Cllr Liam Lyons has been elected 47th Mayor of Woking at the official Mayor-Making ceremony held this evening (Thursday 20 May 2021) in the Council Chamber.
Raised in Dublin, Cllr Lyons has lived in the UK since attending Exeter University, before moving to Surrey to work as a singer with Guildford Cathedral Choir. A Woking resident since 2005, Cllr Lyons will be a familiar face to many younger residents, as a humanities teacher at Hoe Valley School.
Cllr Lyons got a taste for local politics after representing residents in a block of apartments in which he lives, explaining: “I soon wanted to become more involved in local decision-making and was elected as a Liberal Democrat councillor in 2010.”
Much of Cllr Lyons attention is focused on helping solve what he describes as “small issues that matter a great deal to the people who are affected by them” which is “one of the most important roles of being a local councillor.”
One of Cllr Lyons’ key passions is affordable housing, which was kindled after he benefitted from a key worker shared ownership scheme when purchasing his home near Woking Station: “I had the chance to benefit from this scheme as a teacher, and I am passionate about providing that opportunity to others and promoting equality within housing provision.”
A champion of environmental issues, Cllr Lyons has campaigned for the Council to go paperless, highlighting that “working without printed papers came into its own during lockdown.”
With a love of adventure, Cllr Lyons has a high-flying pastime: “I am an amateur pilot and hold several gliding qualifications, I share ownership of a vintage glider.” He has also put his other passion, running, to good use by raising money for charity. “Most recently, I ran the Surrey Half Marathon to raise funds to buy a community-use defibrillator for Woking United Reformed Church.”
Speaking with anticipation about his Mayoral year ahead, Cllr Lyons adds: “As we emerge from the devastating effects of Covid-19 on our local community and economy, I really hope that as many events as possible can go ahead safely in accordance with any restrictions in place. I am looking forward to meeting people across the borough who help make Woking the diverse, resilient and thriving community that it is.”
This year, Cllr Lyons’ Mayoral charity is Woking MIND. He explains his decision: “One in four of us will suffer from mental health problems at some stage in our lives, and I want to help normalise talking about these issues.”
“Over the last year, the issue of mental health has been even more prominent and I hope this support will enable the excellent team to reach even more people and offer them the support they need.”
Finally, Cllr Lyons adds: “As we emerge from the effects and impacts of lockdown, lets come together to celebrate what makes us so successful as a borough.”
Cllr Saj Hussain will assume the role of Woking’s Deputy Mayor for a third consecutive year after remaining in post throughout 2020, whilst the borough tackled the Coronavirus pandemic.