Fringe Box



Letter: Political Sniping Too Often Backfires

Published on: 9 Nov, 2021
Updated on: 9 Nov, 2021

From: Gavin Morgan

In response to: There Are Big Issues to Face While We Endure This Political Sniping

Jan Messenger described Cllr Paul Spooner’s letter What is Meant by a Guildford/Waverley Council ‘Alliance’? as political sniping. The problem with political sniping is that it all too often backfires.

In his letter, Cllr Spooner could have put forward a well-constructed, evidence-based argument on the Waverley merger, the council’s Master Plan or council finances. Instead, he went for baseless insinuations which do no credit to him or his party and come across as childish mischief-making.

I do agree with him that I did not vote to see cuts in Guildford in Bloom. But neither did I vote for the Local Plan that he and his party forced on the town just before the election and I did not vote for the expensive Walnut Tree Bridge project his party started.

Nor did I vote for the closure of Burchatts Farm Barn, based on faulty financial arguments as demonstrated by myself and confirmed by the KPMG report. All these things were passed on by his Conservative administration and had gone too far to stop.

But most importantly, I did not vote for the Conservative government, formed by Cllr Spooner’s fellow party members, which has imposed cuts to local government funding making local councils even more vulnerable to the unprecedented impact from Covid, as described in The Guardian, in March, in an article on a National Audit Report. As a result, several councils have been pushed to the point of bankruptcy and Guildford’s financial position has become dire.

The merger with Waverley seems to be an extreme measure to tackle an extreme problem. However, I am unaware of any evidence for this becoming a political takeover of local government by one party in the way that the Conservative plan for a Surrey Unitary Authority would have been.

My point is that people in glass houses should not throw stones. Political sniping does more harm to the attacker than those who are attacked and in this case harms the credibility of the Conservatives.

Residents for Guildford & Villages (R4GV) may have faults, they are human, but they are a bunch of local residents who stepped up to work together and serve their town because they were fed up with a council that listened to itself and the Conservative party more than the residents it claimed to represent.

The ballot box proved many people in the town shared R4GV views. What we need are more people like them who put their town and borough before any national political affiliations.

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Responses to Letter: Political Sniping Too Often Backfires

  1. Laurence Carr Reply

    November 10, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    I absolutely agree, even as a former chairman of Shere Conservatives.

    Mr Spooner will no doubt soon be exposed for his past errors and find himself unelectable. He has got the Conservatives a very bad name in our area.

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