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Sometimes, the devil is in the detail.

That’s why I believe that persistence, scrutiny and hard work can pay off if you’re a team of just two on a Tory and Lib Dem-dominated council.

Between us, Angela and I sit on several council committees and our roles include holding to account officers and councillors for decisions they make on behalf of the borough or our constituents in Stoke.

Recently, I read through more than 200 pages of the agenda for the Executive Advisory Body, a committee that I sit on and that is supposed to advise the council’s executive body. Reaching the last few pages of the document, which dealt in part with next year’s budget, I noticed that the costs involved in burying children in Guildford’s cemeteries was to increase by more than 10%. Horrified by what I saw as a very unfair increase on grieving families, I spoke up in the meeting and received a pledge from officers to go back and look at the figures.

Subsequently, the officers told me that – as a result of my intervention - they had scrapped plans to increase these burial fees by 10% and above, and level a less onerous (though still unwelcome) 3% instead.

It’s just a small example of how you can have an influence as a member of the minority party on Guildford Council, but it’s one that shows how politics and Labour values CAN have an impact on people’s lives if you can just find that devil in the detail.

Cllr James Walsh

Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty

Sometimes, the devil is in the detail. That’s why I believe that persistence, scrutiny and hard work can pay off if you’re a team of just two on a Tory...

On Wednesday November 23rd an all members meeting of Guildford Labour Party met to discuss Brexit. Having reviewed recent developments and the lack of clarity from government as to the way they see the Brexit process going forward, Brian Creese reviewed the cross-party group that successfully campaigned for Remain in Guildford. Dominic Stone, who has taken responsibility for reviewing the process, took the meeting through some of the detail – what the ‘four freedoms’ are, exactly what Article 50 says, problems associated with the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ and so on  before opening discussion to the members.

Although there were a variety of opinions expressed, there were some clearly shared views. Firstly, Guildford Labour Party members are overwhelmingly pro Europe, and many do not see that accepting the result means doing nothing about it. There is a strong view that as the realities of the Brexit process becomes understood that public sentiment will change and move against it. No one believes that had the result been 52% for Remain, that UKIP and the Tory leave camp would have left it at that, so members have a perfect right to continue making the case for Remain. There was a long discussion on immigration, where again views were largely uniform, that as well as better education on the facts about immigration, more needs to be done to shift resources to areas which have had a great deal of recent immigration. It is the poverty of job opportunities and public services such as NHS provision, school places or affordable housing that leads to anti-immigrant sentiments.

We know that it is going to be a long process and the issues will need to be revisited often, but Guildford Labour Party is ready to lead and represent those that believe a huge mistake was made on June 23rd.

Guildford Labour discusses Brexit

On Wednesday November 23rd an all members meeting of Guildford Labour Party met to discuss Brexit. Having reviewed recent developments and the lack of clarity from government as to the...

Guildford Labour Party encourages all Surrey residents to sign their petition against the Conservative-led County Council's proposal to turn off thousands of streetlights across the county between the hours of midnight and 5 am.

Chair George Dokimakis set up the petition calling for Surrey County Council to reconsider the plan and its effect on those who are out and about at this time of the night.

“There has been little consultation to switch off street lights at night. This endangers the safety of anyone who is out during this time. Anyone who was working late, coming back home on a late train; people who are out having a nice time; night shift workers; everyone who works 24/7 like the NHS staff in the A&E; retail staff accepting deliveries overnight, van drivers, emergency support workers.

“Switching the lights off at night increases the danger for anyone being outside during this time. In Guildford, there have been multiple sexual assaults in the last year alone. It is highly likely incidents like these will increase if the lights are turned off.

“In many villages across Surrey, there are little to no pavements for people to walk on which, at night, increases their threat of being hit by a car, not to mention the danger of falling down in our renowned potholes. It will also increase the threat of petty crime.

“The petition asks Surrey County Council to reconsider its ill-conceived plans, have a proper consultation, be transparent in its motives and approach and put the safety of its residents across Surrey first.

“Whilst there are benefits to doing so with regards to the environment and light pollution, this is not what is driving the council as they are interested purely in cost savings. They have performed a very poor consultation across Surrey where only a small number of people have been consulted for a change that will affect millions.

“We need to get the council to stop this massive change until a proper consultation has taken place and full transparency on arguments and decisions have been provided as well as evidence that alternative methods have been evaluated fully.

“I am asking everyone to sign the petition and let fellow residents in Surrey know to help us challenge this.”

Sign the petition at:

https://www.change.org/p/surrey-county-council-keeping-the-lights-on-in-surrey

See which roads are affected here:

https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/104909/PNL-Programme-Phase-1-Guildford.pdf

 

 

Stop Surrey Council Council turning off the lights

Guildford Labour Party encourages all Surrey residents to sign their petition against the Conservative-led County Council's proposal to turn off thousands of streetlights across the county between the hours of...

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