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Lib Dem Leader Appoints Her New Team For Guildford Borough Council

Published on: 20 May, 2019
Updated on: 20 May, 2019

Cllr Caroline Reeves, the new Liberal Democrat leader of Guildford Borough Council, has announced her new Executive.

She said that voters across the country had emphatically rejected the Conservatives and made clear that they want a different type of politics.  As promised, her Lib Dem-led administration is inclusive and constructive, with cross-party representation, bringing the real change that people voted for.

The lead councillors and portfolios in the new Executive are:

Cllr Caroline Reeves, Council Leader (Lib Dem, Friary & St Nicolas): Sustainable Transport, Transformation & Regeneration, Economic Development, Governance

Cllr Fiona White, Deputy Council Leader (Lib Dem, Westborough): Safeguarding, Inclusion, Public Safety, Community Safety, Vulnerable Families

Cllr Julia McShane (Lib Dem, Westborough): Health & Wellbeing, the Voluntary Sector, Grants Panel, Play strategy, Project Aspire

Cllr Angela Goodwin (Lib Dem, Friary & St Nicolas): Housing (social and affordable), Homelessness, Access and Disability

Cllr Jan Harwood (Lib Dem, Jan Harwood, Merrow): Planning, Planning Policy, Housing Delivery through planning

Cllr Pauline Searle (Lib Dem, Stoughton): Arts, Parks and Countryside

Cllr James Steel (Lib Dem, Westborough): Leisure, Heritage, Tourism

Cllr David Goodwin (Lib Dem Onslow): Licensing, Parking, Refuse, Recycling

Cllr Joss Bigmore (R4GV, Christchurch): Finance and Customer Service

Cllr Susan Parker (GGG, Send): Environment and Rural Strategy

Cllr John Rigg (R4GV, Holy Trinity): Holds a supporting role (without voting rights) as Deputy Lead Councillor on Sustainable Transport, Transformation & Regeneration, Business Development.

GBC Executive Committee May 2019

It is believed that R4GV (Residents for Guildford & Villages), which won 15 of the 48 council seats, just two fewer than the Lib Dems, would have been hoping for a bigger representation but negotiations between the two groups appeared to fail at a late stage.

The omission of Liz Hogger, a longstanding friend and ally of Caroline Reeves, is a surprising omission but it is unlikely to signal any rift. Cllr Hogger was fulsome in her praise for Cllr Reeves when nominating her as council leader.

Lib Dem sources say that it was not known by them which way the leadership vote was going to go on Wednsday (May 15, 2019). In the end it was Tory votes that gave Caroline Reeves, the second woman leader of Guildford Borough Council, victory.

Cllr Reeves said: “We have a tremendous breadth of diverse communities across the borough and we will strive to be inclusive and supportive for everyone whatever their background. It is the people who live and work in Guildford borough, quietly living their everyday lives, who need to be heard.”

The new Executive, comprising ten lead councillors and one non-voting deputy leadcCouncillor, contains a mix of experience and new blood, ranging from the borough’s youngest councillor to a former council leader.

The Executive includes the leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG) and the leader of Residents for Guildford and Villages (R4GV) with an R4GV deputy leader in a supporting role, ensuring that the new administration will be politically diverse and truly representative.

“As Liberal Democrats, we believe in openness and co-operation and that is what we intend to deliver with this Liberal Democrat-led administration,” said Cllr Reeves. “Our residents expect and need partnership working and our administration will be an inclusive and constructive one in which we hope to move on from adversarial and combative local politics”

The GGG leader Cllr Parker commented: “We welcome this opportunity to contribute to an exciting, inclusive vision for Guildford.  Cllr Reeves has already shown since her election as leader that she is willing to embrace new ideas and be imaginative, welcoming and flexible.

“This new administration provides real hope for the future. I think it represents the cross-party administration for which the people of Guildford voted.

“Caroline has already stated her aims of focusing (among a number of other issues) on climate change and reviewing our options with regard to the Local Plan. We can get a greener vision for Guildford now.  I am really looking forward to working in this administration and helping to protect Guildford’s environment from within the Executive.”

Comments from other political leaders have been sought. Please check back.

An earlier version of this story stated that Caroline Reeves was the first female leader of GBC. That was incorrect. Fiona White, the current deputy leader, was the first woman leader. Apologies.

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test 10 Responses to Lib Dem Leader Appoints Her New Team For Guildford Borough Council

  1. Liz Hogger Reply

    May 20, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    I am delighted by the inclusive Executive that Caroline Reeves has appointed, and wish to state that they have my 100% support. It is not surprising that I was not included, as I did not seek an Executive position!

    I really look forward to a new spirit of openness and constructive partnership-working on the Council, as we take on the many challenges to come, such as providing housing to meet local need, tackling climate change and protecting our environment.

    Liz Hogger is the Lib Dem borough councillor for Effingham

  2. George Potter Reply

    May 20, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Fiona White, the new deputy leader of the council, was formerly the leader of the council from 2000 to 2003.

    I think it’s fantastic that Guildford now has its second woman council leader and a cabinet that is truly diverse in terms of both age and gender.

    As a Liberal Democrat and a feminist, I must confess that I do feel pretty proud that we’ve been able to provide the first two women leaders of Guildford borough as well as Guildford’s first ever woman MP!

    George Potter is a Lib Dem borough councillor for Burpham.

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    May 20, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Wow! Congratulations, that’s a bit of a surprise. Only time will tell, buts its a very good start. Long may it continue.

  4. Peter Elliott Reply

    May 20, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    It is very disappointing, and somewhat surprising, that the number of positions for the R4GVs on the Executive does not reflect the fact that they won nearly as many seats as the Lib Dems.

  5. Simon Mason Reply

    May 20, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    I am surprised that there is not a lead Councillor for Infrastructure delivery bearing in mind that the newly adopted Local plan is very much predicated upon its delivery. Is this an oversight?

  6. Paul Bishop Reply

    May 20, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Looks like a very well selected cabinet with some really great councillers in some positions they can really make an impact.

  7. Alan Davies Reply

    May 21, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Some good signs. More women (indeed a majority ) and some Executive seats for independents and Green Belt defenders.

    Some worrying indications. Didn’t R4GV and GGG win more votes and seats together than the Lib Dems ? Yet only 2 voting seats for them against 8 Lib Dems. Gesture politics rather than “truly representative” new administration claimed by Cllr. Reeves?

    • Jules Cranwell Reply

      May 24, 2019 at 11:57 am

      The Tories and Labour can be blamed for that because they voted for Caroline Reeves in order, it seemed, to keep R4GV and GGG out of the leader position.

  8. John Perkins Reply

    May 24, 2019 at 8:50 am

    I find it disappointing that a party representing less than one-third of the members is able to completely dominate the assembly.

    La même chose? Time will tell.

  9. Gillian Cameron Reply

    May 24, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    Considering at National level the Liberal Democrats are in favour of proportional representation and are members of an association called ‘Make Every Vote Count’, it is disappointing that this has not been put into practice by the local Lib Dem party.

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