Learn More - about what we do

A Civic Society

We are the Guildford Civic Society. We are linked to Civic Voice, the national charity for the civic movement in England.

Everyone who share intrest in:

is welcome to join us. We are non-political organsiation aspiring to to speak for those who share our interests.

See more on Civic Voice

See our Constitution and Organisation

Our Reach

Geographically we concentrate on Guildford town and urban area. If our focus appears to have been on the urban area in recent years, this reflects our history, the number of significant planning applications for town centre flats and student accommodation and the effective role played by Parish Councils and Residents Associations in our rural areas. We maintain an active interest in major matters affecting the whole of the borough and beyond e.g. How major developments along the A3 corridor will impact the borough.

Our Aims

We recognise that Guildford and its environs must develop and evolve to meet the needs of its population. This change needs to be managed, so enough affordable accommodation is built and no part of the population is left behind.

Environmental concerns must be central to our thinking. Our countryside and natural environment must be preserved, and climate change urgently addressed and managed. Thus we will encourage modal transport shift, pollution reduction and measures to cut traffic congestion. We also support alternative energy use, better management and recycling of waste, and proper flood protection. Public transport between Guildford and surrounding towns and villages, and within the town itself, must be improved. We have the example of our twin town, Freiburg in southern Germany – a pioneering ‘green city’ - from which to learn.

Guildford must remain a town in its own right, not just a commuter town for London. To ensure this, we must support diverse economic activity. We should highlight our world class educational facilities (Surrey University, the University of Law and many highly regarded colleges and schools). We should also provide a wide range of public facilities, such as theatres, entertainment venues, galleries and meeting places.

The area needs to be ‘competitive’ with other South East areas in the arc formed by Cambridge – Oxford – Guildford – Redhill - Ashford.

Read more on our Aims and Objectives.


A little history

The Guildford Society has operated for over a century. (See  Timeline of our history) During that time it has successfully raised issues related to Heritage Buildings, participated in Local Plan examinations and campaigned vigorously on issues related to Guildford.  We also hold social events, such as our bi-annual Design Award, and contribute to art in the town, for example the Bargeman sculpture, which stands in the town centre beside the river Wey.

How we work

The Guildford Society is a registered charity, politically neutral and strictly independent.

We have specialist scrutiny groups devoted to Planning, Transport, Design and Heritage and the Local Economy of Guildford. These work groups offer high levels of local knowledge and expertise. For more information on these groups, see here. 

We engage and collaborate fully with residents’ groups, charities, local government, developers, educational organisations, and public bodies. We also work with other groups to publicise and contribute to meetings and events that support our overlapping aims and objectives.  See  Other Organisations page for more details of local groups.

We seek to build a well informed and engaged membership through our newsletter and website, and by running well-attended public meetings.

Our challenge

Ensuring the future health and attractiveness of Guildford is a major challenge.  An independent, well-informed ‘civic voice’ to debate and influence the evolution of the Guildford area is critical. We warmly welcome new members and are especially interested in volunteers who can bring fresh perspectives to our work groups.

The more people who join us, of every age and background, the more we can ensure their views are fully heard in shaping a better Guildford. 

Position Papers 

We have developed a series of Position Papers that available here

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Support Us

Getting involved allows the society to continue its work.   We welcome new members, from every age and background.  Membership provides an opportunity for you to contribute to the continued health of the town and surrounding area, and to meet other people who care about Guildford.