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Letter: Ben Paton Selection Shows Common Sense At Last

Published on: 29 Aug, 2014
Updated on: 29 Aug, 2014
Green belt land south of Guildford

Green belt land south of Guildford

From Tony Edwards

The sweet smell of common sense appears to have at last permeated local Tory Party politics with the nomination of Ockham resident and campaigner Ben Paton as Conservative candidate for the Lovelace ward.

Ben is a staunch defender of the green belt and a fierce opponent of catastrophic proposals to build a ‘new town’ at ‘Three Farms Meadows’, the former Wisley airfield.

His vision for Guildford in general and the Lovelace ward in particular seems unlikely to be shared by Cllr Mansbridge and some of his colleagues but undoubtedly welcomed by Guildford residents who are beginning to fear for the future of the borough.

The assault on Guildford’s green belt, posed by the Draft Local Plan, is a threat which goes well beyond party politics – as witnessed by the growing support for the Guildford Greenbelt Group – so Ben’s candidacy should be welcome news to us all.

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Responses to Letter: Ben Paton Selection Shows Common Sense At Last

  1. Michael Bruton Reply

    August 29, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    May I congratulate Lovelace Tories in selecting Ben Paton as their candidate for Ripley, Ockham and Wisley.

    Guildford Tories have an abysmal track record for even wanting to protect the green belt from the bulldozer and concrete mixer. Even those Tories who oppose the excessive housing numbers demanded by Cllr Mansbridge and Co. remain equivocal over the 2,100 proposed homes on the former Wisley ‘green belt’ airfield.

    It is about time that those Tory councillors representing the countryside to the east of the Borough came off the fence over Wisley. Please give us a straight answer – Yes or No.

    And that goes too, for Tory Councillors across the whole borough: Ash/Normandy, Blackwell Farm/Hog’s Back Gosden Hill Farm etc.

    As Tory Guildford Borough Council seems to be coming apart at the seams – where do they all stand? Surely the wish for self preservation should make them distance themselves from the Local Plan as is? It would be even better if they really believed in protecting the green belt as a principle.

    Michael Bruton is a former Conservative Surrey County Councillor and member of the Guildford Greenbelt Group.

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