Fringe Box



Political Power Talks in Waverley to Form a New Council

Published on: 11 May, 2019
Updated on: 14 May, 2019

By Rebecca Curley

local democracy reporter

As negotiations continue to form the council among the political groups in Guildford, other talks are being held at Waverley Borough Council where the Conservatives lost 26 of their 49 seats in the elections last Thursday (May 2).

Farnham Residents won 15 seats and Liberal Democrats took 14. There were even wins for Labour and the Green Party, with both gaining two seats on the council. Neither party went into the elections with a seat. And Independent Jack Lee also won the votes for Milford.

That has left the council with no party having overall control.

Cllr Julia Potts, present leader of the council, who was re-elected for Frensham Dockenfield and Tilford, said the results showed residents were “tired of the national situation” surrounding Brexit. She said she has had “constructive meetings and talks” with Cllr John Ward from Farnham Residents and Cllr Paul Follows from the Lib Dems. Cllr Potts remains leader until the annual council meeting on May 21. Cllr Peter Martin has been appointed deputy leader until any changes.

Cllr Potts said: “I am of course very disappointed by the local Waverley results for the Conservatives.

“Given the challenges of these local elections and the impact on the electorate of the national picture we always knew it would be tough for us.  Locally, Conservatives now need to carefully listen to our residents and re-connect.

“We have been the majority ruling party here at Waverley for the past 12 years and I am immensely proud of our achievements. We’ve kept council tax low, maintained good-value services to our residents and vital grants to the voluntary sector of over £750,000 every year.

“But with the uncertainty of Brexit , which must be delivered, and issues playing out publicly in the media the electorate have shown clearly they are tired of the national situation and want that resolved.

“It is a great shame that we have lost many effective and dedicated local councillors, and I would like to thank them and indeed all candidates for all their hard work and public service to residents.  I wish them all every success for the future.”

Cllr Follows who, until last Thursday was the only Lib Dem on the council, said: “Cllr John Ward and I have already had several productive meetings with the other parties at Waverley and with officers.”

Farnham Residents also made gains on Farnham Town Council and now have 14 members. Cllr Ward said: “The Farnham Residents are naturally delighted with the recent election results.

“Although we now effectively control Farnham Town Council, it has been a non-political council since I joined and I hope the previous spirit of inter-party cooperation will continue.”


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test One Response to Political Power Talks in Waverley to Form a New Council

  1. Patrick Haveron Reply

    May 12, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Very excited to see some consensual progressive politics emerging locally, driven by the cross-party Compass meetings.

    Lib Dems and Greens plus Labour to run Godalming Town Council too!

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