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‘Guildford Forum’ Launched by Guildford’s MP – Former Local Radio Presenter to Chair

Published on: 23 Jun, 2021
Updated on: 24 Jun, 2021

Angela Richardson MP and Peter Gordon

A town “forum” is being launched by Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson. She proposed the idea shortly after her election in 2019 and has now chosen Peter Gordon, the former local radio presenter, as chair.

The launch event will be online on Thursday, July 8 at 7pm via Zoom but will move to a physical venue once government Covid restrictions allow. Invitations are being sent out to key stakeholders in Guildford along with a link to register for the event.

Ms Richardson’s accompanying slogan is: “Guildford’s future is bright and it is in our hands”.

The intention is that the “Guildford Forum” will provide an opportunity for everyone interested in the future of the town and its surrounding villages to have their say on what that future should look like and the infrastructure, technology and resources needed to make it happen.

See also: Local Groups Criticise and Question MP’s Initiative for a New ‘Guildford Forum’

According to the press release: “Angela made support for the local economy and businesses a key plank of her election campaign in 2019. Guildford is the economic powerhouse of Surrey and one of the key economic hubs for the South East region; the jobs and prosperity its retail and service sectors create are key to positive outcomes in many other socio-economic indicators.”

But the forum is not intended to be just about business. Also on the agenda will be the town’s arts and heritage sectors, which have been hit by a lack of visitors during the pandemic and the place of higher education in Guildford’s future.

Peter Gordon and Angela Richardson starting the discussion.

Ms Richardson said: “This is a really exciting venture and I’m delighted to be working with Peter. Everyone knows him – he was the voice of Eagle Radio for many years and it’s impossible to go round the town with him without him speaking to a dozen people he knows every five minutes!

“I’m so glad he sees the value in the Guildford Forum – the chance for key people who know what makes Guildford tick to share a discussion space and have the opportunity to feed into the future. I’ll be involved and thinking about how the government, which recognises our town and surrounding area as a strategic hub, can help Guildford – both by doing the little things right but also not being afraid to think big.”

Mr Gordon added: “We’ve had a really tough year or so and Guildford has felt it just like everywhere else. Businesses and organisations have been pushed to the limit and the town’s usual fantastic buzz has been challenged hugely during the various lockdowns.

“But hopefully we are coming to the end of that now. What we need is to help re-light that spark, to get Guildford going again and this Forum, like any open discussion platform, is a great idea. It’ll be somewhere between a focus group and a think-tank, to assist in kick-starting that process.

“I’d encourage as many of the town’s stakeholders, residents and interested parties, whatever your stance or opinion, to attend. I’m really looking forward to being involved as an impartial and independent chairman to help facilitate the discussion.”

Reaction to the announcement is being sought from local parties and groups and will be the subject of a follow-up article tomorrow.

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Responses to ‘Guildford Forum’ Launched by Guildford’s MP – Former Local Radio Presenter to Chair

  1. Stephen Rowden Reply

    June 23, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Excellent idea. There are all sorts of aspects to our town that we take for granted and if all interested parties have a positive attitude it can only be beneficial.

  2. George Potter Reply

    June 25, 2021 at 11:16 am

    It’s a shame that this article remains the front-page story, while the reactions from all other political parties and civic organisations in Guildford doesn’t even appear on the front page anymore.

    George Potter is a Lib Dem borough councillor for Burpham.

    Editor’s comment: Local Groups Criticise and Question MP’s Initiative for a New ‘Guildford Forum’ does remain on the front page, it’s the second story down in the right-hand column, at the time of writing. The main story also has a very clear link to the “reactions” story.

  3. Martin Elliott Reply

    June 25, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Why is Peter Gordon always described as a Local Radio Presenter? Yes he was for 25 years, but as is relevant to this new Forum, he has far more business experience.

    Wasn’t he actually a director, not only of Eagle Radio and the group of channels, but also director of the RDUK Group of around 10 local radio stations, until taken over by the Bauer Group?

    I wonder if he still has any executive interests in radio.

    Oh, and of course, he makes an excellent panto dame, or so I’m told.

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