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‘Elected Mayor’ Petition Sent To Borough Council From Former Councillor Juneja

Published on: 31 May, 2015
Updated on: 31 May, 2015

A petition calling for an elected mayor has been sent to Guildford Borough Council. It is suspected that it is from former Tory councillor Monica Juneja, who is waiting to be sentenced for forgery and pretending to be a barrister.

Monike Juneja.

Monike Juneja.

On election day, May 7, she was seen collecting signatures outside Guildford polling stations.

The petition calls for a referendum on ‘whether the council should be run in a different way by a mayor who is elected by voters throughout the area which the council serves’.

A press statement from Guildford Brough Council reads: “We have received a petition that calls for a public referendum to decide whether the borough should move to a governance model with a directly elected mayor.

“The petition needs to meet the necessary legal requirements before a referendum is triggered. We are currently validating each entry to make sure that all of the petitioners are on the electoral register. A valid petition needs at least 5% of local electors, which is 5,012. This validation must be completed by Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

“If there are enough names and the petition is valid, we will need to hold a referendum across the borough within the next six months.

“If there are not enough valid signatures, any valid names on the petition will remain so for 12 months from the date of signing. The petition organisers will have the opportunity to continue to collect and submit further signatures.

“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.”

Comments on the saga of Juneja’s crimes, along with comments about Guildford Borough Council and its leader Stephen Mansbridge, feature in the current edition of the satirical magazine Private Eye.

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Responses to ‘Elected Mayor’ Petition Sent To Borough Council From Former Councillor Juneja

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    May 31, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Well at least the Conservative group can claim it’s nothing to do with them having finally expelled Ms Juneja.

    I wonder if such publicity recruitment is within the scope of ‘One Shot Solutions’ or her other companies though?

    I assume she is still a co-director with Cllr Mansbridge who joined as a director last year.

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    May 31, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Unlike in my day when I was a councillor, a present council leader would appear to have far more power than in the past during the what was the committee system.

    It would seem that there would appear to be very little difference between an elected mayor and the present “cabinet” or “Executive” system presided over by the leader.

    With changes, of course, the present mayoral system would disappear. These days GBC councillors seem reluctant to accept this honour bestowed upon them by the people of Guildford.

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    May 31, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    One wonders why now…. and who will be standing for the position?

    Surely not….

  4. Martin Elliott Reply

    May 31, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Given that Ms Juneja has pleaded guilty to providing forged documents to other councils as well as GBC (!), are GBC confirming not just that persons on the electoral register have signed, but also that the signatures are genuine?

  5. Adan Scotney Reply

    June 1, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I was accosted by somebody on North Street a couple of weeks ago asking me to sign a petition calling for a directly elected mayor in Guildford. When I said I didn’t care that we don’t directly elect the mayor I was told I should sign the petition anyway (“don’t you think the people who do care should get the chance to change it?”, “by signing the petition you’re not saying you’re in favour of an elected mayor, just that the issue should be looked at”).

    I’m little sceptical about how many of these people really want a directly elected mayor, and the tactics to get signatures seem a little anti-democratic!

  6. Lisa Wright Reply

    June 3, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    How would this new mayor be chosen? What’s the job description, education and experience requirements? Are they political or independent? Will there be a public election?

  7. Jules Cranwell Reply

    June 4, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    I have to question if this is a plan cooked up between Cllr Mansbridge and his ‘very close friend’ ex-Cllr and confessed criminal Juneja, to give Mansbridge absolute power in Guildford? I just wonder.

  8. Gerald Bland Reply

    June 5, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Is this the same Jules Cranwell as the director of Local Democracy Limited, the long standing petition organiser for a governance review which may now be sidelined by the petition recently lodged with the council.

    If a legitimate plan having as its purpose a directly elected mayor relies on not one but two successful mandates from the entire Guildford electorate, it is plain nonsense to suggest just one or two individuals will have determined the outcome.

    • Jules Cranwell Reply

      June 6, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      Hi Gezza,

      Yes that would be me.

      Do please carry on being an apologist for this discredited regime, and I will carry on opposing it.

      Many thanks for your clarification.


  9. Mary Bedforth Reply

    June 5, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I never thought that GBC would feature in the Rotten Boroughs column in Private Eye. But there we are on p 18 of Issue 1393 (as another contributor pointed out).

    All the pertinent facts of the Mansbridge/Juneja scandal are reported and, as a resident here since 1979, I feel deep shame that the town and the borough which I love are now the subject of ridicule.

  10. Paul Spooner Reply

    June 6, 2015 at 9:15 am

    I am a little surprised that new Cllr Susan Parker, a co-director of Local Democracy Limited, does not have her directorship recorded on the GBC register of interests.

    No doubt that Mr Cranwell will argue that this is not relevant or something similar and that GGG does not have to comply with the high standards he advocates for other parties.

    • Jules Cranwell Reply

      June 6, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      Yes Spooner,

      Yes this is entirely relevant. I require all Cllrs to behave with integrity at all times, as has Cllr. Parker in all respects. Perhaps you should study the facts, before pronouncing.

      Given recent events, I hardly think it is sensible to criticise those above reproach.

  11. Susan Parker Reply

    June 6, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    I think a public apology is called for from Cllr Spooner for his disparaging remark this morning (June 6, 9.15am).

    (His posting has just been drawn to my attention.)

    I have sent three requests that Guildford Borough Council should include this directorship on my register of interests, and have asked if there is a particular form that I need to complete in order for this directorship to be listed.

    The fact that this has not yet been posted on the Guildford Borough Council website is presumably due to the fact that the staff are busy. I’m happy to publicise the emails in which the requests were made and have forwarded one of these to the Guildford Dragon NEWS, which I’m happy to have published.

    Cllr Spooner is well aware of these facts. The second request for this to be included was circulated to him with all councillors at just after 2pm yesterday. (i.e. some hours before he wrote the posting above – this is presumably how he learned of this directorship).

    Cllr Spooner is aware that the only reason that the directorship has not been recorded is because the staff at Guildford Borough Council have not yet made the entry – but he is implying that this is because I have failed to make a declaration.

    (The company is dormant, has no assets, has no profits, and does not trade.)

    As a result, I expect Cllr Spooner’s slur to be withdrawn.

  12. Paul Spooner Reply

    June 6, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you to Cllr Parker for drawing attention to her email circulated yesterday (one month after the election) that I have now looked at. It would appear that she did mention her Directorship of the company that she is using for her petition amongst many other matters in that email. Is Cllr Parker stating that she declared her interest with her other registered interests after the election and this directorship was not posted by GBC whilst her other interests were?

  13. Susan Parker Reply

    June 7, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Thank you to Cllr Spooner for acknowledging the email. I did not originally declare the shares in Local Democracy Ltd because the accompanying notes referred to a “register of pecuniary interests” and the shares have no economic value. However, subsequently I thought it may be of public interest, and so have since requested the inclusion of that directorship and shareholding anyway even though they have no value.

    This string is however not about me and this feels like a distraction tactic about the key issue, which is the petition and its consequences.

  14. Michael Bruton Reply

    June 7, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Perhaps the Guildford Greenbelt Group should be flattered by the petty and ill founded attacks on it from Councillor Spooner.

    Despite their overwhelming majority, the Conservatives seem nevertheless rattled by Mrs Parker in particular.

    I guess the typical Tory there finds it difficult to cope with an Oxbridge-educated chartered accountant with City experience – who can run rings around them (and the councils’ officers) on financial matters?

    Keep up the good work Mrs Parker.

  15. Anna-Marie Davis Reply

    June 8, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Perhaps Mr Spooner would like to me to publicise the emails that I exchanged with Mr Mistry regarding the fact that the leader of the council, Mr Mansbridge, and his business partner Ms Juneja, convicted fraudster, failed to declare their joint directorships in their Register of Interests until I brought it to his attention.

    Instead of following protocol, Mr Mistry informed the two councillors of my concerns, and they updated their Registers of Interest. Unfortunately, they still failed to get the name of their company right or declare their shareholdings; after my third email on the matter they were finally corrected, and their shareholdings included.

    Despite this, Mr Mistry did not feel that this flagrant disregard for the Nolan Priniciples and the Register of Interests warranted an investigation, but then, if the investigation was to be carried out along the lines of Robin Hooper’s into Ms Juneja’s ‘barrister’ claims, it wouldn’t have been worth the paper it was written on.

    I am more than happy to publicise all correspondence, and my subsequent letter from the Chief Constable of Surrey, on this matter, not to mention the correspondence relating to the clear conflict of interests exhibited by Mr Mansbridge when he took sole responsibility for the decision for Ms Juneja to remain on the council once charged, despite the fact he was her business partner.

    Or maybe I’ll just send it all to Private Eye.

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