Fringe Box



Reaction to Council Leader’s Resignation

Published on: 20 Sep, 2012
Updated on: 22 Sep, 2012

The Guildford Dragon NEWS has obtained the opinion of several of those involved or interested in the local political scene on the sudden resignation of Council Leader Tony Rooth on Monday (18 Dec).

From Councillors David Goodwin, Zoe Franklin, Caroline Reeves and Anne Meredith, on behalf of the Liberal Democrat Group

“As Council Leader Tony Rooth held the ultimate responsibility for the performance of the council. The handling of several important proposals has shown that the Conservative Leader and his Executive have failed to provide clear and effective management.

“The suggested relocation of the bus station to the Bedford Road site and the likely closure of the Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra are two recent examples of proposals that have not been fully thought through before decisions were recommended. In the case of the bus station, Councillor Rooth and his Executive swiftly back-tracked in the face of huge public anger, and agreed to reconsider. This is no way to run a council.

“Guildford residents have the right to expect that the leader of the Council will provide competent leadership in consultation with his fellow councillors. We hope that  Councillor Rooth’s successor will provide that.”

From Cllr Angela Gunning, Labour Group Leader

“Tony Rooth has been conscientious in the difficult role of Leader, but a new Council Leader must bring change to Guildford Council. The Labour Group expect to see positive change, with a real leader with vision, original ideas and energy. We want to see more proactive engagement with all councillors, taking the opportunity to listen, and offer new ways to encourage participation of both back-bench councillors and the public.”

From Dr Mary Alexander, Local Historian and ex GBC Employee

“A change of leadership is probably a good thing because the way GBC has been run seems to be at odds with what a lot of people in the town think.  The low morale among the hard-working and long-suffering staff is caused by a management style which comes from the top.  If that style changes, that will be a good thing for the staff and for the reputation of GBC.”

From  Bernard Parke, Hon Alderman
“I am sorry that we do not now have a council leader that lives in central Guildford, and in doing so knows at first hand the problems that we experience from not having our own Town Council as Godalming, Farnham and Haslemere. Even the villages have their own councils.

“I hope the next leader comes from a town centre ward but whoever it is, I wish them every success at a very trying time in the history of our town.”

What is your view? Was it right for Cllr Rooth to resign? Will his resignation make any difference? Have your say, use the ‘Leave a Reply’ feature below to give your comment. A full name must be given but email addresses are not published or shared.

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Responses to Reaction to Council Leader’s Resignation

  1. Gordon Bridger, Hon Alderman

    September 22, 2012 at 10:42 am

    This has been the greatest debacle in the past 40 years of governance of Guildford. Tony Rooth is to be thanked for tendering his resignation and for his years of proper service to the borough. One assumes that the Chief Executive, who must also assume some responsibility for this appalling disaster, would naturally tender his resignation too.

    One hopes that councillors will now insist that staff morale be restored, and banish the Executive system and revert to the Committee system, which will enable them all to play a useful part in the proper operation of the council.

    One would also hope that they review the way planning decisions are made, and offer consultations with concerned organisations, such as the Guildford Society and Guildford Vision Group, on producing a comprehensive plan for the borough.