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Letter: Independent Councillors Will Only Slow Up Decision Making

Published on: 28 Sep, 2018
Updated on: 27 Sep, 2018

From Vivian Sinclair

In response to: Independent Councillors Claim Power is Too Concentrated As They Form a Political Group

I personally think that having more independent councillors will only lead to slower decision making in a town that already is lagging behind others in terms of development and progress.

Whilst “The Village” didn’t work, isn’t it better to try new concepts and ideas or should we fear doing anything in the event we get it wrong? I know what I’d prefer.

It’s so easy to criticise the council and Rooth has made his views clear on a number of matters. He didn’t want to spend on the Tunsgate setts yet look how great the road looks and he doesn’t want to spend on a desperately needed bridge across the Wey.

Is it fair to expect no public realm improvements from him? Is his aim simply to frustrate decision making?

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Responses to Letter: Independent Councillors Will Only Slow Up Decision Making

  1. John Perkins Reply

    September 28, 2018 at 9:15 am

    I agree. What we really need is strong leader with no regard for the opinions of others who will give us with new bridges and autobahns.

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    September 28, 2018 at 10:24 am


    However it does seem at variance with the facts.

  3. John Robson Reply

    September 28, 2018 at 11:19 am

    What decisions?

    The big Ticket items like the Railway station and building of thousands upon thousands of un-affordable executive houses to meet unmet need for Woking, London and beyond has been predetermined and handed down by the central Conservative Government.

    GBC seemingly have no influence on the state of its crumbling schools, highways and ostensibly even need permission from SCC to open a gate at the newly pedestrianised Tunsgate, which I understand GBC paid for?

    This, notwithstanding the fact that the leader of the council suggested that it was “important to have the connection to enable real influence within central government, for the benefit of the borough.”

    So if a Conservative Council cannot influence its own Government/County Council, again for the “benefit of the borough”, why do we need 32 Conservative councillors?

    The mayoral system was lambasted, but that’s precisely what we have ended up with. So, let just disband the supper club at Millmead, save money on allowances and give it to the Foodbanks.

    In these times of continuing, Conservative enforced austerity, let’s just employ a dedicated town planner, not a consultant, to manage the budget, move a few paving slabs around, install the odd pop-up shop and debate the merits of a £3m bridge for 12 months.

  4. Valerie Thompson Reply

    September 28, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Good! If the decision-making is slowed, maybe the Councillors will take more time to make the right decisions.

    “The Village” was a disaster; taxpayers money should not be spent on experiments when there is a shortage of money for essential services.

    The Tunsgate setts were totally unnecessary. An oil-spill has spoilt them already.

    The new bridge over the Wey should be practical, well-designed, but not an expensive, fancy shape. It just needs to be practical.

  5. Howard Smith Reply

    September 28, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Please tell us how £3 million+ on a footbridge is good value for money.

    Please explain to us how the £1 million+ cost of The Village was a project well managed and money well spent.

    Please confirm that you think the “heritage” area of the town centre is enhanced by ripping up the old and putting in the new (£1 million+ of new paving).

    Now, will you still criticise the few independently minded councillors on GBC for not toeing the party line, and who I very much hope, will be putting an end to all this on-going waste of our money?

    There are lots of new projects that would improve our lives in Guildford but I think we need an end to the mono thought and culture that we have had to endure from this current Conservative-led council.

    Howard Smith is a former Labour parliamentary candidate for Guildford.

  6. Jeff Hills Reply

    September 28, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    The councillors really need to take notice and listen to the electorate, not waste our hard earned money on their own whims and fancies. What they forget is that is not their money being spent.

    Hopefully, with the borough election looming, the electorate will remember how little they are listened too and vote with their heads and not their hearts.

    Let a new broom sweep clean.

  7. Ben Paton Reply

    September 28, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Other ways to make things happen faster in Guildford:

    1. Bring back Mr Mansbridge as directly elected Mayor?
    2. Put Monika Juneja back in charge of the Local Plan?
    3. Abolish the Planning Committee altogether?
    4. Allow Cllr Spooner to take on all the roles in the Executive as well as being the lead councillor for planning and the Local Plan?
    5. Remove all traffic lights at road junctions in Guildford?
    6. Remove the 50mph speed limit on the A3 through Guildford?
    7. Spend more money?
    8. Avoid any public consultation?

  8. David Roberts Reply

    September 28, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Please be fair to Vivian Sinclair, who was probably thinking of the fast and decisive stand taken by Cllrs Spooner and Furniss to twin Guildford with Dongying. They stood for no namby-pamby, so-called “independent” opposition. Indeed, they were practically on the next flight out to China, with all the benefits that has brought to us ordinary residents.

    Now, that’s what I call leadership!

  9. Alix Tatlow Reply

    September 29, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    That’s the point of independent councillors. They take time to consider matters on our behalf and hopefully arrive at sensible, unbiased decisions which reflect the wishes and needs of the residents in their own wards as well as others.

    They are free of party diktat, which has no place in local council affairs. The Tillingbourne Valley has a long and honourable tradition of the political independence of a former councillor.

    Remember, it is a borough council, not a Guildford town council and I want councillors to spend my money with due diligence and discretion, and not feel they are in a competitive race with other councils.

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