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Letter: Cllr Spooner’s Perception of Democracy is Different from Ours

Published on: 15 Feb, 2019
Updated on: 15 Feb, 2019

From Tony Rooth

Independent borough councillor for Pilgrims (Puttenham, Seale, Shackleford and Wanborough)

In response to: A Couple of Points for Cllr Cross

Cllr Spooner is rather nonsensical, in suggesting that independents would run an independent “state” in Guildford. Independents and residents run councils like Epsom and Ewell who work with national governments of whatever political persuasion.

Regrettably, electoral law is biased towards political parties. Residents can only stand as “Independent” unless they have registered as their own “political party”. A rigged system meant that GGG [Guildford Greenbelt Group] had to wait a shocking nine months to register their name.

Colin Cross, Bob McShee and I formed the Independent Alliance (not a political party) to ensure that independent views are expressed without pressure from political party leaders.

Cllr Spooner’s perception of democracy is different from ours. We three independents certainly commit time and energy to representing residents. Can the same really be said of some Conservative councillors, including [former councillor] Will Chesterfield and Michael Illman who both failed to turn up to any council meeting for months.

Cllrs Spooner and Furniss clearly are committed but is it “democracy” when they are seen everywhere and seem to do and say almost everything for the Conservative group of 31 councillors?

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Responses to Letter: Cllr Spooner’s Perception of Democracy is Different from Ours

  1. Steve Jones Reply

    February 15, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Guildford Borough Council is controlled by Messrs Spooner and Furniss. Are they a duet or a dictatorship?

    Other Tory councillors seem silent lobby fodder, perhaps too frightened to say anything. Two Tories couldn’t even be bothered to turn up to council meetings, for some periods. And there is an ineffective Lib Dem opposition who just support Tory fantasy projects.

    Hardly a “democracy”.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    February 16, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    I would say that Mr Spooner’s and his chums’ idea of democracy is different from anybody’s who understands the meaning of democracy.

    Democracy is not:

    Carrying out sham consultations, and taking no notice of the results.

    Continuing with a trajectory against the clear wishes of the majority of residents.

    Misleading the electorate by saying that the green belt would be protected under the Tories, then immediately reneging on that promise, once elected.

    Hounding out any of his own party who dared not to display blind obedience to the leadership.

    Insulting members of other parties and the public (including references to a “Bloody rabble”).

    Arranging a “partnership” with Dongying, in China, with no demonstrable benefit to Guildford.

    Having private meetings with developers.

    Decision making by a chosen few, behind closed doors, then announced at council meetings (or not in some cases), as faits accomplis.

    Holding show trials of councillors who dare to attempt to shine a light on their most heinous mistakes.

    He and his chums definitely do not run GBC with any regard to democracy, in my view. Tony Rooth compared it to a dictatorship.

    It is time for a change, and I look forward to this discredited leadership being slung out in May, to be replaced by a majority of GGG [Guildford Greenbelt Group] and Independent councillors.

  3. John Redpath Reply

    February 16, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Cllr Rooth sounds a worrying note.

    I am sure both Cllrs Spooner and Furniss believe they are doing the right and the best thing for us residents. Whether they are correct in that view is subject to debate, but my concern is that GBC appears to be run by a hard-working two-man Executive with all other Conservative councillors putting their hands up when told by them to do so!

    It is definitely time to balance things out a little with the Conservative majority.

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