A Guildford Borough Council (GBC) by-election is to be called in Lovelace ward following the death of Cllr John Garrett on July 26th.
In a press release a GBC spokesperson wrote: “We have now received two letters from Lovelace ward electors requesting an election.
“We will publish the Notice of Election on 20 August and the election will take place on Thursday 25 September.”
The by-election is likely to be contentious. Strong feelings exist within the ward, that includes Wisley, Ockham and Ripley, over proposals included in the Draft Local Plan to allow the development of certain areas of green belt and removing green belt classification from some villages. And there is also a proposal for a whole new settlement, up to 2100 homes, at the former Wisley airfield.
There is uncertainty about which groups will be represented by range of candidates to be nominated. A candidate from each of the three main political parties is expected and Ukip may wish to stand in the wake of the European election success.
But the big question for local political observers and local electors alike is whether the Guildford Greenbelt Group will field their own candidate or throw their support behind one particular candidate – perhaps an independent.
The council statement concluded: “For more information about standing as a candidate or voting in Lovelace – please contact our Electoral Services team on 01483 444115.”
Political reactions to the announcement have been sought and will be published as they are obtained.