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Letter: Responsibility for Accountability – the Lib Dems Should Take Their Fair Share

Published on: 10 Mar, 2023
Updated on: 10 Mar, 2023

From: Maddy Redpath

R4GV borough councillor for Holy Trinity

See: The Dragon Says: Dodging Questions Is a Telling Failure

Well done to the editor of The Guildford Dragon NEWS for pointing out an obvious but important issue of openness and transparency in public life and communicating with those we represent.

The lead members of R4GV (Residents for Guildford & Villages) have rarely shown reluctance to put their case and they will continue to do this as long as they represent residents on the council.

Since we borough councillors were all elected in May 2019, the R4GV leadership has been interviewed 24 times, covering incredibly challenging topics; the budget, Local Plan, customer services, North Street regeneration, and the Tumbling Bay Weir to name a few.

By contrast, the Liberal Democrat leadership have turned up for six interviews covering potentially politically advantageous topics such as solar farms, “dream jobs” and decolonising the museum (let’s not relive that one!).

Dragon interview list as recorded by Cllr M Redpath (click on image to enlarge)

It often seems that, for the last three years, the Executive has been run largely by the four R4GV members, with virtually no support from their Liberal Democrat “colleagues”.  A heavy workload when an Executive is meant to be made up of, typically, 10 elected members.

During the past four years, R4GV has always demonstrated accountability for decisions made during this administration, often getting the bad press due to the tardiness of others.

I would urge the leader of GBC, Cllr Julia McShane, to offer herself for a Dragon interview at this crucial election time. Dragon readers need to know what they stand for locally before making an important decision on May 4th.

For the next four years, Guildford needs councillors ready to deliver a truly accountable, open and transparent leadership with less talk and more action. As far as I can see, R4GV is the only party offering that.

See also: Dragon Editor on Interviewing Local Politicians

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Responses to Letter: Responsibility for Accountability – the Lib Dems Should Take Their Fair Share

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    March 11, 2023 at 8:53 am

    What do the Lib Dems really want?

    Do they want to water the seeds of alienation in every facet of local government in the borough?

    Power without responsibility is a licence to simply preach disinformation and criticise the entire system.

  2. David Smith Reply

    March 11, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Cllr Maddy Redpath states that the Lib Dems should take their fair share of responsibility and accountability. Surely this should apply to R4VG too.

    From what I can see, they seem to be cherry-picking the bits of the council they are responsible for and refusing to accept any responsibility for failing areas, in particular the absolute disaster in planning and the planning committee (on which they hold as many seats as the Lib Dems).

    In her letter, she states that R4GV has run the Executive for the two years to September 2022. If they have, they are responsible for what happened in that period.

    Voters in May will have a very difficult choice. I for one am extremely disappointed by the Lib Dems, but the alternative I find disingenuous and Cllr M Redpath’s letter, along with promises made at the last local elections, are perfect examples of why I am feeling that way.

    • John Phelps Reply

      March 12, 2023 at 5:16 pm

      This comment sounds as if it was written before David Smith read the article. The whole point of the article is that R4GV is taking accountability, unlike the Lib Dems, because they have agreed to interviews, as shown in the table.

      As for the situation with the Planning Department, surely Mr Smith knows this is nothing to do with the Planning Committee? It is the sole responsibility of the lead Executive member who I believe is a Liberal Democrat.

      I would suggest he does some research before commenting in future.

  3. Ramsey Nagaty Reply

    March 11, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    David Smith is welcome to join GGG.

    Ramsey Nagaty is the leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group.

  4. David Smith Reply

    March 14, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    My comment is in relation to taking accountability for the performance of GBC and in recent press R4GV seem to be selective as to what they have been responsible for yet in other correspondence state that they have been running the Executive – they cannot have it both ways.

    The issues with planning are two-fold – the performance in determining cases (Tom Hunt’s responsibility) and the Planning Committee and the number of decisions it makes that are being overturned at appeal and costing the taxpayer.

    I have made my feelings on Tom Hunt’s performance very clear but I cannot see how he is responsible for the decisions (which are often contrary to officer’s recommendations) of the Planning Committee.

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