Fringe Box



Reaction to the News Of Council Leader’s Resignation

Published on: 19 Oct, 2015
Updated on: 21 Oct, 2015
Cllr Stephen Mansbridge

Stephen Mansbridge

Here is some of the reaction to this morning’s news that the leader of Guildford Borough Council (GBC), Stephen Mansbridge has resigned.

Julian Lyon, chairman of the Guildford Society: “On behalf of the Guildford Society, we are shocked by Stephen Mansbridge’s sudden departure.

“We will miss his strong leadership which has aimed to protect and enhance Guildford’s historic heart whilst tackling so many other issues.  Guildford, town and borough, is in challenging times with the need to resolve housing numbers for the Local Plan, and to settle and formalise the Town Centre Masterplan.

“We thank Stephen for his forthright leadership and commiserate with him and his family on the recent loss of his mother. We hope he will take the time to reflect on his achievements as well as his battles over the past three years.”

Cllr Angela Gunning, (Lab, Stoke):  “Stephen did the right thing by resigning.

“Even though his energy and enthusiasm brought many good things to Guildford, his lack of judgement in his support of the disgraced former Cllr Juneja and secret involvement with the petition for a directly elected mayor betrayed the trust and support he had from his colleagues on the council.

“It is a sad day for Guildford, and for him too.”

Cllr Caroline Reeves, (Lib Dem Friary and St Nicolas) and leader of the opposition at GBC: “The leadership of Stephen Mansbridge has brought the borough council into increasingly widespread disrepute. The Liberal Democrats welcome his belated decision to depart.

“ ‘Did he jump or was he pushed?’ springs to mind. The many issues chasing Stephen Mansbridge may have finally caught up with him – perhaps even the Tory group have had enough. It seems unlikely that the governance issue was the real reason, when this has been on the council agenda for the last year and was supported by all other Conservative councillors.

“Issues which have haunted Stephen Mansbridge, and therefore the whole council, have done nothing to show openness and transparency. His support for the discredited Monika Juneja and the rumours that continue to swirl, including the latest revelations about the mayoral petition, seem to have brought about his downfall.

“Any positives from his leadership are far outweighed by the constant revelations that challenge his integrity and honesty.

“We now await a decision from the Conservative group as to who will take the leadership, and hope they will chose carefully so that confidence and trust in the council can be rebuilt.”

Cllr Nigel Manning (Con, Ash Vale) says: “I would like to thank Stephen for all the hard work he has done for the group and the council in providing clear leadership through difficult times. As leader of the council, it is business as usual and we will continue to provide clear direction and excellent council services for Guildford’s residents.”

Cllr Susan Parker (GGG, Send) leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group: “I think this was the appropriate course of action for Stephen Mansbridge to take in the circumstances.

“I hope that the Tory party selects a new leader, who will become council leader because of the Tory majority, who will listen to all the people of Guildford.

“Under that new council leader I hope Guildford will not continue to follow the set “trajectory”, in Stephen Mansbridge’s phrase. Local planning has so far ignored public consultation, apparently to impose a predetermined course of action.  We need fundamental change in Guildford’s politics.

“We look forward to the by-election in Ash South and Tongham.  We will challenge Guildford’s high housing targets. We want to prevent unrestricted urban sprawl. GGG will be standing to protect all our countryside and environment.”

Sue Sturgeon, Managing Director, says:  “This is unexpected and sad news. My clear message to everyone, including our partners, is that it will be business as usual. We have a very ambitious agenda, which the council agreed in the Corporate Plan.”

George Dokimakis, secretary of Guildford Labour Party: “First and foremost my condolences to Stephen for his loss [his mother died on Saturday].

“At the end, former Cllr Mansbridge did the right thing by resigning. He demonstrated an exceptional lack of judgement for a councillor, and especially a leader of the Executive, by supporting an action that went directly against the decision of the GBC.

“I hope now that the Conservative party that has the majority of seats can recognise and accept what has happened and try to repair the damage to GBC this has done.”

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Responses to Reaction to the News Of Council Leader’s Resignation

  1. Peter Elliott Reply

    October 19, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Let’s hope that the councillors, when they vote for a new leader, will show better judgement than they did last time, and go for a fresh start, choosing someone untainted by connection with the previous leader.

    Let’s also hope we can look forward to an end to any bullying tactics in the council, and the new leader will uphold the Nolan standards of integrity, fairness and openness, and restore confidence in our local government.

  2. Michael Bruton Reply

    October 19, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Other than the expected tribute from one Conservative councillor in Guildford – where is the flood of immediate support from other Tory Councillors?

    Why no comment as yet from Anne Milton MP? She is not normally given to silence.

  3. Christopher Barrass Reply

    October 20, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    It is time for us to have a new Council Leader who recognises that Guildford Borough Council is elected and maintained by the residents of Guildford and its surrounding villages, and not by developers, investors, government and political parties who see Surrey as a great place to wring money from.

    We are tired of having a council which ploughs ahead with its own agenda and refuses to listen or act on what its residents ask for.

    Yes, it is a hackneyed point, but we do actually pay their allowances and expenses to represent us, the council tax payers.

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