Fringe Box



Dragon Interview: Paul Spooner, Conservative, ‘Adopting the Local Plan Was the Right Move’

Published on: 9 Apr, 2023
Updated on: 15 Apr, 2023

The Guildford Dragon NEWS is conducting a series of interviews with the leaders, or nominated representatives, of the various parties at Guildford Borough Council in the lead-up to the local elections on Thursday, May 4.

You can hear directly their views and pledges for the Local Plan, Climate Change, the effect on the election of the viral social media video “Battle for Guildford”, council finances and more.

Paul Spooner, the Conservative borough councillor for Ash South & Tongham and leader of the Conservative group at GBC, spoke to Dragon editor Martin Giles.

You can watch the full interview here…

Next, Howard Smith of the Labour Party.

See more GBC Election 2023 interviews here.

Share This Post

Responses to Dragon Interview: Paul Spooner, Conservative, ‘Adopting the Local Plan Was the Right Move’

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    April 9, 2023 at 8:23 pm

    I don’t have to listen to this interview to know of the major and ongoing failure of the Local Plan.

    Why the excessive housing numbers?

    Why the removal by a phantom traffic lights system of sections of the green belt while leaving identical adjacent land in the belt?

    Weyside Urban Village is not viable: I thought the Conservatives were financially competent?

    Then there is the 18 per cent shortage of sewage treatment capacity with no cure until at least 2027.

    The lack of sufficient electrical power. No cure until about 2035.

    I have been warning about this for some time as regular Dragon readers will know.

    The Burpham Neighbourhood Forum team could have done a far better job at 10 per cent of the cost.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    April 10, 2023 at 9:25 am

    I can’t believe that Paul Spooner [leader of the Guildford Conservative group at GBC and candidate for Westborough in the forthcoming borough council election] is still claiming his Local Plan has been good for Guildford.

    I guess he’s not been to the Horsleys to view the devastation it has caused here. He now knows the numbers used for the housing needs assessment were wrong, and should never have been used to establish a target figure.

    Given similar devastation in parts of Ash, it’s no wonder he is not standing the risk of standing there and being thrown out, as were most of his Tory colleagues last time around, because of his party’s perfidy over the green belt.

    Many will never forget their 2013 promise to protect it, reneged upon, as soon as they were elected.

  3. David Roberts Reply

    April 15, 2023 at 1:28 pm

    Paul Spooner, who I dearly hoped was going to retire, is a Tory candidate for Westborough. His erstwhile deputy council leader, Matt Furniss, having lost his Guildford seat in 2019 and made a botch of the transport dossier on Surrey County Council, is trying to make a comeback in Pilgrims.

    Both have had a baleful influence on their party and local politics for far too long.

    They were the architects of the defective Local Plan which Mr Spooner still champions. He pretends to have discovered only since the Plan was adopted that the necessary infrastructure provision might not materialise.

    Yet everyone has seen this coming since 2013, when the Tories’ draft Plan first proposed to kick most of Guildford’s villages out of the green belt and dump nearly all future new housing there, in unsustainable rural locations, leaving the town to decay. Mr Spooner’s council ignored the objections and pressed on with their “trajectory” regardless.

    If he truly thinks “infrastructure has not fallen behind” he should visit Horsley, where every road in and out has been closed in recent weeks and every other form of infrastructure has experienced breakdowns. There are still hundreds of houses being built here, and two thousand planned at Wisley “airfield”.

    Guildford’s scandalous backlog in processing planning applications is entirely due to this orgy of over-building by the Tories’ developer friends, which Mr Spooner’s Local Plan conjured into being. His rendition of “Je ne regrette rien” in this interview therefore leaves a very sour taste.

    Mr Spooner’s equally horrible image of local Tory “giggles” at the Robin Horsley video makes light of a serious attempt to manipulate the elections through odious propaganda on social media.

    There is almost no chance of a new Conservative majority in Guildford. This is fortunate since the Tories have failed dismally to rejuvenate their membership, ideas or candidate list.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *