Fringe Box



Guildford’s Bid for City Status Fails But Council Leader Remains Proud

Published on: 20 May, 2022
Updated on: 24 May, 2022

The bid to make Guildford a city has failed it was announced by GBC today (May 20).

Thirty-nine places across the UK and British Overseas Territories made bids for city status as part of a competition to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

The eight successful bidders include at least one in every UK country as well as in overseas territories. In England, Milton Keynes, Colchester and Doncaster were to be the recipients of the honour. Dunfermline, a previous royal capital of Scotland. Bangor within Northern Ireland was also a recipient, and Wrexham in Wales.

Outside the UK, Stanley, in the Falklands Islands as well as Douglas, in the Isle of Man were given the status. Once the locations receive their letters patent from the Queen later this year this will increase the number of official cities in the UK mainland to 76, with 55 in England, eight in Scotland, seven in Wales and six within Northern Ireland.

City status is often associated with having a cathedral or university, both of which Guildford possesses and which lead some to presume it is a city. But there are no set rules for granting the status which is awarded by the monarch on advice of ministers.

Council Leader Joss Bigmore, said: “Of course, we’re disappointed our bid for city status was not successful and we wholeheartedly congratulate those towns who received the honour as part of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

“Working on this bid was a great reminder to all of us of what an incredible place the county town of Guildford is, with a unique blend of beautiful heritage, arts and culture, world class education and cutting edge research. The jewel in Surrey’s crown.

Supporters of the bid for city status for Guildford gathered in the cathedral in October.

“We also have vibrant community spirit, which was demonstrated in extraordinary ways throughout the pandemic. We put the bid together with an amazing group of local partners who all gave up their time to help us to make a submission at no cost while forging new networks and collaborations. Thank you to all involved.

“I’ve always been proud of Guildford and our bid clearly shows what a great place it is to live, visit and work. We continue to build on our strengths for the benefit of our residents, business and visitors.”

See also: GBC’s Bid for City Status Submitted With Labour Party Support But GGG Reservations

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Responses to Guildford’s Bid for City Status Fails But Council Leader Remains Proud

  1. David Roberts Reply

    May 24, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    Good. Instead of empty gestures, Guildford could do with some of the £300 million insanely allocated to rebuild Junction 10.

    It was never clear where the “city” limits would have been set, or how city status would have protected the borough’s natural assets from unnecessary development.

  2. Brian Miller Reply

    May 24, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    Excellent news! We will now stay here. We moved to Guildford nearly 40 years ago, partly because it was a town. During the pandemic all the local services, especially NHS facilities, have been superb.

    Next, when will the Castle Grounds have a cafe open?

    • Dave Middleton Reply

      May 24, 2022 at 9:36 pm

      Saints preserve us! A call for yet another cafe? Surely if one is so in need of a cup of tea or coffee, it is but a short walk to Tunsgate, or the High Street where it seems every other shop is a hot beverage dispensary.

  3. William Lawrence Reply

    May 24, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    Guildford wants to be grand but it’s attitude to the disabled community shows it for what it is, small minded.

  4. Peter Brayne Reply

    May 24, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Some good news at last!

  5. P Smith Reply

    May 27, 2022 at 9:27 am

    I am so pleased to hear this. The council never once asked the people what they wanted.

    There are no centres for older people in the town centre. The council closed both of them. Those in Merrow, Shalford, Burpham etc, now need to use two buses (which are totally unreliable) to get into Guildford and out again to Park Barn. The idea is that people can sit down for half an hour and get a cup of tea while coming into Guildford for shopping and have a quiet rest.

    There is a very poor public transport system which consistently has three or more consecutive buses cancelled meaning access to hospital services is a complete nightmare, let alone getting to work.

    There are dangerous paving slabs up all over the place but the council say nothing to do with them [pavements are a county council responsibility].

    Guildford is not a proper community with all sections of society and ages catered for. So many services needed, so many improvements needed but the council is not interested. Guildford already has what it has and people, if they want its facilities, will come for them.

    More wouldn’t have come if we had been made a city. In future, GBC should please try asking residents what they want!

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