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Letter: Don’t Expect New Tory Leadership to Really Change Things

Published on: 22 Oct, 2015
Updated on: 22 Oct, 2015

Tory Leadership ElectionFrom Colin Cross

Lib Dem borough councillor for Lovelace

I believe it to be naive to imagine the Tories are about to become all community spirited
just because Stephen Mansbridge has finally fallen on his sword.

The “Ash Mafia” will continue to prevail on the leadership front and Paul Spooner is odds on to win.

Their west-of-the-borough based cabal will still rule Guildford for the foreseeable future, after all it’s what the electorate voted for – is it not ?

If you want an example of just how even handed any leadership election will be then go no further than a couple of weeks ago when the Tories used their overall majority to grab both the councillor seats on the Eastern Wards Cluster Group when they voted at the full council meeting.

They completely ignored any pleas for a fair distribution of these seats in an area where they are numerically in the minority both in terms of the numbers of councillors and the number of wards they control.

Sorry but this is not the time to hope they will start playing fair any time soon.

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Responses to Letter: Don’t Expect New Tory Leadership to Really Change Things

  1. George Dokimakis Reply

    October 22, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    A strongly worded letter by a Lib Dem councillor. It would be good to see such actions and reactions in the council meetings as well.

    It was Labour’s Cllr Gunning that asked the question that led to Mansbridge’s demise. The lib dems have sat quietly by the wayside for some time now accepting the status quo. Guilty by inaction.

    We need strong leadership as well as strong opposition. I hope this letter marks the beginning of this because so far the only opposition has come from Labour and the GGG.

    • Liz Hogger Reply

      October 23, 2015 at 12:06 am

      Mr Dokimakis seems to have a selective memory. At the council meeting on May 19 this year, the Lib Dems led the way in opposing the re-election of Stephen Mansbridge as council leader, because his lack of judgement threatened to bring the council into disrepute.

      In proposing Cllr Caroline Reeves as leader instead, I said “we need a new council leader who will restore the reputation of this council for probity”. (

      Labour and GGG joined us on that occasion, but the Tory majority insisted on sticking with their discredited leader.

      It’s taken five more months, continuing efforts from all opposition councillors, excellent investigative journalism from The Dragon, and finally Mansbridge has gone. Lib Dems sitting by the way side? No way!

      Liz Hogger is the Lib Dem deputy group leader and borough councillor for Effingham

  2. Ben Paton Reply

    October 24, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    So, will the Lib Dems be asking the monitoring officer to investigate if Mr Mansbridge’s overtures to the UoS student’s union and subsequent conduct was consistent with the council’s code?

    GBC have confirmed that as Stephen Mansbridge has resigned as a councillor an official complaint cannot be made. Ed

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