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Reactions to New Executive Announcement

Published on: 20 May, 2019
Updated on: 21 May, 2019

The Guildford Dragon sought the reactions from other political parties to this morning’s announcement of the new Executive, appointed by the new council leader Caroline Reeves (Lib Dem, Friary & St Nicolas).

Cllr Joss Bigmore

Joss Bigmore of the Residents for Guildford and Villages (Christchurch) said: “R4GV are pleased that Cllr Reeves has offered us representation on her Executive.  Whilst the number of seats falls short of our expectations and indeed those of our supporters we have decided to accept Cllr Reeves offer and work collaboratively for a better Guildford.

“The other choice was to sit in opposition but we campaigned on positive change and, staying true to that vision, we are going to work with all parties to deliver the bright future Guildford deserves.

“We have been given assurances by Cllrs Reeves and White that this Executive is not set in stone for four years. I expect to see more of our talented R4GV councillors in Executive roles as this administration matures.”

Cllr Susan Parker

Earlier, Susan Parker the leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group earlier said: “We welcome this opportunity to contribute to an exciting, inclusive vision for Guildford. Cllr Reeves has already shown since her election as leader that she is willing to embrace new ideas and be imaginative, welcoming and flexible.

“This new administration provides real hope for the future. I think it represents the cross-party administration for which the people of Guildford voted.

“Caroline has already stated her aims of focusing (among a number of other issues) on climate change and reviewing our options with regard to the Local Plan. We can get a greener vision for Guildford now. I am really looking forward to working in this administration and helping to protect Guildford’s environment from within the Executive.”

Cllr James Walsh

In a letter Labour councillor James Walsh wrote: “A brave choice by Caroline Reeves, and a magnanimous one to include three opposition councillors [including John Rigg, who is not a full member and has no voting right] in her cabinet.

“With politics seemingly defined by division nationally, this appears to be a move towards pulling together the “town and country” gap here in Guildford, and that in itself is a good thing.

“Good too to have a balanced Executive, with a range of experience and gender equality.

“As one of the two remaining opposition parties on the council, we will play our part accordingly, supportive where policies are best for our residents and the borough as a whole, and shining a light where things need to be rethought or reconsidered.

“Time now to move on from the May 2 election and the subsequent horsetrading, and time to get on with business.”

Cllr Walsh’s party colleague and spokesman, Brian Creese added: “With more women and several younger members, this new Lib Dem dominated Executive represents a welcome change for Guildford.

“However, Labour, Green and Conservatives representatives are ignored in favour of the two residents groups, perhaps a little puzzling given their strident opposition to the Local Plan which the Lib Dems have supported.

“Presumably, this is payback for the unofficial arrangements agreed between the Lib Dems and the Residents for Guildford and Villages which saw the two parties agree to not oppose each other in certain seats. It will be interesting to see for how long this Executive can remain united in the face of tough decisions to come. Nonetheless, Guildford Labour looks forward to working with all the new councillors.”

A senior Lib Dem source told The Dragon that their had been no agreement between the Lib Dems and the Independent parties about where their candidates would stand however it might have appeared.

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test 2 Responses to Reactions to New Executive Announcement

  1. Martin Dowland Reply

    May 22, 2019 at 9:26 am

    It was the Labour group that voted to support the Conservative Local Plan, not most of the Lib Dems, in fact, the majority were against it. The Labour Group comprises only two councillors so does not have the popularity nor, judging from the comment the level of responsibility to be on the Executive.

  2. David Roberts Reply

    May 22, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Mr Creese’s comment is puzzling. Cllr Gunning (Lab.) has been strident in support of the Local Plan, not against it.

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