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Letter: GGG Does Have A Record of Community Action

Published on: 5 May, 2015
Updated on: 5 May, 2015

RosettesFrom Helen Jefferies

GGG Candidate for Lovelace Ward in the GBC election on May 7th.

It is interesting to note that the Lib Dems in Lovelace claim that “GGG (the Guildford Greenbelt Group) [is a], a newly-formed single issue party with no record of action for our community”.

I would assert that without the formation of GGG the Issues and Options consultation would have passed Guildford residents by and without the relentless pressure from GGG in the form of petitions, media statements etc. the Draft Local Plan, promoting mass destruction of the Green Belt, would be well on the way to adoption by now, supported by the incumbent council made up principally of Conservative and Lib Dem councillors.

It is also interesting that the green belt now features in a prominent position in all the major parties media activity – this too, I would suggest is due to GGG campaigning.

In Lovelace ward I am the GGG candidate and a lead member of the Wisley Action Group which has been a long term supporter of GGG.  It is disingenuous to say that GGG has no record of action for our community – in fact the exact opposite is true.

Click here for the full list of candidates standing in Guildford Borough.


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Responses to Letter: GGG Does Have A Record of Community Action

  1. David Bilbe Reply

    May 5, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    And yet – despite deep and passionate concern for my village of Normandy – no-one from GGG has commented on the recent panning application for six gypsy pitches on green belt land. This is despite fielding a candidate from outside the village as a GBC candidate.

    Fine in theory – poor in practice.

    David Bilbe is the Conservative candidate for Normandy ward in the forthcoming GBC election.

    • Lisa Wright Reply

      May 5, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      Mr Bilbe should be aware, as I made it quite clear at the hustings meeting in Normandy last week, I have not personally commented on this planning application to avoid any confusion of predetermination before elected.

      However, as I made it crystal clear at the Normandy Hustings, the Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG) will be protecting all green belt from development unless exceptional circumstances can be proved. We shall also be protecting all green fields from development by encouraging the redevelopment of brownfield sites which will include affordable and tied housing.

      I would like to remind Normandy residents that I do not own land or property in Normandy and therefore do not have any personal agenda when canvassing for votes.

      Lisa Wright is a GGG candidate in Normandy Ward.

  2. Colin Cross Reply

    May 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Yes of course Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG)and Wisley Action Group (WAG) have a record of action in the community on the single issue they are campaigning on, I thought that was blindingly obvious.

    But once we move from that topic then there is no broader based record of action in our
    communities on a hundred and one other important issues affecting our lives each day.

    I am not belittling Helen Jeffery’s huge efforts at WAG but it is a quantum leap from being a campaigner to becoming a councillor.

    GGG are largely unknown in Ripley for this reason and as Ripley/Wisley make up 85%
    of the Lovelace population it is fair to say they have no record of action in these two
    communities at least, although Ockham, probably, has faired better from their attentions.

    Anyway, we do not have to wait long for the ultimate judgement on this.

    Colin Cross is the Lib Dem candidate in the Lovelace ward at the forthcoming GBC election.

  3. David Roberts Reply

    May 5, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Folie de grandeur already, from Colin Cross? Being a local borough councillor surely can’t be that hard, can it?

  4. Dominique Kelly Reply

    May 5, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    I’m bemused at Mr Cross’ assertion that an educated individual cannot take a quantum to leap to become a councillor unless that individual takes the label of a national party.

    I understand Mrs Jefferies is or has been a parish councillor so it seems she is perfectly equipped to become a borough councillor. After all Mr Cross was, or still is, a member of GGG, albeit not of the political party.

    I think it is almost rude of Mr Cross to personally belittle her and question her abilities to become a councillor in public – not very community spirited of a Borough Councillor.

    “Leave this to the real politicians, you ordinary people can’t do it,” is essentially what Mr Cross is saying.

  5. Colin Cross Reply

    May 5, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Re. my comment about Helen Jefferies, I clearly said nothing to the effect that she is not capable or that the job is very difficult etc. I merely reflected that campaigning on a single issue is a very different matter to the myriad of issues that come from borough council involvement.

    I am sorry if that was unclear, not for one moment am
    I questioning Helen’s abilities as I have worked with her at first hand in the recent past.

  6. Helen Jefferies Reply

    May 5, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Recently elected Cllr Cross should be only too aware of the concern of Ripley residents of the impact of a large development on the former Wisley airfield. Many of them are very grateful for the work that the Wisley Action Group does on behalf of the whole local community.

    He has however admitted that the Libdem leaflet is inaccurate by stating that GGG does have a record of community action. I am pleased that he is putting the record straight.

  7. Colin Cross Reply

    May 5, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Is it not a little late in the day for GGG to plead their eternal allegiance to Ripley? In the last two years they have taken their message around the borough to the Horsleys, Clandon, Send, Normandy, Fairlands and various other locations, at halls, clubs etc.

    But never to their nearest main neighbour – why not?

    Ripley has been studiously avoided for too long for it to be an oversight or accident. Yes, we are grateful for the Wisley Action Group and the Guildford Greenbelt Group but mystified by their boycott of a neighbour.

    Colin Cross is the Lib Dem candidate for Lovelace Ward

    • Dominique Kelly Reply

      May 6, 2015 at 9:01 am

      The gentleman [Mr Cross] doth protest too much, methinks.

      He says:

      “Is it not a little late in the day for GGG [Guildford Greenbelt Group] to plead their eternal allegiance to Ripley? In the last two years they have taken their message around the borough to the Horsleys, Clandon, Send, Normandy, Fairlands and various other locations, at halls, clubs etc. But never to their nearest main neighbour – why not?”

      This is simply not true in my view. I have seen GGG on numerous occasions at Ripley Farmers Market at the weekends so to say GGG have ignored Ripley is wrong.

      I will leave it to those in the party to fully answer but I think it is sad that politicians have to make things up to make a point. Perhaps he hasn’t made things up, Mr Cross maybe out of touch with what’s going on in his ward now that he moves in higher circles in Millmead.

  8. Dominique Kelly Reply

    May 5, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Who writes the campaigning rules? It is not up to Mr Cross to dictate what is in the best interests of local residents and what is the best basis to choose our councillors; that is down to the electorate.

    Why not campaign on a single issue if that issue is the biggest issue affecting the residents? People can also manage the other “myriad of issues that come from borough council involvement” whilst having clarity and passion on one which is so pressing in this borough.

    I’m saddened that politics locally and nationally has resorted to personal attacks based on party lines versus policies, values and view points relating to local issues and challenges.

    Whatever Mr Cross now says his attitude is clear, criticise the group he was part of, and the people he worked with, before he was elected as Liberal candidate for Lovelace despite GGG not changing one iota from what they stood for when he was part of them. They have matured into a party which has a balanced approach to Guildford’s future. Perhaps it is Mr Cross who has changed since he has been elected.

    Perhaps his back is sore from the whip?

  9. Helen Jefferies Reply

    May 6, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Residents of Ripley were invited to both meetings held in Easy Horsley which WAG hosted and shared the platform with Ripley Parish Council at the first meeting. There was never a request for hustings in Ripley – if GGG had been asked we would have attended.

    All residents of Ripley and Wisley have had copies of the GGG manifesto so they will have had the opportunity to see that this is not a single issue party but rather a local party set up for local people with no allegiance to those at Westminster whoever they may be.

    Helen Jefferies is the GGG candidate for Lovelace ward

  10. Tony Edwards Reply

    May 6, 2015 at 11:42 am

    If the shameless act of vandalism, masquerading as a “sustainable new settlement” at the former Wisley airfield, ever became a reality, the people of Ripley would would be on the front line of its devastating impact in terms of massively increased traffic and pressure on local services.

    Helen Jefferies, both as a parish councillor and a WAG committee member, has tirelessly devoted her time and energies to the defence of the area and now offers herself as a Lovelace candidate to continue and expand her invaluable work.

    Colin Cross has looked to Helen and her colleagues for a lead on the defence of Ripley and now echoes her long-held views on green belt protection. But the issue was originally raised by people like Helen and GGG. The rest of the political parties now claim to be converts as we near the election.

  11. Colin Cross Reply

    May 6, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Having a stall on Ripley Green to publicise yourself is fine as far as it goes but it does not constitute the formal public meetings that GGG had in the villages I listed.

    GGG has never had a public meeting in Ripley is, I believe, a fact; not a made up fantasy by some out of touch old councillor, as has been referred to.

    Old, yes, out of touch? Lets see…

    Colin Cross is the Lib Dem candidate in Lovelace ward

    • Adrian Atkinson Reply

      May 7, 2015 at 12:28 am

      Now Mr Cross is changing his stance again. He previously asserted that:

      “Is it not a little late in the day for GGG to plead their eternal allegiance to Ripley? In the last two years they have taken their message around the borough to the Horsleys, Clandon, Send, Normandy, Fairlands and various other locations, at halls, clubs etc. But never to their nearest main neighbour – why not?”

      He said “never” in Ripley. Which was wrong and he knows this. Responses subsequently prove this to be the case.

      Now Mr Cross talks of GGG not holding a public meeting in Ripley. That is totally different to GGG not never engaging with Ripley in any form.

      In my village, none of the established parties have held their own meeting as far as I know. If Ripley was so special why didn’t the Parish council hold a husting?

  12. Colin Cross Reply

    May 6, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Sorry for another reply but Tony Edwards previously unseen and misinformed words require some correction.

    I look to no one to give me a lead in anything. I live in the same house that we moved to in Ripley 40 years ago and have been a parish councillor for 25 of those years. I don’t jump on local bandwagons and follow others and find that remark insulting.

    In 1981 we marched behind Lord Onslow down Ripley High St to save Wisley from becoming a commuter airport but I do not suppose they were there?

    As chairman of Ripley Parish Council (RPC) I also presented the case against the composter at the Kingston enquiry a few years back, without anyone’s help.

    RPC also joined WIsley Action Group (WAG) many years ago and gave assistance and we are members of CPRE for many years, working closely with Tim Harrold.

    So I am not a new convert who can be bullied into submission, nor do I like the label.

    The issues raised do not belong to GGG or Helen Jefferies so to claim this is fantasy.

    Stick around 40 years more and that might add some validity to such claims, but not anytime soon. I hope Mr Edwards will have the grace to see the wider picture and recant at least some of his more misinformed assumptions.

    Colin Cross is the Lib Dem candidate for Lovelace

  13. Tony Edwards Reply

    May 7, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I hadn’t noticed anyone, least of all me, trying to bully Colin Cross “into submission” and I don’t see any necessity to “recant” for merely pointing out that Guildford’s green belt only became top of the political agenda after the Guildford Greenbelt Group put it there.

    But I’m pleased to see that Colin realises the issue has become paramount not only in Lovelace ward but across the county.

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