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Letter: How Consultation With Informed Resident Identified Route to Solving the Hotspot Issue

Published on: 24 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 24 Jul, 2020

From: John Rigg

R4GV borough councillor for Holy Trinity and lead councillor for Regeneration

In response to: Hotspots Project Raised My Temperature

R4GV borough councillor for Holy Trinity and lead councillor for Regeneration

I’d like to respond to the letter from “Angry from Tongham”, aka John Ferns, and provide more background on the U-turn. I understand the frustration, and the desire for honesty to repair trust.

R4GV came into being because I, and a number of other residents, felt very strongly that residents were not being listened to. We believe national politics have no place at the local level, and collaboration is critical to delivering for residents.

As Dragon readers are aware, because of the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Guildford Borough Council found itself having to make funding cuts. No-one wanted to have to shelve projects less than me. I have campaigned for years for better infrastructure in the borough and still do.

Our only choices appeared to be those projects which hadn’t yet been started, and the “Hotspots” project came with an additional costly complication. A previous administration had agreed to undertake the project although Surrey County Council is the council responsible for infrastructure and of course they have the annual budget for roads.

GBC does not have the expertise to manage or deliver a highways project but last May, after being elected, we manfully accepted we would take it forward and intended to do so, until Covid called a halt.

But I was completely unaware of the S106 funding developers had previously committed to mitigate the impact of additional housing, until alerted by Sue Wyeth-Price, an R4GV supporter in Ash.

I was stunned when she showed me the spreadsheet of these commitments and I immediately launched an investigation to discover considerable sums had indeed been committed, but it was due to go directly to Surrey County Council as the highways authority even though they were not contributing to the scheme.

I then initiated negotiations with the council, and its deputy leader Colin Kemp in particular. With his understanding and assistance we were eventually able to find a mutually acceptable way forward for everyone, for Ash residents and motorists using the route, as well as for GBC and SCC.

I want to reassure Dragon readers we will always put the interests and concerns of residents first. We may not always be successful in what we want to achieve, but if it’s possible to do so we will do our utmost to make it happen.

END

 

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test One Response to Letter: How Consultation With Informed Resident Identified Route to Solving the Hotspot Issue

  1. Ramsey Nagaty Reply

    July 24, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Is this good or bad news?

    Once the slip road from the blackwater valley route is built traffic will flow constantly without clear breaks in the flow so emerging from Tongham onto the A31 will become more difficult. Much as traffic emerging from the A31 onto the A3 has been impacted following construction of the Hindhead Tunnel.

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