Fringe Box



The Dragon Says: It Is Time For Cllr Juneja To Step Aside

Published on: 15 Aug, 2014
Updated on: 17 Aug, 2014

Dragon Roar Still 470

It is right and proper that only the courts should decide on the case against Cllr Monika Juneja. Only they will hear all the evidence.

But there are many precedents of politicians, at national and local level, stepping aside from leading responsibilities while court cases run their course.

Opinion Logo 2Nothing should be inferred from such actions: it is simply sensible for major responsibilities to be carried by those who do not have the distraction that facing criminal charges must represent.

It is time for Cllr Stephen Mansbridge to show leadership. He should encourage Cllr Juneja to relinquish her duties as lead councillor for planning, however temporarily, for everyone’s benefit, not least her own.

This is essential at a time when our town’s Local Plan is being formulated, at a time when the people are being consulted on the plan and at a time when councillors and council officers must be able to give all their full attention to the main matter in hand.

The Local Plan will direct Guildford’s future for many years. It is too important to be compromised by extraneous events.

The deafening silence from Millmead has gone on long enough. It might be the holiday season but sometimes our duties must take precedence. We all need to know that planning issues are not in limbo, that council officers can obtain clear political direction and that a firm hand is at the tiller.

And if a new lead councillor for planning is announced, all parties must allow them some time to take up the reins. It is a challenging job for anybody, something we must all appreciate.

See also: Councillor, Accused of Pretending To Be a Barrister, Charged With Seven Offences and No Response From Tory Group on the Future of Councillor Facing Criminal Charges

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Responses to The Dragon Says: It Is Time For Cllr Juneja To Step Aside

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    August 16, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Councillor Mansbridge has signally failed to demonstrate and leadership through this entire sorry affair, so I don’t think we can expect this to change anytime soon.

    I do not believe the general public will be satisfied until they should both stand down, and allow the council the chance to recover respect.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    August 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Sadly, I too believe it is time for Cllr Juneja to step back – manner, method, history, correspondence and holidays notwithstanding.

    Moral support for the innocent remains but my concerns are that the pressures are now too great to continue in the current climate.

    Who apologises to who will be for a later date.

  3. Michael Bruton Reply

    August 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    The Dragon’s editorial above is incisive, measured and calm. It is all the more devastating for that.

    The judicial process will indeed resolve the charges brought against Cllr Juneja.

    Sadly the Guildford Conservative Association has chosen to date, to do nothing about the situation even though it has been aware for many months.

    Guildford’s Tory Councillors and Guildford’s Tory MP have kept quiet throughout. What does all this say for good governance and respect for electors/council taxpayers who believe in high standards of probity in public life? What conclusions can hard working people draw from this?

    I concur with Mr Cranwell’s and the Dragon’s views. There is a moral vacuum at Millmead. Unless this is resolved the Conservatives may well lose control of the Council in 2015 – and deservedly so – as well as risk losing Tory Anne Milton’s marginal seat as MP for Guildford. Currently, Mrs Milton’s silence on most matters makes Guildford an open goal for the Lib Dems.

  4. Jules Cranwell Reply

    August 16, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    It is also time for Clllr. Mansbridge to step aside, as his judgement on this matter is highly questionable.

  5. Jules Cranwell Reply

    August 17, 2014 at 9:25 am

    As Cromwell said to Hampden, and Amery to Chamberlain:

    “Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”

  6. Bernard Parke Reply

    August 17, 2014 at 11:51 am

    The problem is that Cllr. Mansbridge is difficult to replace amongst those acting as councillors.

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