoress for the coming year.

The Mayor’s Charity

The Mayor had chosen to support and raise funds for the Friends of Woking Community Hospital, supporting the diagnostic centre on Heathside Road. The charity had been founded in 1970 and had since raised a million pounds for the hospital.

Forthcoming Events

The Mayor reported that his diary had already been filled with a wide range of engagements, including an event being organised by Woking Park Bowling Club for 9 July 2023 to support the Mayor's Charity.  The event would be open to the whole community.


Appointment of Deputy Mayor 2023/24.

To appoint the Deputy Mayor for the ensuing year who will then make the statutory declaration of acceptance of office.

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Councillor Forster moved and Councillor Davis seconded that Councillor Morales be appointed Deputy Mayor.


That Councillor Louise Morales be appointed Deputy Mayor of the Borough for the ensuing year.

The Deputy Mayor signed the Statutory Declaration of Acceptance of Office.


Local Elections 2023 WBC23-019. pdf icon PDF 75 KB

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The Council received a report on the names of those who had been returned as Borough Councillors at the Elections on 4 May 2023.


That the report be received.


Presentation of Certificates to Past Members.

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In recognition of their service to the community as Borough Councillors, the following individuals were presented with a certificate by the Mayor.

o      James Sanderson. Ward Councillor for Goldsworth East (2015 – 2016) and Goldsworth Park (2019-2023). 

o      Mohammad Ali.  Ward Councillor for Canalside (2016 – 2023). 

o      Colin Kemp. Ward Councillor for Horsell West (2014 – 2016) and Horsell (2016 – 2023).

o      Ayesha Azad.  Ward Councillor for Mayford and Sutton Green (2014 – 2016) and Heathlands (2016 - 2023).

o      Gary Elson. Ward Councillor for West Byfleet (2008-2016) and Pyrford (2016 – 2023)

o      Melanie Whitehand.  Ward Councillor for Knaphill (2007 – 2023).


Seating Arrangements 2023/24.

To approve the seating arrangements for Council meetings. A chart will be circulated at the meeting.

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The Council had before it a plan showing the proposed seating arrangements for Members at Council meetings for the ensuing year.


That the seating plan be approved.