Fringe Box



Letter: Bin the Bridge and Use Money for Social Housing

Published on: 15 Jul, 2023
Updated on: 15 Jul, 2023

Ash level crossing

From: S Callanan

In response to: Guildford Officers Find £10m Accounting Error

If you drive from Guildford to Littlehampton, whether via Ford or via the main road skirting Arundel, you come to a level crossing that inevitably holds up the traffic. That’s what level crossings do and that’s what the Ash crossing does.

In an ideal world, it would be nice to avoid that delay, but in today’s strapped-for-cash world, I think an increasingly costly bridge counts as a “nice to have” rather than a “must have”.

Bin the bridge and put the cash away for something else which is a “must have” such as social housing.

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Responses to Letter: Bin the Bridge and Use Money for Social Housing

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    July 15, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    Spot on.

    Especially as Guildford cannot be trusted to spend taxpayer’s money competently – or even get its accounts audited!

    What happens to all the s106 payments that developers pay? Have they ever been audited?

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    July 15, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    Considering the bottomless pit of Weyside not technically and commercially viable since 2010 and neved to be built out in the life of the bext council because the new STW has no engineers to build it, and land stability problems is a sinking pit! A technical swamp!

    Perhaps both projects should be scrapped and a very large round table found so there is room for technicians as well as polititians and discuss the reality of power, water supply, roads, etc. Cheap to develop sites .. not the most technicaĺly diffcult. To infill the current 10% shortfall in treatment, the live date of 2035 for more electricty.
    Disccusion on drinking water supply considering rainfall shortage

    We need to start from Net Zero. Blank sheet. Full facts, discussion keep repeating the old story is not working

  3. James Steel Reply

    July 16, 2023 at 9:53 am

    The only problem with this argument is that if the council “bins the bridge” all the grant funding that has already been spent would have to be paid back. This would equate to the same costs as finishing the bridge.

    The council is in a no-win situation on the Ash Road Bridge financially but there’s the possibility of providing some form of infrastructure to an area that will need it with the upcoming developments.

    James Steel is a former Lib Dem borough councillor.

  4. S Callanan Reply

    July 16, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    Mr Steel says: “all the grant funding that has already been spent would have to be paid back. This would equate to the same costs as finishing the bridge. ”

    Crumbs. What would it cost to finish the bridge and what has that sum “already been spent” on?

  5. Roger Kendall Reply

    July 16, 2023 at 5:01 pm

    The problem in this area is that the roads are not adequate for the housing we have, any further delay will only bring more pollution, lost productivity and frustration.

    The bridge is not a good design with the tight bends and no additional parking for the station but its urgent. Time to sort the A3 too.

  6. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    July 17, 2023 at 9:43 pm

    Questions raised in my letter Can Ash Road Bridge Money Be Spent In Time? were answered by Cllr Potter.

    I wonder if Cllr Potter still thinks that GBC can spend £23m of Homes England funding before the end of the year (March 2024?) considering the contract has not yet been awarded. Perhaps Cllr Tom Hunt, Deputy Leader Regeneration Portfolio, could throw some light on this.

    • Bibhas Neogi Reply

      July 22, 2023 at 8:26 am

      Any response from Cllr Potter or Cllr Hunt yet? Apparently, it will cost as much to stop it as to continue with it according to a recent GBC meeting discussing the budget for 2023 – ’24.

      Haven’t we heard this before in connection with Walnut Bridge? Is the history of unwise spending by the council repeating itself?

      So what are the conditions attached to the funding of £23 million by Homes England? It is an important question considering the contract for the construction of the bridge has yet to be awarded.

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