Borough of Guildford

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.

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°WCoordinates: 51°14′46″N 0°33′07″W / 51.246°N 0.552°W
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


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

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

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

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]

Guildford Parishes
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


  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
Albury, Surrey

Albury is a village and civil parish in the borough of Guildford in Surrey, England, about 4 miles (6.4 km) south-east of Guildford town centre. The village is within Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and part of it forms the 63 acres (0.25 km2) Colyer's Hanger SSSI, financially supported by Natural England. Farley Green, Little London and adjacent Brook form part of the secular parish.


Artington is a village and civil parish in the borough of Guildford, in Surrey, England, covering the area from the southern edge of the built-up centre of Guildford and steep Guildown, the start of the Hog's Back and part of the North Downs AONB, to New Pond Farm by Godalming and the edge of Peasmarsh. It contains Loseley Park, a country estate with dairy, and the hamlet of Littleton.

Ash, Surrey

Ash is a village and civil parish in the far west of the borough of Guildford, Surrey. Ash is on the eastern side of the River Blackwater, with railway station on the Reading-Guildford-Gatwick line, and direct roads to Aldershot, Farnham and Guildford. The 2011 census counted the residents of the main ward of Ash, which excludes Ash Vale, as 6,120. It is within the Aldershot Urban Area (the Blackwater Valley) and adjoins the riverside in the east of that large town; Ash has a small museum, large secondary school and a library.

Ash Vale

Ash Vale is a village in the borough of Guildford in Surrey, England and the larger, northern settlement of the civil parish of Ash. It is 7 miles (11 km) from Guildford but is closer to the Hampshire towns of Aldershot and Farnborough, the centres of which are each about two miles (4 km) away, immediately across the two crossings of the River Blackwater, to the southwest and northwest.

Compton, Guildford

Compton is a village and civil parish in the Guildford district of Surrey, England. It is between Godalming and Guildford. It has a medieval church and a close connection to fine art and pottery, being the later life home of artist George Frederic Watts. The village has considerable woodland and agriculture, and the undeveloped portions are in the Metropolitan Green Belt. The village is traversed by the North Downs Way and has a large western conservation area. Central to the village are the Watts Gallery, the cemetery chapel commissioned by his wife for him, two inns and the parish church.

East Horsley

East Horsley is a village and civil parish in Surrey, England, 21 miles southwest of London, on the A246 between Leatherhead and Guildford. Horsley and Effingham Junction railway stations are on the New Guildford line to London Waterloo. The two-halves of ancient Horsley are similar in having substantial woodland and some chalky lower slopes, in the south, of the North Downs.

Effingham, Surrey

Effingham is a large semi-rural and rural English village in the Borough of Guildford in Surrey, reaching from the gently sloping northern plain to the crest of the North Downs and with a medieval parish church. The village has been chosen as the home of notable figures, such as Sir Barnes Wallis who was buried here and Toni Mascolo. The M25 motorway is 4 miles (6.4 km) north-west of the middle of the village which mostly consists of green space in the Metropolitan Green Belt.

An eponymous Junction railway station is 50m north of its boundary in East Horsley, where a branch of the Sutton and Mole Valley Lines joins the New Guildford Line, which have services terminating at London Waterloo.


Fairlands is the largest settlement (neighbourhood) of Worplesdon, a village with a civil parish council in the Borough of Guildford, Surrey, England. The neighbourhood is centred 2.6 miles (4.2 km) north-west of Guildford, to which it is linked by a relatively straight road. The arbitrary centre of Worplesdon, a linear settlement, its church, is 1.2 miles (1.9 km) north-east.

Farley Green, Surrey

Farley Green is a small hamlet of Albury in the Greensand Ridge where it forms the south of the Surrey Hills AONB, to the south east of Guildford.


Gomshall is a village in the borough of Guildford in Surrey, England.It is on the A25, roughly halfway between Guildford and Dorking, and in Shere civil parish, which, reaching to Peaslake and Colmar's Hill, in 2001 recorded a human population of 3,359. Nearest places are Shere, Albury and Abinger Hammer.

The River Tillingbourne flows through Gomshall, while the North Downs Way passes just to the north. The village also has a railway station, served by Great Western Railway trains running between Reading and Redhill.

Holmbury St Mary

Holmbury St. Mary is a village in Surrey, England centered on shallow upper slopes of the Greensand Ridge. Its developed area is a clustered town 4.5 miles (7 km) southwest of Dorking and 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Guildford. Most of the village is in the borough of Guildford, within Shere civil parish. Much of the east side of the village street is in the district of Mole Valley, within Abinger civil parish.

It contains a home which formerly doubled as a major meeting venue of Beatrice Webb, a Fabian social reformer who co-founded the London School of Economics, which contains Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

Ockham, Surrey

Ockham is a rural and semi-rural village in the borough of Guildford in Surrey, England. The village starts immediately east of the A3 but the lands extend to the River Wey in the west where it has a large mill-house. Ockham is between Cobham (near Leatherhead) and East Horsley (near Guildford).


Pirbright ( [needs stress]) is a village in Surrey, England. Pirbright is in the borough of Guildford and has a civil parish council covering the traditional boundaries of the area. Pirbright contains one buffered sub-locality, Stanford Common near the nation's farm animal disease research institute. Explorer Henry Morton Stanley has his imposing boulder grave at the end of the grounds of the grade II* listed medieval church. The nearby Hodge Brook is marked as Congo Stream, between Ruwenzori and Stanley Hills.

Puttenham, Surrey

Puttenham is a village in Surrey, England just south of the Hog's Back which is the narrowest stretch of the North Downs. Puttenham is south of the A31 which runs between Guildford and Farnham along the spine of the Hog's Back. Villages nearby include Wanborough, Shackleford and Compton.


Shackleford is a village and civil parish in the Borough of Guildford, Surrey, England centred to the west of the A3 between Guildford and Petersfield 32 miles (51 km) southwest of London and 5.2 miles (8.4 km) southwest of Guildford. Shackleford includes the localities of Eashing, Hurtmore, Norney and Gatwick.

Silent Pool

Silent Pool is a spring-fed lake at the foot of the North Downs, about 6.5 kilometres (4.0 mi) east of Guildford in Surrey. It is managed together with the nearby Newlands Corner by the Surrey Wildlife Trust, within the privately owned Albury Estate. The outflow from Silent Pool runs into a second, adjacent, lake, Sherbourne Pond, created in the mid-seventeenth century. In turn the outflow from the Sherbourne Pond feeds the Sherbourne Brook, a tributary of the Tilling Bourne.Silent Pool is considered by some to be a sacred site. It is linked to a folklore tale that says King John on his horse abducted a woodcutter's daughter who was forced into the deep water and drowned. According to the legend, the maiden can be seen at midnight. This legend appears to have come from a book written by Martin Tupper in 1858 called Stephan Langton or The Days Of King John (A Romance of the Silent Pool). The story is based on real historic characters including Stephen Langton, a former Archbishop of Canterbury and King John.In December 1926, when crime writer Agatha Christie infamously disappeared, it was feared that she had drowned in the Silent Pool after her car was discovered at nearby Newlands Corner.The lake was admired by the poet Alfred Tennyson.

St Martha, Surrey

St Martha is a hillside, largely wooded, small civil parish in the Guildford borough of Surrey towards the narrower part of the west half of the North Downs. It includes three homes north of St Martha's Hill, a southern knoll of the range of hills but almost all its population is south of this, in much of the village: Chilworth which is divided between it and Shalford parish. This results in an overlapping of areas where it is wished to consider the village of Chilworth (being hereto-before considered a hamlet). Chilworth gunpowder works mark the southern border of the entity, and are a well-preserved, publicly accessible area of bourne-side former industry, which helped to provide much of Surrey's contribution toward the gunpowder for many years of the British Empire.

West Horsley

West Horsley is a semi-rural village between Guildford and Leatherhead in Surrey, England. It lies on the A246, and south of the M25 and the A3. Its civil parish ascends to an ancient woodland Sheepleas Woods which are on the northern downslopes of the ridge of hills known as the North Downs in the extreme south of the village, and cover about a tenth of its area, 255 acres (1 km²). The bulk of West Horsley's land is north of the Surrey Hills AONB, the rest is within it.


Wisley is a village and civil parish in Surrey, England between Cobham and Woking, in the Borough of Guildford. It is the home of the Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley Garden. The River Wey runs through the village and Ockham and Wisley Commons form a large proportion of the parish on a high acid heathland, which is a rare soil type providing for its own types of habitat. It has a standard weather monitoring station, which has recorded some national record high temperatures.

East Sussex
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