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Letter: John Rigg’s Review is Blinkered

Published on: 10 May, 2023
Updated on: 10 May, 2023

From: James Steel

former Lib Dem borough councillor

In response to: Sadly Fake News Misled the Electorate

Yet again John Rigg has his blinkers on when it comes to what actually happened.

With regards to North Street, the Liberal Democrat Executive members and backbench councillors, on numerous occasions, made mention of the small number of affordable housing units in the scheme and the access to the bus station.

John Rigg had a choice, use our feedback to ensure the developers bring a workable scheme or completely ignore it and push on, gung ho. We know which direction was picked.

Regarding the “important” portfolios, the idea there are bigger portfolios than others is codswallop. Each portfolio has its impacts, some are seen more than others. The idea that Regeneration has a bigger impact on the borough than community services is bizarre.

Look at the handling of the different portfolios.

When it came to housing, the Liberal Democrat portfolio lead councillors managed to ensure a £45 million funding pot to redevelop council housing, whereas the lead for Regeneration tried and failed to push through a scheme for North Street.

The lead councillor for Climate Change managed to get a fully detailed climate action plan created (with resistance from R4GV Executive members), whereas the lead for Planning only just managed to get through the Local Plan part 2 which had an uncanny resemblance to the document created by the former Lib Dem lead councillor.

The Lib Dem member for Planning Enforcement managed to secure extra staffing to cope with the backlog of planning applications, whereas the lead for Finance oversaw projects that expanded massively in cost.

And I managed to get the council numerous green and purple flags along with one of the best recycling rates in the county, whereas the lead for Customer Service oversaw a deterioration in customer service levels.

Instead of blaming others, R4GV and John Rigg should look at their own performance and see how the real people of Guildford perceive their handling of the borough regarding their performance.

I was an awkward casualty of this set of elections, but I look forward to seeing how a fully Guildford Liberal Democrat-controlled council can better perform for residents.

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Responses to Letter: John Rigg’s Review is Blinkered

  1. John Rigg Reply

    May 10, 2023 at 9:52 am

    I look forward to seeing this too.

    I think James Steel and I may have to agree recollections differ.

    John Rigg is a former R4GV borough councillor.

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