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SCRUTINEER - OUTSIDER'S VIEW

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Pam Benka, Captain of the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup golf team lives in Waverley BC ...
Pam Benka, Captain of the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup golf team lives in Waverley BC

How much council tax do you pay?

I have absolutely no idea. My husband deals with all the financial side of things. I just spend the money.

Do you think it represents value for money?

Yes. They are good at emptying the

bins and the gritters come along occasionally. We are well looked

after.

Tell me the best thing the council has done.

I cannot think of anything.

And the worst thing it has done.

The planning. My husband goes mad about it. It seems the developers apply to build hundreds of houses because they know the council will let them build some in the end. I know people have to live somewhere, but the amenities cannot take any more people. The roads are narrow country lanes and you cannot widen them. The car park at the station is already full first thing every morning. Maybe they could do up derelict properties instead of building on green-belt land. The saddest thing is there will not be any villages anymore.

When did you last contact a council official and why?

Objecting to the planning. My husband objects and there is an exchange of letters. It does get through because they will only allow fewer houses to be built, but the objections are never completely upheld.

What council services do you use?

I have used the Farnham leisure facilities and the swimming pools. They are fine.

Have you considered standing for a local council and why?

Lord no! I am heavily involved with golf and that keeps me busy, but I suppose - maybe when I am no longer involved in golf - it might be interesting.

Do you think councillors should be paid?

Yes, because you may then get the people who were really good, rather than just the people who have the time.

Do you think having directly elected mayors will improve local democracy?

Maybe if you had someone who was more businesslike rather than just the nice people volunteering.

If you were leader of the council what would be the first thing you did?

Ban housing developments.

Do you vote in council elections and why?

Yes, but half-heartedly. If I listen to any party political broadcast I find myself agreeing with them. But once they get elected nothing gets done and there is so much money wasted on being seen to be politically correct.

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