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Letter: What is Meant by a Guildford/Waverley Council ‘Alliance’?

Published on: 6 Nov, 2021
Updated on: 6 Nov, 2021

From: Paul Spooner

Conservative borough councillor for South Ash & Tongham

In response to: I Look Forward to Working With GBC’s New Deputy Leader

Perhaps the leader of Guildford Borough Council, Cllr Joss Bigmore, could explain what Cllr Follows means by political “alliance” in his letter of support for Cllr Julia McShane? Cllr Bigmore has continually argued that the cost-saving measure the R4GV/Lib Dem coalition in Guildford has taken was for the council officers only and would not affect the politics of the two boroughs.

When can we expect the alliance to be a single “Guildford and Waverley Borough”, run by Waverley, due to the weakness of the leadership in Guildford?

As I listened to officers having to withdraw funding support for Guildford in Bloom at yesterday’s AGM (as it was discretionary spending), I wondered if this is really what our electorate expected when they voted for change in 2019.

They are certainly getting change in the form of significant cuts to everything that is good about Guildford, except Cllr John Rigg’s passion for yet another Town Centre Masterplan, costing residents of the Borough £2 million. No cut there whilst areas such as Ash and Tongham see valued services such as the Shawfield Day Centre closed down and unlikely to reopen. And under whose direction? Cllr McShane, the new deputy council leader in “alliance” with Cllr Follows at Waverley.

Sad times.

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Responses to Letter: What is Meant by a Guildford/Waverley Council ‘Alliance’?

  1. J Holt Reply

    November 6, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    Is this the same councillor who has been so disparaging about The Guildford Dragon NEWS but now seems quite happy to use it to put forward his views whilst refusing to answer any questions about his views and actions?

    • Paul Follows Reply

      November 6, 2021 at 8:35 pm

      I wrote: “Certainly, she has the best wishes and the support of me and my colleagues of the alliance here in Waverley.”

      The words “here in Waverley” being the key element of that. I’m talking about the coalition of Liberal Democrats, Green, Labour, Farnham Residents and Independents that make up the governing group in Waverley.

      Guildford and Waverley, we are two sovereign councils and so they shall remain.

      Of course, we must only consider what we have done about shared management teams so far because Cllr Spooner’s party’s central government continues to squeeze every penny from local government and that dictates direction when those of us without the luxury of sitting on the sidelines have to make the choice between working together or making service cuts. For me that is no choice at all.

      Paul Follows is the leader of Waverley Borough Council

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