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Letter: A Disgraceful Bulldozing of Procedure

Published on: 11 Oct, 2017
Updated on: 11 Oct, 2017

From Ciaran Doran

chair of the Guildford’s Liberal Democrats

See: Six Tories Rebel But Borough Council Will Sign Partnership Deal With Dongying

This is a disgraceful bulldozing of procedure.

Where is the due diligence? What towns or cities around the world have been considered in the process of finding great places for Guildford to partner with?

Where is the scrutiny and process that this council have followed? There are none.

In a matter of weeks the leaders not only made their own minds up but booked tickets in advance of official discussion on the subject while the people of Guildford are sound asleep as they simply don’t care.

There is a simple connection between one person and Dongying and the folly of our council leadership in going down this road like baa’ing sheep is incredible. I have no quibble with the people of China nor do I have any problem with partnering with towns and cities in other countries to help our and their communities.

I do, however, have a real and serious concern when our local government body makes such decisions without due process, as is often the way with an arrogant conservative majority, and makes no consideration for the values we hold as Guildfordians.

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Responses to Letter: A Disgraceful Bulldozing of Procedure

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    October 11, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Alarm bells should be ringing across Guildford.

  2. Valerie Thompson Reply

    October 11, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    This whole business is outrageous.

    Who did they consult? What process was followed? Who has made this decision?

    Cllr Spooner and his cohort only had one discussion with the councillors after tickets and hotel rooms were booked and the outcome is that whatever happens in China, and whatever they think of this unsuitable twinning, it will go ahead!

    I am appalled at the temerity and undemocratic behaviour of our elected representatives.

    They certainly do not represent me and my opinions and I would take a bet that 99% of the borough’s residents would think the same.

  3. Stephen Parker Reply

    October 11, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    There are many great universities in China; it seems strange that Guildford, which is already twinned with Freiburg, is choosing to align itself with a city which boasts the second-largest oilfield in China and one of the world’s largest tyre manufacturing centres, rather than a centre of academia.

    Perhaps, given the cavalier attitude which the council appears to have to our green belt and AONB, we should consider ourselves well and truly warned.

    Editor’s note: According to Wikipedia, Dongying is home to one major university, the China University of Petroleum, as well as several colleges and technical schools. There are also many top high schools located in Dongying, one of those is Shengli Oilfield No.1 Middle School, which is rated as the most successful middle and high schools in China in a research hold by Beijing University in 2014.

  4. Roscelyn Connor Reply

    October 12, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    I do not understand how this has been allowed to happen without due process.

    The councillors represent the people of Guildford, not themselves.

    Who is paying for this trip? Why were the tickets booked before the meeting?

    Could it be that the people of Guildford are?

    Are the councillors who are going on this exploratory visit, skilled in the matter of trading partnerships? Also, precisely what do the leaders of Dongying want from a town like Guildford?

    Is it really true that the reason that this is has been pushed through in such an unseemly manner is because of the university? If that is so, why and what for?

    Bearing in mind the impending appeal of the monstrous Solum development and other proposals; Guildford is being already strangled by greed and ugly development. Do we really need anyone else in this the toxic mix?

    How the heck did a thing of this apparent magnitude get this far without deeper discussion?

    What has happened to our council? Recent events and behaviour of certain councillors certainly seem to point to a very worrying direction, which does not bode well for those of us who care about Guildford and its future.

    Editor’s note: The trip is being paid for from GBC funds provided through taxes.

  5. Mike Gibson Reply

    October 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    I think this is what many would call “a jolly”. If it must go ahead, shouldn’t we press the councillors and officers involved to pay for their expenses out of their own pocket? Otherwise shouldn’t HMRC take it to be a taxable benefit? There are certainly no votes to be gained from this.

  6. Monica Jones Reply

    October 12, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Proper procedures must be carried out if we are footing the bill.

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