Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Parties unite to oppose elected mayoralty

  • Comment

Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors have united to oppose the creation of an elected mayor in Guildford, after a referendum was called backed by two controversial former councillors.

The unusual alliance of the three main parties - which together hold all but three council seats - has come ahead of the 13 October poll, which the council has said will cost it £130,000 to hold.

A petition to call a referendum was launched in May 2015 and in April eventually passed the threshold of signatures from 5% of voters.

Former council leader Stephen Mansbridge (Con) took the unusual step of asking Surrey University Students’ Union to help gather signatures. He resigned as a councillor last October, citing opposition to the introduction of the committee system.

The mayoral campaign has also been supported by Mr Mansbridge’s business partner, former councillor Monika Juneja (Con), who in June 2015 was convicted of forgery, obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception and wilfully pretending to be a barrister.

A leaflet to residents from the three main parties said: “The cost to Guildford residents of a political mayor will be more than £250,000 a year. Your money will be spent on mayoral staff and jobs for their sidekicks. This money should go on better services for local people, not be wasted on political mayors.”

It added: “A political mayor will concentrate power into one individual and their vested interests.”

Mayoral campaign leader Michel Harper told a local newspaper: “This gives people the opportunity to choose who dictates policy and leads them, rather than having committees that end up being fudged between political parties trying to reach a compromise.”






  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.