Fringe Box



The Borough Council Election – Ward by Ward Analysis Part 3 – Pilgrims to Stoke

Published on: 17 Apr, 2023
Updated on: 18 Apr, 2023

By Martin Giles

This is the third article in a four-part series.

The result of a Guildford Borough Council election has never been so uncertain and votes are likely to count more than ever before.

See other articles in this series here

After decades of dominance by the Conservative Party, with occasional interludes of Lib Dem or no overall control a new party, the Residents for Guildford & Villages, smashed their way into the duopoly, pushing aside the Tories, to eventually share power with the Lib Dems.

But this was not a match made in heaven and there have been many falling outs which, as time progressed, became more and more public.

The big question now is can the independent parties R4GV and GGG (Guildford Greenbelt Group), with their partial election pact, hold their ground or even increase their presence at the borough council after the election on May 4? R4GV’s failure to review the Local Plan, and its support for controversial town centre developments, might count against it, aggravated by the “Battle for Guildford” video circulating on social media.

And would returning to sole control by the national parties improve things? Would more voters get council policies they would support?

Conservatives are campaigning against a national background of anti-Tory sentiment following “Partygate” and the disastrous Liz Truss premiership. And given their track record locally, will their new town centre “preservation” policy have credibility and attract support or will voters still hold the Local Plan controversy against them?

Nationally the Labour Party are riding high in the polls but will that translate into even a modest increase in the number of seats they win in Guildford borough?

And can the Lib Dems clean up simply by being none of the above even if their planning policy is unclear and their ambition to build 3,000 council houses still unrealistic?

GBC’s new 2023 ward boundaries with the number of seats for each ward shown.

Ward-by-ward analysis:


The corresponding 2019 results but Pilgrims ward now incorporates Tongham.

Conservative Matt Furniss is looking to make a comeback onto GBC if he can take one of the two seats in the enlarged ward which now encompasses Tongham. He has made no friends with his handling of some issues in his role as lead county councillor for Transport, most recently over the plans for new cycle lanes in Burpham.

But Furniss has a thick skin to go with his ambition and determination and with the almost certain departure of Tory group leader Paul Spooner, Furniss might feel opportunity knocks. Sallie Barker the chair of the Guildford Conservative Association will hope she can make it a Tory double whammy.

The ward would normally be true blue and is largely unthreatened by the Local Plan. But, perhaps enjoying some personal support, former Conservative Tony Rooth, who is stepping down, won in 2019 as a R4GV candidate. Their candidates will be hoping that success can be repeated.


Sallie Anne Barker – Conservative Party
Toni Belcher – Residents for Guildford and Villages
Matt ​​Furniss – Conservative Party
Malcolm Piers Hill – Labour Party
Stephen Philip Mallet – Liberal Democrats
John Richard Price – Residents for Guildford and Villages
Amy Maude Rogers – Liberal Democrats

Send & Lovelace (three seats)

The 2019 result in Send

The 2019 result in Lovelace

In 2014 there was a political earthquake in Lovelace ward when Colin Cross, then a lib Dem, overturned a massive Tory majority to win what had been the safest Tory ward in the borough. Since then he retained the seat twice, the last time as a member of R4GV.

A convincing win for GGG in the 2021 by-election

Tories also lost out in Send in 2015 when two GGG members were elected. The reason for the Tory losses in both the former wards, now united, was the Local Plan and anti-Conservative sentiment is likely to make GGG candidates favourite; just look at their 2019 majorities.

In a by-election held in 2021, following the sad death of Patrick Sheard, Guida Esteves easily held on for GGG but the Conservative vote did increase, perhaps surprisingly.

Bizarrely, despite their electoral pact R4GV and GGG could not agree who would stand down here to avoid splitting the independent vote, so between them they have four candidates fighting for three seats. With a R4GV candidate also standing, could a split vote let in a Lib Dem whose party didn’t even stand in Send in 2019?


Basil Kais Bahrani – Liberal Democrats
Jordan James Baker – Labour Party
Pete Bennett – Residents for Guildford and Villages
James Anthony Brooker – Guildford Greenbelt Group
Jason Michael Fenwick – Guildford Greenbelt Group
Anna Elizabeth Griffiths – The Conservative Party
Duncan Stevenson Mcmillan – Liberal Democrats
Dale Margaret Miller – Liberal Democrats
Justin Phillip Andrew Offord – The Conservative Party
Pat Oven – Guildford Greenbelt Group
Geraldine Lindsay Powell – Residents for Guildford and Villages
Alexander Stewart-Clark – The Conservative Party
Rob Woof – Labour Party


The corresponding 2019 results but ward boundaries may have changed.

The Conservatives lost their borough council seats here in 2019 when two independent party candidates, one from R4GV and one from GGG, were victorious. [It was previously incorrectly stated that Matt Furniss lost his seat here in 2019. In fact, he lost his Christchurch ward seat then. Apologies for our error.]

But will the better-resourced Conservative and Lib Dem campaign machines recover lost ground? The Conservatives used to regularly win the seats and in 2011 the Lib Dems were runners-up.

Could be tight. Losing Ramsey Nagaty would be a body blow for GGG.


Jonathan Fremaux – Conservative Party
Catherine Susan Houston – Liberal Democrats
Nigel Roy Keane – Guildford Greenbelt Group
Peter Edmund Lockhart – Labour Party
Ramsey Nagaty – Guildford Greenbelt Group
Nicholas James Watts – Conservative Party
Dominique Louise Williams – Liberal Democrats

St Nicolas (one seat)

The nearest corresponding 2019 result. St Nicolas previously formed part of the Friary & St Nicolas ward

This new single-seat ward use to form part of the three seat friary & St Nicolas Ward but was always different in character is more suburban than urban. The big question is whether R4GV candidate Nikki Ackerley can increase her party’s share of the vote to defeat the Lib Dem candidate Tom Hunt who lives in the ward. Normally one would expect a strong Conservative showing and perhaps there will be.


Nikki Ackerley – Residents for Guildford and Villages
Marisa Roxanne Goldsborough – The Conservative Party
Tom Hunt – Liberal Democrats
Chris Pegman – Labour Party

Stoke (three seats)

The nearest corresponding 2019 result. The new Stoke ward takes most of its territory from the old Friary & St Nicolas ward

Labour must sniff an opportunity in this ward, largely made up of the northern part of the former Friary & St Nicolas ward. They are fielding two of their heavyweights Brian Creese and Sue Hackman.

But surely the Lib Dems will be favourite even though only one, Cait Taylor, has any experience as a councillor. In fact, in this fight she might be the only candidate from any party with any experience as a councillor.

R4GV would dearly love to get the capable Julian Lyon elected. As with some other wards, the plethora of candidates increases uncertainty. Small numbers of votes could win or lose the election here where the Green Party are also entering the fray.


Brian Jeffrey Creese – Labour Party
Sue Hackman – Labour Party
Stephen James Hives – Liberal Democrats
Annelize Kidd – Residents for Guildford and Villages
Vanessa Louise King – Liberal Democrats
Harriet Jane Kittermaster – Labour Party
Arjun Raj Lakhani – Residents for Guildford and Villages
Julian David Sinclair Lyon – Residents for Guildford and Villages
Sam Elliot Cordero Peters – Green Party
Cait Lucy Taylor – Liberal Democrats
Sam Tough – Conservative Party
Brett Eamonn Edward Vorley – Conservative Party
Stuart Zissman – Conservative Party

Next: Stoughton North, Stoughton South, Tillingbourne, Westborough and Worplesdon

See other articles in this series here

Share This Post

Responses to The Borough Council Election – Ward by Ward Analysis Part 3 – Pilgrims to Stoke

  1. Nigel Keane Reply

    April 19, 2023 at 11:41 pm

    I have been a parish councillor for Shalford, Peasmarsh and Chilworth Community Council (SPCCC) for eight years.

    I have decided to stand as a Guildford Greenbelt Group(GGG) Candidate for the Shalford Ward of Guildford Borough Council alongside Ramsey Nagaty the existing GGG Councillor as GGG is a LOCAL party supporting my views, NOT a National one directed by Westminster. GGG policies are directly linked towards supporting Guildford and our villages.

    The only party literature within the area that I have seen, apart from that of GGG, is from the Liberal Democrats (LD) who have recently appeared at our parish council meetings. All of their pamphlets highlight that they are fighting the Conservatives for control of Guildford, There is no mention of the fact that they have been in power here in Guildford for the last four years!

    It is clearly apparent that the election literature has been designed by the Lib Dem Central Office, highlighting a future Parliamentary battle which is not relevant to the local issues here in Shalford Ward. They have also claimed to take the initiative in policies such as local litter pickups which have actually been organised by our parish clerk and councillors for the last eight years, not the Lib Dems who suddenly appeared at the recent clear up for the first time!

    There is no Lib Dem battle with the Conservatives here in Shalford where the two current councillors are from the local parties, GGG and R4GV. They have worked hard to ensure that Shalford Ward has not had the overdevelopment that has blighted other areas of the borough.

    Ramsey Nagaty has worked hard to get Air Quality Management Areas declared in both Shalford and Compton where the large number of HGVs using the local roads as shortcuts has caused serious problems and still needs more work post-Covid.

    GGG has highlighted that the housing need figures for Guildford Borough were overstated and wrong, the Office for National Statistics have now confirmed that this is so.

    GGG has had two councillors on the Surrey Hills Boards, views from Shalford Green have been protected as far as possible and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) extensions will include more of Shalford including Chinthurst Hill. Cllr Nagaty, our current GBC GGG councillor, is working with SPCCC and Surrey County Council (SCC) including SCC Cllr Matt Furniss the SCC lead responsible for roads management and traffic calming measures, including 20mph zones.

    I believe that we should keep national politics out of Local Government and work for the good of the community.

    Please vote for GGG to achieve this aim.

    Nigel Keane is the GGG candidate for Shalford in the forthcoming GBC election.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    April 21, 2023 at 9:00 pm

    Spot on Nigel. I hope you make it through, as you will evidently be a worthy representative in our borough.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *