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Farewells to Faithful Councillors Who Served Guildford So Long

Published on: 18 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 20 Mar, 2021

Both Guildford councillors who resigned last week (March 12) have made their formal farewells after council leader Joss Bigmore thanked them for their service to the borough.

The two, deputy council leader, Lib Dem Caroline Reeves and former mayor Gordon Jackson, a Conservative-turned-Independent, had served for more than 25 years in total.

Caroline Reeves

Ms Reeves represented the Friary & St Nicolas ward from 2005, and was leader from May 2019 to October 2020 as the country went into lockdown due to the pandemic. Mr Jackson, mayor in 2016-17, had represented Pirbright since 2010.

Cllr Bigmore (R4GV, Christchurch), said: “I am sorry to see Cllrs Reeves and Jackson leave the council and thank them for their excellent work in representing our residents and I wish them well for the future.

“Both have served our borough in key roles, as leader and mayor, with great dedication and commitment.

Cllr Joss Bigmore

“Cllr Reeves led the council with strength and compassion during the first part of the pandemic last year, and Cllr Jackson has been a great champion for our borough as a hub for innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.”

Ms Reeves said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in my community and being part of the wider borough community over the past 15 years. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, especially in my ward of Friary & St Nicolas.

“I have had some extraordinary experiences and met amazing people in all walks of life. It has been an honour to serve my community and to help our residents as we entered the most difficult and uncertain period of our lives last year.

“The response of the community to this pandemic has been heart-warming and a true reflection of the community spirit we have here.”

Gordon Jackson

Mr Jackson supported the foundation of Innovate Guildford science and arts festival and the Guildford Innovation Awards to celebrate creativity across the borough. He was also chair of GBC’s Climate Change and Innovation Board.

He said: “Being a councillor is all about being a part of the community, and in my year as Mayor of Guildford I met so many unsung volunteers who give their time to the people of Guildford. Being Mayor really helps you understand Guildford and know what is going on.

“We have a wonderfully creative community and I really enjoyed working with so many dedicated people.

“One of the highlights of my time as councillor has been the work we’ve done to bring together our residents with the University of Surrey and local businesses. They have all contributed to Guildford’s great tradition of innovation in many fields and I look forward to that continuing.”

Cllr Jan Harwood

Cllr Jan Harwood, (Lib Dem, Merrow), is the new council deputy leader. Cllr Bigmore added: “I am pleased to welcome Cllr Harwood and look forward to working with him as we continue our shared R4GV and Liberal Democrat Executive.

“These are still challenging times, but we have hope now with the vaccination programme and the government road-map. We will continue to work together to support and lead our borough as we move into recovery.”

Cllr Harwood said: “I am honoured to be able to serve Guildford as deputy leader, though it is somewhat daunting to try to fill Cllr Reeves’ shoes, as a giant of her community and Guildford as a whole, I look forward to working with our Executive partners in continuing to deliver a shared vision for Guildford.

Cllr Julia McShane

“I am also thankful for the opportunity to integrate my areas of interest, namely climate change and housing, more deeply into the identity of the council as a whole.”

Westborough Cllr Julia McShane, new Lib Dem group leader and lead for Community and Housing, said: “I am very pleased Community and Housing have been brought together in one portfolio, because they are so closely aligned and impact the everyday lives of our residents across the borough.

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with colleagues across the council and our Executive to find creative and flexible ways of developing homes for local people and reducing the numbers on our housing waiting list.”

Tom Hunt

Cllr Tom Hunt (Lib Dem, Friary & St Nicolas), the new lead for Development Management, said: “I am excited by the challenge which lies ahead, and look forward to serving the borough further by taking my place on the Executive.

“After her 16 years on the council, Cllr Reeves is a tough act to follow, but I aim to continue her excellent work in the coming months and years.”

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Responses to Farewells to Faithful Councillors Who Served Guildford So Long

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    March 18, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    What precisely is the role of the “lead for Development Management”? Is this the job of the person who nods through every development application, no matter how ruinous and ridiculous?

    Regrettably, this has been the case for GBC for too long. The Lib Dems really do not have a great track record on development, having slavishly supported the ruinous Tory Local Plan.

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