Fringe Box



Opinion: EVEL Good – GVGP Better

Published on: 14 Jul, 2015
Updated on: 16 Jul, 2015

Plane Banner GVGPBy Martin Giles

The barefaced cheek of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) MPs in hijacking the vote on fox hunting is likely to annoy many of us south of the border, regardless of our views on blood sports.

It seems that the SNP justifies its tactic on the grounds that what we decide here is likely to influence what goes on in Scotland.

Opinion Logo 2Well on those grounds, our MPs should have a vote in the Scottish Parliament and, come to think of it, in today’s globalised world, we should all demand to have votes in the American presidential election.

No. If Scots want more independence, fair enough. But they cannot have it both ways and the sooner the English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) arrangements are settled the better, in my book.

But what about GVGP? What’s that? I hear you ask. Well it’s Guildford Votes for Guildford Plans.

At the moment, those who want to try and preserve the green belt are all called NIMBYs.

The same pejorative term is even applied to those who don’t actually live in the green belt but value it as an amenity and want to see it preserved, rather than used up piece by piece to meet the inexorable demand that has resulted from 20 years of failed immigration and EU policies.

Central government seems mad keen on removing any obstacles to its developer chums and many on our council seem to have been persuaded that we must indeed plan for thousands of extra houses in our borough, regardless of the fact that it is 90% green belt, our roads are already choked and there is no room for more roads and extra infrastructure requirements in our confined gap town.

As we know, the consultation on the Draft Local Plan told the council that those thousands who responded were overwhelmingly against the idea of building on the green belt. Perhaps that is just an inconvenience they will choose to ignore.

It has even been argued that a silent majority are really in favour of green belt development. Does being elected give councillors the power to read minds, I wonder?

I would prefer to count the views of those who care enough to put pen to paper. That’s what we do in elections isn’t it, even if only half or less of us bother to vote?

But if I was a betting man I would still back the powerful establishment to bulldoze its way through. All this proclaimed “Localism” nonsense is a sham, especially while the planning inspectorate can overrule those democratically elected and while some of those who are elected pay lip service to properly representing the majority view of the electorate.

Before the election our local candidates were queueing up to express their commitment to the green belt. They must have all meant it mustn’t they? Surely they wouldn’t go back on their word. Would they?

If I missed something and any successful candidate actually said during the campaign that they were in favour of green belt development I would really like to see the evidence.

Of course, any such document would have quite a rarity value so I promise to return it for some future edition of Antiques Roadshow or perhaps the Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibition.

Anyway, I say what is right for England is right for Guildford – let’s have Guildford Votes for Guildford Plans!

At least then when they muck it up we can chuck them out; if enough of us are awake at the polls that is.

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Responses to Opinion: EVEL Good – GVGP Better

  1. Nicholas Clarke Reply

    July 14, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Well said. There is only ever discussion of building homes but never roads, railway lines, schools and hospitals. Only the profitable part is considered, not the costly parts of our the long term problems.

    Surely a small number of new towns in suitable places in the south east would be better than doing a bit of damage everywhere.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    July 14, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Hear, hear!

  3. Bernard Parke Reply

    July 15, 2015 at 8:30 am

    ” Enough of us wake up at the polls…”

    May I say it is time for us all to wake up now, for speaking at random to the man or woman in the street, as many still do not know what is going on in Guildford.

    This is why The Dragon serves a valuable service, but is it just a voice crying in the dark?

  4. Stuart Barnes Reply

    July 15, 2015 at 10:41 am

    If anyone thinks that we are living in a democracy I would suggest that he/she is dreaming. The politicians of the old parties tell us one thing and do another, once they have got the votes.

    If the ungrateful Scottish Nats had not made it too dangerous for the English to vote for something different we would not be stuck with Dave and his followers in local government.

    Time for an English parliament perhaps? It could be under some sort of proportional representation and a system to ensure that the failed former MPs, put in the House of Lords by equally poor previous party leaders, are not allowed to overrule parliament’s decisions.

    It is rather ironic but the most democratic chamber we ever had was when the hereditaries were a majority in the Lords. They were democratic in the sense that they represented the opinions of ordinary people rather than those of the party whips.

  5. Terry Stevenson Reply

    July 17, 2015 at 12:36 am

    I’m just glad our over-worked parliamentarians had sufficient time to even consider such a trifling matter, when there are somewhat larger fish to fry.

    On the day that the government suggest 7-day-week doctors, perhaps there’s a need for a 7-day-week House of Commons and House of lords, combined with shorter holidays, so that they can find the precious time to come to a decision about slightly more pressing issues, such a airport capacity in the south east.

    I wonder if anyone even gave a thought to the possible expansion of Farnborough, or the use of 7,500ft of ‘fallow’ concrete and tarmac at Wisley?

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