Fringe Box



Letter: The Record Should Be Set Straight on Councillors’ Election Claims

Published on: 4 Apr, 2019
Updated on: 5 Apr, 2019

Lib Dem election article on Guildford Park Avenue

From Sara L Tokunaga

secretary – Guildford Park Avenue Residents’ Association

We would like to draw attention to the Liberal Democrats’ Focus on Onslow 2019 newsletter, specifically the article entitled, “You said, we listened and acted”.

Whilst not actually claiming Cllrs Goodwin and Phillips arranged a meeting with the University of Surrey and GBC’s cleansing team, or that the two initiatives mentioned were brought about due to their intervention, the article strongly intimates this is the case by stating they “acted” on our behalf.

Lib Dem election article on Guildford Park Avenue

Mr Stuart Riddle of GBC has worked tirelessly to improve the messy situation in Guildford Park Avenue with strong support from ourselves and the university. We have held many informal meetings, done many walkabouts and knocked on numerous doors. The councillors were not involved with this.

The liaison meetings were set up by the university’s public engagement office and were not initiated by the councillors. Neither councillor attended the first meeting, but Cllr Goodwin did attend the second on 7 February.

The bin numbering initiative came from our chairman, who had been pressing for this for several years, and was implemented by student volunteers in January, long before Cllr Goodwin attended the meeting in February. The introduction of sessions on recycling for the students had been discussed prior to Cllr Goodwin putting in an appearance at a meeting.

We would be interested to know how these two councillors have decided they “acted” on behalf of the residents of Guildford Park Avenue. We have not seen any action from them although, possibly, attending one meeting might be classified as action in their eyes. The one person who was very active and supportive on our behalf over the years was Alderman Bernard Parke, who will be sorely missed by us.

We felt the record should be set straight as we have not taken kindly to these councillors attempting to claim credit for all the hard work and initiatives which have been undertaken by others.

The Guildford Dragon invited a response from the Lib Dem councillors. Cllr David Goodwin replied:

I’d like to thank Mrs Tokunaga for detailing the work that has gone on behind the scenes in Guildford Park Avenue (GPA) to address the rubbish-related issues. Local residents, the University of Surrey and GBC have indeed worked collaboratively to make improvements; some of these best practices can now be used in other parts of Onslow Ward (Ashenden & Dennisville)  and elsewhere (Walnut Tree Close) where similar problems occur.

The short article in question gave an example of where residents have engaged with their local councillors to help with a problem. The article didn’t include any detail regarding the walk around sessions, conversations or email exchanges that we (as councillors) have had with residents nor the “spot checks” in GPA we continue to undertake.

The essence of the article was to encourage residents to be the “eyes and ears” in the community and to involve local ward councillors for support wherever possible.

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