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Lib Dem Leader Responds to Councillor Resignation

Published on: 30 Oct, 2018
Updated on: 30 Oct, 2018

Cllr Caroline Reeves

The Liberal Democrat group leader at Guildford Borough Council has responded to the resignation of one of the councillors from her group saying: “The people of Guildford cannot afford us to let personality differences be put before our role in demanding better for Guildford.”

Cllr Colin Cross, who represents Lovelace ward (Ripley, Wisley and Ockham) announced earlier today (October 30, 2018) that he was resigning from the group because of an “incompatible relationship” with Cllr Reeves.

Cllr Colin Cross

Cllr Reeves’ decision to waive her right as chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee to call in a council bid for government funding to create a garden village at Wisley was the catalyst that caused the resignation.

Cllr Reeves said: “Cllr Colin Cross has decided to leave the Liberal Democrat group. The Guildford Liberal Democrat group is focused on opposing the damaging cuts imposed in Guildford by the Conservatives at every level, and, while we are sad to see any member resign, that remains our priority.

“The people of Guildford cannot afford us to let personality differences be put before our role in demanding better for Guildford. Colin has decided not to discuss his views internally and wishes to go independent.

“We wish him well in representing his constituents for the rest of his term but his actions will do nothing to help end the damaging Conservative control in Guildford. The Lib Dems will continue to campaign to provide our area with a positive alternative for everyone across the Guildford Borough.”

See also: Lib Dem Councillor Quits Over Wisley Bid Citing ‘Incompatible Relationship’ with Leader

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Responses to Lib Dem Leader Responds to Councillor Resignation

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    October 30, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    It does not sound like a personality difference at all. More like a profound disagreement over policy.

    So what is Cllr Reeves’s view of the Conservative Local Plan? Does she continue to support it? Does she maintain that the Local Plan is sound? Why did she not insist that the council scrutinised the Strategic Housing Market Assessment paid for by taxpayers that underlies the local plan?

    Does she have an opinion on the lack of housing proposed for the most sustainable locations in the borough, Guildford Town and Ash and Tongham? Does she have any concern for the environment or biodiversity?

    Why isn’t development at the Strategic Sites at Blackwell Farm, Gosden Hill or Slyfield also being considered for a bid for a Garden Town?

    Cllr Reeves is very good at producing broad and vague criticisms of all things Conservative and very bad providing scrutiny, detailed evaluation or opposition. It’s time the Lib Dems got some fresh blood and some new leadership.

    • Anna-Marie Davis Reply

      October 31, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. Guildford Liberal Democrats are incapable of holding the Executive to account.

  2. Colin Cross Reply

    October 30, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Fine, as far as it goes, but actually the real reason I left the group was that there is a fundamental split between its makeup as to the urban and rural wards and their disparate problems. This imbalance is exemplified in Cllr Reeves’ comment in support of the Tory funding bid to develop the Wisley Garden Village.

    At no time did she ever consult me, before, during or after her decision to waive the right to call in the bid or then support the whole thing. Is that how leadership works?

    By the way, what exactly is meant by “demanding a better Guildford”?

    I may be biased and out of touch but preserving our green belt heritage is surely a more meaningful and worthy ambition?

    Colin Cross is the Independent borough councillor for Lovelace (Ripley, Wisley and Ockham).

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    October 31, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Overview and scrutiny committee? Who are they kidding?

    It is self-evident that there is no overview or scrutiny at GBC. We all know how GBC is ruled.

    No scrutiny, no effective standards committee, no effective complaints procedure, and no truly independent monitoring of councillor conduct.

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