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New ‘Elected Mayor Petition’ Attempt – Opposition Councillors Respond

Published on: 28 Apr, 2016
Updated on: 2 May, 2016

GBC petitionOpposition councillors responded this morning (April 28) to news that another submission has been made of a petition that, if accepted, would force the Guildford Borough Council to hold a referendum on whether Guildford should have an elected mayor.

Cllr Caroline Reeves, (Lib Dem, Friary & St Nicolas), leader of the opposition, said: “The constant checking needed for verification is time consuming and a referendum will be costly at a time when we are seeing all budgets cut.

“We have no desire to see our current system replaced with one that would put the bulk of power and responsibility into the hands of one person. We do not believe it would be a positive step for residents and would likely reduce transparency and accountability.”

Cllr Susan Parker (GGG, Send) leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group, said: “It is time that this ridiculous situation stopped. It is a waste of public time and money.

“Monika Juneja [a former councillor and the petition organiser] was convicted as a deceiver and a forger. She even committed forgery during the Guildford Borough Council investigation into her probity.

“The Guildford Greenbelt Group has been suggesting, for almost a year, that these petition signatures are reviewed for any possible forgeries. If any are discovered it could call a halt to this whole charade.”

See also: Petition Organisers Try, For The Fourth Time, To Force Referendum For An Elected Mayor

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Responses to New ‘Elected Mayor Petition’ Attempt – Opposition Councillors Respond

  1. David Roberts Reply

    April 28, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I heartily agree with Mr Allen’s comment.

  2. Monika Juneja Reply

    April 28, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Cllr Reeves was not prepared to embrace all the options in the governance review, conducted by the council. The option of a directly elected mayor should have been given equal weight to that of the current system and of the committee system. I am perplexed at the adverse stance to a democratic process which simply seeks to ask the electorate a question.

    She and her Liberal Democrats group have easily accepted a 35 per cent rise in their allowance, set against a derisory pay rise granted to council staff, and yet as “Democrats” they rail against democracy.

    If they understood their electorate, they might be in a better position.

    • Idwal Wynne-Jones Reply

      May 3, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      I’m a firm believer in rehabilitation being more important than punishment in the justice system, but as long as the suspended sentence for Ms Juneja’s criminal conviction has not been spent, and the allowances she dubiously claimed while committing those offences have not been voluntarily repaid, I hope she will understand how I might not give her opinion the weight she feels it deserves, and find her criticism of other councillors, for taking allowances they legitimately receive, offensive.

      “I have no doubt that as a result of these offences, your career in public life is over.” Judge Gerald Gordon at the Old Bailey. That’s a bit stronger than a hint.

  3. Valerie Thompson Reply

    April 28, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    When will Monika Juneja realise that the electorate are bored and cross with her persistent attempts to present an expensive and unnecessary petition, wasting our money and the council’s time.

  4. Jim Allen Reply

    April 28, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Monika Juneja failed to put her hands up when caught and, it seems, continued to claim her councillor allowances to the very end. She is hardly in a position to criticise a hard working councillor like Caroline Reeves.

    The democratic move would be for Ms Juneja to request withdrawal of this petition and leave it to an untainted team to raise the same petition, if the community so requires.

  5. Jan Todd Reply

    April 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Cllr Reeves works tirelessly for the community and as a resident in her ward I can’t begin to express my gratitude for what she does. She deserves a medal, never mind a decent allowance, in return for her dedication.

  6. Graham Moore Reply

    April 29, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Well said Valerie Thompson and Jim Allen.

  7. Lisa Wright Reply

    April 29, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Ms Juneja attacks the Liberal Democrats but I am finding the deafening silence toward Ms Parker’s comments the ‘elephant in the room’.

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