Fringe Box



Letter: Who Said Politicians Weren’t Two-faced?

Published on: 3 Oct, 2023
Updated on: 3 Oct, 2023

From: Terry Newman

Chair of the London Road Action Group

What a delicious juxtaposition of irony two recent Dragon articles have produced!

The editor produces an excellent review of the failings of our local government to behave as one should in public life Comment: Another Sad Failure of Openness and Accountability; and almost immediately afterwards another article appears, detailing a vote of no confidence in the Guildford Borough Council (GBC) leader: This Council Expresses No Confidence in the Current Leader’ Motion Tabled.

Tucked away at the end of the second article, wearing his GBC hat, Cllr Matt Furniss [Con, Pilgrims], calls for more openness and transparency by resolving “to publish all [related] documentation”… But Cllr Furniss also wears another hat, namely as the portfolio holder for Transport, Infrastructure and Growth at Surrey County Council (SCC).

In a recent response to a request from a local resident for more openness and transparency, about SCC’s presentations on the Burpham to Guildford Active Travel Scheme, Cllr Furniss demurred, stating: “…it is not appropriate … to be asked to respond to questions providing information to only parts of the community and not others…”.

So, when in opposition openness and transparency is desirable, but when in power it is something to fear, in case it undermines the decision-making process. Who said politicians weren’t two-faced?

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