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Letter: R4GV for Change – What Change?

Published on: 14 Apr, 2021
Updated on: 14 Apr, 2021

From: Julie Iles

Conservative candidate for the Horsleys in the forthcoming SCC election

In her recent letter, Fiona Davidson, chair of R4GV, says they have shown what change can achieve.

So, with their 2019 election pledge in mind (readers will recall that it was to “Amend the Local Plan”) I tuned in to last night’s Guildford Borough Council webcast.

R4GV are now in control of the council (after the Lib Dems gave up after only a year) and they have grounds to review the Local Plan because the A3, a key piece of infrastructure to support the number of houses, is not being delivered.

The original motion was to review the Plan immediately to reduce the housing numbers, as the A3 capacity upgrade cannot be delivered in the plan period. The monitoring officer fairly swiftly closed down proper debate on this one saying there was too much political speak in the pre-election period.

The GGG amendment was that a review of the Plan be undertaken immediately to reduce the housing numbers. R4GV, Lib Dems et al voted against with Cllr Cross [also a candidate for the Horsleys seat in the forthcoming county council election] abstaining. Can he not make a decision, or represent his residents or is abstaining the only way to avoid the Party whip?

The R4GV resolution, which kicks the issue into the long grass, is the one which passed: “To continue to plan the review of the local plan and evidence base blah,blah,blah” – with a mention of timescales being sometime around Autumn 2022 (by which time the Horsleys will be overrun).

It seems that GBC are only just beginning to put together the planning data that is needed for SCC to start any process to review the transport evidence base with them.

The Horsleys were not well served by their GBC councillors last night with the notable exception of Cllr Catherine Young [GGG] who did vote for change. Effingham was not represented (annual Effingham Parish Council meeting no doubt got in the way [the Lib Dem borough councillor for Effingham, Liz Hogger, is also an Effingham parish councillor] although I managed to attend both events virtually), the R4GV councillors for Lovelace and The Clandon and Horsleys voted for an unconscionable delay and to continue to plan the review of the local plan.

Best question of the evening came from Cllr Susan Parker [GGG, Send] “Why should residents vote for you again?”

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test 5 Responses to Letter: R4GV for Change – What Change?

  1. George Potter Reply

    April 14, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    Interesting admission from Julie Iles here, that she’s so blasé and disrespectful of both the borough and the Effingham parish council that she’s happy to watch both of them at the same time rather than giving either her full attention.

    How many other meetings does she attend where she’s happy to distract herself throughout rather than paying attention?

    George Potter is the Lib Dem candidate for Guildford East in the forthcoming SCC election

    • Julie Iles Reply

      April 14, 2021 at 11:32 pm

      I attended Effingham until shortly after 8.15pm. I then called in very briefly to the Ockham PC meeting and then gave my apologies to sign in for the relevant section of the GBC meeting. So I think Cllr Potter should avoid jumping to conclusions about my ability to multi-task.

      Julie Iles is the Conservative candidate for The Horsleys in the forthcoming SCC elections.

  2. Sandy Lowry Reply

    April 14, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    I believe Ms Iles should correct her statement. The Lib Dems did not “give up after only a year” as she puts it but are, and this was always the plan, working together with R4GV to share the responsibility of leadership.

    This partnership shows exactly the benefits of working together to benefit and serve the community that elected them; a lesson that should be adopted by other parties.

  3. Julian Cranwell Reply

    April 15, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Reads like the Lib Dems are taking on the mantle of the nasty party. Blasé and disrespectful? I’ve never known Julie Iles to be anything but committed and respectful. I have, however, known George Potter to be extremely disrespectful to residents, even to the extent of commenting on social media to me that I “don’t half talk a load of bollocks”, during a debate on local politics.

    Let’s hope residents aren’t about to promote this potty-mouth to SCC also.

    However, I don’t fancy Julie’s chances, as the GBC Local Plan has left a very bad taste of Tory in the mouths of Horsley residents because they forced such a bad Plan upon us.

  4. David Roberts Reply

    April 15, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Like her predecessor, Cllr Iles is widely regarded in the Horsleys as a diligent county councillor. Despite the “Vote For Me” subtext of her letter, she generously puts her finger on the central truth that GGG were the only party who made any sense in the debate.

    But the lady doth protest too much. The Tories rightly fear another 2019-style wipe-out in these elections thanks to their deeply unpopular Local Plan, but distancing themselves from it at this late stage won’t help.

    By consistently neglecting the V (for “Villages”) in their title, R4GV have not covered themselves with glory, and last night were cowards for failing to support a meaningful review to cut the Plan’s unrealistic housing targets. R4GV are a new force, however, and do not enjoy the unity or monopoly of power that the Tories once did. They deserve a chance to toughen up in more normal circumstances after Covid or else see their rural vote evaporate.

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