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Letter: Council Must Communicate to Maintain Public’s Trust

Published on: 25 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 25 Jul, 2021
From Mark Bray-Parry
spokesperson for The Green Party, Guildford
See: Surrey Police to Investigate Alleged Assault By GBC Security at Stoney Castle
I am writing as I am concerned with the lack of communication from Guildford Borough Council regarding Stoney Castle.
I am aware that there are some legal restrictions around some information, but the almost complete lack of any communication with residents, or through journalists, since the occupiers were removed, leaves us all in the dark about what action is being taken to clear the site, now it has been secured.
There are important questions that need to be addressed: Has GBC started assessing the cost of clearing the site? Has GBC ensured that potential toxic waste has been assessed? Has GBC looked into a compulsory purchase order for the site? Has GBC approached the Environment Agency, as Bromley Borough Council did, to support funding of the clearance of the site?
The longer that the silence from GBC continues regarding what happens next at Stoney Castle, the more local residents and those looking to support a solution will begin to believe that there was no plan beyond securing the site.
After more than 30 years of alleged illegal activity at the Stoney Castle dump, the amount of faith in local authorities that there is action behind the scenes is limited.
I implore GBC to reconsider its communication strategy before the goodwill that they earned by removing the occupiers wears out.

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