Fringe Box



Dragon Interview: New County Councillor Angela Goodwin

Published on: 24 May, 2017
Updated on: 27 May, 2017

County councillor Angela Goodwin

Another new county councillor for a Guildford division, Guildford North, is Liberal Democrat Angela Goodwin. Both Angela and her husband David are now “double-hatters” borough and county councillors.

Questions asked by Martin Giles.

When and why did you join the Liberal Democrats?

I joined the Liberal Democrats some fifteen years ago. Oddly enough, I voted Conservative in my first ever general election because “my parents did”. However, as I became more interested in local and national politics, I decided the Liberal Democrats were more aligned to my own principles.

What motivated you to become a county councillor as well as a borough councillor?

Three reasons. Firstly, my job recently fell away when the charity I worked for closed down at the end of March. Ironically, it closed as a result of funding cuts by Surrey County Council [SCC]. This meant I would have more time to devote to working as a county councillor.
Secondly, being a “double-hatter” gives you a greater opportunity to be involved in borough and Surrey-wide matters, many of which are interconnected, such as Highways.
Thirdly, I am personally interested in adult social care which falls under the remit of the county council. I’ve become a member of SCC’s Adults & Health Select Committee.

You represent different areas in each role. Do you think there is a risk that there could be a conflict of interests if any proposal is supported by those in your ward but opposed by those in your division?

GBC matters are dealt with by the respective local ward members, in Stoke and Stoughton, and I will focus on Friary & St Nicolas issues in my GBC capacity.
As a county councillor, I will focus on all county matters in Guildford North in consultation with the five borough colleagues in the division.

Having now been a borough councillor for two years, with the insight that gives, how would you assess the health of our local democracy here in Guildford?

Alive and kicking!

You have consistently supported the draft Local Plan although the majority of your party colleagues have voted against at least some sections of it. Are you fully content with the draft plan?

It is true. I have supported the draft Local Plan but it is fair to say that it isn’t perfect. Guildford needs a Local Plan that is fit for purpose but Guildford is diverse and every ward – quite rightly – has is its own reasons for challenging it.

You and your husband are both now county councillors and borough councillors. You obviously, by your voting, have different views on the Local Plan, does this result in some interesting domestic debates?

We do have some interesting debates! Just because we’re married and are both Liberal Democrats doesn’t mean we have the same opinions on everything.
Our different wards and constituents have very different concerns. Friary & St Nicolas has very little green belt so it doesn’t have the same issues as, for example, the proposed Blackwell Farm development in Onslow ward.

Do you divide you domestic chores into girls’ jobs and boys’ jobs, as at No. 10, or is David a new man, happy to don a pinny, whip up a soufflé,  and do some ironing?

We are a modern family. With the exception of David putting out the rubbish and recycling bins each week, there are no “boys or girls” jobs in our house. [So Dragon readers are still denied the secrets of Cllr David Goodwin’s soufflé making, ironing skills and housework attire! What happened to openness and transparency? Ed]

What do you think are the biggest issues facing Surrey and Guildford at the moment and what can be done about them?

From a Surrey perspective, funding is the biggest issue. Surrey County Council needs to make further savings of around £100m during this financial year; services – yet to be determined – will be cut. Adult Social Care has one of the council’s largest budgets. This needs to be properly and fairly funded by central government.
Locally, Guildford’s priority is to get a Local Plan adopted to stop the threat of inappropriate development by developers. It will also determine what can be built and where over the next twenty years. Infrastructure (roads, schools, libraries, GP Surgeries and so on), the proposed developments of North Street, the new train station and the town centre itself, will then all need to be developed holistically.

If more money is required to cover the costs of adult social care shouldn’t we all be prepared to pay more tax?

I think Adult Social Care needs to be totally reviewed by central government. At the moment, it is just being “patched” from one general election to the next.
Surely we can’t be the only country struggling with our social care. So, how is everyone else doing it? The government should be finding out what is working well in other countries and how can we adopt their best practices. We really need to be much smarter so it is fair for everyone – and quickly.
And yes, I think we all need to pay towards our long-term care; as long as the money (such as an increase in our income tax) is ring-fenced for social care and not put into a general spending pot.

What do you think are the three best things about Guildford that we should be careful to preserve?

Guildford is a very special place to live and work and it’s difficult just to pick the three best things. However, I would choose:

  • its heritage;
  • its diverse mix of town and surrounding countryside, and;
  • its passionate residents who really care about its future.

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Responses to Dragon Interview: New County Councillor Angela Goodwin

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    May 31, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Perhaps, in order to help me make up my mind which way to vote in the forthcoming General Election, Mrs Goodwin, who is the county councillor for my ward, and perhaps her husband David, would each like to comment on their national parties manifesto pledge to legalise cannabis?

    I don’t need a long-winded reply, just a simple indication of whether they support the proposal or not.

    Cllr Angela Goodwin has responded:
    I’m not sure either of our personal views will matter as this is national policy. If Mr Middleton wishes to find out what Zoe Franklin’s views are (she is our Lib Dem candidate), then I am sure she’d be happy to share her thoughts.

    In the meantime, here is a link to a recent Lib Dem Facebook video which covers the subject:

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