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Letter: R4GV Councillors Must Stop This Bickering and Act More Positively

Published on: 3 Aug, 2020
Updated on: 3 Aug, 2020

Tunsgate refurbishment. Photo Ben Darnton

From P Knight

As a ward councillor for Holy Trinity, I would expect Cllr Maddy Redpath (R4GV, Holy Trinity) to engage with local retailers, but it would be interesting to know if she had spoken to the swath of new retailers who have moved into Tunsgate, including Pho and incoming Gail’s bakery, along with those existing tenants who have benefited from a vastly improved environment.

Do the proprietors of cafes and eateries approve of the new pedestrianised street scene and being able to place out tables and chairs, particularly during the pandemic rules? Exactly which residents has she spoken to? I don’t recall being consulted or asked my opinion or is this just being directed to South Hill residents who will obviously be conflicted about any improvements which could lead to more traffic in their road.

Her views also seem to contradict those of the council and her own party, with fellow R4GV ward Cllr John Rigg quoted as saying: “I am as disappointed as anyone…” Does this mean it’s just Cllr Redpath who is against these works? If so, is this just another opportunity to criticise the ‘previous administration who, let’s face it, are starting to look Rolls-Royce compared to the present council?

It’s also becoming quite tiresome to hear the same R4VG councillors in what look like personal attacks against individuals. Cllr Joss Bigmore (Christchurch) wrote an ill-informed letter in the winter, again criticising SCC Cllr Matt Furniss (Con, Shalford), the lead for Transport, for his handling of the A281 wall collapse and the works to One Tree Hill Road, yet the reply from Cllr Furniss was not to engage in some petty squabble, but to give a well-reasoned response providing the reader with the actual facts, and assurance matters were being dealt with professionally. We never heard any more on that subject from Cllr Bigmore.

Sadly, the Redpath letter continues this unhelpful theme from R4VG and I for one am starting to tire of this constant bickering. I understand R4VG did not respect the decisions of the previous administration. In fact, there were many decisions I didn’t agree with but I did hope that after being in power for well more than a year, we could start to see this energy deployed in a more positive way.

Otherwise, there is a serious risk that these councillors, who have spent their entire time in these privileged positions, criticising and not delivering, not being trusted again. Time is ticking.

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Responses to Letter: R4GV Councillors Must Stop This Bickering and Act More Positively

  1. J Phelps Reply

    August 3, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    I would suggest that P Knight rereads Cllr Maddy Redpath’s letter.

    At no point did she say she was “against” the proposal as a whole. She is clearly using Tunsgate as an example of the importance of listening to the retailers and says now is not the time for such an invasive (and in my opinion) pointless development. We can learn from others mistakes – which Cllr Maddy has shown and it would appear Cllr Furniss is completely unaware of the impact of the Tunsgate development.

    P Knight mentions the new shops which have supposedly benefited from Tunsgate (if they can afford the high rates to be in there). There are no new shopping units to be delivered in the Public Realm project (simply relaying the road) so who will benefit from this scheme? If there are empty units in Swan Lane, what right-minded business owner would want to open a shop during the pandemic?

    He mentions bickering but who sent out the original press release in a failed attempt to garner support? The Conservatives. I have only seen R4VG comment on articles which originated from a poorly thought out Conservative press release. They are clearly scrambled considering they have split into two groups of four in the council.

    He mentions lack of delivery. This project being cancelled is a delivery and I am very happy with it. We (the taxpayers) don’t have our money wasted, the retailers get to stay open and the residents of South Hill can have time for SCC to come up with a better road layout. To me, doing nothing is the best delivery in this scenario.

    His points are poorly thought-out and illogical; something tells me he must be an ill-informed Conservative supporter. I hope this letter doesn’t stop Cllr Maddy Redpath from representing her ward, she is clearly doing a very good job.

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