Caroline Reeves, the leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at Guildford Borough Council, has explained this morning (May 20) why she mounted a leadership challenge to the Tory group leader Stephen Mansbridge.
Known to be sympathetic to several aspects of Cllr Mansbridge’s thinking on the Local Plan, including development of some green belt land, Cllr Reeve’s motivation came from the disquiet over the council leader’s “lack of judgement” following the revelations in the case of former councillor Monika Juneja who has pleaded guilty to five criminal charges at the Old Bailey and awaits sentencing.
Cllr Reeves said: “As the opposition party on the council, we were unable to support Stephen Mansbridge as leader because this authority has been tainted by his lack of judgement.
“While we acknowledge that there has been good work done, we are now in the position of all being judged based on the failings of one person. With such a large majority for the ruling party, we were aware that the challenge was unlikely to succeed, but felt that the statement had to be made.
“We have important and difficult work ahead of us, we need to start the new municipal year as we mean to go on, with honesty and integrity restored. I welcome Cllr Spooner as the lead member for the Local Plan and the vital town centre planning issues ahead of us and look forward to the next stages in the process.”