Borough of Guildford

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Fortiter et Fideliter
(Latin: Bravely and faithfully)
Guildford shown within Surrey
Guildford shown within Surrey
Coordinates: 51°14′46″N 0°33′07″W / 51.246°N 0.552°W / 51.246; -0.552Coordinates: 51°14′46″N 0°33′07″W / 51.246°N 0.552°W / 51.246; -0.552
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
RegionSouth East England
Ceremonial county Surrey
Established1 April 1974
Administrative HQGuildford (Millmead House)
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district
 • BodyGuildford Borough Council
 • LeadershipLeader and cabinet
 • ExecutiveLiberal Democrats (council NOC)
 • LeaderTBC
 • MayorRichard Billington
 • MPsPaul Beresford (Mole Valley[n 1])
Michael Gove (Surrey Heath)
Jonathan Lord (Woking)
Anne Milton (Guildford)
 • Total104.6 sq mi (270.9 km2)
Area rank144th
 (mid-2018 est.)
 • Total147,889
 • Rank142nd
 • Density1,410/sq mi (545/km2)
 • Ethnicity
93.5% White
2.1% S.Asian
1.3% Black
1.3% Mixed Race
1.7% Chinese or Other
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
ONS code43UD (ONS)
E07000209 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTQ0105550700

The Borough of Guildford is a local government district with borough status in Surrey, England. With around half of the borough's population, Guildford is its largest settlement and only town, and is the location of the council.

The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972 by an amalgamation of the municipal borough of Guildford and Guildford Rural District.


Borough councillors and officers work on devolved issues such as parks, leisure, older residents' services, youth services, streetscene, refuse collection, planning and aspects of business and tourism;[1] Surrey County Council deal with transport, publicly owned infrastructure planning and maintenance, education, social services and overall waste management; the Borough owns significant heritage assets that include monuments such as Guildford Castle, as well museums, art collections and civic regalia.[2]


Guildford has the second largest population of Surrey's eleven districts (based on census statistics, only 600 residents behind Reigate and Banstead).[3] Approximately half of the Borough’s population live in the town of Guildford.


To the year ending 31 March 2012, £106.629m was received by Guildford Borough Council, plus £7.43m from its financing/investment arm, plus £17.571m in other taxation and non-specific grants.[2]

A large wholly exceptional overspend resulted from Guildford acquiring from central UK government all self-financing rights over housing for £192.435m, otherwise spending amounted to £136.778m. Of this spending the largest item was non-Local Authority housing benefits and services amounting to £33.93m however accounting for £32.74m of income. The largest item producing a net cost was Environmental and Regulatory Services costing £16.643m while contributing £6.861m. Spending on this item fell by 2.63% compared to the 2010-2011 period.[2]

Housing owned by the Borough[edit]

Housing stock owned by Guildford Borough Council is valued, as securely tenanted at £359.316m as at 1 April 2012.

If all of the housing stock were sold untenanted, or to present occupants at full value, then the correct value at that date was £995 million.[2]


Of the eleven Surrey districts, Guildford has the third-lowest Band-D council tax for 2012-13 and fourth-lowest average overall council tax (the level of difference is a reflection on an area's skew as to higher band properties).[4]


Guildford Borough Council
Founded1 April 1974
Leader of the Council
Cllr Caroline Reeves, Liberal Democrats
Cllr Richard Billington
Seats48 councillors
Political groups
     Liberal Democrats (17)
     R4GV (15)
     Conservative (9)
     GGG (4)
     Labour (2)
     Green (1)
Length of term
4 years
Last election
2 May 2019

Borough elections take place for the whole council on a four-year basis.

2 May 2019 saw the most recent cross-borough election that produced 17 Liberal Democrat seats, 15 Residents for Guildford and Villages (R4GV) seats, 9 Conservative seats, 4 Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG) seats, 2 Labour seats and 1 Green seat on the borough council. Following the election the Green councillor chose to sit on the council as part of the R4GV group.

On 15 May 2019 councillors voted by 23 to 19 to elect the Liberal Democrat group leader, Caroline Reeves, as Leader of Guildford Borough Council over the leader of the R4GV group, Joss Bigmore. On 20 May 2019 Caroline Reeves announced that (including herself) the council's Cabinet would consist of 8 Liberal Democrats, 1 R4GV and 1 GGG councillor with an additional R4GV councillor attending cabinet as a non-voting deputy.[5]

2019 Election[6]
Party Seats
Liberal Democrats 17
R4GV 15
Conservative 9
Labour 2
Green 1

Members of Parliament[edit]

Constituency Member of Parliament Political party
Guildford Anne Milton Conservative Party
Mole Valley Sir Paul Beresford
Surrey Heath Michael Gove
Woking Jonathan Lord


The central 'Guildford Town' area of the borough comprises the town centre and immediately surrounding areas, including: Bellfields, Boxgrove, Onslow Village, Park Barn, Stoughton, Westborough, and the (former) villages of Burpham, and Merrow.

Third tier of local government[edit]

Apart from the town of Guildford which has no third (or most local) tier, the rest of the borough has civil parishes of unpaid councillors who are entitled to charge a small extra precept for services they pay out for:[7]

Map of Guildford Borough showing its parts: Guildford town and civil parishes which provide an additional layer of government for nearby villages

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ Mole Valley UK Parliament Constituency and two of the others include some peripheral wards.]


  1. ^ "Guildford Borough Council". Archived from the original on 28 May 2003. Retrieved 2 March 2004.
  2. ^ a b c d Guildford Borough Council Statement of Accounts 2011-12, pp 4, 12 and 79
  3. ^ List of English districts by population
  4. ^ 2012-13 Council tax (average Band D and average per dwelling) and % change: individual local authorities
  5. ^ "Lib Dem Leader Appoints Her New Team For Guildford Borough Council". Guildford Dragon. 20 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Surrey County Council Archived 26 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine