Fringe Box



Letter: Let’s Hope the Executive Listens to the Scrutiny Committee Regarding ‘The Village’

Published on: 18 Nov, 2017
Updated on: 18 Nov, 2017

From B Matthews

“Absolutely packed” says Paul Bishop in his comment on The Village. But the saying “one swallow doesn’t not a summer make” springs to mind.

It had “live music, hot food, the ice rink and winter warmer drinks”. But they are all readily available at other Guildford venues and I find it rather insulting to suggest that Guildford does not have a community spirit, when it is clear that Guildford has thriving community spirit already. If anything, this ‘Village’ vanity project is having a disruptive influence on community spirit with many of our traders left unhappy.

Thank goodness for Clr Rooth, in particular, who was the only one that questioned the viability of this from the start, but also Cllrs Wicks, Holliday, Christiansen and Walsh for properly scrutinising these figures. The GVA [Gross Value Added] report, in particular, is not worth the paper on which it is written.

What concerns me the most is that the three men trying to defend this total failure of a project are in lead finance positions within the council: Cllr Bilbe – lead councillor for economic development, Cllr Illman – lead councillor for finance and asset management and Steve White – director of resources. None of them seems to realise that this is bringing no real value to the Town whatsoever.

Let’s hope that the Executive (of which Bilbe and Illman are members) listen to the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee, and close The Village down for good after the Christmas break.

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Responses to Letter: Let’s Hope the Executive Listens to the Scrutiny Committee Regarding ‘The Village’

  1. Michael Brown Reply

    November 19, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    On this sunny Sunday, Guildford High Street was busy with shoppers but “The Village” had only a few visitors wandering through stalls and traders standing around hoping to sell. Sad to say it was a frighteningly empty and boring place – some kids skating the only sign of activity.

    At the GBC Scrutiny Committee meeting, Cllr Illman described himself and Cllr Bilbe as “new kids on the block” at the time The Village decisions were taken (see:

    Why did the council leader, Paul Spooner give them important Executive roles for finance and economic development? Does the leader also support this vanity project?

    We ought to know whoever is responsible for wasting over £ 1.2 million of council taxpayers’ money on this white elephant.

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