Fringe Box



Letter: Has Sir Paul Forgotten the Tories’ Record?

Published on: 19 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 19 Mar, 2021

From: Susan Parker

former GGG leader and borough councillor for Send

In response to: My Green Belt Defence Has Always Come Before My Party

Perhaps Sir Paul has forgotten that GGG led the fight against the judicial review of the Tory imposed local plan.

The previous Tory Executive imposed the Local Plan in the purdah period. This was controversial and certainly not the normal process.

Immediately after the election, when the Lib Dems took the leadership of the council, GGG proposed:

  • immediate legal review and cancellation of the plan as legally unsound (rejected by the new LibDem council leaders);
  • immediate start of the formal review process for the plan (ditto);
  • support from the council for the popular legal challenge which had a High Court hearing via judicial review (instead the council leader chose to fight the judicial review against the community).

Outside the council, it was GGG that led the part of the judicial review that covered the whole borough, ie not strategic sites.

In no case did the Tory party give us any support; I am not aware of any support for this campaign from Sir Paul Beresford; the Lib Dems just pushed through the old Tory plan.

We had four elected councillors, but we sadly lost a hard-working and well-regarded GGG councillor with the sudden death of Patrick Sheard last summer. With three councillors we have been a consistent and vocal opposition to entrenched poor local decision-making.


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Responses to Letter: Has Sir Paul Forgotten the Tories’ Record?

  1. Harry Eve Reply

    March 19, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    It is clear that while the Tories remain in charge at Surrey County Council they will go out of their way to enable development, as required of them by their masters in Downing Street, rather than apply constraints.

    Guildford residents, particularly residents of the borough’s villages who are bearing the brunt of painful Local Plan site applications and losing open spaces and wildlife, can see that constraints are obviously required.

    Let us hope that opposition parties such as GGG will do their best to save us from a bleak future under Tory totalitarianism.

  2. George Potter Reply

    March 19, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Unfortunately what Cllr Susan Parker neglects to mention is that, of the items she’s listed, cancelling the Local Plan would have almost certainly resulted in the imposition of even higher housing targets, and allowed for a free-for-all for developers while the new plan was being written, and that the judicial reviews against the Local Plan had absolutely no valid legal arguments on their side, which is why they were rejected.

    Wishful thinking is all very well, but it doesn’t make for good policy.

    George Potter is a Lib Dem borough councillor for Burpham

  3. John Perkins Reply

    March 19, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    How exactly would higher targets have been imposed? It may have resulted in developers being able to make unrestricted demands, but that’s not the same thing.

    The only valid legal arguments seem to be that one or more of the boxes were not ticked.

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