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Letter: Were We Misled By Tory Election Pledge?

Published on: 1 Mar, 2016
Updated on: 1 Mar, 2016

By Bernard Parke


Front page of a newsletter issued last year by Guildford Conservatives.

Front page of a newsletter issued last year by Guildford Conservatives.

This was a battle cry headline on Guildford Conservative’s newsletter during last year’s local elections which no doubt gave the electorate some false hope. And with that hope they voted accordingly.

However, I believe there seems to have been some adjustment to this pledge and therefore is now not be in keeping with this statement.

During election time last year we were also told council tax had been kept low for many years.

Unfortunately, this year would seem to be an exception, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer has cut the revenue support grant encouraging local authorities to again increase this iniquitous tax.

Parking charges were to be frozen but a few days before the spring election they were increased.

No doubt by the time we next go to the polls such pledges will be taken with a “pinch of salt”?

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Responses to Letter: Were We Misled By Tory Election Pledge?

  1. Michael Bruton Reply

    March 1, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Who would believe the Conservative Party on any issue these day? Budget deficit, national debt, defence budget, NHS, women’s’ state retirement pensions, border controls… You name it, the Tories betray it. We have been had.

    Locally I recall that in the 2011 borough elections, the Tories promised to protect the green belt and of course again in 2015.

    Looking at a letter extract written to a local magazine in 2009, Tory Cllr Wicks wrote: Mr X suggests that many more dwellings will be built in and around our villages, regardless of our objections. I disagree. There will be some limited development in villages but I do not anticipate any political party putting forward a programme for large scale development in the green belt villages.”

  2. Ramsey Nagaty Reply

    March 1, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Conservatives have promised before the election and during the election campaign to protect the green belt.

    However, since being elected we hear the new leader boasting that Guildford is one of the few boroughs who can meet government housing targets as they have the key three strategic sites.

    The same sites that received thousands of responses objecting to their inclusion and council debates where we were told there was not the time for them to be removed!

    So these draft possible sites then got labelled strategic!

    Then we see the press release saying that the most valuable green belt will be protected, hence one can assume some green belt is to be sacrificed. Who decides which?

    These councillors were elected to represent local electorate, but they prefer to bend to central government dictate and do not fight for lower housing despite restraints applicable due lack of infrastructure and green belt.

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    March 1, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    So the previous lot lied, and were caught out.

    Do we now find the current lot have lied? Heaven forfend!

  4. Stuart Barnes Reply

    March 2, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Of course we were lied to!

    Would anyone now believe a word that Cameron and his Conservative party – it would be better named not the Conservative party – say?

    For instance remember Dave’s “cast iron pledge” for a referendum on the EU constitution (aka Lisbon Treaty). What happened to that?

    What mistake it was to choose Dave as leader instead of the much more sensible David Davis.

  5. Peter Elliott Reply

    March 2, 2016 at 10:10 am

    So either they had no intention of protecting the green belt in the first place, but knowing how strongly people felt about that, deliberately misled the electorate to win votes, or else, to take the most charitable view, something has come up since May, to cause them to renege on their headline election promise, in which case, why have they not made an announcement to that effect?

    We were also promised ‘open and transparent government’ were we not?

    Surely the honourable thing would be to now seek re-election under the banner headline ‘The Green Belt Goes’.

  6. Ben Paton Reply

    March 3, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Look at what’s happened so far. Form your own view.

    1. The Local Plan process is supposed to start with an evidence base. That’s supposed to be open to public scrutiny. Underpinning the whole thing is an estimate of housing need. GBC did not do one itself. It outsourced it to a property consultancy. The arithmetic model was then further subcontracted. Was that contrary to GBC procurement rules? That model has never been seen by the civil servants in GBC or by our elected representatives.

    2. GBC is then supposed to work out what land is available. Did it advertise for land? Did it prioritise previously developed land? No proper explanation has ever been given for why farmland at the former Wisley airfield – which GBC has fought to protect from development since the 1980s – was put into the local plan.

    But the minutes of the meetings between the developer and GBC refer to ‘political support’. It looks as if GBC was colluding with the developer to try to create some form of ‘exceptional circumstance’ by including the site in the local plan.

    Conservative associations with the ownership and management of this land run deep. The developer’s spokesman is the Conservative lead councillor for the local plan in the Vale of White Horse. And the farm tenant is now the Conservative lead councillor for transport in Windsor and Maidenhead.

    3. Due process has been ignored. No heritage, environment or transport assessments were completed before the draft local plan was issued – against the wishes of the scrutiny committee.

    4. The Green Belt & Countryside Study was designed to work out how to plunder the green belt rather than how to protect it.

    Support for the green belt from Conservative GBC is self-serving, equivocal, and hypocritical. The draft local plan proposes to create new green belt in Ash and Tongham. Difficult to see how that serves London. But no doubt it serves the Executive which comes from Ash.

    Green belt everywhere else is a sacrifice they are happy to make in the interests of meeting a housing need figure based on a model they profess never to have seen, let alone studied.

  7. Stuart Barnes Reply

    March 4, 2016 at 8:43 am

    I notice that no reference as far as I can tell has been made about the reason for the so called need for more and more housing.

    It all goes back to the illegal immigrants still coming in and those Dave is bringing in to our overcrowded country from Syria.

    The new houses are mainly for those people escaping from London (not for locals) which, unless we wake up and remove Dave and get out of the corrupt EU, will soon be a city where the English and the English language will be in a minority.

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