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Letter: The View of The Folk On The Horsley Omnibus

Published on: 4 Sep, 2014
Updated on: 4 Sep, 2014

community busFrom Jules Cranwell

I just took the opportunity to reach out to the “hard to reach silent majority”. That is, the elderly residents using the Horsleys community bus, for which I’m a volunteer driver.

They were all aware of the threat to our villages, and all signed the petition for a referendum to return to a council committee system.

My passengers were unanimous in condemning the “Daft Local Plan”, and the proposed assault on the green belt. About half had already written to object, and the others plan to do so. Not one supports what Guildford Borough Council is proposing.

These folk, many of whom have lived here most of their lives, are horrified by the threats to our villages, and the impact 40 per cent growth in the number of homes will have on infrastructure.  Understandably, they are extremely concerned about the pressure that will be placed on medical services.

Interestingly, they had all downsized to smaller properties, thus releasing their family homes for young families.

Jules Cranwell is a leading Guildford Greenbelt Group campaigner.

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Responses to Letter: The View of The Folk On The Horsley Omnibus

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    September 5, 2014 at 9:52 am

    The grumbles of the passengers on the bus are similar to those of my ex-wife, when we did a circumnavigation of Scotland in the ’70’s.

    As we drove further north on the West Coast the complaint of less and less adequate roads, through the, “Is’nt it lovely views,” was a common theme. Then as we progressed down the East Coast, past the then emerging oil boom town of Aberdeen with its massively improved roads to move the oil traffic, the comments of, “See these roads are much better,” started and continued as we approached Edinburgh.

    Sadly improvement only comes with change.

    So, if you don’t want the accident on the bend because cars keep hitting the tree either the road needs to be moved or the tree cut down. You have the choice.

    If you want better medical facilities a new building will be required. You have the choice.

    If you want your children educated in a modern school a new school will have to be built within an agreed range. You have the choice.

    If you want homes (not just houses) for your children and grandchildren, then unless you select ‘six very lucky numbers on a Saturday night’, they will have to move from the area, as I did, or new homes will have to be built locally. This is because the argument that I want my children nearby i.e. in the village is very acceptable for so many reasons, but that does mean additional homes will need to be built in the village. You have the choice.

    So let’s strike the GBC plan with all its accursed background documents, erase it from memory and start again with a blank sheet.

    How many homes, for which members of the family, and how distant will need to be decided too. You have the choice.

    Once you decide that you have a plan for the borough, which to many will look very similar to the current draft but, most importantly, with a reduction of house numbers and the inclusion of necessary infrastructure improvements. This time though you will have made the choice.

  2. Michael Bruton Reply

    September 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I recall that it was the late great Judge, Lord Denning who talked about the common sense of the man/woman on the Clapham Omnibus. [I am glad someone got the reference. Ed.] It is therefore good to hear of the common sense views of those on the Horsley Omnibus.

    Guildford Borough Council (GBC) has apparently already spent around £1,500,000 on the Local Plan fiasco. But of course public money does not matter to Guildford’s Tory Council. Somehow in the public sector generally, taxpayers’ money is a bottomless well to be drawn upon and spent as civil servants see fit.

    If GBC was a company it would look like British Leyland in the 1980’s. If it was a car it would be an Allegro. It employs twenty staff on over £50,000 per annum (plus gold plated pensions) yet throws money at consultants like confetti. Do not these highly paid people not have the skills to produce a competent and well researched Local Plan?

    It is important however that we all write in with our comments on the Draft Local Plan by 22nd September. It is reported that at public meetings, the council are presenting the carving up of the metropolitan green belt and 13,000+ houses as a fait accompli. If so, that is in their minds – not in the minds of so many angry borough residents.

    The council may have ignored the 20,000 submissions received last year on its ‘Issues and Options’ document. It may wish to do likewise over the Local Plan – as Cllr Mansbridge maintains his ‘trajectory’.

    However we do have borough council elections in May 2015 when we can let the Conservatives know what we think of their performance and abandoned green belt promises given in 2011.

    At the public inquiry too, the inspector will access our letters and will be able to make up his/her own mind on the quality of GBC’s submission. Various local groups will be represented too – and will be pointing out the irrational/flawed basis of the Local Plan as is. It will be an interesting ‘trajectory’.

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