Fringe Box



Millmead Views: Past Traditions And Future Opportunities

Published on: 3 Nov, 2012
Updated on: 6 Nov, 2012

Cllr Matt Furniss

by Matt Furniss

Conservative GBC Councillor for Christchurch Ward

Lead Councillor for Environmental and Support Services

Tradition is not a bad conception. It gives you a sense continuity, of belonging and protection.

I am a traditionalist. I will defend tradition to the bone unless there is a clear and valid reason to change it and even then I need some convincing. It is an important part of the fabric of our society to know where we have come from, and guides where we go.

It should not be attacked as holding back as it more subtly, organically develops the culture in which we live.

However every now and again we must take a ‘leap’ and create new traditions whilst holding onto the ones we have.

There has been much talk recently about a vision for Guildford, however this has focused primarily on town centre planning.

I personally believe that we must go further if we are talking about a vision or direction to look at where we want to go as a society in Guildford.

Guildford is an extremely fortunate place often punching above its weight on the national and international stage, however this of late seems to have stagnated. The status quo cannot continue, Guildford has been lucky as has much of the South East in being fairly insulated during this recession, however we must not allow this insulation to give a false sense of security.

This false sense of security I believe means that some wish to prevent change at all costs as we are fearful of what the future may hold.

The question I would like to ask is: What should Guildford specialise in?

Should we focus on the arts and cultural side of Guildford which has often taken the front of stage or should we focus more on science and technology which we have proven on the International stage with the University and Research park?

We must ask ourselves do we want to become the sleepy market town which is falling behind or do we want to be leading the charge?

To do this we must focus on what we want to preserve and where we want to go.

Our traditions and culture can and must be preserved in Guildford, but we can also take it further and with us on a more challenging path.

We must develop a more harmonious approach and push to become the world leader in next generation technology.

We must develop the way forward and for that we must grow. Except growing does not mean that our traditions and culture in Guildford will disappear, it means we can introduce the new to update and strengthen the old.

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Responses to Millmead Views: Past Traditions And Future Opportunities

  1. Gordon Bridger Reply

    November 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Congratulations to Cllr Matt Furniss for pointing out that if we wish to preserve the best of the past we need to be able to have a successful economy in order to do so. Guildford’s economic future, as well as Britain’s, lies in high quality services such as those built on technology, science, finance and creative arts. Our University and its research park make a key contribution to the provision of these services which require skilled and educated staff.

    We need to move away from misguided planners’ obsession with making the town centre the largest shopping mall in southern England, for it ignores the serious  physical limitations of the town centre which will exacerbate  traffic congestion, and would undermine the financial viabilityn of High Street shops. It also overlooks the surprising fact that the gross value added by town centre retail is only 10% of the total income of the Borough: services and manufacturing account for around 40%, so why this obsession?

    At the main entrances to the town we should have a statue to Alan Turin, or one of the 30 odd satellites, made in Guildford, which circle the globe. Not one, as was proposed, to the crazy Guy Rioters who tried to burn the town down.

    Let us hope that other councillors agree with Cllr Furniss.

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