Guildford - Administration

Administration

The town of Guildford forms part of the larger area administered by the borough of Guildford, which in turn forms part of the county of Surrey. Whilst the rest of the borough's area is split into civil parishes, the urban area of Guildford in unparished. Thus, within the town of Guildford, the Borough Council takes the role of both first and second tier local authority, whilst the County Council forms the third tier of local authority.

Though often referred to as a city Guildford is a town, but has applied for city status several times. Guildford's 2002 application to be granted the status of a city was unsuccessful, losing out to Preston, the only English town that was formally recognised as a city as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations. Traditionally, the establishment of a diocesan cathedral in a town conferred city status. Guildford is a significant economic hub in Surrey, a county with no city.

Even though Guildford is the county town for Surrey, the council itself has its administrative base in Kingston upon Thames which, although formerly in Surrey, is now in Greater London. Public sector organisations of note that have headquarters in Guildford include Surrey Police, the South East England Development Agency and the Government Office for the South East.

Politically, the constituency of Guildford is thought of as a traditional Conservative seat. However, for the first time in over ninety years, the 2001 general election returned a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament, Sue Doughty. The 2003 Borough Elections returned a majority council for the Conservative party, replacing the Liberal Democrat-controlled council. In the 2005 general election Guildford returned a Conservative Party MP, Anne Milton – by a narrow margin (0.7% of the voting electorate, or 347 votes) and despite a 0.5% rise in the Liberal Democrat vote. The Conservatives also held the council majority in the local elections of 2007.

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