Fringe Box



Letter: Many People Support the Council’s Improvements and Release of the Green Belt

Published on: 29 Sep, 2018
Updated on: 29 Sep, 2018

From Oscar Atherton

I agree with Ms Sinclair’s sentiments, expressed in her letter: Independent Councillors Will Only Slow Up Decision Making, to an extent and what an unpleasant set of responses.

Thank goodness these represent the views of the minority otherwise it would make Guildford a truly depressing place to live.

The proposed bridge across the River Wey will provide a safer route to the town centre from the station directing pedestrians away from the narrow pavements of busy (and dangerous) Bridge Street. It will be able to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists and kick-start regeneration in Bedford Wharf.

People also need to understand that there is a great deal of development planned for this area and pedestrian flow to the station is only likely to increase over time. So I and many others are keen to see this built.

Ms Sinclair talks about The Village. She merely states that the council should be trying new things and as for ripping up the old to replace with the new – I wasn’t aware tarmac surfaces were the old?

People need to be careful not to underestimate the will of the people in our town – what the serial complainers fail to understand is that supporters do not communicate – silence often amounts to support and there are a lot of people in the town who support these improvements and the release of the greenbelt.

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Responses to Letter: Many People Support the Council’s Improvements and Release of the Green Belt

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    September 29, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Silence often accounts to support?

    What I have often found that the silent majority do not wake up until it is too late, mainly because they do not know what is happening until it happens.

    That is why we need more active press coverage, as we have from The Guildford Dragon.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    September 29, 2018 at 10:48 am

    How refreshing to hear the song of the “silent majority” again, they’ve been so quiet lately.

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    September 29, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    30,000 objections to the original Plan cannot be dismissed as the work of “serial moaners”. This about nought but obscene profits for the Tories’ chums in the development business.

  4. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    September 29, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Until Solum relocates the station main entrance and Bedford Wharf is redeveloped, this route would not be the preferred route between the station and Onslow Street.

    In fact, out of hours this route would remain too quiet and could pose hazards for people from muggers and anti-social activities. Not so long ago, there was an incident of indecent assault.

    In the longer term, this replacement bridge could provide a better route but that depends on how the gyratory is switched off as per the aspiration of Guildford Borough Council.

    If Bridge Street is made pedestrian friendly, then both cyclists and pedestrians would use it instead of this route. So, it is premature and also an unnecessary expenditure at this time.

    Money should be spent to improve the gyratory in the shorter term and Bridge Street made safer at the same time. Even a cycle lane could be added. I believe this could be done and it would be a better use of funding. I have said this before but why the councils ignore the solution is inexplicable. Please see these sketches: and

  5. Ben Paton Reply

    September 29, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Claiming to speak for a “silent majority” is a common tactic among narrow cliques who want to impose their will without informing the majority of what they are actually trying to do.

    Lenin and the Bolsheviks were successful proponents of this approach. Mr Mansbridge and Ms Juneja are more recent and local adopters.

    The fabled silent majority never did speak up for Mansbridge/Juneja after they forced through their local referendum for a local mayor by paying students to collect signatures for it.

    To argue without reference to the facts is lazy. To claim to speak for a “silent majority” is presumptuous.

  6. Valerie Thompson Reply

    September 29, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    I would presume that Mr Atherton does not live in the green belt, otherwise he would understand why residents are so horrified at the idea of increasing rural villages by a third or more. He would understand why the so-called “nimbys” are “numbys” too, numb with the prospect of losing farmland and ancient views, of crowded homes clustered around historic ones, of yet more “temporary classrooms” for the already over-subscribed schools, of even longer waits to see a doctor, of the impossibility of parking at the local station after 6am, of the thousands of extra cars on our narrow, winding rural roads, etc.

    I refuse to be silent in the face of such ignorant and biased comment. Why does Mr Atherton think that those people who regularly comment are a minority? As Mr Cranwell noted, there were over 30,000 adverse comments about the Local Plan. The fact is that a large number of people took the trouble to write to GBC, though, of course, this “consultation” was merely a box-ticking exercise, required by law, and ignored by both the Examiner and GBC’s planners.

  7. Neville Bryan Reply

    September 29, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Now letters like this make me angry.

    The “Fake News” revolution continues. And it’s still fake. Recent efforts by Trump, both sides of Brexit, and the Russians on the Salisbury poisoning’s show how confusing these messages are.

    This silent majority “support” first got suggested locally by former Cllrs Mansbridge and Juneja. This was proved a total fabrication both by their subsequent actions and, if you took the time to read them, the responses to each of the GBC local plan consultations.

    I look at figures for a living, have a six sigma qualification, and not once have I seen evidence for this assertion. My message back is “Prove It”.

    I would suggest people are more concerned by (in no particular order)

    1. Traffic and the lack of effective public alternatives
    2. Loss of the environment and green belt
    3. A run-down town centre.
    4. Loss-of political accountability
    5. Student housing problems caused by the failure of the UoS to meet its promises
    6. Affordability

    Of course, this last one is more a factor of low national interest rates, lack of alternative investment returns and successive government policy than local factors, but nobody has a solution, as putting up interest rates would be a disaster.

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