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Letter: The Big Issue Is Who Runs Guildford – National or Local Parties?

Published on: 4 Apr, 2023
Updated on: 4 Apr, 2023

From: David Roberts

In response to: David Roberts’ Attempts to Discredit Me Are Wrong

Whatever Mr Horsley is up to, he is self-evidently spreading party political propaganda in the hope of swinging the local elections in one direction.

By obfuscating this, he is kidding either us or himself, although I might not go so far as the Guildford resident who found his interview answers “more slippery than an eel in custard”.

Personally, I think elections should be fought through honest debate, rather than with money, marketing and social media manipulation. But, there again, I’m not the one who’s trying to “go viral”.

I’ve never voted for R4GV and have strongly criticised its leaders for failing to fix the Local Plan or tackle non-town centre issues. But I firmly intend to vote for the R4GV/GGG alliance this time.

On the big issue of who runs Guildford – our local parties or national ones – we all need to decide which side we’re on. Compared to this, the failed North Street planning application is irrelevant.

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Responses to Letter: The Big Issue Is Who Runs Guildford – National or Local Parties?

  1. Ricky Sonn Reply

    April 5, 2023 at 3:45 pm

    David Roberts has either been taken in by the R4GV propaganda or is willingly trying to mislead readers of The Dragon.

    All candidates for the forthcoming elections are local – indeed that’s a condition to stand in the first place.

    National parties have no interest whatsoever in Guildford Borough Council.

    What the national party labels do tell us is the general principles held by their respective candidates, although of course there are a wide range of voices within each.

    And it is a monumental fallacy to pretend that it’s anything different with R4GV. They are no more or less a homogeneous group than the national parties.

    Let’s talk about the issues and policies that will make a difference for the people of Guildford. Not spread claims that one grouping is any more local than the rest.

    • Maddy Redpath Reply

      April 12, 2023 at 1:31 pm

      In answer to Mr Sonn, from the list of candidates and declared addresses:
      • one Conservative candidate lives in Lincolnshire;
      • one Conservative candidate lives in Elmbridge;
      • one Liberal Democrat candidate lives in Godalming.

      I am not sure if Mr Sonn considers 140 miles away as “local” but in R4GV we make sure all our candidates actually live in the borough we plan to represent.

      Maddy Redpath is a R4GV candidate for Castle ward in the forthcoming GBC election.

      • Ricky Sonn Reply

        April 13, 2023 at 9:10 am

        This rather proves my point. Over 98 per cent of candidates are local across all parties. R4GV claims that is their unique selling point and that is nonsense.

  2. Richard Norman Reply

    April 12, 2023 at 1:13 am

    National or local parties?

    The Lib Dem election campaign – “Only Lib Dems can beat the Conservatives here” and “You have a clear choice [between Conservatives and Lib Dems] on 4th May”, statements supported by a chart of the 2019 General Election result – is dishonest and misleading.

    The relevant election result in Guildford in 2019 was for the election of councillors to Guildford Borough Council:

    Conservatives 9 seats (2015 35 seats)
    LibDems 17 seats (2015 9 seats)
    R4VG 15 seats (2015 – party not formed)
    Greenbelt Group 4 seats (2015 3 seats)
    Labour 2 seats (2015 0 seats)

    In literature clearly drafted by “head office”, the Lib Dems shoddy attempt to “ghost” R4GV deliberately ignores the facts.

    Conservatives councillors are in any case not the Lib Dems’ enemies but their friends, repeatedly voting together to thwart R4GV initiatives, and they know it.

    Guildford Borough Council is among those with the highest representation of non-national party councillors in the country and proud of it.

    It is pretty obvious to me that only R4GV candidates can defeat all three national parties on May 4.

  3. Howard Smith Reply

    April 13, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    I find insulting the claim from R4GV that forming their own “residents” political party four years ago has somehow made them uniquely qualified to represent Guildford as councillors.

    I am Guildford through and through. I was born at the Jarvis in Stoughton Road and went to school in Bellfields and Burpham. Our family home was in Jacobs Well and my father ran a small chain of launderettes around the town. I of course, live and work here and my two young children were both born at RSCH and currently attend school in the town centre.

    It’s absurd for anyone to claim that I am somehow disqualified from having the best interests of Guildford at heart because I am also a member of the Labour party.

    Howard Smith is a Labour candidate for Westborough in the forthcoming GBC election

    • Richard Norman Reply

      April 14, 2023 at 1:54 am

      National or local parties?

      I can understand much of Howard Smith’s frustration but I do not think R4GV claims they are “uniquely” qualified to represent Guildford as councillors.

      R4GV and GGG candidates are, however, qualified to represent Guildford in local matters without the burden and influence of National party affiliations and rivalries.

      This week I received an extraordinary letter from Zoe Franklin, the Lib Dem General Election candidate.

      It commences: “There are two choices for Guildford this May – which will you choose? Will you back the Liberal Democrat team with a record of action making Guildford a greener, fairer and more vibrant place to live? Or will you risk letting the Conservatives continue to let people down time and again?”

      What is the Lib Dem “record of action making Guildford a more vibrant place”? The so long awaited North Street development would have brought many benefits, not least of which, some vibrancy to the town centre, but the Lib Dem councillors scuppered it at the last moment.

      And does she not know that the Conservatives won only nine seats four years ago and that it is Lib Dem councillors who have been at the wheel since then? If anyone has let people down “time and again” it must be the Lib Dems.

      See the muddle and contradictions when a national party directs a local election campaign. People will make up their own minds but on the evidence of their leaflets (referred to in my previous comment) and Zoe Franklin’s letter, I find the Lib Dems quite unelectable at local level.

      Richard Norman

  4. Sue Hackman Reply

    April 13, 2023 at 5:36 pm

    Candidates across all parties are “residents”; nothing unique in that. Not a single party claims to be against villages rather than for them. So the unique selling point of R4GV [Residents for Guildford & Villages] just isn’t unique.

    It beggars belief that anyone thinks that screening out national politics will help them to be more effective. That’s naive.

    Everything the council does is determined by the money that is allowed or allocated by national government, by the policies that are decided nationally, by the government’s management or mismanagement of the economy, by the delivery structures and laws it puts in place and – think big – by the geopolitical situation like the war in Ukraine and Brexit.

    The national parties work at national, regional and local level to deliver coherent policies and fair distribution of resources.

    Sue Hackman is a Labour Party candidate for Stoke in the forthcoming GBC election

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