Fringe Box



Letter: Why Didn’t Students Initiate The Elected Mayor Petition?

Published on: 31 Jul, 2015
Updated on: 31 Jul, 2015

petition featureFrom John Robson

Times have obviously changed since I was in a students’ union. Rather than protecting the green belt and AONB [Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty] they are now championing the cause of building on such areas on behalf of the university mandarins and now at the behest of a Conservative driven agenda. They can thank the Tories for the £9k fees, by the way.

The petition for a referendum of whether Guildford should have an elected mayor, if successful, could finally snuff out any semblance of democracy or opposition within the council chamber.

But I’m puzzled. If the students feel so strongly about the subject matter why didn’t they instigate the petition? Why was their support only acquired following payments offered by the petition instigator, Ms Juneja, to collect names? Are their principles so cheap?

The instigator of the petition has close links to the leader of the council, he who directs the council’s “trajectory” irrespective of the ongoing rational local debate. So who is likely to be the petitioner’s preferred mayoral candidate?

If the council leader was elected mayor, how much democracy can we expect to be left in Millmead? But the students must understand this, or do they?

Unlike other communities across the country there is no ambiguity as to who currently leads this council – and that’s why the system has to change.

To ensure the progressive development of Guildford, we need consensus by committee. The council is not the army.

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