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Letter: Are These ‘Independent’ Parish Councillors Really Independent?

Published on: 29 May, 2023
Updated on: 28 May, 2023

From: Paul Spooner

former Conservative leader of GBC

In response to: End of an Era – Ash’s Dominant Tory Chairman Is Succeeded By an Independent

I know that it is a Lib Dem strategy for their members to be allowed to stand as “Independent” at parish council level, something that is not allowed by the local [Surrey Heath] Conservative Association as it is considered as “fooling” residents.

How many of the new councillors are genuinely Independent, such as Paul Golding, and how many are pseudo-Independents whilst being members of a political party, and in some cases being borough and/or county councillors for the Lib Dems?

Clearly, in the case of the new chairman and vice-chairman at Ash Parish Council, we have two Lib Dem councillors.

“Open and transparent”? It’s not a good start.

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Responses to Letter: Are These ‘Independent’ Parish Councillors Really Independent?

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    May 29, 2023 at 7:39 am

    It is amusing to see Mr Spooner accusing others of “fooling” residents. How about his party fooling residents that the green belt would be safe with them, only to renege, and do their best to destroy it with their Local Plan.

    He cannot be surprised that his party is no longer trusted.

    As to “open and transparent”, given the Tory record on this, what a laugh.

  2. David Roberts Reply

    May 29, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    Former councillor Spooner raises a non-issue. In West Horsley we are blessed with a parish council that is not only non-political but also highly effective.

    Catherine Young has long been both a West Horsley parish councillor and a borough councillor (until recently for GGG and now for R4GV). I have never noticed the slightest conflict between the two roles, or any difficulty in keeping them separate, but she will no doubt correct me if I’m wrong.

    Does Mr Spooner’s criticism also extend to those members of his own party, such as Cllrs Furniss and Hughes, who receive allowances for being both county and borough councillors?

  3. Carl Cookson Reply

    May 30, 2023 at 9:35 pm

    I for one am truly independent. The only reason I stood was in hope that I could prevent a continuation of, in my view, the less than open and transparent previous politically led council.

    My email is open if Mr Spooner has further concerns.

    Carl Cookson is an Independent Ash parish councillor.

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