Fringe Box



Mayoral Petition Fails Verification For The Second Time

Published on: 4 Mar, 2016
Updated on: 8 Mar, 2016

GBC petitionA re-submitted petition for the council to adopt a directly elected mayor form of governance has failed verification for the second time.

The leader of Guildford Borough Council, Paul Spooner, broke the news by Twitter this morning (March 4).

His tweet read: “Petition organiser for the Elected Mayor model informed yesterday [February 3] that 2nd amalgamated petition has failed verification and is not valid”.

The petition organiser is Monika Juneja a former Conservative councillor and Executive colleague of Cllr Spooner. Ms Juneja was expelled from the Conservative party following her conviction for forgery, deception and pretending to be a barrister at the Old Bailey last May (2015).

To be successful, and force the council to hold a referendum on the issue, just over 5,000 valid signatures were required.

A council spokesperson has confirmed the news. In an press statement she said: “The council received a petition seeking a referendum on whether it should be run in a different way, by an elected mayor, on 11 February 2016.

“The role of a directly elected mayor is different from the current ceremonial Mayor of Guildford. A directly elected mayor would have wide ranging decision-making powers.

“The petition, when amalgamated with the original petition from summer 2015, failed to reach the 5012 signatures (5 per cent of the electorate in the borough) needed, having gained 4831 signatures.

“A number of signatures were disregarded as they did not meet certain criteria, this can include those that were not on the register of electors or those that failed to complete all the details needed, such as first name, surname and address, or where those details were unreadable.

“The organisers will have the opportunity to collect and submit further signatures in a new petition. This can be amalgamated with the original one and the process restarted, valid names on the original petition will remain so, provided they do not bear a date earlier than 12 months before the most recent amalgamation.”

See also: Petition for an Elected Mayor Resurrected – Council Verifying New Signatures

Share This Post

Responses to Mayoral Petition Fails Verification For The Second Time

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    March 4, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Well what a surprise ?

    Is anybody going to look into this second attempted fraud or the reported behaviour and intimidation by signature collectors?

  2. A Atkinson Reply

    March 4, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Failed to pass the test again, wonder what she will do now to get a pass grade from the returning officer?

    Answers on a forged postcard please.

  3. Mary Bedforth Reply

    March 4, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    If at first you don’t succeed, give up!

  4. Jim Allen Reply

    March 5, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I’d like to comment – but it would be unprintable…

  5. David Roberts Reply

    March 5, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    It is, of course, open to any resident to ask the police to investigate the petition signatures for forgeries.

  6. Sara Tokunaga Reply

    March 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Good. What a waste of council tax-payers money.

  7. Jenny Procter Reply

    March 6, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Long may verification failure continue though point taken on cost.

    Why are we being continually subjected to this? I am glad the returning officer is exercising due diligence!

  8. Pauline Surrey Reply

    March 7, 2016 at 9:58 am

    The audacity of it amazes me!

  9. Andrew Backhurst Reply

    March 7, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I personally don’t have a problem with the principle of an elected mayor.

    Currently the borough along with other local borough’s have been set huge housing targets by the government, those targets will need to be hit or the government will cut out the council and build them anyway.

    Roads are another problem that is always being highlighted, recently an idea was put forward by a respected local body to to build a bridge to move the congested traffic from one side of the river and railway to the other congested side.

    When the real solution would be to build a bypass around our town to keep the traffic outside.

    This road will be best placed between Guildford and our neighbouring towns to help with their congestion too.

    Yes, that road will no doubt go through green fields, the same green fields that may be proposed for houses and that will definitely upset people. The current system works perfectly for small planning issues but is it working when it comes to the Guildford Plan?

    Big decisions will need to be made and maybe an elected mayor will be better placed to fight in our corner instead of current system.

    • Jenny Procter Reply

      March 8, 2016 at 7:54 am

      In reply to Andrew Backhurst. In principle perhaps there is no problem with an elected mayor but in a situation where there is, within the council, already: a lack of transparency, an apparent unwillingness to listen to reasonable voices of objection or opposition, more power in the hands of the few would not be a good thing.

      Yes we need infrastructure and some housing, affordable that is, but the proposals for the sort of expansion we are told we need are excessive and destructive and I do not like the threat from either GBC or Central Government that if we do not accept the figures set out we will fare worse.

      What logic lies behind supposed required housing figures that have already been altered once and are so tenuously arrived at that they can be changed because we are naughty enough not to accept them? And why are we, the electorate, happy to go as lambs to the slaughter because we are told we have to?

      We are not given enough information on how the housing figures are arrived at on the grounds of the ‘protected intellectual property’ of the consultants. No sensible body procuring such sensitive information would be happy to accept the figures without justification. This is either pure obfuscation or, worse, ineptitude.

  10. Jim Allen Reply

    March 8, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Why an Elected Mayor is not for our small town.

    1/ Bus lanes – great when used every five minutes but not when used 5 minutes per hour

    2/ Local plan – great when the process is ask, design, ask again, act. But not decide, inform and hide facts

    3/ Brown field sites – great when unoccupied but crazy if the site is currently occupied

    4/ Road improvements – great when traffic flow is improved but foolish when no one knows where anyone goes from and to .

    5/ Democracy – great when everyone who wants to be is involved, but not when it becomes an elected dictatorship

    6/ Council meetings – great when everyone is allowed to speak, bad for democracy when the “head table” belittles and bullies those in the chamber

    Elected mayors in small towns simply become dictatorships. We don’t have to build ever more houses. There comes a point when the maths simply do not add up and it needs the voice of many to get this point across.

    On housing for example the numbers simply do not compute.
    Capacity of sewage in Guildford 4,000 new homes
    But – the number of new homes projected is 13,000
    Alsoother predictions are:
    Number of new jobs 8,000
    Number of extra cars 23,400
    Number of extra people 26,000
    Potential jobless 18,000

    No single person can solve this problem. It needs to be a ‘community effort’ with a great communal brain to solve these problems. It is for the employed at the council to see these ideas through in an honest and open manner – not as present working under tighter security system than GCHQ withholding information from the public. It is meant to be open government and localism but it would become a dictatorship in a democratic country – judging on the people behind this petition.

  11. Sue Fox Reply

    March 8, 2016 at 11:40 am

    She just doesn’t get it does she?

    And to Mr Backhurst I say, sorry but the current system is democracy – not perfect but better than centralised power in one person.

  12. Andrew Backhurst Reply

    March 8, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Dictator? Visionary? or Partisan? The best entrepreneurial businessmen could take anyone of these tags, an elected mayor could also.

    Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone have traits of all three and both are popular people that got things done for the city they were elected to serve.

    An elected mayor would have to serve under the mandate that they were elected on. If that mandate was to challenge the housing targets then that would be their job in hand.

    I am pretty sure the current system will not manage that as they are already failing badly in Ash and Tongham and I wouldn’t bet against Wisley being next in the line.

  13. Helen Jefferies Reply

    March 8, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I haven’t seen too much recent evidence of politicians standing by their election mandate. Perhaps I missed something?

    I am sure most promised to protect the green belt, and I believe there was something on openness and transparency.

  14. George Potter Reply

    March 9, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    In reply to Helen Jefferies, perhaps things might be different if people actually paid attention to the Conservative track record in Guildford of breaking election promises. But instead the voters of our borough keep electing Conservative councils for some reason.

    I think the problem here lies with voters for not holding dishonest politicians to account rather than with all politicians being dishonest.

  15. Anna-Marie Davis Reply

    March 9, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Perhaps the people of Tongham can be relied on to vote for a local man Mr Backhurst, but the Guildford electorate rewards fair play, and has a long memory.

    • Andrew Backhurst Reply

      March 10, 2016 at 9:07 am

      I think Ms Davies is jumping to conclusions.

      I am certainly not backing Mr Mansbridge or his lady friend, I would say they would be far too controversial to get any votes – if either one wished to stand.

      All I am saying is that the idea of an elected mayor, in my opinion, is not a bad thing if you have an issue that needs taking to a higher office. Guildford certainly has many issues of that nature that need addressing.

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 *