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Independent Cllr Jackson Second to Resign from Guildford Council

Published on: 7 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 8 Mar, 2021

Cllr Gordon Jackson

By Martin Giles

A second borough councillor, Independent Gordon Jackson, is to resign on March 12, as well as Lib Dem leader Caroline Reeves.

Cllr Jackson (Pirbright) told The Dragon last night (March 6): “I’ve been a councillor for 11 years and I want to spend more time with my family.”

In 2019, four months after the Conservatives lost control in the May borough election, dropping from 35 seats to just nine, he quit the party.

Gordon Jackson (left) joined Caroline Reeves (blue beret) as prorogue protestors at the Guildhall in August 2019. Photo Mandy Millyard

Cllr Jackson, a strong Remainer, made clear his main reason was disillusion with the Tory Brexit direction after Boris Johnson was made leader and prime minister, but he also said he had found party politics had little relevance to local councils.

At the time, the increasing tension within the truncated Conservative council group, of which he was deputy leader, was also becoming obvious.

Cllr Jackson, a solicitor, has lived in Pirbright for 35 years and was elected ward councillor in 2010. Two years later, he was on the council’s Executive as lead for economic development, tourism and heritage.

He was made Mayor in 2016, having also worked on the planning and licensing committees and as chairman of the corporate governance and standards committee.

With his close political ally, former councillor Nikki Nelson-Smith, he helped instigate Innovate Guildford to showcase and encourage the town’s now world-class technology sector. He was also a strong supporter of measures to combat climate change.

Gordon Jackson Mayor of Guildford in 2016

His resignation now allows the resulting by-election, as well as that of Cllr Reeves, to coincide with the SCC elections on May 6, reducing the cost.

In 2019, Cllr Jackson obtained 67% of the votes cast but there was a low turnout of just 29%.

Pirbright would normally be a very safe Tory seat but another Independent may stand and R4GV could also challenge. The ward is in the Woking Parliamentary constituency and their Conservative association is responsible for candidate selection.

See also: Dragon Interview: Cllr Gordon Jackson – Why I Quit the Conservative Party

And more Gordon Jackson stories here.

Pirbright GBC result May 2019. Source GBC

 

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