Fringe Box



Backbench Councillor Enters Tory Group Leader Race ‘To Give Colleagues A Choice’

Published on: 24 Oct, 2015
Updated on: 29 Oct, 2015
Cllr Dennis Paul

Cllr Dennis Paul

A backbench councillor has become the second Guildford Borough Council (GBC) member to put his name forward in the Conservative group leadership election to give his colleagues, he says: “a choice at the ballot.”

Paul Dennis, a native Scot, who lives in Worplesdon, is a Conservative borough councillor for Holy Trinity ward and was only elected as a councillor for the first time in May (2015). He gives his occupation as Head of Estate Services, for Sutton Housing Partnership in GBC’s register of interests.

He has maintained a low profile during the three full council meetings held since the election and his candidature might surprise some of his fellow councillors. He also sits on the Corporate Improvement Scrutiny Committee, the Joint Scrutiny Committee and the Licensing Committee.

He said today (October 24): “I have decided to put my name forward as candidate for the election of Conservative group leader to be held on 11th November 2015.

“This will provide group members with a choice at the ballot, and our respective strengths and style of leadership will be there to consider. If after the nominations close there are other candidates standing giving the group a choice, then I will step down, as my purpose in standing is to ensure we have a competitive ballot, and a winner who we will have the mandate to lead and expect our full support going forward.

So far the only other nominee is Paul Spooner (Ash South & Tongham) who was Stephen Mansbridge’s deputy Conservative group leader until his resignation last week. Cllr Spooner is also the lead councillor for planning.

The group leader of the political group with the largest number of seats is normally elected, traditionally unopposed, as the council leader but it is not mandatory for the two roles to be combined.

Shortly after moving to Guildford, Cllr Paul stood unsuccessfully in Guildford West in the 2005 county council election and in Worplesdon ward in the 2007 borough council election, when the Lib Dems secured a clean, three councillor sweep. He did not stand in the subsequent local elections until this year (2015).

Share This Post

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Your email address will not be published.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 *