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Letter: The Community Tells Me – North Street? ‘Get it Done’

Published on: 11 Jan, 2023
Updated on: 11 Jan, 2023

From: Stuart Alexander

founder of BigMouth Guildford

Back in 2019, I decided to set up two social media platforms to use my skills in media and marketing to simply give back to the community of Guildford and try, over the next 10 years, to simply bring back its identity as the ‘it’ town in Surrey.

During this time I have received the Mayor’s Award for my work in the community supporting local businesses during the lockdown and I was also very proud to be mentioned twice in Parliament, also for the work I’ve done supporting local businesses and the community.

At the start of 2022, we made the jump to launch Bigmouth Guildford group as a commercial enterprise with a simple mission to communicate to the whole of Guildford, both young and old, and celebrate the best that Guildford has to offer.

Last year, I was approached by the North Street developer’s marketing company to support local community engagement. In particular to encourage the community to take part in the forthcoming summer webinars and give their opinions and views on the future of North Street development.

To date, the month of this webinar is still the highest engagement Big Mouth Guildford has ever received with over 347,000 engagements – 82 per cent of these engagements were from people within Guildford.

During that time, it became clear that very little engagement with the local businesses within the town centre, and local businesses that service Guildford, had taken place. We approached the developers and offered to find out more about what local independents think about the future and of the North Street development.

For this past week I’ve been meeting and speaking with these businesses, who are very supportive of the plans, with around 90 per cent agreeing to send in a positive email in support of the North Street development.

It has been very clear to Big Mouth Guildford over the last six months that the majority of the community, and now local businesses, that we have spoken to and engaged with are simply saying after such a long delay: “just get it done, invest in the town”.

Anecdotally, there was very little concern about the details of the development, instead there was just a desire to get it done.

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test 2 Responses to Letter: The Community Tells Me – North Street? ‘Get it Done’

  1. Nicholas Allen Reply

    January 11, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Is “just getting it done” the right way to plan, design, and develop the centre of the historic town of Guildford?

    We all want to see North Street developed but not at any cost.

    The density, scale, and especially the height of the current proposals will harm Guildford, its views and its heritage.

    This is overdevelopment with proposed buildings significantly higher than their surroundings. “Get it done” seems to resonate with similar phrases such as “get Brexit done” which haven’t always led to the best results.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    January 11, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    I consider I keep my fingers on the pulse of Guildford but, “Big Mouth”? Never heard of it or him! What does it or he do for the community?

    Clearly it doesn’t consider Burpham to be a part of Guildford. And I’m not sure what 347,000 hits represent or come from, perhaps search bots on the web? 80,000 Local Plan written responses was considered an exceptional response. Four times that seems an excessive claim.

    I guess this is yet another “new definition” of engagement not yet included in the Oxford English Dictionary.

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