Fringe Box



Letter: Should We Have An Elected Mayor?

Published on: 25 Aug, 2014
Updated on: 25 Aug, 2014

emails letterFrom Bernard Parke

With the demise of the former committee system at the council, which stood Guildford Borough in good stead over many decades, there has been perhaps an erosion of input from the people of the former urban borough.

Out of the forty eight councillors elected to the council only nine make policy, and this Executive (or cabinet) is made up of a majority of people from Ash and other wards outside Guildford town, the domain of the old rural district council.

Things have changed and perhaps not for the better. We no longer have a chief executive and now an intolerable burden has fallen on the leader of the council due to recent events.

Should we now once again consider the appointment, as many other authorities have done, of having an elected mayor?

Bernard Parke is an Hon Alderman and former mayor and councillor.

Point of information: The Executive comprises: Cllr Stephen Mansbridge – council leader – Ash South & Tongham; Cllr James Palmer – deputy leader & Infrastructure – Shalford; Cllr Richard Billington – Community Safety and Health – Tillingbourne; Cllr Sarah Creedy – Housing and Social Welfare – Holy Trinity; Cllr Matt Furniss – Environment – Christchurch; Cllr Murray Grubb Jnr – Transformation – Ash Wharf; Cllr Gordon Jackson – Economic Development – Pirbright; Cllr Nigel Manning – Finance and Asset Management – Ash Vale; Cllr Paul Spooner – Licensing and Governance – Ash South & Tongham Ed.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: Should We Have An Elected Mayor?

  1. David Roberts Reply

    August 25, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Why do we need a directly elected mayor when we can simply go back to the committee system that, as Hon Alderman Parke says, “stood Guildford in good stead over many decades”.

    May I please ask whether Ald. Parke and his Aldermen colleagues have therefore signed the public petition for a referendum under the Localism Act which would achieve just that?

    I understand the petition is getting closer and closer to the minimum number of residents’ signatures needed to make that happen.

  2. Anna-Marie Davis Reply

    August 26, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I completely agree that a return to the committee system is required. I believe the power of the Executive has been abused and should therefore be lost.

    I urge all residents to sign the petition, I believe that by dismantling the Executive and returning to the committee system the views of all councillors, and subsequently all Guildfordians, will count for more.

    Under the present system, hypothetically one egotist could fill the Executive with supporters and business partners and face little real opposition whilst steamrollering through policies that suited or benefitted only them. We have the power to change that system.

    If we sign the petition for a referendum, then vote for a committee system, one or two people will not be able to wield such power over our town again.

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    August 27, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Given the departure of Cllr. Palmer, we now have an even smaller cabal running things. How can this be democratic?

    Solicitors always hold a heavy workload, this is the nature of the system within which they work, so why now?

  4. David Roberts Reply

    August 28, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I would like to ask has Hon Alderman Parke signed the petition or not?

  5. Bernard Parke Reply

    August 28, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    I believe that I signed it some time back.

    • David Roberts Reply

      August 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Thank you. Guildford is now well on the way to a local referendum to scrap the current executive-led system of local government and return to the committee structure.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *