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Letter: I Will Miss the Balance Provided by Cllr Reeves

Published on: 14 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 14 Mar, 2021

From: Paul Spooner

Former GBC leader and Conservative borough councillor for Ash South & Tongham

In response to: I Am Relieved That Cllr Reeves Is Leaving

Whilst David Roberts is entitled to his opinion he is just plain wrong on so many counts.

Councils cannot ignore the law of the land and have to work within the framework set by central government.

The fact that Caroline Reeves understood that and understood the consequences in a time when she could have just played destructive politics is totally to her credit.

Time will tell who was actually protecting Guildford but from what I have seen from the R4GV administration they are saying very different things internally within the council to what they were saying prior to May 2019.

Perhaps Mr Roberts should reflect on that. Perhaps he should also reflect on the significantly improved appeal statistics based on the protections in Part 1 of the plan, and the further protections in place from the forthcoming Part 2.

I do not see any sense in revisiting David Reeve’s indiscretion except to say that his words in private to Cllr Reeves and I were appreciated and he knows that the complaint was not political. Councillors at local government level mainly have more in common than many would like, and that is because many are focused on the community as a whole.

Cllr Reeves was a strong opposition leader representing views (some aligned, some very different to my own) in the same way party colleagues are not all aligned but she rightly, in my opinion, focused on accountability and policy compliance while pressing for the best outcomes for the whole community and did not just take the easy political route.

I will miss her sound political and community balance.

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test 4 Responses to Letter: I Will Miss the Balance Provided by Cllr Reeves

  1. David Roberts Reply

    March 14, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    I am glad to know that our local politicians’ mutual admiration society is still alive and well and that the public is so, so wrong.

    Cllr Spooner says David Reeve “knows that the complaint was not political”. I would be astounded if Mr Reeve were able to confirm that.

  2. J Brown Reply

    March 14, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    With regards to missing the balance, would it not be more helpful for the “leader of the council”, to be re-branded and called, “leader of the community”?

  3. Harry Eve Reply

    March 14, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    My response is not directed at Cllr Reeves. I wish her well in her new adventure and I hope that the location of her glamping business has better protection from the Conservative Party than the green belt here.

    Perhaps Cllr Spooner could remind us why he was happy to ignore available constraints such as existing green belt rather than saying that the best way to protect it was to release so much of it to developers? Why his planners said they would be looking to remove more of it in the future? And why he was happy to proceed with an inadequate transport assessment.

    It was not enough to say that the transport assessment was the best they could do in the time available. More resources should have been provided by the Conservative Surrey County Council from the outset. It is true that councils cannot ignore the law of the land but the NPPF [National Planning Policy Framework] was carefully designed by the Conservative Party to provide loopholes that could be exploited by developers.

  4. Jim Allen Reply

    March 14, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    I guess the good councillor’s definition of balance varies slightly from that of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

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