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Election Debate Part 4: One Party Control, Prevents Councillors Working Together

Published on: 3 May, 2021
Updated on: 6 May, 2021

In the final election debate, chaired by Dragon NEWS editor Martin Giles, we asked the parties fielding candidates in the 10 Guildford divisions of Surrey County Council for their views on the pros and cons of no party having overall control at Surrey County Council after May 6.

You can see a list of all SCC candidates with a brief résumé here with a list of borough and parish candidates. You can see all the other debates and opinion articles here.

Anne Rouse (Labour and Cooperative Party candidate for Guildford North) said her party name pointed to working towards a consensus but the “council could stagnate” if many independents, ranging from the rural to the urban, were elected. Susan Parker (Guildford Greenbelt Group spokesperson) said the county was “broke under one-party control” and more voices needed to be heard than can be under the “socially divisive” first past the post system.

Sam Peters (Green Party candidate for Shere) saw the advantage of parties having “to work together to get things done” and he cited Waverley and Godalming Town councils as current examples of this happening. Liz Hyland (R4GV candidate for Guildford East) said over 150 independent candidates were standing to take “party politics out of local government” adding “the leadership [at the county council] would be challenged for the first time in 24 years.

John Morris (Peace Party candidate for Guildford West) also saw the advantage of no overall control forcing parties to work together; one-party control “excludes expertise from other councillors”. George Potter (Liberal Democrat candidate for Guildford East) felt that the Conservatives had “shown their contempt for the electorate” by not taking part in the hustings saying  “anything that removes the Tory’s from control” would be a good thing.

The Conservatives declined to take part in the debate saying: “We have decided that we will not be taking part in any online hustings so that we can concentrate our efforts on speaking to people directly.”

You can watch the full debate here…

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Responses to Election Debate Part 4: One Party Control, Prevents Councillors Working Together

  1. Ian Sams Reply

    May 4, 2021 at 8:01 am

    If these “Independents” (who always act as a group or party), were to gain an overall majority, are we to take it that they would ignore the voice of the electorate and implement the policies of other party groups as well as their own?

    It cannot be done, there are “motherhood and apple pie”, matters on which all parties eventually arrive at a decision which, under the party system, is tempered by a serious debate of ideas.

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