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R4GV Councillor Quits Party Saying More Public Consultation on Plans is Needed

Published on: 10 Nov, 2022
Updated on: 12 Nov, 2022

Cllr Tony Rooth

By Martin Giles

With six months to go to the next borough council election the Residents for Guildford and Villages has lost another member from its group.

Tony Rooth who represents Pilgrims Ward, a rural area in the south-west of the borough, has resigned from the group stating concerns about openness and public consultation as the main reasons for his decision made after a meeting with party leader Joss Bigmore this week. Tension between the two had been obvious for some time during council meetings.

See video interview below

His departure from the R4GV group follows that of Diana Jones, (Tillingbourne) who although a member of the Green Party was included in the R4GV group at Millmead. explaining her decision she said: “With a by-election coming up in my ward, we felt that the Green Party’s profile should be raised [on the council’s website, as a Green Party member] and the only way that GBC would allow that to happen was for me to withdraw from my arrangement with R4GV.”

But Cllr Rooth’s departure is more of an internal party matter. Ten years ago he was the leader of the Tory council. His journey away from the then-dominating Conservative group began in 2018 when he resigned from the group to become an independent and was joined by two other former Conservatives, Bob McShee and Niels Christiansen as well as the former Lib Dem member Colin Cross (Lovelace). Together they formed the Independent Alliance.

All but Christiansen went on to help form the Residents for Guildford and Villages party to challenge the national political party dominance at GBC. They achieved success in the 2019 election which shocked even them winning 15 seats and eventually entering a power-sharing agreement with the slightly larger group the Lib Dems.

Tony Rooth’s resignation result means there are now 17 Lib Dem councillors, 14 Residents for Guildford and Villages, eight Conservatives, four Guildford Greenbelt Group, two Labour, two Independents and one Green Party, at GBC.

Please listen to the following interview to hear Cllr Rooth’s own explanation of his decision to resign…

See also: Dragon Interview: Tony Rooth and Colin Cross, Independent Alliance – recorded in March 2019

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test One Response to R4GV Councillor Quits Party Saying More Public Consultation on Plans is Needed

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    November 10, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    Perhaps all borough councillors should stand on their merit not the colour of their socks.

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