Fringe Box



Letter: A Town Council Could Sort Out These Shameful Eyesores

Published on: 16 Oct, 2012
Updated on: 16 Oct, 2012

From Jonthan Tatlow

I have known Guildford all my life and I have lived and worked in the town centre for nearly half a century. I can therefore say with some authority that, regardless of the financial crisis and empty shops in the High Street, Guildford has known better days. and it shows.

In contrast to the macro-planning problems presented by the Town Centre Masterplan, I and countless other pedestrians experience Guildford in a microcosm, at ground level. I walk the streets of the town centre almost everyday and sometimes I pass tourists and I am embarrassed by what they might see if they stray too far from our historic gems in the High Street, Quarry Street, Castle Grounds, and so on.

The Town Bridge is in urgent need of a coat of paint!

Consider the “décor” they will discover in the Friary Passage and Farnham Road subways. Such crass ugliness is insulting to every person who uses them. And the Town Bridge has been in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint since long before the financial crisis. So that now, after years of neglect, its chipped paint and rusting bare metal would not be out of place in a deprived inner city area.

The bridge and gaps in the brickwork by the lock at Millmead – when will propers repair be undertaken?

While Millmead, surely the most delightful and popular of the town centre’s open spaces, is blighted by a “temporary” bridge over the lock. Complete with rabbit-cage mesh and red and white hazard boards it has become a permanent part of the scenery. It is an eyesore and a badge of shame for all those responsible for its continued existence.

And to ad insult to injury, the loss of about 20 bricks from the edge of the nearby causeway has resulted in a section of the bright orange plastic road barrier being cable-tied to the railings, apparently indefinitely. Replacement of the bricks would be a short day’s work for one person and then we, the ordinary people of Guildford and our many visitors, would be relieved of this latest example of local authority vandalism.

I know nothing about major town planning but I recognise a local authority that demonstrates no pride in the appearance of its premier town, our town. Would such blatant lack of care and concern be tolerated on and around the many picturesque village greens elsewhere in the borough?

Alderman Bernard Parke’s oft repeated observation that the town of Guildford needs it own council is obviously worthy of serious consideration. This town of some 60,000 souls is, in effect, governed by an inner “cabinet” whose interests and responsibilities are spread over a whole borough and few of whom, if any, actually live in Guildford.

The population of “greater Guildford” is approximately half that of the whole borough. Should we not have a dseparate governing body with its own powers and responsibilities, comprised of people who walk Guildford’s streets every day, who know its people and “have their finger on the pulse” of the town?

Even country parishes with populations of a few thousand have their councils to protect their interests. Why can’t we?

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: A Town Council Could Sort Out These Shameful Eyesores

  1. Pete Brayne

    October 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Can I add to your list of long term problems the state of the subway at the top of Bridge Street? The platform half way up the steps collects water which does not drain. It requires some dainty footwork to avoid getting wet feet! I think we are now in the third year of this problem.

  2. Trevor Wicks

    October 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    It seems to me Guildford Borough Council don’t give a damn about Guildford and Surrey County Council even less.

  3. Simon Moore

    October 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Has anyone had any success using to make these sorts of problems even more visible to whoever is responsible?

  4. Bernard Parke

    October 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Currently we have council tax taxation without proper representation.

    Why should we be the only town in this part of Surrey without a town council?

    Perhaps we should form a “Tea Perty”.