Fringe Box



Letter: Damning Reports Should Not Be Used to Gain Political Advantage

Published on: 17 May, 2024
Updated on: 17 May, 2024

From: James Walsh

leader of the Labour group at Guildford Borough Council

The two independent reports which form the Solace review of the governance of the council and housing services are damning and residents deserve a lot better.

It is very clear that the problems the council now has to resolve have deep roots. The issues have festered during several administrations and over many years.

The Labour group believes that the primary focus of all councillors and officers should be to learn the lessons contained within these reports and use the recommendations to build a better council with Best Value practices at its heart.

It has been extremely disappointing to see just how far the litany of failure has gone within the council and it is frustrating that many of those who should have picked up on them sooner have since left the organisation. We need to look at this now as a painful but necessary foundation to build a better, more transparent and responsive council.

However, we will achieve nothing for residents by grandstanding with our partisan hats on. We have the opportunity to shape the council into a body that works effectively for the public.

We will support measures that help the authority get back on its feet, but will not hesitate to ask difficult questions when we think there are problems in the journey or if we think wrong decisions are being made.

The focus of everyone and all concerned should now be on using the recommendations of these reports to help build a stronger council and not to seek narrow political advantage.

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