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Another Year And The Dragon Continues To Roar: 97,000 Page Hits In A Month Means Guildford’s Listening

Published on: 31 Dec, 2015
Updated on: 30 Dec, 2015

There have been a lot of important events in Guildford over the past year.

The Guildford Dragon NEWS has been there throughout, impartially reporting, focussing on the local.

Anne Milton in red, white and blue on Armed Forces Day

Anne Milton in red, white and blue on Armed Forces Day.

We’ve had the general election with Guildford’s Conservative MP Anne Milton increasing her majority.

The local elections happened at the same time. The Conservatives increased their majority on Guildford Borough Council. The Lib Dems lost seats and the Guildford Greenbelt Group made their entrance into local politics.

The Guildford Dragon NEWS reported on it all including paper candidates, independents and the fallout from the election.

As a backdrop, we had the scandal of former borough councillor Monica Juneja being convicted of fraud.

We also reported on the petition for an elected Guildford mayor. Over a number of months, the Dragon was able to discover and reveal that funds for the petition were provided by local entrepreneur Michel Harper.

Stephen Mansbridge at the election count appeared nonchalant in his colourful outfit.

Stephen Mansbridge at the election count appeared nonchalant in his colourful outfit.

The Dragon also revealed that Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Mansbridge knew about the organisation of the petition. This was despite apparently denying this in the council chamber in response to a question put by Cllr Angela Gunning. He resigned shortly after. He stated the reason for his resignation was the adoption by the council of a new governance model.

We reported on the council’s review of the Electric Theatre. We reported Cllr Geoff Davis’ informal statement which seemed to indicate that a decision had already been made. The validity of the review was called into question. The council has subsequently sought out exploratory bids and we avidly await the outcome.

We have also reported on the council’s handling of plans for the future of Guildford Museum. The eviction notice to the Surrey Archaeological Society and the managing of the museum’s capabilities has led to an active campaign being set up.

The Guildford Dragon NEWS is proud to be able to provide a platform for local people who care about local issues. We want real local contribution to the important debates on the future of our community and our community’s assets – such as Guildford Museum.

We are not negative about Guildford – far from it. The Dragon is very proud to report on all the fantastic things that happen in Guildford – including its businesses and shops, the arts and theatre, local groups and societies, initiatives of local churches and a world-leading university. We could go on and on.

The Duke of York, the prime minister and the secretary of state for defence were among the dignitaries who attended Armed Forces Day in Guildford.

The Duke of York, the prime minister and the secretary of state for defence were among the dignitaries who attended Armed Forces Day in Guildford in June.

These are things that matter to people in Guildford.

However, we rightly scrutinise events and issues across the borough.

But we also rightly continue to report on the fine work done by our council and our hard-working councillors. This needs to be said, but most agree that they must be more open in their dealings.

Guildford Borough Council offices at Millmead.

Guildford Borough Council offices at Millmead.

And that is why the Guildford Dragon NEWS is here. Our local politics is too important to be left to a small elite deciding what will happen to Guildford behind closed doors.

We know that there is a need for traditional local reporting by local reporters who know and care about the town. Our readership testifies to that with a record 97,209 page hits in October alone.

We hope readers enjoy all our other regular features – often written by our fastastic contributors, such as Malcolm Fincham and his Birdwatcher’s Diary, Claire Dee’s business column, Wey Navigations Richard Cant and Robert Craig’s monthly reports, our theatre reviews, and our history pages including the popular Where Is This? weekly post.

And a big thank you to all those who reply to our stories with comments and letters. It is you who keep debates on local issues burning, and in many cases set them alight in the first place!

2016 will be a vital year for Guildford. The masterplan will affect us all. The Guildford Dragon NEWS will continue to objectively report on all things Guildford.

So, a very happy new year to all our readers.

The Dragon will keep on roaring into 2016.

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Responses to Another Year And The Dragon Continues To Roar: 97,000 Page Hits In A Month Means Guildford’s Listening

  1. Dominic Cleal Reply

    December 31, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Keep up the good work!

    You’ve provided a great mix of local reporting.

  2. Jeff HIlls Reply

    December 31, 2015 at 11:02 am

    A happy and healthy new year to all at The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

  3. Gordon Bridger Reply

    December 31, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Best wishes for the new year and congratulations on your high quality reporting and concern for so many issues in Guildford.

    One is impressed by your work and reporting capacity.

    You have made a difference.

  4. Brian Holt Reply

    January 1, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Happy new year to The Guildford Dragon NEWS, excellent.

    Quick reporting with many coloured pictures make your stories more interesting to read than papers.

    I am pleased to hear your readership is still increasing, which you fully deserve.

  5. Michael Bruton Reply

    January 1, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Congratulations to the Dragon for its news and investigative reporting – particularly of the shenanigans within Guildford’s Tory Council.

    Along with Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs section, the Dragon has regularly reported facts that the council would have wished to withhold from public gaze.

  6. Jim Allen Reply

    January 2, 2016 at 12:13 am

    What can one say – the elite – top rung – the best in the country – a rare balance of content…

    or simply “mentioned in dispatches in Private Eye”.

    Happy new year to all.

  7. Valerie Thompson Reply

    January 3, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Well done Dragon!
    Keep up the good work! Locals are now much more readily in touch with what’s going on around Guildford. I tell everyone I meet to access your site.

  8. Philip Bundy Reply

    January 3, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Keep up the good work.

    Nice to keep up with what’s going on in my home town.

    Happy new year to everyone.

  9. fiona curtis Reply

    January 3, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I concur with all of the above and hope you continue to provide up to the minute news about our borough, good investigative journalism and the broad range of topics we have seen in 2015.

    The Dragon has created a local forum for discussion that is second to none. Well done and Happy New Year to you all.

  10. George Potter Reply

    January 4, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Would it be possible to ask what the number of unique visitors (e.g. the number of readers) was in October?

    It’d be interesting to be able to work out if the page views were mainly a result of lots of readers or of regular repeat readers. Either way I’m sure it must be an impressive number!

    Dragon stats team; George, To date, we have only registered the number of page hits on The Guildford Dragon NEWS, not unique visitors. The ‘page hit’ statistics, which are automatically provided by a plug-in on the WordPress ‘theme’ which the Dragon uses, give a daily record of what is being viewed and what is most through to the least viewed (not that popularity is a deciding factor on what the Dragon publishes).

    About a third of the page hits are for the home page with about two thirds on specific articles both current and archived. Do individuals read specific articles more than once? That would give an indication of individual readers but it would be an assumption. Anyway you view it, as you say, it is an impressive number.

  11. George Dokimakis Reply

    January 4, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Congratulations and excellent work! The professionalism displayed is refreshing, do keep it up!

  12. Sue Doughty Reply

    January 8, 2016 at 9:37 am

    And a commendation for your work in Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs awards (Guildford, Services to Democracy) too.

    Well done!

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