Former councillor’s ‘elected mayor’ petition sent to Guildford Borough Council 

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If there are enough signatures, a referendum could be held asking whether the council should have an elected mayor

Monica Juneja, Guildford's lead councillor for planning and governance

The petition is believed to be the one organised by former councillor Monica Juneja

A petition, thought to be the one launched by a former councillor due to be sentenced on fraud offences, calling for an elected mayor, has been sent to Guildford Borough Council

Monika Juneja, who earlier this month pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery, one of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, and one of pretending to be a barrister, created the petition, which was collecting signatures outside of polling stations on election day.

The petition asks for a referendum on ‘whether the council should be run in a different way by a mayor who is elected by voters for the area which the council serves’.

A spokesman for Guildford Borough Council, said: “We have received a petition that calls for a public referendum to decide whether the borough should move to a governance model with a directly elected mayor.

“The petition needs to meet the necessary legal requirements before a referendum is triggered.

“We are currently validating each entry to make sure that all of the petitioners are on the electoral register.

“A valid petition needs at least five per cent of local electors, which is 5,012. This validation must be completed by Wednesday 17 June 2015.”

The council said that if there are enough names and the petition is held to be valid, a referendum will be held across the borough within the next six months.

“If there are not enough valid signatures, any valid names on the petition will remain so for 12 months from the date of signing,” the spokesman said.

“The petition organisers will have the opportunity to continue to collect and submit further signatures.

“The role of a directly elected mayor is different from the current ceremonial mayor of Guildford.

“A directly elected mayor would have wide ranging decision-making powers.”

Ms Juneja is due to be sentenced for her forgery offences at the Old Bailey on June 15.