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New Guildford Council Leader Elected In Planned Handover

Published on: 12 Oct, 2022
Updated on: 12 Oct, 2022

Cllr Julia McShane (Westborough, Lib Dem) was elected as the new leader of Guildford Borough Council at a full council meeting on Tuesday, October 11, with Cllr Joss Bigmore (Christchurch, R4GV) confirmed as the new deputy leader.

Cllrs Josh Bigmore and Julia McShane outside Guildford Borough Council’s offices in Millmead.

The change of leadership was agreed over two years ago as part of the power-sharing agreement between the two biggest political groups at the council, the Liberal Democrats and Residents for Guildford and Villages (R4GV).

Cllr McShane will remain as leader until the next borough council elections in May 2023.

See Council Leader Resigns As Planned, Leadership Passes Back To Liberal Democrats

Cllr Bigmore resigned as leader at a meeting of the council’s Executive on September 22 to enable the change. Since his resignation, Cllr McShane has been acting leader.

Cllr McShane said: “It is both an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to lead Guildford Borough Council. As we move into the final phase of our joint administration we will continue to focus and prioritise residents’ needs.

“Many people are facing financial challenges in this cost-of-living crisis. We will provide as much help and support as we can to all those who are or may be affected.

“We are also progressing our common aspiration of tackling climate change. We continue to work hard together to deliver what our residents want and deserve.

“I am very fortunate to have a strong executive team of Lib Dem and R4GV councillors. This team is well supported by excellent officers. We will continue to work together to deliver the outcomes that the residents of this borough deserve.”

Cllr Bigmore said: “Another successful year of working as a joint executive has come to a close. We have faced unique challenges and made great moves towards achieving our joint goals.

“A handover like this is unusual in local government but our parties are committed to delivering this new approach to politics.

“I wish Cllr McShane all the best as leader. We have a fantastic and committed team of officers at Guildford and I look forward to continuing to work with them, Cllr McShane and the Lib Dems as part of the shared Lib Dem – R4GV executive.”

Membership of the new executive, and their roles, is as follows:

Resources, Tim Anderson (Clandon & Horsley, R4GV.

Economy, John Redpath (Holy Trinity, R4GV).

Regeneration,  John Rigg (Holy Trinity, R4GV).

Environment, James Steel (Westborough, Lib Dem).

Development Management, Tom Hunt (Friary & St Nicolas, Lib Dem).

Climate Change, Cait Taylor (Friary & St Nicolas, Lib Dem).

Governance, Joss Bigmore (Christchurch, R4GV).

Housing and Community, Julia McShane (Westborough, Lib Dem).

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