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Letter: A Minority Lib Dem Council Would Be a Betrayal of the Voters

Published on: 11 May, 2019
Updated on: 11 May, 2019

From Julian Lyon

The rumours seem to be circulating that the Lib Dems will seek to run the council as a minority party with the Conservatives shoring up their vote. The price for this would presumably be that the Local Plan will be sacrosanct. Who knows what other secret deals might be done?

This would be a huge betrayal of the voters, more than 50% of whom supported the Lib Dems and R4GV [Residents for Guildford and Villages] combined, whose manifestos called for at least a review, and generally some reworking of the plan.

The Lib Dems have a geographically narrow mandate (Friary & St Nicolas, Onslow, Westborough, Stoughton, Burpham and Merrow in the Guildford Urban Area, plus Effingham).

The best and most faithful outcome must surely be a combined yellow and pink Executive, operating in the spirit of openness and transparency, engaging with communities and civic groups, and setting an agenda that looks to solve some very serious issues.

A bipartisan Executive group that has to discuss and agree things amongst themselves – hopefully with reference at least to both groups’ wider memberships – scrutinised carefully, objectively and separately, will be much stronger. By carrying the parties with them, this should be a recipe for getting more done rather than less.

The Lib Dems alongside R4GV would represent the majority in all Guildford Urban Area wards (including the entire town centre) excepting Stoke (Labour), and several other wards including Ash South & Tongham, Shalford, Clandon and Horsley, Lovelace and Effingham.

The Lib Dems and Conservatives would have nowhere near the same breadth of representation and the betrayal of the anti-Conservative vote would frustrate Zoe Franklin’s aspirations to become the Lib Dem MP for Guildford.

This is a fantastic opportunity to sweep a new broom through the Executive and committees and to reach out effectively to the community as both the Lib Dems and R4GV have pledged to do. I hope they don’t waste this opportunity on Wednesday when you elect the council leader and she or he selects the other lead members.

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test 2 Responses to Letter: A Minority Lib Dem Council Would Be a Betrayal of the Voters

  1. Lisa Wright Reply

    May 12, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Interesting thoughts from Mr Lyon but he may like to remember that GGG and R4GV worked very successfully together to win seats in Shalford and Clandon. Furthermore, he may not be aware that GGG members fully supported R4GV in the lead up to the Elections. Personally, I spent many hours delivering R4GV fliers in Worplesdon and campaigning across the borough.

    I do hope Mr Lyon will remember the GGG contribution to R4GV success.

  2. David Roberts Reply

    May 12, 2019 at 11:22 am

    A Lib Dem/R4GV coalition would be a cynical stitch-up betraying the electoral pact with GGG that brought R4GV such success. The Lib Dem leader is an avid supporter of the Tory Local Plan, which voters have rejected. And a main plank of R4GV’s platform was to get rid of national politics from local government – a promise that a coalition with the Lib Dems would break straightaway.

    Let’s not forget that the Local Plan was the work of former Cllrs Mansbridge and, the disgraced, Monika Juneja whom Mr Lyon, before she was convicted, praised in The Dragon. For me, his views are therefore tainted.

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