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GBC Brings Dormant Normandy Parish Council Back to Life

Published on: 4 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 7 Jan, 2022

“The Normandy Five”: Paul Spooner, David Bilbe, Bob McShee, Ramsey Nagaty, Fiona White

By Martin Giles

The collapsed parish council at Normandy was formally reinstated last night (March 4) by appointing five GBC members in temporary roles until an election on May 6, coinciding with the SCC vote.

The five councillors, David Bilbe (Con, Normandy), Bob McShee (R4GV, Worplesdon), Ramsey Nagaty (GGG, Shalford), Paul Spooner (Con, Ash South & Tongham and Fiona White (Lib Dem, Westborough), were installed at an extraordinary meeting of GBC.

Council leader Joss Bigmore said the councillors were, by intention, from across the local political spectrum. They also came from neighbouring parishes and two had been parish councillors.

Normandy resident Roisin Bailey told the full council: “Irrespective of recent events, all of our parish councillors have done a huge amount of wonderful work, completely unpaid, and we are truly grateful to them.

“But now things have gone wrong and our councillors found they can no longer work together for our benefit. We are greatly saddened by this situation.

“And we are very glad of Guildford Borough Council’s help enabling us to re-establish a functioning parish council to support our community.

“We look forward to the forthcoming election when we hope to see the installation of a fresh parish council but there are issues that cannot wait until then.

“There are really important issues affecting individuals as well as matters of governance, finance and transparency. Delays, prevarication and failures of process have caused real distress to some people as well as the frustrations arising from less personal matters.

“Some issues have been in limbo for months now and we desperately need them to be addressed.”

The date of the next formal meeting of Normandy Parish Council is not yet settled but Cllr Bigmore (R4GV, Christchurch) said he understood a preparatory informal meeting of the new councillors had already been arranged.

Unresigned parish councillors still showing on the Normandy Parish Council website

Questions raised by the Guildford Dragon weeks ago about the status of Peter Palmer, who now lives in France, remain unanswered. He and one other are still shown on the parish council website. Parish clerk Leslie Clarke has been signed off sick.

The extraordinary full GBC meeting was chaired by the Mayor Richard Billington from his chair in the council chamber. This was his first meeting for some months and many councillors made a special point of welcoming the popular member back. He underwent surgery for a brain tumour last year.

See also: Borough Confirms It Will Help Run Parish Council After Mass Resignations

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