Fringe Box



Letter: Why I Am Standing As An Independent For Stoughton

Published on: 24 Mar, 2015
Updated on: 24 Mar, 2015

From Tony Ferris, standing as an independent councillor for Stoughton in the forthcoming Guildford Borough Council elections.

emails letterThanks to Bernard Parke for his kind words about the return of independent candidates for the Guildford Borough Council elections on May 7.

I completely agree with him. You can’t focus on serving local people and national partypolitics at the same time. Just look at what has happened with the Guildford Local Plan, housing and the green belt!

The reason that I am standing for election as an independent councillor in the Stoughton ward is because I live in Stoughton and want to be involved with what happens in Stoughton.

I am sure that the present councillors work very hard and I applaud them for caring. But they are political and they want to play politics. This is not good for Guildford or Stoughton.

We need new thinking and a new focus on local issues in Stoughton.

I am delighted that the improvement works on Woodbridge Hill are finally to be built in April this year. This has been possible with the money obtained from the development of Queen Elizabeth Park. However, this was more than 12 years ago. Why wasn’t the money spent in Stoughton then? Why have we waited 12 years to see these improvements?

The Lib Dems have been in power in Stoughton for over 35 years. It is time to give someone else a chance. I think it is time for a change.

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Responses to Letter: Why I Am Standing As An Independent For Stoughton

  1. Pauline Searle Reply

    April 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Being elected as a ward councillor means that you are there to represent the residents of that ward. I don’t think you would find any councillor saying they wouldn’t help any resident be they from your ward or from Guildford Borough as a whole, if they hadn’t voted for them, whatever political party they support. That is not how it works.

    The advantage of being part of a political group is that you have colleagues for help and support. Also a network to get out information to all you residents right across the ward, something which an independent councillor might find challenging.

    I am Guildford born and bred, having lived here all my life. I am passionate about where I live and only stand for election because I believe I can make a difference. I don’t do it for political gain. I work hard for the benefit of all my residents.

    Over the years that I have been a Stoughton councillor I have championed road improvements, play areas, ponds for wildlife, environmental improvements, supported charity groups and community events like “Carols on the Green” and instigated the very successful World War 1 event in Cardwell’s Keep [Stoughton Barracks] last year. I am very proud of all of these things. They are done because I want to improve life for my residents, not for any political reason, and certainly not for my own benefit.

    As any borough councillor will tell, it can be a long and challenging task to get some projects completed, especially if you are working with other authorities. This particularly applies to anything to do with highways.

    The procedure is long. Naturally there also has to be consultation with residents, and the highways work has to fit in with the bigger picture for the whole borough, Anyone who has sat on the Guildford Local Committee will know that I argue long and loud to get improvements to roads in my ward. Even taking part in street protests to show how strongly residents feel.

    The funding for the environment improvements at Woodbridge Hill is not all from Queen Elizabeth Park Section 106 monies. We needed extra funding before work could start and this has come through from other projects in the ward as well as from a neighbouring ward.

    This all takes time , it hasn’t been a question of a pot of money sitting waiting to be used. The plans have to be drawn up and agreed, then officers at Guildford Borough Council have to co-ordinate with Surrey Highways and their contractors to fit in with other Highways contractors to ensure the resurfacing work fits in with the overall project plan.

    I have worked hard as a councillor in Stoughton to represent anyone living or working in my ward, regardless of their politics. Sometimes the process is slow , sometime I can’t get as much done as I would like and that is frustrating, but I will keep trying because of my passion for the Borough of Guildford and, in particular, for Stoughton.

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