Fringe Box



New Council Leader Sets Out His Way Forward

Published on: 11 Oct, 2012
Updated on: 15 Oct, 2012

New Council Leader Stephen Mansbridge in the council chamber this evening

Following his formal election this evening (October 11) as Council Leader for Guildford Borough Council, Stephen Mansbridge spoke exclusively to the Guildford Dragon NEWS to describe his programme and plans for the remainder of this term.


Leadership of Guildford Borough Council will be councillor led and very clear. That is the way that the new Executive will move the Council forward. This is the agreed Conservative Group view.


We are very fortunate in the financial position we already have. We need to do two things: husband our resources carefully so we absolutely protect our front-line and customer services; and, on the other hand, invest our assets carefully to get a better return than the banks can offer.

But we cannot reduce our voluntary grants that are used for the disadvantaged or the vulnerable.

Relationship with Surrey County Council

We will follow a simple line, we want to grow and improve our relationships to deliver more and bigger joint venture projects, particularly focussed on infrastructure and the relief of traffic congestion.


In all that we do going forward, we will ensure that our level of engagement with the people of Guildford is of the highest standard, that we use funds carefully, and make the effort to really understand what people want before we commit to actions.


Legislation from central government is such that if we do not provide for the travelling communities then we will be forced into a position where we don’t want to be. Our residents need to accept this is a conundrum that has to be resolved. It is our duty to provide sites for the travelling communities in the same way we provide social housing.


The Olympic legacy ushers in a golden era for promoting sport and leisure activities in the Borough. The continuing prospect of having the Tour of Britain cycle race and the possibility of more and bigger events needs to be fostered and promoted.

Culture Arts and Heritage

In all that we do we must never forget the long and fascinating history of our Borough, the varied and vibrant arts communities, and our strong cultural roots. Whilst we will always face financial challenges we need to be mindful that it is these things that makes Guildford what it is. We do not want to neglect them.


There is now a changed administration which is moving the GBC agenda forward and it wants to do so mindful of the views of all our residents but also mindful of the significant challenges that lie ahead of us: the fragile economy; traffic congestion and the need not to suffocate our retail and business communities. We want to encourage a climate whereby all residents feel that it is special to live in their county town of Guildford.

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