Fringe Box



Borough Council’s Deputy Leader Selected for Safe County Council Seat

Published on: 10 Dec, 2016
Updated on: 12 Dec, 2016
Cllr Matt Furniss

Cllr Matt Furniss

The deputy leader of Guildford Borough Council (GBC), Matt Furniss (Con, Christchurch), has been selected as the prospective county council candidate for Shalford at the Surrey County Council (SCC) elections to be held next year (2017), according to corroborated reports from well placed sources at the borough council.

The Guildford Conservative Association and Cllr Furniss have declined to confirm the nomination. Political parties sometimes wish to keep their nominations secret in order to keep their opponents guessing as to where the strongest candidates will be fielded.

The Shalford division is normally a safe Conservative seat but is currently occupied by the only Ukip councillor in the Guildford area, George Johnson, who was elected in 2013 after the Tories had failed to properly nominate their candidate Simon Gimson. He was the incumbent councillor at the time, and well regarded, even by political opponents.

Cllr George Johnson, the county councillor for Shalford Division

Cllr George Johnson

And the return of a Conservative councillor for Shalford will be made even easier by the fact any personal following Cllr Johnson may have established will be unable to vote for him: he intends to stand down. He said: “… it is not my intention to stand  –  subject, of course, to an armed supportive uprising by residents of the nine parishes it has been my pleasure to serve!”

The result at the last SCC election in 2013 was:

Shalford SCC election 2013Several borough councillors at GBC are also county councillors. One of the advantages of Cllr Furniss, the lead councillor for infrastructure and governance at GBC, also being a county councillor would be that he will be able exert additional influence over decisions, at county level, on the infrastructure changes necessary to support proposals in the draft Local Plan for Guildford.

Many of those involved in Guildford’s local politics believe Furniss has political ambitions beyond local councils and he seems to be well regarded by Guildford’s MP Anne Milton, who he once served as an intern. Some consider it likely that he will seek the candidature of the Guildford parliamentary constituency should Ms Milton decide to stand down.

In addition to serving as a councillor, Furniss, the youngest member at GBC, who went to George Abbot School and the University of Surrey, also works as the national accounts manager for his family’s company Roots & Wings Organic, producers of food and cosmetic products, based in Cranleigh.

See also:

Election Agent’s Error Means No Conservative Candidate for Shalford in County Elections Shalford and  Conservative President ‘Absolutely Livid’ over Nomination ‘Fiasco’

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Responses to Borough Council’s Deputy Leader Selected for Safe County Council Seat

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    December 10, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Perhaps, if elected, perhaps he can stop the head in the sand approach to planning, followed by SCC Highways Department, who say that no application, for any planning development, will ever cause severe traffic problems. The kind of traffic problems currently being suffered in Burpham.

  2. Sara Tokunaga Reply

    December 10, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Here we go. Another Conservative for SCC.

    I’m sure Mr. Furniss will be voted in. The stranglehold of the Conservative party will become even stronger.

  3. Lisa Wright Reply

    December 10, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    I’m not so sure Cllr Furniss hasn’t already shot himself in the foot by the Conservative support for huge housing developments at Blackwell Farm and Dunsfold.

    Shalford is going to be slaughtered by traffic congestion from all directions and my Shalford friends are not very happy.

  4. Ben Paton Reply

    December 11, 2016 at 9:29 am

    It’s about time the Conservative Party found candidates with better qualifications than just ambition to go up its own own greasy pole.

    How about some real experience of something other than politics? Apart from supporting an intellectually dishonest Local Plan does Mr Furniss have any qualifications at all?

    Cllr Furniss has all the hallmarks of a “professional politician”. He does not just toe the party line, he has convert like zeal. He does not seek the truth, he believes it has been revealed – exclusively to Conservative ladder climbers like him.

    Any intellectually honest argument against plans to build on the green belt are just obstacles to be overcome.

    Constraints on building in the green belt? Lack of infrastructure? Congestion on our roads? All problems which Mr Furniss claims he will solve with his policies at GBC.

    As an example, see his adamant support in committee for planning application 16/P/00449, a retrospective planning application to permit development of a dog day care business in an agricultural field in the Green Belt in Ockham, in which the planning dept went against the National Planning Policy Forum (NPPF) and its own recent precedents and recommended permission for development in a field.

    Fortunately the Planning Committee went against him – and a planning inspector supported its decision on appeal.

    Mr Furniss’s ideas about the local plan and especially on transport are bankrupt. If he gets his way it will be quicker to walk to Guildford than to drive along the A281 in the rush hour.

  5. Mike Murphy Reply

    December 12, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Let’s hope everyone in the Shalford Area realises what Matt Furniss wishes to do. He is trying to plan for large areas of our beautiful Guildford countryside to be built on.

    Electing him to Surrey County Council might only encourage greater excess.

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