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Eagle Radio G Live Event – Guildford’s Future – What’s Going On?

Published on: 9 Nov, 2012
Updated on: 12 Nov, 2012

Peter Gordon – Photo courtesy Eagle Radio

Peter Gordon, presenter at 96.4 Eagle Radio, has been monitoring the Guildford planning situation and has decided to take an innovative approach to get more Guildfordians engaged in the debate about how we should plan the town and redevelop certain areas.

He agreed to talk to The Guildford Dragon NEWS about his idea.

This is what he said...

“I felt that, particularly this year, there has been quite a lot of stuff going on. Planning applications: Can we do it? Can we not do it? Who is coming into the town? Who isn’t coming into the town? What about the traffic? What about the heritage? What about better facilities? What about the empty shops? All these questions.

“Now, I put myself out there a bit and I found a lot of people asking where I stood on things. This for me was a bit of a cue. So I thought, let’s see if we can get a different gathering here?

“Yes the council, yes the different activist organisations groups that have formed to try and progress things. So we have… the Guildford Vision Group, clearly, The Guildford Society, the residents’ associations – all of these groups have their discussions. People can go along to a Guildford Vision Group meetings or go and sit in the council chamber… but in reality, who are the people that go to those? Who really fancies going to those meetings, if you are under a certain age?

“And, as some opinion pieces in The Guildford Dragon NEWS have pointed out, there is a lot of apathy. People generally sleep walk into things and then wonder why he hell it happened. And they say, ‘Where the hell did that building come from? I didn’t know about that!’ But they haven’t read the paper, they haven’t read your online paper, they haven’t listened to the radio… fine.

“So, on Monday, [November 12] if I can get along enough guys who are what I call, ‘normal people’, it would be good to get them to hear what is really  going on. The council are going to make a presentation. I know that the Guildford Vision Group and The Guildford Society will be there, I know the residents associations are going to be there.

“And others: university people; entertainment peoples; retailers; the chamber of commerce. They’re all coming. And even if that is all we get I think it will be good for them to hear what is said. I know that there is already some crossover between the organisations but actually an awful lot don’t communicate directly, so even that would be healthy.

“But on top of that, we are publicising it to say this isn’t a planning meeting but come along to find out some more that you may not even realise. Please come along and see.

“That might be it or it might be that it is seen as a useful way of doing it for other things in the future where keeping in touch with the public is important.

“The format of the evening is going to be very simple. It’s going to be the council doing a presentation of where we are now: What’s on the table? What isn’t on the table? Why isn’t some stuff on the table and why hasn’t some stuff come forward?

“Then it is open to the floor. And it will be open for broadcast on 96.4 Eagle Radio too. I would really, really like some people to come along who have never engaged with this sort of stuff before because it is going to be them that are walking down the streets affected. It is going to be them that are walking into the shops. It is going to be them that are going to be eating in the restaurants. It is going to be them… I don’t know… jogging down the cobbles, with the head-phones on suddenly surprised by a new building, saying, “Hey where did that come from?” It doesn’t need to be like that.

“So that’s what it is about. People might think I am being naive, but I just think it will be good to get more different people together to talk, agree or disagree and perhaps say, ‘Actually, I do quite like the idea of a big new branded supermarket there,’ for example, ‘And I do understand that might mean I have to wait a bit longer in a traffic queue but that’s okay.’ or ‘I don’t like it and it is not okay.’ I don’t know what most people do think and actually no one does.

“We are not going to solve all the problems, of course, but if at least some more people, who are not the usual suspects, have heard about what the council has planned and have a chance to comment directly we will have achieved something.

“So that is why we are running the evening and how it will be run. There will be plenty of opportunities and facilities for giving feedback by speaking or writing comments. I hope people will come along. It’s free and we have got the whole G Live auditorium.”

Guildford’s Future – what’s going on? will start at G Live in Guildford at 7pm, November 12, it is open to the public and is free. (Refreshments at a pay-bar will be available).

Further information: Peter Gordon or Paul Marcus on 01483 300964.

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Responses to Eagle Radio G Live Event – Guildford’s Future – What’s Going On?

  1. Trevor Wicks Reply

    November 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Great idea Eagle let’s try and get the youngsters along and let them have their say. They are the future of Guildford.

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