PRESS RELEASE: Lib Dem and R4GV coalition release details of their agreement

October 1, 2020 11:07 AM

The last local elections in Guildford returned Liberal Democrats and R4GV councillors in almost equal numbers, 17 and 15 respectively with the one Green Party councillor voting with R4GV, as part of a council where no one grouping could come close to overall control.

The election result was a clear message from the people of the borough that they wanted a different, more collaborative style of politics at Guildford Borough Council.

Following the elections an Executive was formed containing both Lib Dem and R4GV councillors. After a year of working together our parties decided to negotiate an agreement to create a formal coalition administration to achieve our shared goals, giving the Borough a stable Leadership team throughout the full term of this administration.

Both our groups have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) drafted with the assistance of the Local Government Association (LGA) to agree the details of how the coalition administration will operate, and the full text of the MOU has been published on both of our websites.

The key features of the MOU are as follows:

  • A balanced Executive, featuring equal representation from both parties
  • A rotating Leadership, with each party holding the Leadership for two out of the four years of this council term
  • A rotating Deputy Leadership, held by whichever party does not currently hold the Leadership
  • Each party to choose which of its councillors serve on the Executive

In keeping with the MOU, and due to a delay caused by the need to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Liberal Democrats have now formally rotated the council Leadership to R4GV, with Cllr Caroline Reeves standing down as Leader to allow Cllr Joss Bigmore to be elected Leader at the next full Council meeting, where he will be supported by both parties.

Under the terms of the MOU, Cllr Caroline Reeves will then be appointed Deputy Leader, and the Leadership itself will be rotated back to the Liberal Democrats in October 2022, at which point the Deputy Leadership will be rotated back to R4GV.