Fringe Box



Letter: The ‘Elected Mayor’ Petition is Shameless Hubris

Published on: 30 Apr, 2016
Updated on: 30 Apr, 2016

GBC petitionFrom Angela Gunning

Labour ward councillor for Stoke

I was a member of the cross-party working group who considered governance of Guildford Borough Council (GBC) for about 12 months (2014-2015).

We were thorough and made in depth examinations of alternative forms of governance. Draft reports on progress went to the Scrutiny Committee and to the Executive during the course of our work.

Monika Juneja should look at the scrutiny report of April 2015, (para 4.6) regarding our recommendations on directly elected mayors.

When she was still a councillor I do not recall Ms Juneja making any comments on the contents of various drafts of the report on findings, directly elected mayors in particular. Neither did Stephen Mansbridge, then leader of the council.

It has subsequently been revealed that he, along with Ms Juneja, had clandestinely approached the students’ union, at the University of Surrey, seeking their support for a petition for a referendum. This was in March 2015.

It was not until council meeting of October 2015 that he, and he alone, of the entire council spoke against the final recommendation to adopt the system we now have.

The burden on GBC, of checking the validity of these batches of signatures, is a great drain on officer time, and a disgraceful waste of public resources. In my opinion this petition is not really about “democracy” and whatever else that Ms Juneja and her cronies claim; it is shameless hubris.

This petition is not an innocent survey “just asking the electorate a question”. No, this petition can continue indefinitely until either the petitioners understand the mood of the electorate and withdraw it, or sufficient valid signatures are gathered. Then GBC will be forced to hold a referendum, likely cost £110,000.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: The ‘Elected Mayor’ Petition is Shameless Hubris

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    April 30, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    No matter the colour of rosette, we can but agree with the above comment.

  2. Peta Malthouse Reply

    May 1, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    I totally agree with Cllr Gunning. At a time when we are dealing with the PCC election, the referendum and the Local Plan, the Juneja/Mansbridge debacle is taking up precious time. Our council staff have enough to do without this.

  3. Paul Spooner Reply

    May 2, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Well said Cllr Gunning, a clear and accurate record of the Councillor governance review process with all party involvement that has taken place within GBC.

    It is saddening that former Cllrs Mansbridge and Juneja appear to have forgotten so much so quickly since resigning their positions on the council.

    Paul Spooner is a Conservative councillor for Ash South & Tongham and the leader of Guildford Borough Council.

  4. Ben Paton Reply

    May 2, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Anyone who wants to listen to Cllr Mansbridge, as he then was, approving the new constitution can do so here:

  5. Pauline Surrey Reply

    May 2, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Well said, Cllr Gunning, and Cllr Spooner for agreeing with her. Will they listen, and just go away? Let’s hope so. How long does it take for a message to sink in?

  6. Sue Doughty Reply

    May 2, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    I agree, it is time for Monica Juneja, Stephen Mansbridge and Michel Harper to respect us. It’s taken all this time to get this number of signatures. The public are not behind them. They don’t trust theirr motivation. They should give up now.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *