New appointment strengthens Council's Lib Dem Executive

9 Jan 2024
GBC Leader Cllr Julia McShane

Guildford Borough Council Leader, Julia McShane, has announced a change to her administration’s Executive by appointing Cllr Fiona White to take up the Planning Portfolio, previously held by Cllr George Potter, who also has responsibility for the Environment and Climate Change Portfolio.

Council Leader Julia McShane, welcoming Cllr White to the Executive noted:

"In recent months we have completed the review of the Local Plan well in advance of the April 2024 deadline and I would like to thank Cllr Potter for overseeing this review and to thank councillors on the cross-party Planning Policy Board for contributing to the process.

"It has become clear that the Local Plan needs to be updated and with the volume of work this will entail I have decided to bring on to the Executive a portfolio holder who can focus exclusively on planning and the Local Plan update process. This is a key priority of our administration and of the council.

I am very grateful that Cllr Fiona White, Chair of the Planning Committee for many years and with a wealth of planning expertise, has agreed to take on this portfolio. I would also like to pay tribute to Cllr George Potter who took on a large portfolio in May, including Planning, and who has helped get the Planning Portfolio to the strong position it is in today."

New Planning Portfolio Holder, Fiona White added:

"In my role as Chair of the Planning Committee I have always been aware of the importance of the policies set out in our local plan. We are now required to update that plan and it is important that we involve fellow councillors of all parties and residents across the whole of Guildford Borough while working within the policies and regulations laid down by central government. I am very grateful to Cllr George Potter for all his work in the planning portfolio which will give us a strong starting position to work from. I am looking forward to the challenge."

Outgoing Portfolio Holder, George Potter, handing over the baton to his colleague, added:

“I am incredibly grateful to all the officers in the planning team, including in policy, development management and enforcement, for their excellent work over the past few months. Thanks to their hard work we have navigated several challenging major planning applications, are continuing to deal with enforcement issues, and have completed the review of the Local Plan. As we prepare to start updating the Local Plan I am extremely glad we have someone with the experience and dedication of Cllr Fiona White to oversee the process.”

Cllr George Potter will continue to hold the Environment and Climate Change Portfolio on the Executive.