Fringe Box



Parties Feverishly Manoeuvring For Power in New Guildford Council

Published on: 15 May, 2019
Updated on: 15 May, 2019

Group leaders Joss Bigmore (R4GV) and Caroline Reeves (Lib Dem)

Negotiations continued yesterday (May 14, 2019) between the Lib Dems and the Residents for Guildford and Villages (R4GV) parties to try to strike a deal on how to share power at Guildford Borough Council.

The election left no party in overall control, so to have a leader elected who can nominate an Executive Committee, support from another party will be necessary. The Lib Dems are the largest with 17 seats closely followed by R4GV who have 15 but can probably rely on the four GGG members and perhaps the sole Green Party member.

GBC Election 2019 – number and percentage share of the seats.

Overtures from the Conservative group, offering support to both parties in turn, in return for committee appointments, are reported to have failed. Neither group seems to want to be seen to be having much to do with the Tories who, under Paul Spooner, have made plenty of political enemies over the years and are at the nadir of their fortunes in Guildford.

One Conservative party member told The Dragon: “Who would want to inherit this mess? The trouble is it’s now very difficult for us to rebuild with the leader who presided over this defeat remaining in post.”

Paul Spooner, Conservative Group leader

The election campaign and result is expected to be reviewed by the Guildford Conservatives in June. Whether Cllr Spooner’s leadership will survive remains to be seen but six of the nine surviving Conservatives on whose loyalty he can probably rely are from the Ash wards.

Yesterday (May 14) a death-throes plea was made on the GBC Executive Twitter account apparently from the outgoing Tory Executive seeking consideration for Executive appointments in the new council because of their experience. membership.

But if the Lib Dems and R4GV do share power then the Conservatives with their nine seats, all but one in the north-east of the borough, will be the de facto opposition and will stand to be given the important chairmanship of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

With no white smoke appearing over Millmead last night, negotiations, and perhaps brinkmanship, will presumably continue today in the hope that agreement can be reached before tonight’s council meeting at 7pm.

If there is no agreement, it can be expected that both the Lib Dems and R4GV will put forward leadership candidates and the winner will then form an Executive from their own group and operate as a minority council.


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test One Response to Parties Feverishly Manoeuvring For Power in New Guildford Council

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    May 15, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Interesting the Tories tweet begging for continued executive positions, on the basis of their “experience”.

    I think the election result proves that their experiences are those that most of us do not want to see repeated.

    No, it’s their turn to sit on the back benches and lick their wounds. Who knows? they may learn a thing or two about sound council governance.

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