Fringe Box



Letter: The GBC Executive Seems Hell Bent on the Local Plan Regardless

Published on: 13 May, 2016
Updated on: 13 May, 2016

Revised Local Plan Jun 2016From Michael Aaronson

I am grateful to all those who have commented on my original letter: Plans to Develop Normandy Would Destroy Its Character.

Of course we must not fall into the trap of arguing for our own back yard at the expense of someone else’s. Nor must we ignore the genuine need for development within our borough. It is just that the leadership of Guildford Borough Council (GBC) seems to be living in a parallel universe to the rest of us.

I watched the whole of the May 11 meeting of the GBC Executive to consider the Local Plan by webcast, as I was unable to attend the meeting in person (full marks to GBC, by the way, for making this service available).

There appeared to be virtually no awareness of the concerns exemplified by the comments in this string; the Executive just seems hell bent on pushing ahead with its plan.

That the meeting started with a PR video claiming – outrageously – to represent the views of the public, speaks for itself. There is nothing wrong with PR, but to start with your own propaganda, and then to base your claims on it, suggests a degree of self-delusion that is deeply concerning.

How are we going to have a rational and constructive debate about the proposals in the ‘Submission Local Plan’? If the response to our comments on the 2014 version is anything to go by, our views will simply be ignored.

That is hardly encouraging to those citizens who care about their local environment and believe that in a democracy they can help shape decisions affecting it.

Councillors need to take responsibility for ensuring that we have a proper debate that hears the genuine concerns of those of us who believe that with their Local Plan they are heading, lemming-like, for a disaster.

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