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GetSurrey 5th May 2016

Council leader Paul Spooner has announced the changes after his deputy leader was appointed as the new deputy mayor of Guildford

The future of the Electric Theatre and Guildford Museum will now be guided by the town’s former mayor, Nikki Nelson-Smith, after a reshuffle of the borough council’s executive.

Councillor Paul Spooner, leader of Guildford Borough Council, has announced changes to the executive after his deputy Nigel Manning took over as deputy mayor on Wednesday (May 4).

Cllr Nelson-Smith, ward member for Christchurch, has now taken up the portfolio holder role for internal business systems, heritage and the arts, which includes responsibility for dealing with the Electric Theatre and Guildford Museum.

Cllr Geoff Davis, who was lead member for economic development, tourism and heritage, had been managing the future of both venues but has now been moved to lead member for asset management.

The future of both the theatre and the museum has been mired in controversy in recent months, with a tendering process ongoing for interested parties to take over the Electric Theatre’s lease, plus the threat of relocation hanging over the museum.

Cllr Spooner was quick to emphasis that the change in roles was not a reflection on the performance of Cllr Davis.

He said: “Nikki Nelson-Smith will be dealing with that [the theatre and museum] under her portfolio, but Geoff Davis will still be very much involved with the handover process - but longer term, it will be Nikki’s responsibility.

“Geoff’s expertise is in asset management and that is always the position he wanted, so I wanted to take advantage of that.

“This is not a reflection of any success or otherwise.”

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