Fringe Box



Updated: We Might Need to March To Dump This Plan – Says Lib Dem Candidate

Published on: 22 Sep, 2014
Updated on: 24 Sep, 2014
Colin Cross the Liberal Democrat Candidate for the Lovelace By-election

Colin Cross the Liberal Democrat Candidate for the Lovelace By-election

The Lib Dem candidate in the Lovelace council ward by-election has said that he fears the only way that the Tory led council will listen to Guildford residents about the Local Plan is if they march to the council offices in Millmead.

The candidate, Colin Cross, also predicts a significant result in the by-election, demonstrating the strength of feelings, he says, is felt by many people in his ward, which includes Ripley, Wisley and Ockham, over the issue.

All candidates, including the officially selected Conservative Ben Paton, have criticised the Draft Local Plan so a result endorsing it seems impossible. But observers will be watching the turnout figure, the contest between the various parties and the political reaction very closely.

Mr Cross’s comment comes as a response sent to The Guildford Dragon NEWS on an article: Widespread Discontent Over Local Plan – Say Parish Councils. It was written on the day that the public consultation on the draft plan comes to an end (September 22).

The comment in full reads: “Hopefully by now there will be thousands of objections to the plan lodged with GBC. But will they make a difference? Not according to Mr Mansbridge [GBC council leader] and his ‘trajectory’.

“I fear the only way to dump this plan will be for the good citizens of Guildford to march to the council chamber in their droves and demand it be dropped.

“I can assure you that feelings in Ripley are running very high from my canvassing. We are unhappy being ignored and not about to stand  by and let our village be ruined.

“Just wait until you see that emotion expressed at the ballot box on Thursday.”

Conservative candidate Ben Paton has responded: “How to change policy in Millmead? Vote for the person and not the party. I have a record of exposing the flaws in the local plan and I will make even more difference inside the council.

“Cllr Mansbridge opposed my selection, so I am doing something right.

“As I wrote in The Dragon on 22 July, we should be seeking ‘a new broom not offering support’. The assault on the green belt has no justification. My mission is to ensure that electors get a professional and coherent local plan that is based on applying the law, accurate facts, and careful judgement.”

David Sheppard the UKIP candidate in the by-election wrote: “The scathing comments made by MP Anne Milton this week on the Draft Local Plan are unprecedented, however they do reflect the outrage and utter despair made by residents to me during my canvassing in the ward.

“It should also be noted that under this Liberal Democrat/Conservative Coalition new home building  has more than doubled on green belt land. Nationally last year saw the approval of 5,600 new homes on the green belt, compared with 2,260 in 2009-10, a 148 per cent increase over the five year period.
“Based on the above, and our feedback from the electorate, be prepared for some surprises on the 25th.”

Further responses from other candidates and political parties have been invited and will be added as they are received.

A list of all the candidates standing in the Lovelace by election, which will take place on Thursday, September 25th, can be found in the article: It’s Officially a Four-horse Race For the Lovelace By-election.

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Responses to Updated: We Might Need to March To Dump This Plan – Says Lib Dem Candidate

  1. Tony Edwards Reply

    September 22, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Anyone who has witnessed, first hand, the energy and passion that Ben Paton has injected into the defence of the green belt in Guildford can be in no doubt that he would not merely bring a breath of fresh air to the proceedings at Millmead but a whirlwind of change to attitudes among existing Tory councillors who appear to be little more than Stephen Mansbridge’s lap dogs. Time for a Tory dog with a bite.

    I haven’t seen Colin Cross contributing to debates in the council chamber but I have seen Ben Paton in action and he makes his well-researched points with verve and a level of professionalism usually reserved for the front benches at Westminster.

    Ben is a Conservative with a small ‘c’ and with the courage to say no when the party gets it wrong. Lovelace needs him at this crucial time.

  2. David Bilbe Reply

    September 22, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Marching may be a good attention catcher. However, real results will only occur with a concerted thoughtful legal challenge based on available legislation, in particular the Localism Bill.

    Guildford borough Council (GBC) have shown no willingness to take any account of public opinion or views. There is a stubborn arrogance which ignores the views of residents and there is no doubt in my mind that this ‘consultation’ is designed to satisfy the requirements of process rather than real intent to adjust sensibly.

    The fear is that without a good prim facie process this could be rejected by the government when it is submitted for final approval.

  3. Jim Morris Reply

    September 22, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    I must point out that, with no Members of Parliament and no representation at Guildford Borough Council, UKIP are far from making the by-election a four-horse race.

    Despite the media attention UKIP receive, and, let’s face it, the media love a pantomime villain, the Green Party are actually the fourth main political party in the UK.

    The reason there isn’t a Green candidate in the by-election is down to the fact there wasn’t a local person willing to stand at this point and so the Greens couldn’t conscientiously field an “out-of-towner” with few links to the ward.

    This is strikingly unlike the piggybackers from UKIP who are quite happy to promote a candidate from Merrow with no links to the Parishes of Ripley, Ockham and Wisley. The electorate this Thursday won’t be fooled by the man in purple.

  4. Helen Jefferies Reply

    September 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    I expect it won’t be long before there is a vote of no confidence in the council. Might even be proposed by the incoming councillor for Lovelace.

  5. Colin Cross Reply

    September 22, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    The enemy at the gate for Lovelace Ward is this Tory dominated GBC Executive .

    Every Tory voter I meet understands that voting in yet another Tory is not the solution .

    There is nothing wrong with Ben ,other than he should have stood as an independent.

    Lets see what the voters say , but it may be a bitter pill for the Tories to swallow.

    Colin Cross is the Lib Dem candidate in the forthcoming Lovelace by-election.

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