Currently, as noted on the Previous Election Results post, the Conservative party have a strong majority on both the Guildford Borough Council and Surrey County Council. They control 70% and 71% of the seats on the Councils respectively. In our opinion this isn’t healthy. Not because of their policy position (we’re generally neutral on policy) but because an opposition is important. For proper control the Conservatives only require 51% of the Councillors and as such it is Policy Guildford’s position that other parties need to win seats back to reduce the majority so that there can be a strong and proper opposition while not stopping the Council from running and allowing them to continue making progress and decisions which is less easy in a minority position.

Now onto why an opposition is a good thing. An opposition provide scrutiny for what the Council does and holds it to account when mistakes are made. With a weak opposition this is difficult because even if one or two Conservative Councillors decide they don’t agree with the Council position it doesn’t make any difference and the Council decision is carried on. An opposition won’t oppose things that are good but will make sure a Council does the right things as it can potentially persuade members of the majority party who aren’t entirely behind what the Council are doing.

In essence a stronger opposition allows for the Council to be held to account with actual consequences. Ideally an opposition would be formed on one party as seen in Westminster with Labour filling the role of the Official Opposition however if multiple parties could agree that something was bad it could easily hold the Council to account if it had an effective minority of 40-49% assuming the Council keeps their majority.

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