Guildford Borough Councillors Back Liberal Democrat Leadership Following Attempted Conservative Vote of No Confidence

11 Oct 2023

At a meeting of Guildford Borough Council last night councillors voted by a large margin to endorse the leadership of the Liberal Democrats and Council Leader Julia McShane.

A motion of no confidence, brought by the Conservatives, was defeated 24 to 15 with councillors from other parties joining forces with the Lib Dems to back Julia McShane’s leadership and to endorse the council's updated financial recovery plan. As part of the debate councillors warned that residents wanted to see their representatives focusing on the issues that mattered instead of political showboating.

Commenting after the meeting Liberal Democrat council leader Julia McShane said:

"I would like to thank colleagues across the chamber for their support and I would also like to thank all of those who have contacted me over the past few days to offer their support including councillors, former councillors, residents, and people from various local organisations who I've had the privilege of working with since I've been elected.

"The Liberal Democrat administration will be carrying on with working for residents and providing stable, dedicated leadership in tackling the challenges facing the council.

"In May’s elections, local people gave the Liberal Democrats a clear mandate to get the finances in order and make our borough a fairer, greener and thriving place to live and work for all our communities. We are delivering on that mandate and, although we will always listen to constructive criticism, we will not allow ourselves to be distracted from our determined focus on prioritising what is right for the residents who the council exists to serve."

Other items discussed at the meeting included the appointment of a Returning Officer and the borough's Honorary Recorder.

Councillors heard that the council's chief finance officer was satisfied that there was no need to issue a section 114 notice (often described as a 'bankruptcy notice') at this point, and councillors voted by a three to one margin to endorse the updated financial recovery plan.

Councillors also voted 33 to 9 against a Conservative motion to end the sharing of senior staff between Guildford and Waverley borough councils.


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