Guildford ‘a long way ahead’ of Woking in race to become city, leader says

July 11, 2018
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When we asked whether Woking should become Surrey’s first city, the idea won the backing of the borough council’s leader, who said it could be an “appropriate way of celebrating the redevelopment of Woking – that would be in about five years”.

However, leader of Guildford Borough Council (GBC) Paul Spooner said that his town is “a long way” ahead in the race to city status.

Cllr Spooner told Surrey Live: “I would be very surprised if Woking was awarded city status because Guildford is the county town of Surrey.

“If there was to be a city in Surrey then I think Guildford would be suited because of our mix between heritage and the economy.”

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Guildford launched two failed bids to get city status in 1999 and 2002 but was snubbed for Brighton and Preston respectively, and declined to put itself forward again in 2011.

Cllr Spooner continued: “We also have the University of Surrey based in Guildford.

“I think Woking is doing very well in its aspiration but I think Guildford is a long way ahead in terms of its overall ability to mix all the requirements that a city would need.”

Leader of Guildford Borough Council Paul Spooner
(Image: Darren Pepe)

Woking leader Councillor David Bittleston previously told Surrey Live: “I think it may just be a little bit too early now but when we have finished the major infrastructure in the centre of Woking then it may be an appropriate way of celebrating the redevelopment of Woking – that would be in about five years.

“I think it would be fantastic, getting that recognition of the regeneration and the effort that people have put into making it a success.”

Although becoming a city does not grant any sudden benefits such as funding or extra powers, it is thought that the extra status creates a buzz and excitement around the area – positively affecting the economy, employment and investment.

Do you think Woking or Guildford should become Surrey’s first city? Email your thoughts to zosia.eyres@reachplc.com

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/guildford-a-long-way-ahead-14891299


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