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A New Leader

14th October 2022


Cllr Julia McShane was elected as the new Leader of the Council at a Full Council meeting on 11th October. The change of leadership was part of our planned co-operative approach to run the Council, which is now in its fourth year since the borough elections in 2019. Councillor McShane will remain as Leader until the next Borough Council elections in May 2023.

The Executive still includes four councillors from the Liberal Democrat group and four from the Residents for Guildford and Villages group. The current approach also reflects the many shared priorities of these two groups. 

Cllr Joss Bigmore resigned as Leader at a meeting of the Executive on 22 September to enable the change. The move maximises the strengths of the partnership in serving the borough. Since Cllr Bigmore’s resignation the Deputy Leader, Cllr Julia McShane has been Acting Leader.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Julia McShane said: 

“It is both an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to lead Guildford Borough Council. As we move into the final phase of our joint administration we will continue to focus and prioritise residents’ needs. Many people are facing financial challenges in this cost-of-living crisis. We will provide as much help and support as we can to all those who are or may be affected. 

“We are also progressing our common aspiration of tackling climate change. We continue to work hard together to deliver what our residents want and deserve. 

“I am very fortunate to have a strong Executive team of Lib Dem and R4GV councillors. This team is well supported by excellent officers. We will continue to work together to deliver the outcomes that the residents of this Borough deserve.”  

Newly appointed Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Joss Bigmore said:  

“Another successful year of working as a joint Executive has come to a close. We have faced unique challenges and made great moves towards achieving our joint goals.

“A handover like this is unusual in local government but our parties are committed to delivering this new approach to politics. 

“I wish Cllr McShane all the best as Leader. We have a fantastic and committed team of officers at Guildford and I look forward to continuing to work with them, Cllr McShane and the Lib Dems as part of the shared Lib Dem – R4GV Executive.”

The Executive and their Portfolios: 

• Resources Cllr Tim Anderson (R4GV) 

• Economy Cllr John Redpath (R4GV) 

• Regeneration Cllr John Rigg (R4GV) 

• Environment Cllr James Steel (Lib Dem) 

• Development Management Cllr Tom Hunt (Lib Dem) 

• Climate Change Cllr Cait Taylor (Lib Dem) 

• Governance Cllr Joss Bigmore (R4GV) 

• Housing and Community Cllr Julia McShane (Lib Dem)  

For full details on the Executive portfolios visit: