Fringe Box



Letter: Why Should Local Politicians Expect a Pat on the Back for a Problem They Have Failed to Deal With?

Published on: 6 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 6 Jul, 2021

From: Paul Hardcastle

In response to: A Multi-agency Approach Is Essential to Tackle Problems at the Pirbright Dump

In response to Sam Peters comment on: What Are the Political Parties Doing About the Stoney Castle Dump?, I didn’t see any mention of the allegedly illegal waste site in Pirbright in either the Green Party’s or the Lib Dem’s manifestos for the recent county council elections, which were only eight weeks ago. That seems odd considering that we are now asked to believe that it has been one of their top priorities for months.

It seems that it is only since this environmental disaster has been made public that suddenly the Green Party and the Lib Dems have shown any significant interest. Are they trying to jump on the bandwagon? It was residents and those passionate about stopping the waste being dumped on this site, who took up the fight because they were tired of being met with a wall of silence and misinformation from SCC and GBC.

I understand that James Steel Lib Dem lead councillor for the Environment at GBC actually blocked residents who were campaigning for the site to be closed down.

Mr Peter’s statement that the Green Party, in collaboration with the Lib Dems, have been working on this for months is the usual non-informative, vague political response that’s trotted out in these situations.

And to Cllr Keith Witham, I say words mean nothing without effective action. Why did waste continue to be dumped on the site after the conviction of the “individual found guilty”?

Are local politicians seriously asking for a pat on the back when waste has been illegally dumped on this site for 33 years? This will not gain any kudos for any party in the eyes of the public.

Response from Cllr Keith Witham (Conservative councillor representing Pirbright at the county and borough councils)

The point is that the individual in control of the land was ordered to take action to stop the burning, but did not do so, and so was prosecuted and convicted at Guildford Crown Court.

But even after that, he has still not taken action to stop the burning and misuse of the land which is why the authorities continue to take enforcement proceedings within their legal powers.  

The fact that a Proceeds of Crime Order was given by the Court against that individual speaks for itself.   I have pressed for and will continue to press for, resolutions as soon as possible on behalf of Pirbright residents.

See also Cllr James Steel’s letter: Legal Reasons Prevent Me Saying More About the Pirbright Dump

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Responses to Letter: Why Should Local Politicians Expect a Pat on the Back for a Problem They Have Failed to Deal With?

  1. Mark Bray-Parry Reply

    July 6, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    In fact, our literature made several references to waste across Surrey, specifically fly-tipping of which Stoney Castle is an extreme example.

    While The Green Party candidate spoke with local residents about a broad range of issues, it was my decision as the Green Party representative for Guildford and the person leading our response to Stoney Castle not to make it a political issue and continue to work cross-Party to find a solution. This is something I’d been doing since before the by-election.

    Mark Bray-Parry is a spokesperson for The Green Party

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