New Crawley mayor will ‘champion town from rooftops’

Crawley’s new mayor will be ‘championing the town from the rooftops’, borough councillors have been told.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 11:23 am
Francis Guidera will be Crawley's mayor for 2020/21

Francis Guidera (Con, Tilgate)  received his chains of office during a virtual meeting of the full council on Wednesday evening (July 15), taking over from Raj Sharma (Lab, Southgate).

Mr Guidera’s selection was something of a change for Crawley.

Usually the mayor comes from a member of the administration but, since the council fell into No Overall Control, an agreement was reached between the two leaders which included a Conservative member donning the chains of office for 2020/21.

Shahzad Malik will continue as deputy mayor

Mr Guidera said: “It’s a huge honour having been born in the town. It was completely unexpected but circumstances have changed quickly.

“It’s a huge privilege. It means a lot to me because I want to use my time as a councillor doing positive things for the town.”

He told the meeting he would be doing all he could to promote Manor Royal and support Gatwick Airport during his time as mayor.

Mr Guidera selected Manor Green special school and college, in Ifield, to be his chosen charity.

His stepsons both attended the schools and he said: “I love that place and they can never have too much money. I’d love to try to boost their coffers as much as I can.”

The college was one of Mr Sharma’s charities and he told the meeting how sorry he was that the pandemic had prevented him from raising as much money as he would have liked.

The deputy mayor will once again be Shahzad Malik (Lab, Langley Green & Tushmore).

It was something of a bitter-sweet appointment for Mr Malik as, before the upheaval at the town hall, he was in line to be mayor for the upcoming year.

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