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GBC Council Leader Resigns Suddenly In the Wake of GVG Challenge

Published on: 19 Sep, 2012
Updated on: 19 Sep, 2012

Cllr Tony Rooth resigned as Council Leader yesterday

The Leader of Guildford Borough Council, Tony Rooth, has resigned suddenly following increased tension within the Tory group caused by an embarrassing legal challenge from the Guildford Vision Group.

The Vision Group obtained legal opinions that the proposed adoption of key planning documents by the Executive would have been illegal. Adoption of the documents was deferred at the last moment at the Executive meeting of 6th September.

Deputy Leader Stephen Mansbridge (Con, Ash South and Tongham) will act as Council Leader until a new leader is appointed at a meeting of the Full Council on 11 October.

Cllr Rooth has also resigned as Leader of the Conservative Group but will remain a borough councillor, representing the residents of Pilgrims ward. He became council leader in May 2010 after seven years as Executive Member for Finance and Resources.

Cllr Stephen Mansbridge will act as Council Leader pending an election

Cllr Stephen Mansbridge, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “I would like to thank Tony for his service to the Council. During his term of office the Council has made major savings and improved services… during particularly challenging times for local councils.”

Cllr Rooth said: “I have enjoyed my time as Leader and on the Executive, working with my councillor colleagues and officers to achieve success for our borough. Now is the right time to hand the baton to another councillor. I look forward to spending more time with my family, including my elderly mother and two daughters, and on other personal interests. I will continue to represent local people in Pilgrims ward and on outside organisations.

“I thank everyone at the Council for their contributions to the long list of achievements in Guildford over recent years. I wish the new leader every success for the future.”

In a note to council staff, David Hill, Chief Executive stated: “Yesterday afternoon (18 Sep), Councillor Tony Rooth wrote to me to let me know that he was resigning as Leader of the Council with immediate effect.  In his letter Councillor Rooth reflected on the Council’s achievements during his time as both Leader and previously as the portfolio holder responsible for finance and in particular our achievements over the past year.”

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