Hands up, who voted for it?

Who voted for what?  Well, the Guildford Borough Council 2013-2017 Corporate Plan of course. Didn’t all the Councillors vote to approve that last October?  Question is, did they actually know what they approved?

As has been commented elsewhere, it’s all about the money.  The Corporate Plan seems a good place to start, smuggled out last October, after approval by the full council and review by the Corporate Improvement Scrutiny Committee [CISC], subject to no public consultation.  If you read the accompanying CISC 19 September 2013 document for the draft Corporate Plan you’ll find para 8.2 states “There will be financial implications to deliver the elements outlined in the action plan”.  Too right there will be financial implications and we’ll come on to those below.  Continue reading

Quack, quack, quack

Like little ducks lined up all in a row, Guildford Borough Councillors voted for their own motion that rejected the “Excess Housing” e-petition debated in the council chamber in front of the full council last Tuesday 8 July 2014.  No Councillor voted against and only five abstentions. Not that you would expect anything else.  The scene had already been set on 19 June when the same Councillors voted to accept the final draft Local Plan as presented, without change to the excessive annual house building target of 652 per year over its 15 year lifetime, and so moved it into the second round of consultation.

The e-petition requested “We, the undersigned, petition Guildford Borough Council to reject their current aggressive pro-development pro-building strategy. The current strategy would mean building more housing than we need (and also more commercial buildings than we need) because of an incorrect perception that economic growth can only come from building. This strategy is unsustainable and must be rejected.” Continue reading

Council fails to consult on Corporate Plan

When I first read the Guildford Borough Corporate Plan a number of things struck me.

  • Why didn’t I know about it? Like most good political operators, the Council slipped it out last October when everybody’s attention was focused elsewhere on the Local Plan; no fanfares, no publicity, not even a press release.
  • Why didn’t I have a chance to comment on it before or after the fact? After all it contains stuff on housing and economic development that has the potential to affect where I live over the next three years and on through the Local Plan period up to 2031.
  • How long was it in development, where did the evidence come from and could I trust the sources?  You never know, it might have been prepared by the University of Surrey.

Continue reading