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Letter: Council Candidates Must Focus The On Issues In Their Wards

Published on: 25 Mar, 2015
Updated on: 25 Mar, 2015

From Alderman Gordon Bridger

emails letterAs the election date approaches, I wonder if I could suggest that all candidates standing for election should concentrate on the issues and concerns of the ward they are hoping to represent rather than on national issues under whose banner they all too frequently appear?

Unfortunately, local elections are all too often regarded as a national Gallup poll and candidates are elected on a national basis rather than on how best they can promote the interests of their ward.

I have known some really good candidates lose out because of national party affiliations.

I would like to suggest to all candidates that they concentrate on producing statements on the following three issues:

1. What they regard as the main plans problems of their ward and what they would do to resolve them?

2. If elected how would they keep in touch with their electors?

3. What community organisations they relate to in their wards?

Those best able to answer these questions should be the preferred choice.

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Responses to Letter: Council Candidates Must Focus The On Issues In Their Wards

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    March 25, 2015 at 9:26 am

    I thoroughly endorse my colleague’s sentiment on this issue.

    If only it could become a reality, but from past experience this has never happened, but we live in hope.

    Perhaps more independent councillors may be the answer.

  2. Tony Edwards Reply

    March 25, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Candidates might also like to come clean on where they stand on green belt protection since, like it or not, the Guildford Greenbelt Group has already demonstrated that this is a key issue among Guildford residents.

    The last Conservative manifesto was crystal clear about green belt protection, yet we have all witnessed a Tory-led council ‘translate’ government policy to support the potential act of vandalism described as the draft Local Plan. And they’d have us believe that by postponing and ‘reassessing’ the plan until ‘after the May election’it will somehow look different if they get re-elected.

    The Conservatives’ ‘No VAT Rise’ pledge before the last election and the rise to 20% soon after, was clear evidence that Tory promises should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

    The only way to ensure that Guildford isn’t changed beyond recognition in the coming years is to vote for a party which appreciates that once lost, the green belt will be gone forever.

    Most residents came to Guildford because it is a good place to live. It could so easily become a good place to leave. And, no, that’s not NIMBYism, it’s plain common sense.

  3. Tony Ferris Reply

    March 29, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Well done to Alderman Gordon Bridger for his call for all candidates to concentrate on local issues. I agree wholeheartedly.

    I would add to his list. We also need a willingness to take a fresh approach to all that the council does and provides.

    We desperately need to re-connect our local government with the electorate. They currently have a very jaundiced view about local government and government in general.

    I see a growing concern, which I share, about the way the council is run on party political lines. This is echoed in the many other letters and comments in the Guildford Dragon.

    Does our electorate have any confidence that our current party based councillors are willing or have the ability to change? I don’t think they have. We need fresh blood!

    Guildford has big challenges ahead. We have to really listen to the electorate now and continue the dialogue to take Guildford forward in the direction we all want.

    Candidates must state what they will do differently to improve their area and the borough – not just do the same old, same old.

    Tony Ferris is standing as an independent candidate for the Stoughton ward in the forthcoming Guildford Borough Council election.

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