Fringe Box



Letter: The Borough Council is Overdue a Radical Overhaul

Published on: 14 May, 2015
Updated on: 14 May, 2015

MJ Old BaileyFrom Jenny Procter

I wish to thank Jules Cranwell for raising the complaint against Monika Juneja and his very articulate and objective analysis of the situation.

Her fall from grace resulted directly from her own fraudulent activity and certainly not from any ‘witch hunt’. It is in all our interests in Guildford Borough that our councillors are honest and serve with integrity. This seems manifestly not the case in this instance.

On a personal level I could have some sympathy for a woman who has become tangled in her own web of deceit but this deceit directly affects too many. She has fraudulently worked her way through a number of councils potentially influencing important strategic decisions and policy.

In Guildford she has been in charge of the Local Plan, one of the most, if not the most, significant undertakings in our borough for a very long time: the outcome will influence every one of us going forward and threatens to irrevocably change the landscape and environment in which we all live.

Her planning credentials are woeful. If this plan, conceived under such questionable leadership, is resurrected as promised by Stephen Mansbridge, how can we believe that the evidence is real, the figures presented accurate and unbiased and the strategic inputs sound?

How can we know that there is not now a desperate attempt to cover the cracks and limit damage within a council that has been duped or worse?

How many people voting in this round of local elections have done so on the basis of promises to protect our green belt and look after our interests urban or otherwise?

What are these promises worth while the same leadership that promoted someone who fraudulently and, in my view, incompetently took us into the botched, unprofessional, unsubstantiated top down plan, remains in place?

Guildford Borough Council is overdue for a radical overhaul. I dearly hope that, in the interests of democracy and to restore the faith of the local electorate, the incoming Conservative majority of councillors will seek to elect a new leader and to revise the existing governance arrangements.

Jenny Procter is a member of the Save Send Action Group

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Responses to Letter: The Borough Council is Overdue a Radical Overhaul

  1. Brian Miller Reply

    May 14, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Well stated (see also my comment on the article following Monika Juneja guilty plea).

    We’ll know the next leader of the council on Tuesday evening (May 19) at the full council meeting.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    May 15, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    As part of the overhaul, a new broom is required. The voting public will not accept the status quo. It is therefore time for a new leader of the council, until such time it is inevitably replaced with the committee system.

    It would be refreshing if the leader was selected on merit, from across the political spectrum, but that has as much chance of a snowball surviving a sojourn in hell.

    The next leader must be above reproach, and untarnished by past conduct, and allegiances.

    My vote would be for a newbie, such as Susan Parker. However, as it is almost certain to be a Tory, Bob McShee has shown himself to be impartial. If not McShee, how about a Tory newbie, with no baggage, such as Matthew Sarti, who seems to be a thoroughly decent chap, and a true Tory.

  3. Ben Paton Reply

    May 21, 2015 at 6:56 am

    This letter expresses the view of the ‘silent majority’ when it discovers what has been done it its name.

    The weakness of democracy – especially local democracy – is its dependence on informed consent. The council is guilty of the most corrosive corruption of all – failing to inform the electorate in an honest and disinterested manner.

    It has put out a Kafkaesque slur that the brave individuals who stuck their necks out to protest that Ms Juneja was not complying with the Nolan Principles and the council’s own code were ‘politically motivated’.

    The irony is that the Guildford Conservative Group is a politically motivated party.

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