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Letter: I Abstained Because Local Plan Part 2 Proposals Do Not Go Far Enough

Published on: 11 Dec, 2021
Updated on: 11 Dec, 2021

Local Plan Part 2

From Diana Jones

Green Party borough councillor for Tillingbourne

See: Concerns Over Guildford’s Local Plan Raised Ahead of Public Consultation

I abstained, mainly because I don’t think the proposals go far enough. I completely understand the difficulties and pressures that GBC is under when budgets are squeezed and it is difficult to resist developers, especially when central government will inevitably take the latter’s side.

But I don’t think local councils should simply roll over and accept the slowest and least challenging of targets. I see it all too often when developers just do the absolute minimum that they can get away with, simply because it maximises their profit margin or lines their shareholders’ pockets.

In my view, it is not good enough for developers to say that, by meeting government targets, they are doing their bit, and it is not good enough, either, for councils to say they have ticked the climate change box but not then pull out all the stops to go ever further and faster. We should be leading, not following.

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Responses to Letter: I Abstained Because Local Plan Part 2 Proposals Do Not Go Far Enough

  1. David Roberts Reply

    December 12, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    Cllr Jones’s letter makes a lot of sense; GGG councillor Catherine Young also abstained. But I am puzzled by Cllr Jones’s general role on the council. She is a Green Party member but is listed on GBC’s website as a member of the R4GV group, while in the last local elections her party was allied to the Lib Dems.

    Which side of the house is she on, precisely? If she is unable to vote in favour of measures proposed by the R4GV/Lib Dem Executive, shouldn’t she join GGG, where some might say she properly belongs?

    Perhaps we can look forward to a Dragon interview with her.

    Editor’s comment:Cllr Jones took part in a Dragon interview in June, 2019, after the borough council election. In the interview, she explained her decision to join the R4GV group.

    • Mark Bray-Parry Reply

      December 12, 2021 at 9:24 pm

      I worked with Cllr Diana Jones when she first joined GBC and when determining whether she would sit as a single councillor or as part of a group. Cllr Jones spoke with various parties but ultimately believed that by being a Green Party councillor within the R4GV group, she would be able to best represent Tillingborne and wider Green principles. Cllr Jones is not restricted in her ability to vote on any motion by being part of this group, and still represents The Green Party.

      The decision for the local Green Party to make an election pact with the Liberal Democrats in the last elections was restricted to that election only and no formal collaboration exists, though of course we are often closely aligned because of our political ideologies.

      GGG and their supporters may feel that Cllr Jones “belongs in GGG” but their opinion, though a compliment to Cllr Jones’ environmental commitment, is irrelevant. What matters is Cllr Jones’ decision to be a member of the Green Party and to be part of the R4GV group.

      Of course, that doesn’t stop both The Green Party and Cllr Jones being happy to work with, and support, GGG on issues of mutual interests, particularly those environmental. That is why I (and I’m sure Cllr Jones) were pleased to hear Cllr Young’s response at the meeting.

      Mark Bray-Parry is a spokesman for The Green Party in Guildford

  2. Ramsey Nagaty Reply

    December 12, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    Quite agree and good to see Cllr Diane Jones echo GGG policy on this.

    Ramsey Nagaty is the leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG) at GBC

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