Fringe Box



News In Brief From Millmead

Published on: 2 Mar, 2016
Updated on: 4 Mar, 2016

A round-up of news from Guildford Borough Council’s Millmead offices

First teal taxi for Guildford

The first Guildford Borough Council-licensed taxi in the new ‘teal’ coloured livery has started work on the rank.

Cllr Graham Ellwood with taxi proprietor Richard Gough.

Cllr Graham Ellwood with taxi proprietor Richard Gough.

The lead councillor for community safety and licensing, Graham Ellwood, said: “We are delighted with the appearance of the new Guildford livery.

“It is instantly recognisable as a licensed taxi helping people to clearly identify our taxis throughout the borough.

“This new livery will increase the safety and wellbeing of our residents who can be reassured that the teal taxis have been licensed and meet professional standards. I am looking forward to seeing more taxis with the new livery on our roads soon. ”

Schoolchildren say ‘I don’t want your dog poo on my shoe’ in new poster campaign

The council’s dog warden, Pete Burnage, sought the help of local schoolchildren to design a poster to remind people to pick up after their dog. The competition opened last autumn and hundreds of entries were received.

The winning poster design by Ella from Walsh C of E Junior School.

The winning poster design by Ella from Walsh C of E Junior School.

The winner of the competition is 10-year-old Ella from Walsh C of E Junior School in Ash, with her attention grabbing statement: “I don’t want your dog poo on my shoe!”. Runners-up were Amye and Charlotte from Pirbright Village Primary School.

Each of the children received a family pass to Guildford Spectrum, kindly donated by the leisure centre along with a large copy of their design and a certificate.

Pete Burnage said: “I decided that our formal council signs could do with livening up so thought it would be good to invite local schoolchildren, who are often worst affected by dog poo as they walk to school, to come up with some eye-catching designs.

“As part of the competition, children discovered more about responsible dog ownership and the health hazards of dog mess, which can lead to nasty infections. We were delighted with the response to the competition.

“When I asked children at school assemblies if they had stepped in dog poo almost every child raised their hand so the winning design really gets that message across.”

The posters have already been put up by the dog warden around the areas of the winning entrants’ schools and also in some areas where dog poo is a particular problem. For example, an alleyway beside the school in Ash now features the new poster, a spot where a dog owner was prosecuted for failure to clean up immediately after their dog.

To report dog fouling and find out more information on the dog warden’s services visit or call 01483 505050.

Council leader welcomes call for changes that could speed-up house building

The leader of Guildford Borough Council, Cllr Paul Spooner (Con, Ash South & Tongham), has welcomed a proposal that would devolve powers to local authorities for house building.

Cllr Paul Spooner

Cllr Paul Spooner

It follows a call by South East England Councils (SEEC), responding to the Government’s planning policy consultation, for local authorities to be given new powers as they deliver their housing plans.

The SEEC has outlined three key areas where changes to current policy would help councils in the South East deliver new homes already set out in local plans:

• Giving councils powers to incentivise developers to build approved new homes quickly.

• Allowing councils to decide the best mix of affordable homes to buy and rent for their areas.

• Enabling councils to set housing developer contributions for infrastructure to reflect local needs.

Cllr Spooner said: “Our borough has a real need for housing, especially affordable sites that allow those on lower paid roles to be able to buy a home.

“The proposals would also speed up housebuilding as we would be able to chase developers to deliver housing that they already have permission for to help meet the need we have locally.”

Artists wanted to decorate Guildford’s very own charity cow

Local artists are being encouraged to come up with a design for the Mayor of Guildford’s official CowParade entry to transform it into a work of art.

The life-sized cow is part of the CowParade, the world’s biggest public art event raising money for good causes, coming to Surrey from May to September.

The Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith and the Mayor Elect, Cllr Gordon Jackson, are asking for expressions of interest from local artists to decorate the cow, ready for May when the incoming mayor takes over.

Mirror Moo and the Cow Parade Surrey.

Mirror Moo and the Cow Parade Surrey.

The mayor said: “As part of my mayoral theme Inspiring Guildford’s Future Innovators, we have developed the Innovate Guildford banner under which a number of forthcoming events will be promoted in the borough.

“We are looking for a design that is unique and eye-catching, that the borough can be proud of, which will reflect the continuity of the innovation theme through our two mayoral years.”

Guildford’s very own civic cow is just one of the many cows sponsored by different organisations and businesses throughout Surrey. They will be displayed around the county before being herded to the inaugural Surrey Hills Food, Drink and Music Festival, where they will all be exhibited together and judged.

The cows will later go to auction; those judged to be the pick of the bunch will be auctioned at a gala event in London later this year. The net proceeds from the auctions will be split between various charities (chosen by the sponsors) and The Surrey Hills Trust Fund which was set up to support local community projects to benefit and enhance the Surrey Hills landscape.

Cllr Jackson added: “This is a really exciting project, which will be used to reinforce my mayoral theme. The theme will be announced when I take office in May, but I intend to continue celebrating innovation in Guildford with a particular emphasis on the importance of place and the role of the countryside.”

Interested artists should email Please put ‘Civic Cow’ in the subject line of the email. The closing date for submissions is Monday, March 14.

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Responses to News In Brief From Millmead

  1. John Lomas Reply

    March 2, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    No way that should be a taxi. Private hire maybe, but taxis should be Hackney type vehicles and fully accessible for any passenger with a disability.

  2. Mary Bedforth Reply

    March 8, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Concrete cows. Metal cows. GRP cows. How asinine.

    Of course the real cows are nowhere to be seen in Surrey now, save for just a few herds.

    Much of our milk is now being imported.

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    March 8, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Across the world Mercedes cars and even the old Morris Oxford are used as taxis. The Hackney Cab is special to London and should not be demanded as the norm.

    I have severe reservations as to the need to force Guildford into Teal (who on earth choose the colour? [It is the GBC corporate colour. Ed]). A standard format of door sign or bonnet insignia would be quiet sufficient.

    As for the disabled (with no disrespect to them) will the next demand be that our English town should provide multilingual drivers – noting in the nearby town of Reading 300 languages are spoken – so which language would you choose and would you then be asking for colour coded taxis so that you could select the taxi with the language of your choice?

    It’s time we stopped pandering to diversification and become more practical on the subjects that affect our community.

    • Terry Stevenson Reply

      March 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      Here’s a practical solution for improving the accessibility to and from the Slyfield Industrial Estate – build additional point(s) of access, possibly including one to the east towards Clay Lane.

      Hmmm, I didn’t think the noble concept of practical solutions would stretch that far. No doubt ‘the great and the good’ will be expected to listen to a diverse set of views about the subject, and perhaps even act upon some of them.

      Boot, other foot, and all that jazz.

      • Jim Allen Reply

        March 10, 2016 at 7:51 am

        In response to Mr Stevenson – To improve the accessibility of the Slyfield industrial estate, all one has to do is open up one of the five access points already in place onto Woodlands Road. The community there are said to have already accepted that over 1,800 cars are ‘wanted’ in this estate’ (the effect of moving the water works and building 1000 houses), so why not simply open these access points to non-commercial vehicles and reduce the so-called congestion on Moorefields Road now and solve the alleged problem of Slyfield Traffic.

        Building a dam at vast expense across the active flood plain which has already been reduced in size since the 1900’s by close on 50% is a recipe for disaster. That’s why the location is designated an “active flood plain” – because it floods.

        The failure of the council to ensure the parking restrictions and the planning conditions are enforced on Slyfield and failure to sort out the A320 – are matters of fact, not diversification. And yes ‘diverse ideas’ are always welcome but ‘diverse solutions’ which fail to solve the problems is another matter.

        The road across the flood plain will do nothing to sort the problems of Slyfield save move them to a more traffic intense location. It took GBC all this time to realise this fact. Far better rational thought took over from diversity and solved the problems.

  4. Pauline Surrey Reply

    March 8, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    If only they had chosen Guildford Blue (as on the Town Bridge, or on our waste bins), a far nicer, less loud colour, and one that would have made it easier for drivers to use their cars for other private hire use, or for private use.

    I feel really sorry for them, what a horrid, cheap looking colour. And not a traditional Guildford colour at all. It might have been chosen by the council for its letterheads and logo, and it is not inappropriate in an office situation – but awful as a colour for a taxi.

    • Harry Eve Reply

      March 9, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Guildford Blue might have unfortunate political connotations. Potential taxi customers might feel they were about to be conned.

      Red, Purple, Green or Yellow should all get a turn for balance – or maybe a mix of colours which is what we had before.

      Still, at least our Council Tax has achieved something – taxis with a single non-political colour (not unlike Brighton). I expect things like pedestrian safety and checking SHMA calculations and assumptions are gradually moving up the priority list.

  5. George Potter Reply

    March 9, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    What a disgusting and despicable comment from Jim Allen.

    In case he missed it disabled people are a protected group under equal rights legislation and I think it’s perfectly reasonable, in the 21st century, for disabled people to expect the same ability to access taxis and public transport as everyone else.

    I wonder how he’d like it if he found himself crippled in an accident and dependent on a wheelchair and facing bus drivers refusing to carry him and taxis unable to transport him?

    Given how much he complains about everything else that inconveniences him I doubt he’d still be saying it’s “pandering” to make basic provision for disabled people.

    • Jim Allen Reply

      March 10, 2016 at 7:30 am

      In response to Mr Potter, perhaps I do more for the disabled than him? Remap is an engineering charity for the disabled, I have managed their projects for over 10 years. You were, perhaps deliberately, missing my point.

      In respect of the disabled: At what point do you say I’m sorry but you need an ambulance and not a taxi?
      If someone is blind or deaf – clearly they can use a taxi.
      If someone in a wheel chair – who is mobile and can exit their wheel chair, they can use a standard ‘car style’ taxi.
      If someone who is hoisted into their wheelchair would need a ramp and wide door to a ‘converted van’ style Taxi.
      If someone over 20 stone in a self propelled wheel chair could use a ramp, but would cause a serious problem for their helper pushing up a ramp if it was a manual wheelchair.
      If someone who suffers dwarfism may not be able to enter a van style taxi due to the height off the ground of the first step or its internal step while a saloon car is low enough for them to enter.
      If if someone bed-ridden needs an ambulance, its all a matter of ‘just how far’ before you say ‘This is Not the way’

      Finally, of course, we need to consider how many wheelchairs one should have capacity for in any one taxi? If it is every ones ‘right’ to travel with friends…either disabled or not.

      Sorry Mr Potter, but there are times when the ‘common solution’ simply does not work for all.

  6. Jenny Meehan Reply

    March 26, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    DNP response fm Gordon Jackson invited

    Does Cllr Jackson know that according to the terms and conditions of the Cow Parade venture, the copyright of the artist’s design will be assigned to Cow Parade Holdings? This is a very big negative for the majority of artists who depend on their copyright as an important and vital source of income.

    Artists are not going to be keen to sign away the copyright of a design which they would have spent hours producing, especially when anything can be done with it afterwards, including it’s potential use for making a lot of money for Cow Parade Holdings.

    Any interested artists should check the details of the agreement and make sure they are 100% happy with it. Some probably won’t mind, but for me personally, this makes designing anything for Cow Parade a very big “No, no!”

    Response from Cllr Gordon Jackson:

    The CowParade’s terms and conditions are clearly stated on their website:

    Artists are paid a fee for their work. As with any commission undertaken by an artist, it is entirely up to the artist whether they choose to participate. In making that choice they will no doubt balance the rights that they give up against the value to them of being chosen as a Cow Parade artist in terms of both publicity and the charities that benefit.

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