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E-petitions - closed and rejected

This page contains a list of petitions which have either been closed or rejected up until March 2017.

Closed petitions

Title of petition

Submitted by

Deadline to sign by

Signatures

Stop the proposed unrealistic and unjustified fare decrease

Nikki Simmonds

22 October 2016

213

Response

The Council adopted a taxi fare calculator in 2013. This is used to calculate fares based on the cost of running a taxi and takes into account relevant elements in this.

We consulted with all the trade between asking for information on running costs prior to using the calculator to set new fares. We asked 262 drivers and operators and received 6 responses. Using this information we amended the calculator to take account of additional relevant costs and remove the cost of a radio circuit as only a few drivers opt to use this.

The proposed fares were calculated using the amended calculator and we then consulted upon these.

The response to the petition by Councillor Graham Ellwood, Lead Councillor for Licensing and Community Safety is detailed below:

Running costs consulted on with all members of the taxi trade in April/May 2016. AA costs provide motor vehicle running costs and additional costs relevant to the taxi industry are included.

Insurance allowance £1101.

This is why the calculator uses running costs based on a mid/upper range vehicle.

The tyres' allowance is £510 pa.

Fuel has decreased since fares were set in 2013, but takes the previous 12 month average, plus 5p.

Guildford fares currently 14th (out of 365) highest in UK. Only Epsom higher in Surrey. Average for South is £6.20 over two miles at T1. Proposed figure is £6.24

The calculator provides a transparent basis for setting fares and has been the subject of considerable consultation with the trade.

We consulted with all drivers regarding running costs in April/May 2016.

Cost of living reviewed and increased in line with latest figures for Guildford.

Fuel has decreased since fares were set in 2013, but takes the previous 12 month average, plus 5p.

Being self-employed, can have the benefit of working flexibly and can claim taxi relief on business expenditure.

Remove from the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy the requirement to attach a vinyl sign with the Guildford Borough Council G logo, the words 'pre-book only private hire' and the vehicle number to the front passenger and driver doors of private hire vehicles

Saeed Azmat

11 September 2016

94

Response

From: Councillor Graham Ellwood, Lead Councillor for Licensing and Community Safety - 30 September 2016

As you are aware, you recently started a petition to remove the requirement for Private Hire Vehicles to display door signage with the words "pre book only, private hire" from the Council's Licensing Policy.

Your petition received 94 signatures and under the Council's Petition Scheme, as the Lead Councillor for Licensing and Community Safety it falls to me to respond to you.

The Council adopted a new Policy covering Taxi and Private Hire licensing in December 2015. The Policy was adopted following nearly two years of public consultation, which included consultation with the licensed trade through meetings, focus groups and newsletters.

The Policy requires all Private Hire Vehicles to display a door sign with the above wording, Council's logo and the licence number of the vehicle. This sign will help members of the public to distinguish between a taxi which is available for immediate hire and a private hire vehicle which can only be pre-booked; and will help to reduce incidents of private hire vehicles "touting" for customers which is a concern from a number of members of the licensed trade.

We have taken the decision that signage should be vinyl and permanently applied to the vehicle. Once a vehicle is licensed as a taxi or private hire vehicle, it remains a licensed vehicle at all times and must comply with all its licence conditions, even if it is not "on duty".

Should we have taken the decision to permit removable magnetic signage, then Licensing Officers would be likely to have to spend considerable time ensuring that vehicles displayed their signage, which we simply do not have the resources to do and would only serve to increase licence fees.

For the reasons outlined above I will not be recommending any changes to the Council's Licensing Policy as a result of your petition.

Whilst I appreciate that the outcome from your petition is not what you would have hoped for, we are always pleased to engage with the licensed trade and would invite you to attend the Council's next Taxi Advisory Group meeting at 7pm on the 12 October.

Introduce residents' parking permits and parking restrictions in the area around Shalford railway station

Nicholas Karp

17 August 2016

12

Response

From: Kevin McKee, Parking Services Manager - 30 September 2016:

Thank you for the e-petition and I note that it attracted 12 signatories.

As you are probably aware we have recently completed a review of parking in the Shalford area which included considerable consultation with residents and local councillors. We also considered accident data. It is also important to understand that any new restriction is likely to displace parking to the next unrestricted area. With regard to your particular proposals:

• Put double yellow lines along Chinthurst Lane. The cars that park there cause a huge amount of traffic and congestion on the crossroads with the Kings Road.

New restrictions were implemented in Chinthurst Lane on 30 August 2016.

• Put double yellows along the Kings Road from the Station Road junction up to the old church. Cars parked there create blind spots for cars turning out of Station Road which is extremely dangerous.

This would be a considerable extent of yellow line. We did increase the amount of time limited parking in the area to enable vehicles to find parking space more easily and reduce parking near junctions.

• Put double yellows on the right hand side of the slip road. Not only is it obstructive, it's also an enormous eye sore in a pretty village in Shalford to have cars parked there all day.

We have considered this but restricting parking here would reduce parking near the shops and create problems elsewhere.

• Introduce residents' permits and 4 hour bays on Station Road, Kings Road and Tillingbourne Road. These roads have become extremely hazardous for residents due to the congestion.

Before considering a residents' parking scheme we look for support from local residents. Surrey County Council's guidance suggests 70% of residents should be in favour. There are over 250 properties in the three roads referred to and neither the consultation we did as part of the recent review or this petition show there is strong support for a permit scheme. Any scheme is likely to cause displacement parking and to be effective is would need to cover a larger area than just the three roads.

 

Delay making any decisions or submitting any related planning applications until the recommendations proposed by Highways England can be taken into account

Robert Clark

23 September 2015

878

Response

This Petition was referred to full Council for debate on 14 October 2015. The following response was approved with 33 councillors voting in favour, 6 councillors voting against with 1 abstention:

"The Council would like to thank the organisers of the petition for raising awareness of the Clay Lane Link Road proposals and this petition will form part of the consultation responses in the pre-application consultation that is currently ongoing.

The key objectives of the Clay Lane Link Road are:

• To provide a second entry/exit point at the eastern end of the Slyfield Industrial Estate
• To improve the operation and function of the Estate as well as contributing to reduced congestion on the A320 Woking Road
• To support the retention and expansion of businesses on the Estate and the continued growth of the borough's economy and provision of employment.
• To put in place part of the infrastructure necessary to start regeneration of the Industrial Estate
• To enable businesses within the Industrial Estate to operate to their full potential to facilitate business growth

However, as with any change, particularly in infrastructure, there are concerns about the unknown.

The Council is currently in the third stage of a three-part public consultation process on proposed routings and other information as part of the pre-application consultation we are currently undertaking. The consultation runs until 6 November 2015 with events in Burpham, Jacobs Well and Weyfield. All the information is on the Council's web site: www.guildford.gov.uk/Clay-Lane-Link. A formal planning application will be submitted when we have reviewed all comments. There will also be a further opportunity for comments to be submitted as part of the statutory consultation on the planning application.

In addition to the consultations, the Lead Councillor for Infrastructure and Environment holds monthly meetings with representatives of Jacobs Well Residents' Association, Worplesdon Parish Council, and Burpham Neighbourhood Forum so that concerns can be resolved directly.

In terms of each point raised in the petition, a brief response is as follows:

(1) Flooding
The Council will only be able to proceed with the proposed link road if we are able to satisfy the Environment Agency that appropriate mitigation measures have been taken to store any waters that are displaced by the construction. At the request of local residents and Worplesdon Parish Council, the Borough Council undertook a survey of watercourses in Jacobs Well and were able to advise the Environment Agency so they could update their flood model programs. This has now been done.

The Council will provide attenuation ponds for storage of surface water in respect of the proposed new road.

We do not believe that with the mitigation measures that we are taking with the approval of the Environment Agency, the proposed link road will increase the risk of flooding.

(2) Traffic
The link road is being proposed to provide a second entry/exit point for the Slyfield Industrial Estate. The Council forecasts a change of traffic movements in the area but not an increase in overall traffic movements, easing congestion on the A320 Woking Road and reducing the number of HGV journeys through Jacobs Well village.

(3) Pollution
As stated in (2) above, with a redistribution of the existing traffic over the local area, there is not forecast to be an increase in movements and therefore an increase in pollution is not forecast.
 

(4) Risk of accidents
The risk of accidents is taken seriously and the Surrey County Council road safety team are advising on the proposed link road. This is with specific reference to the Northern Roundabout. We recognise that there are two bends that are close to the minimum width for HGVs to pass and we are currently investigating the potential to take out these bends, improving the safety on a wider stretch of Clay Lane.

(5) Environment
The Clay Lane Link Road will not be lit except at the proposed junction and landscaping next to Jacobs Well village will minimise the impact of the link road".

Provide proper signage in and around the Shalford Village Pond

Mrs Jayshree Punatar

5 August 2015

112

Response

From: Councillor Richard Billington, Lead Councillor for Rural Economy, Countryside, Parks and Leisure, 14 October 2015

"We have discussed the issues of inappropriate behaviour at Shalford Village Pond. I have outlined below the steps we will take to improve the situation:
1) Install signage that reads "No unauthorised fishing".
2) Clear scrub on the small and large islands so that any activity will be visible from the road.
3) Retain dense vegetation at the back of the larger island in order to restrict access.
4) Clear water channel surrounding the islands to restrict access.
5) Aim to lease fishing rights to Shalford Village Pond to regulate fishing at this pond.
6) GBC Rangers will deal with antisocial behaviour independently from fishing."

Reduce the proposals for additional housing on Green Belt land in the Draft Local Plan for the villages of Send and Send Marsh/Burnt Common

Mr Howard Turner

1 August 2014

471 e-signatories. Plus a paper petition with 358 valid signatures.

Response

This Petition was referred to full Council for debate on 7 October 2014. The following response was approved:

1. The Council recognises the depth of feeling local residents in and around Send have expressed about the draft Local Plan but does not accept that Send and Send Marsh have been targeted for a disproportionate expansion.

2. The NPPF requires the starting point for the determination of our draft local plan housing target to be set out in a Strategic Market Housing Assessment (SHMA).   The analysis of data within the SHMA, such as population and employment statistics provides us with a better understanding of our housing needs in the borough.   We use this information plus evidence from other documents to set the housing target. We are required to demonstrate that we can not only deliver sites and therefore new homes through the plan period, but significantly in the first five years following adoption of the Local Plan.  We will also be required to demonstrate that our strategy is deliverable and that if a large site or sites do not become available, we have alternative sites earmarked. 

3. There are issues that are matters of conflicting and competing views amongst the local and wider community. The Council has a duty to take all such considerations properly into account, and balance the differing needs and views of people and businesses that make representations in finalising a Local Plan ready for examination for soundness.  Representations and development constraints are taken into account and may result in some sites not being taken forward into the submission draft Local Plan.

4. Inevitably, this may mean some people will believe their views and needs have been given a lower priority than they would wish.  However, the views expressed by those who have signed this petition will be taken into consideration as part of the recent consultation on the draft Local Plan.

5. Issues of traffic congestion have not been ignored and are the subject of further research, which will continue to feed into the Local Plan process. An Infrastructure Delivery Plan that will look to outline the infrastructure necessary to support the level of development prescribed by the Local Plan will accompany the Submission Draft Local Plan.  It should also be noted that the Local Plan must be forward looking and whilst acknowledging the existence of current problems deals with the future of the borough. The Council will continue to work in partnership with agencies such as Surrey County Council (as the Highways Authority) and the Highways Agency to deal with issues around highways and transport infrastructure in order to address traffic congestion.

Cancel plans for a permanent traveller pitch in place of Send

David Burnett

12 June 2014

265 e-signatories. Plus a paper petition with 178 valid signatures.

Response

This Petition was referred to full Council for debate on 8 July 2014. The following response was approved:

1. The Council is consulting on its Draft Local Plan, so at this point there is no certainty about the proposed new pitch. This is a site amongst many others on which we are consulting. However, because of the well-defined statutory processes for consulting on such proposals, the Council cannot agree to exclude the site at this point as requested by the petitioners. The proposal will be reviewed at the end of the 12-week consultation, once all responses are analysed, and the Council is able to prepare the Submission Draft of the draft Plan.

2. Exclusion of this site at the request of the petitioners would be premature and could be seen as the Council fettering its discretion in the Local Plan process, or acting 'at the dictation' of the petitioners. In either case, such premature action could give grounds for a legal  challenge to the Plan.

3. The Council needs to keep its options open until completion of the public consultation on the draft Local Plan. The petitioners are therefore urged to feed into that process the detailed evidence they have of the loss of amenity, parking and traffic problems put forward in objection. Only after the consultation will the Council be in a position to analyse and evaluate the proposal, and to decide whether to include or exclude the land for a Travellers' pitch.

4. The Council would welcome the petitioners' input in the forthcoming consultation, and will be considering its acceptability and any possible alternatives. Its eventual decision will be reflected in the next Draft of the Local Plan.

5. The Council thanks the petitioners for making their views known.

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

Mr Nick Norton

3 June 2014

734

Response

This Petition was referred to full Council for debate on 8 July 2014. The following response was approved:

1. The Council recognises that a significant number of residents are concerned about the future development of the Borough. It does not accept that its strategy is aggressive. Paragraph 20 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires the Council to help achieve economic growth by planning proactively to meet the development needs of business and support an economy fit for the 21st century.

2. The NPPF requires the starting point for the determination of our draft local plan housing target to be set out in a Strategic Market Housing Assessment (SHMA). The analysis of data within the SHMA, such as population and employment statistics provides us with a better understanding of our housing needs in the borough. We use this information plus evidence from other documents to set the housing target. There are a number of constraints that are imposed on us when determining our housing target. For example, we are required to demonstrate that we can, not only deliver sites and therefore new homes through the plan period, but significantly in the 1 to 5 year period. We will also be required to demonstrate that our strategy is deliverable and that if a large site or sites do not become available we have a plan B or indeed a plan C. This has meant that we have suggested the allocation of sites that if all were developed would exceed the target - which after all is not a maximum.

3. The Government published The Plan for Growth, alongside the Budget 2011, and as part of Autumn Statement 2011, announced a programme of structural reforms to remove barriers to growth for businesses and equip the UK to compete in the global race. These reforms span a range of policies including improving UK infrastructure, cutting red tape, root and branch reform of the planning system and boosting trade and inward investment.

4. The NPPF followed in March 2012. The main thrust of which is to achieve sustainable development. The NPPF is clear - development means growth - not just housing but economic. It is entirely appropriate that the local plan positively addresses this matter and continues to create jobs and support the growth in businesses. In order to inform the draft local plan we produced an Employment Land Assessment, which sets out how many new jobs we will require through the plan period.

5. The Council is fully aware that there are constraints on development within the borough such as the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other environmental designations. These will be taken into account when reaching the final figure for the Borough's housing requirement, in the light also of the responses received to the current consultation on the draft Local Plan.

6. The Council is not obliged to consult on documents that fall within the evidence base for its Local Plan. However, as it is about to embark on a 12 week public consultation on the draft Local Plan, it would welcome detailed input from the petitioners on how - and why - they consider the draft Local Plan would over-provide both housing and economic development.

7. These issues are matters of conflicting and competing views amongst the local and wider community. The Council has a duty to take all such considerations properly into account, and balance the differing needs and views of people and businesses who make representations in finalising a Local Plan ready for examination for soundness.

8. Inevitably, this may mean some people will believe their views and needs have been given a lower priority than they would wish. The petitioners are therefore urged to express their views fully during consultation, and provide the Council with hard evidence in support of their arguments, so that the issues raised in this petition can be carefully evaluated before the Council comes to a final position on housing levels and economic growth.

9. It is up to the petitioners to feed into the statutory process of consultation, and the Council cannot at this point make a sudden change in policy without justification, or due observance of the prescribed procedures.

10. The Council thanks the petitioners for making their concerns known.

Prepare a new SHMA and reject the consultant's draft report as inadequate

Mrs Susan Parker

19 February 2014

1200

Response

This Petition was referred to full Council for debate on 26 February 2014. The following response was approved following a recorded vote with 36 councillors voting in favour, two councillors voting against with no abstentions:

1. The Council thanks the signatories to the e-petition about the draft SHMA Report, and the organiser who has submitted it, and recognises that it justifies a full debate under the Council's petition scheme.

2. In order to adopt a sound Local Plan the Council must follow lengthy prescribed statutory procedures, as well as following the guidance provided by the National Planning Policy Framework 2012. Paragraph 47 requires the Council to demonstrate a 5-year deliverable housing supply, which is linked to the likely need in the borough.

3. The Council's consultants are a well-known professional firm, engaged in work of this nature regularly throughout England, and established as a business for over 90 years. The draft SHMA Report has analysed data about the likely need from reputable and reliable sources.

4. The Council has held stakeholder engagement exercises for elected members (16 January), all the Surrey Councils, developers, planning agents, housing associations and the Home Builders Federation (27 January), and Residents' Associations (3 February). A Senior Planning Inspector for the UK, Keith Holland, was amongst those took part on 16 January, and has had an opportunity of feeding back any concerns to G L Hearn.

5. The Council does not disagree with the major part of the e-petition, in that it recognises that the Borough needs an objectively prepared SHMA, which will be an important piece of evidence upon which the Council's Local Plan policy will rely - once it has been formulated.

6. The e-petition asserts that the SHMA contains errors, is subjective and manipulates the data; however, no evidence was submitted with the e-petition in support of this assertion, but we recognise that formal submissions received in response to the SHMA consultation have questioned the accuracy and objectivity of the SHMA. All submissions will be properly considered by officers and our consultants to ensure that the final SHMA contains no factual inaccuracies and is sufficiently robust. We cannot agree with the e-petitioners' view that the SHMA 'will be subject to challenge' and that we should immediately discard it, not least because such action would also be premature as the Report has yet to be finalised.

7. The sentiments expressed will be fed back to the consultants in finalising their Report, so that the e-petitioners' views are properly taken into account. The Council appreciates the concerns held by the petitioners, whilst being unable to agree with them or take the action requested.

Save the Hogs Back

Karen Stevens

29 November 2013

783

Response

This Petition was referred to full Council for debate on 13 January 2014. The following response was approved:

1. The Council welcomes the Petition to 'Save the Hog's Back', and thanks the petitioners for their time in collecting, collating and presenting it. We note and understand the genuine concern and strength of feeling of residents and communities in respect of the protection of the Green Belt land on the northern slopes of the Hog's Back.

2. The Council would reassure the petitioners that we have not, as yet, made any decisions on our future housing numbers, development strategy or strategic sites; nor have any allocations been made for new homes on Blackwell Farm or Manor Farm.

3. The Council will reappraise, correct as appropriate, and update the evidence base, in the light of comments made in response to the Issues and Options Consultation, which includes this petition. It will consider them all as part of the new Local Plan process. The Council will enable full public involvement in this reappraisal of the evidence base, especially the 'Green Belt and Countryside Study', by holding a special joint meeting of the two Scrutiny Committees.

4. The Council is not yet in a position to decide whether any further development should be limited to non-Green Belt land adjacent to existing development. At this early stage in the process, it would be premature and prejudicial to a sound Local Plan for the Council to agree to remove from consideration, any land which is or is not covered by Green Belt, AONB or AGLV designations, or to agree to create a Local Green Space until all options and evidence have been fully evaluated.

5. The Council will present its proposals in the Draft Local Plan upon which further consultation will then take place.

6. The Council is aware that the essential characteristics of the Green Belt are its openness and permanence, and that its boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances. The Council is equally aware of the importance of regeneration and economic issues to make Guildford 'a better place to live'.

7. Once the Local Plan has been publicly examined, approved as sound and adopted, the Council will continue to heed Government policies, which state that inappropriate development is by definition harmful to the Green Belt, and that planning applications for such development should only be approved in "very special circumstances.

Keep West Horsley in the Green Belt

Julian Cranwell

29 November 2013

627

Response

This Petition was referred to full Council for debate on 13 January 2014. The following response was approved:

1. The Council welcomes the Petition to 'Keep West Horsley in the Green Belt', and thanks the petitioners for their time in collecting, collating and presenting it. We note and understand the genuine concern and strength of feeling of residents and communities in respect of the protection of the village within the Green Belt.

2. The Council would reassure the petitioners that we have not, as yet, made any decisions on our future housing numbers, development strategy or strategic sites. The Council has not decided how many homes should be built within the Borough, or which sites to allocate for development.

3. The Council will reappraise, correct as appropriate, and update the evidence base, in the light of comments made in response to the Issues and Options Consultation, which includes this petition. It will consider them all as part of the new Local Plan process. The Council will enable full public involvement in this reappraisal of the evidence base, especially the 'Green Belt and Countryside Study', by holding a special joint meeting of the two Scrutiny Committees.

4. At this early stage in the process, it would be premature and prejudicial to a sound Local Plan for the Council to agree to keep or remove any particular village or community from the Green Belt, or to adjust its boundaries or inset details until all options and evidence have been fully evaluated.

5. The Council will present its proposals in the Draft Local Plan upon which further consultation will then take place.

6. The Council is aware that the essential characteristics of the Green Belt are its openness and permanence, and that its boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances through the Local Plan process. It is the role of the Local Plan to balance the competing demands protecting and enhancing our environment and accommodating our objectively assessed development needs.

7. Once the Local Plan has been publicly examined, approved as sound and adopted, the Council will continue to heed Government policies, which state that inappropriate development is by definition harmful to the Green Belt, and that planning applications for such development should only be approved in "very special circumstances". The Council is also mindful of the need to respect and preserve the special character of many parts of the Borough.

8. The Council will also ensure that developers are only granted permission to develop provided it will be acceptable in planning terms. This means the Council will continue to require developers to make contributions to the necessary infrastructure via the mechanism of Planning Obligations and/or any new Community Infrastructure Levy Charging regime that comes into force in its area.

Protect the Borough's designated Green Belt and remove inappropriate large scale housing development from the Local Plan Consultation

Helen M Jefferies

10 December 2013

1151

Response

This Petition was referred to full Council for debate on 12 December 2013. The following response was approved:

1. The Council welcomes the e-petition and thanks the petitioners for their time in collecting, collating and presenting the e-petition. We note and understand the genuine concern and strength of feeling of residents and communities in respect of the protection of the Green Belt and AONB.

2. The Council would reassure the petitioners that we have not, as yet, made any decisions on our future housing numbers, development strategy or strategic sites.

3. The Council will reappraise, correct as appropriate, and update the evidence base, in the light of comments made in response to the Issues and Options Consultation.

4. It will consider this (and other) petitions alongside all other representations and evidence as part of the new Local Plan process. However, at this early stage in the Local Plan process, it would be premature and prejudicial to a sound Local Plan for the Council to remove from consideration, land which is covered by Green Belt and AONB land use designations.

5. The Council notes paragraph 86 of the NPPF and will carefully consider the treatment of villages in the draft Local Plan, due to be published for further consultation next May. The Council also notes the essential characteristics of the Green Belt as being its openness and permanence, and that Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances.

6. The Council will ensure that once the Local Plan has been approved as sound and adopted, it will heed Government policies, which state that inappropriate development is by definition harmful to the Green Belt, and should only be approved in very special circumstances.

Fix the building problems at Wodehouse Place

Dale Askew

25 January 2014

58

Response

From:Councillor Sarah Creedy (Lead Councillor for Housing and Social Welfare) - 6 March 2014

Thank you for your e petition and subsequent supporting statement about many issues at Wodehouse Place. These issues have been explored over a considerable period in both conversation and correspondence. As you know, both I and my ward colleague Melanie Bright have been part of the recent set of meetings chaired by Anne Milton involving council officers and three residents from Wodehouse Place in an exhaustive attempt to resolve these issues.

At the time of replying to your petition we are awaiting the outcome of Anne Milton's enquiry (handled by Sarah Coleby in her office) as to whether there would be an effective and suitable mediation service to which the outstanding issues may be taken. We are seeking to establish whether this is a viable option and will revert to you, and all e-signatories, as soon as we know.
 

Bring back GuilFest

Tony Scott

26 September 2013

957

Response

This Petition was referred to full Council for debate on 10 October 2013. The following response was approved:

The Council thanks Mr Scott for his e-petition and notes the level of support for the return of GuilFest to Guildford.

The Council will provide all necessary assistance to any applicant who wishes to book any of its parks and open spaces to run a major event and will determine applications for such events in accordance with powers delegated to the Head of Parks and Leisure Services, in consultation with the relevant Lead Councillor, and subject to appropriate terms and conditions relating to the following:

• satisfactory financial checks of the event organiser
• payment of an appropriate fee for the hire of the site
• the provision of an appropriate financial bond to cover any damage or reinstatement costs.
• the event organiser entering into a licence with the Council for hire of the land
• the event organiser obtaining appropriate licences for the provision of live music, sale of alcohol, etc.
• an event management plan
• suitable health and safety documentation
• approval by the Safety Advisory Group (comprising representatives of Surrey Police, Surrey Fire and Rescue, NHS, the Council's Licensing and Building Control teams and the event organiser)
• any other necessary documentation
• contribution to local economy
• involvement of local organisations
• benefits to local residents

Recognise the wishes of Effingham residents of maintaining the Green Belt between Effingham and Bookham when Guildford Borough Council is consulted on the Mole Valley Green Belt review

Jane Buckingham

12 January 2014

243 e-signatories. Plus a paper petition with 325 valid signatures.

Response

This Petition was referred to full Council for debate on 26 February 2014. Following a recorded vote, with 37 councillors voting in favour, one councillor voting against with no abstentions, the following response was approved:

1. The Council thanks the signatories to the petition from Effingham residents, and the organisers who have brought this matter to their attention. We recognise the deeply held concerns and strength of feeling about protection of the Green Belt between Effingham and Bookham.

2. The Council is well aware that one of the purposes of the Green Belt is to 'prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another'.

3. The Council wishes to reassure the petitioners and residents that it has made no decisions itself about the future of the Green Belt within our borough. We are, however, in discussion with Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) about this and other issues, as part of an ongoing process of co-operation between neighbouring authorities through the development of our local plan.

4. The Council is well aware that the National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 83) requires that Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in "exceptional circumstances" through the preparation or review of the Local Plan, and this applies to both Guildford and MVDC. In its response to the MVDC Green Belt Boundary Review Consultation, the Council will remind them of this.

5. The Council will also urge MVDC to ensure that even if any amendment is made, there should continue to be a defined and defensible boundary between the two settlements. We shall also encourage MVDC to review all the sites within their review and not wait, producing more uncertainty, until the Guildford Draft Local Plan is published, as is suggested by the consultation.

6. The Council will forward the petition to MVDC and urge them to respond to it appropriately, but recommends that the Petitioners also present their concerns and wishes directly to MVDC before the Consultation period closes.

Write to the Home Office expressing support for proposed moves to extend marriage to same-sex couples

Chris Ward

28 May 2012

547

Response

This Petition was referred to full Council for debate on 5 July 2012. The following response was approved:

Whilst the Council recognises the strength of feeling expressed on this subject, it does not consider it appropriate to express a corporate view as a local authority because the issues of same-sex marriage and civil partnerships are a matter of personal conscience for each individual and the Council has no powers or responsibilities relating to the registration of marriages and civil partnerships.

 

Rejected Petitions

Title of petition

Submitted by

Reason for rejection

Stop the 15% increase to council tax

Rachael Steele

It was outside the remit or powers of the council

Additional information about this rejection:

I refer to your request to start an e-petition on the Borough Council's website in connection with the proposal by Surrey County Council to increase its element of the Council Tax by 15%. If the County Council does decide to follow this course of action at its budget meeting on 7 February 2017, the increase can only be implemented if the majority of voters agree at a referendum of all local government voters in Surrey. That referendum would take place on 4 May 2017 and would be combined with the County Council elections. This Council's adopted petition scheme provides that petitions will only be accepted if they relate to the functions, powers or duties of the Borough Council. In this case, a proposed increase in Council Tax by another authority is clearly outside the functions, powers or duties of the Borough Council. Furthermore, the petition scheme does not apply in respect of a matter where there is an existing recourse to a review. In this case, such a "review" exists in the form of the county-wide referendum.

John Armstrong

Democratic Services Manager

The banning of Fireworks for sale through retail premises

Mr P Tugwell

It was outside the remit or powers of the council

Additional information about this rejection:

I refer to your request to set up an e-petition on the Council's website, which asks the Council to ban the retail sale of fireworks. I regret that Guildford Borough Council has no statutory powers to introduce such a ban. Indeed, I understand that no local authority in England has such a power. Surrey County Council is responsible for licensing premises for the sale and storage of fireworks. More details can be found on their website (please click on the link below) https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/business-and-consumers/business-information/licences-permits-and-consents/applying-for-a-licence-or-registration-for-fireworks In the circumstances therefore, we are rejecting your request.

John Armstrong

Democratic Services Manager

Investigate the suitability of Councillor Christian Holliday in continuing to hold a position of power after he called upon his Twitter follows to support his call for restrictions in freedom of speech.

Clare Bewick

It was an issue for which an e-petition is not the appropriate channel

Additional information about this rejection:

I have now had the opportunity of discussing this further with the Council's Deputy Monitoring Officer, who is of the view that not only would it be inappropriate for the Council to host your e-petition as explained in my earlier email to you, we would also reject your e-petition on the basis that the subject matter of your e-petition is, in effect, a complaint about the alleged misconduct of Cllr Holliday and the correct recourse for dealing with this is via a separate ethical standards complaint to ensure due process is followed. In the circumstances therefore, your e-petition will not be published on the Council's website for the purpose of gathering e-signatures. The text of this email will appear on the Council's website as the reason for the rejection of your e-petition and you will also receive a similar email generated by our e-petitions software.

John Armstrong

Democratic Services Manager

Call for the resignation of Councillor Christian Holliday

Mr Tristan O'Dwyer

  • It was an issue for which an e-petition is not the appropriate channel
  • It was outside the remit or powers of the council

Additional information about this rejection:

I have now had the opportunity of discussing this further with the Deputy Monitoring Officer, who is of the view that not only would it be inappropriate for the Council to host your e-petition as explained in my earlier email to you, we would also reject your e-petition on the basis that the subject matter of your e-petition is, in effect, a complaint about the alleged misconduct of Cllr Holliday and the correct recourse for dealing with this is via a separate ethical standards complaint to ensure due process is followed. In any event, your e-petition appears to be inviting the Council to take action in relation to which it has no statutory power, that is, calling for the resignation of a councillor. In the circumstances therefore, your e-petition will not be published on the Council's website.

John Armstrong

Democratic Services Manager

Opposing To Guildford Councils Private Hire Door Stickers in Pantone 321

Saeed Azmat

  • It contained wording that needed to be amended, or is impossible to understand
  • It doesn't actually request any action

Additional information about this rejection:

Thank you for your request to set up an e-petition using the Council's e-petition facility. Whilst it is clear that you are opposed to the part of the Council's taxi and private hire licensing policy that requires a vinyl sign to be attached to the front passenger and driver doors, the petition (in order to be valid) must state the action the petitioners wish the Council to take. May I therefore suggest the following wording: "We the undersigned petition Guildford Borough Council to remove from the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy the requirement to attach a vinyl sign with the Guildford Borough Council G logo, the words 'pre-book only private hire' and the vehicle number to the front passenger and driver doors of private hire vehicles." If you are happy with this wording, please resubmit your e-petition request.

John Armstrong

Democratic Services Manager

Respond as a Council to the Home Office consultation on Equal Marriage in support of extending marriage to same-sex couples

Mr Chris Ward

It contained wording that needed to be amended, or is impossible to understand

Additional information about this rejection:

As already discussed in exchange of emails, you have asked that the e-petition is open for one month, until 11 June 2012. However, as you know, the deadline for receipt of responses to the Home Office consultation on Equal Marriage is only three days later - 14 June 2012. It is therefore unreasonable to expect whoever is charged with the responsibility of responding formally to the petition under our petition scheme, which could be the relevant head of service/lead councillor/ Executive/ full Council (depending on the number of e-signatures received) to submit a response to the consultation in time for that deadline. We cannot therefore accept the e-petition.

John Armstrong

Democratic Services Manager

Not to move the present bus statoin at the Friary to a new site

Mrs P I Howard

It was similar to and/or overlaps with an existing petition or petitions

Additional information about this rejection:

The Council's petition scheme specifically excludes any petition on the same or similar topic as one that the Council has received and dealt with in the previous six months. A paper petition containing over 2,600 signatures was formally presented to the Mayor at the Council meeting on 9 February 2012. The petition stated as follows: "BUS STATION - DON'T MOVE IT - IMPROVE IT We, the undersigned, believe Bedford Road is the wrong place for our bus station. 1 It is too far from the town centre 2 The less mobile will find it too far to walk 3 It will cause severe pedestrian congestion at Onslow Street 4 It will make more traffic congestion on Onslow Street 5 It is too small so some existing bus services won't go there 6 It offers poor access for travellers to and from the top of town We call upon the Council, instead, to provide a renovated and improved bus station in the middle of the town's shopping area." In accordance with the Council's petition scheme, councillors debated the petition and resolved: To ask the Executive to consider the petition at a future meeting when it also receives a further report from the Head of Economic Development on the design of any proposed new bus station before a planning application can be submitted.

 

Put a Zebra Crossing Outside of Our School

Miss Emilie Veale

It was outside the remit or powers of the council

Additional information about this rejection:

Please note that Guildford Borough Council has no powers to establish pedestrian crossings. That responsibility rests with Surrey County Council. Please copy and paste the following link to the County Council's e-petition facility to your web browser: http://petitions.surreycc.gov.uk/ and then enter your petition details. Thank you.

John Armstrong

Democratic Services Manager