Fringe Box



Letter: I Am Not Surprised By Mr Paton’s Comparison

Published on: 10 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 10 Jul, 2016

Chilcot & Local PlanFrom Paul Spooner

leader of Guildford Borough Council and Conservative ward councillor for Ash South & Tongham

Unfortunately the credibility of Mr Paton’s constant attempts to undermine councillors is itself undermined by the simple fact that his ‘target’ to remove Wisley from the local plan is motivated by the fact that he resides immediately adjacent to the proposed site.

Something he never discloses in his constant efforts to find ever more ridiculous ways to draw attention to himself. Perhaps he should have stood for election himself so he could at least claim a democratic mandate?

Oh he did… and lost.

Am I disappointed that Mr Paton now stoops so low as to compare the leadership of Guildford Borough Council with Blair and Bush in relation to so called Guildford “dogma” when the SHMA [Strategic Housing Market Assessment] was commissioned appropriately from the same company that has produced numerous SHMAs, upheld at examination across the country?

Actually I am not disappointed, or surprised. I would expect nothing else from Mr Paton whose self interest is based on one site next to his home.

Objectivity? I am afraid not.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: I Am Not Surprised By Mr Paton’s Comparison

  1. David Roberts Reply

    July 11, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Cllr Spooner should play the ball not the man. He demeans the dignity of his office and recalls the behaviour of your unlamented predecessor. Denigrating members of the public is a breach of the councillors’ code of conduct.

    Why shouldn’t private residents comment on housing developments that affect them personally?

  2. Roland McKinney Reply

    July 11, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Objectivity from Cllr Spooner?

    The leader of a council that is apparently concerned that Ash Green village could merge with Ash and Tongham. So concerned that it plans to create new green belt to stop this from happening.

    But the same council has plans that will ensure the villages of Flexford and Normandy merge, as will East and West Horsley. Plans that involve removing them from the Green Belt and the addition of development sites to guarantee they merge.

    And where does Cllr Spooner live? Yes, in Ash, not much more than a stone throw from the proposed new green belt around Ash Green.

  3. Graham Moore Reply

    July 11, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Cllr Spooner should recall a biblical quote: “…why beholdest thou the mote in thy brother’s eye, but considereth not the beam in thine own eye?”

    He is ill advised to criticise Mr Paton for being motivated by personal interests in planning decisions in his own neighbourhood, when he is notoriously promoting the extension of the green belt in his own ward whilst recommending building on the green belt elsewhere in the borough.

    Rather than divert attention to the possible motives of others, he should deal with Mr Paton’s concern that so long as the basis on which the Strategic Market Housing Assessment is not disclosed, the council’s plan is fundamentally flawed.

    If, neither the public nor the councillors themselves know the assumptions, it cannot be said that the SHMA is “objectively assessed”. And if it is not proven to be objectively assessed, it will not be accepted by the public – nor surely by the planning inspectorate.

  4. Richard Charman Reply

    July 11, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Mr Spooner appears to think that he can deflect legitimate criticism of how he and his colleagues are managing the planning process by launching a pathetic attack on Mr Paton based on nothing more than bluster.

    It does him and others who support him no credit.

    It simply demonstrates that he and his colleagues are afraid to confront the legitimate concerns that Mr Paton has raised because it would show up the whole process as deeply flawed.

  5. Catherine Young Reply

    July 12, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Says Cllr Spooner who has put parts of Ash and Tongham in the green belt, and removed villages on the east side of the borough which are much closer to London?

  6. Colin Cross Reply

    July 12, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Yes, Ben Paton did stand for the Conservatives in the Lovelace by-election almost two years ago. He lost primarily due to wearing the wrong colour rosette in the circumstances that prevailed at the time, not because of his failings or lack of effort, for sure.

    He took the defeat on the chin and been a supportive ally to the winner on the day. A man’s behaviour in times of adversity and stress are a better measure of his worth than when all is going like a dream.

    Others could learn a lot from Ben Paton’s fortitude and transparency in terms of how they comment about other people, their behaviour, motives etc, particularly if they wish to adhere to the high standards that public office requires of them.

    I am uniquely experienced to make these comments as I was the victor on that night.

    Colin Cross is the Lib Dem ward councillor for Lovelace.

  7. Peta Malthouse Reply

    July 17, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    With regard to the new green belt in Ash, can I just say that the justification for putting a secondary school on green belt land in Normandy was because of the children who live in Ash – and from the new houses at Blackwell Farm.

    In fact there are many unfilled of school places and a school is not needed, certainly not four miles away from where the kids all live.

    Once the secondary school is approved for Normandy there are 1,100 homes and traveller pitches and shops to be built on the site. Apparently the school gives them the reasons they need to give to build on the green belt land.

    The answer is simple: build the school in Ash, in the urban area where you have at least some infrastructure and keep the green belt as it is. Green belt is the permanent open land, the lungs around London and in Normandy, the bit that creates the gap and stops the urban creep of Aldershot/ Farnborough/ Ash and Tongham.

    I think that is why people are upset with their councillors. They feel stitched up. Now I must go back to my response to the plan. It takes hours and hours to respond to…

  8. Valerie Thompson Reply

    July 17, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    How rude, Cllr Spooner is.

    Mr Paton, in claiming that the Wisley site is unsuitable, was merely expressing the views of GBC councillors who unanimously turned down the latest Wisley application on 14 counts and the views of many local people who do not live adjacent to the Three Farms meadow.

    Cllr Spooner’s response is exactly what we have come to expect from a council that rides roughshod over any objections, any sensible comments, any rational person.

    He claims he has listened to the public in making his new Draft Plan but he must have inserted earplugs. De he not read the 20,000 comments from 7,000 people who mainly objected to the 2014 draft plan? It has been little altered, indeed in some respects it is much worse.

  9. Lisa Wright Reply

    July 17, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Ms Malthouse may be pleased to hear that an application for a new secondary school has been submitted by Rokers.

    County Cllr Keith Witham says we don’t even need one new school, let alone two.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *