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Spanglefish Gold Status Expired 01/01/1900.
2008 Year End Round-Up
31 December 2008

Another busy year for all involved with WBDRA.


We've had numerous Planning Applications to resist - all of the Garden Grabbing & Environment-threatening variety - some of which we've won! Details are in other sections and thanks to all of you who've helped us put up a good fight.


Three cheers for our brave Councillors who inflicted a high-power high-radiation Phone Mast upon one the highest population density parts of Worplesdon. This mast is right outside someones house - let's hope the radiation doesn't do them and their neighbours too much harm - unlike the poor dead teenagers in South Wales (see Phone Mast Deaths article in Library section). Still the damage has been done, it's a precedent for more masts to go up. 


We've had the long-awaited Site Allocations Consultation results published - see the Consultation Update Section for the details. The fact is an overwhelming majority of local people have said NO NO NO over 260 times NO to Housing on our local Allotment Site.


WBDRA have been lucky to have had terrific support from the local Media. We've been fortunate to have a lot of coverage this year in the Surrey Ad Group Newspapers (see Library Section for Press Cuttings) and frequently get air-time on BBC Southern Counties Radio. The last live Radio Interview being 17th December on the Fred Marden Breakfast Show. Many Thanks to all the Media people who've been tracking our story.


We are also pleased to say that we've been able to help others along the way in their battles against our Council. One of these has been to support and actively campaign for Age Concern's Riverside Centre appeal. WBDRA members have been able to generate nearly £3500 for the Appeal.


As you drive along Woodbridge Meadows, you can't fail to spot these enormous sculptures. Very impressive for sure, but does anyone actually know how many tens of thousands of pounds these items have cost? How many people have actually seen them? Very few people actually walk down Woodbridge Meadows or walk down by the river - so who has benefited from the Tree Sculptures apart from Royal Mail staff on their lunch break? Couldn't this money have been better spent on improving local services eg Litter-picking & cleaning filthy pavements, better care services for the elderly, keeping the Riverside Centre grant going, improving Allotment Site Security across the Borough etc etc - i.e. why not spend the money on things which people actually need.


There is a current waiting list of 200 people in Guildford wanting Allotments. Almost 50 people want an Allotment Plot on the Aldershot Road Site where there are 39 plots lying fallow and under threat of being concreted over (and where no-one wants to see Housing being built). Isn't it time our Councillors who have responsibilties for the Environment & Allotments woke up to what people actually want?

Other more enterprising councils across the country have already acted and opened up land for Allotments - why do our lot still spout the same old tired 6-year old briefing given to them by the Senior Planners about Local Plans blah blah blah? None of us were able to vote about Local Plans - what we have voted for & want  is our Allotment Site back and not threatened by housing.

The Aldershot Road site has 39 plots, there are 50 local people waiting - isn't it an easy transaction? If you live nearby you don't want to be offered a plot on a site 3-4 miles away or one that's riddled with Asbestos & Housing waste.  What you want is to be able to walk down to a well-managed site close to home where there's a thriving Allotment Community & people able to help you out when you need it. 

Councillors - this is what we the people want!


All at WBDRA are very grateful for everyone's support in 2008 and we  hope 2009 turns out to be a better year for us all.

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