New application on Dunsfold drilling site creates “an impossible challenge” for decision-makers, say villagers

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 To-day Waverley’s Executive will hold its FIRST ” LISTENING EXERCISE” to consider proposed fossil fuels exploration in Dunsfold. Waverley only has an advisory role here as by law the decision on fuel exploration is taken at County level. But advice needs to be well-documented and well-supported to have the maximum chance of success.

Tuesday from 6 -9pm  at the Waverley Council Offices.

However, Surrey Labour Party has already come out against the proposal. It believes it is contradictory for Surrey County Council, in the same breath as declaring a climate emergency driven by excessive use of fossil fuels, to then facilitate drilling for fossil fuels in Surrey.

A submission is included here SW Surrey Labour Statement Dunsfold Hydrocarbon Explorationon for which Binscombe councillor Gerry Boyle did a great deal of the work to assist in its preparation.

Let the listening begin on fossil fuel exploration in Dunsfold & Alfold?

190719 Dunsfold access route

Residents of Dunsfold have described plans for a proposed oil and gas site as “confused and muddled” and want the proposals withd

The community group, Protect Dunsfold, has called  for all the proposals to be withdrawn after a second planning application for the site by UK Oil & Gas plc was published.

The first application for two oil and gas wells, published in June 2019, included an access track off High Loxley Road.

The second application is for an alternative access off Dunsfold Road.

This new application adds 32 documents to the 88 in the first application. Some of the documents are new;  others are revised versions.

A spokesperson for Protect Dunsfold said:

“The original application, and this new one, represent an impossible challenge for the decision-making authority and statutory consultees, many of whom are unpaid volunteers.

“They are now charged with the responsibility of guessing which of the overlapping reports to consider and all of the possible outcomes and implications from these two muddled applications. With all parties making comments on some individually-created synthesis there is no certainty that comments and decisions are being made about the same thing.”

The original application was criticised for mistakes and inconsistencies. There were two different maps of the access track and one paragraph in the executive summary appeared to refer to a different site. Within a week, UKOG issued a clarification statement about one policy argument it used to support the application.

The second application includes speed survey data that was available at the time of the first application but was not referred to in the original transport statement. The new application appears to have dropped proposals for a temporary 30mph limit on Dunsfold Road that was in the first application.

The spokesperson for Protect Dunsfold said:

“It has long been our view since the day after the initial application was published, and Dunsfold Parish Council now agrees, that there are so many careless errors in the original application, and now this one, that Surrey County Council should advise UKOG that both applications will be rejected.

“The county council should advise that both applications are withdrawn and a new updated, accurate and unified application submitted which clearly explains what UKOG(234)Ltd [the licence operator] actually wants to do so it can be considered on its merits.

“This situation is now so confused that the only possible way forward is a full environmental Impact analysis which reconciles all of the various reports and data produced thus far by UKOG, together with any more data they have not yet disclosed.

“There would then be an authoritative view on the environmental impact of a unified proposal which all consultees can consider in a new, coherent, application.”

UKOG told DrillOrDrop

“We had lots of feedback from our public event [about the proposals] at Dunsfold Village Hall and a key one concerned our original access route.

“We were asked to pursue an alternative access off Dunsfold Road and this is the subject of the fresh application.”

But this statement did not satisfy Protect Dunsfold. It said:

“In truth it is quite clear from the careless inconsistencies in the initial application that this access was UKOG’s original plan, which they changed part way through their development of their application presumably because they found impediments to this access that were fatal to their case.

“By now attempting to characterise this as ‘in response to local consultation’ they are seeking to imply there is a degree of local support for their overall plan and objections are only to the access proposal, claiming a “responsiveness to local opinion” which might trump the original impediments.”

The group called on Surrey County Council to reject the first application for reasons including unsafe access. The second application should then be rejected, it said, because it was redundant – attempting to access a website that did not exist.

Revised access

The second application is for three years and seeks consent for construction, operation and restoration of a highway junction with boundary fencing, entrance gates and a 400m access track.

The junction would be secured by 2.5m high close-boarded timber panel gates, set back from Dunsfold Road, the application said.

2.5m security fencing would enclose a section of track wide enough for two heavy commercial vehicles to pass. The track would then reduce to 4.1m wide and be enclosed by stock-proof fencing.

An overhead electricity cable would be buried where it crossed the proposed route.

According to the application, the work on the junction and access track would take four weeks, using 12 construction staff and 3-6 security officers. Proposed working and delivery hours were 7am-7pm Monday-Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturday.

The application predicted 10 two-way lorry movements a day during construction. The scheme would not “have a detrimental impact” on traffic or the highway network, it said.

Required visibility splays at the junction of the track and Dunsfold Road could be achieved if trees at the access were removed, the application added. All proposed vehicle movements could be achieved within the existing roads and proposed changes.

UKOG said of the scheme:

“It represents precisely the kind of investment required if the UK is to make the ‘best use’ of its mineral resources, reduce the vulnerability of being a net-importer of energy and deliver sustainable growth. In a society where the well-being of all is the ultimate objective, such private sector support for the wider public good is acknowledged and encouraged by national energy and planning policy.”

UKOG said these benefits were enough to outweigh what it described as “minor harm” from construction and disturbance.

According to the application, nine trees and an 11m section of hedgerow would have to be removed to make way for the proposed access.

A report submitted with the application said the land that would be crossed by the access was the source of several Mesolithic flint tools. Because of this, it has been designated an area of high archaeological potential and country site of archaeological importance.

The area crossed by the access is also likely to be used by skylark and lapwing during the breeding season, the application said. Breeding birds may be present in the trees and hedgerows.

The hedges and treeline near the access provide good-quality foraging and commuting habitat for bats. A survey for UKOG found common lizard and grass snake in the area south of Dunsfold Road and it had been designated of local nature conservation value to reptiles. The area of the access route could also be colonised by badgers, the application said.

Despite these finds, consultants for UKOG concluded that the access road would have no adverse or significant effects on reptiles, bats or birds and the effects on archaeology could be made acceptable.

The decision date for both Dunsfold applications is currently set for 11 September 2019. UKOG’s proposal for extra wells and long-term oil production at its other site in Surrey, at Horse Hill, is also currently due to be decided on this date.

  • The Dunsfold scheme is to be discussed at a listening panel, organised for the first time by Waverley Borough Council, a statutory consultee on the applications. Residents and organisations are invited to give their views at a public session on tonight Tuesday 23 July 2019 from 6pm-9pm. The sessions will be webcast. DrillOrDrop will report on the event.

Will there be another runway, “by stealth”, at Gatwick?

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Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 10.58.09.pngSEVENTY planes could leave Gatwick Airport every hour if plans to use a backup runway for routine flights go ahead.

Planes that would affect parts of Waverley.

Officials recently announced that the airport plans to use its backup runway for regular departures and has unveiled a “master plan”.

Though the airport will not pursue the building of a third runway, it has said the Government will safeguard land previously earmarked for it.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said the plans would

“incrementally grow” the airport to meet the demand for passengers.

He said:

“This would be the biggest private investment for the region in the coming years, which would result in significant local economic benefits including new jobs for the area.”

Head of corporate affairs Mark Lever tempered down fears of noise pollution saying,

 “It’s important to remember aircraft will be quieter and cleaner by the time this runway is up and running.

“The flight paths won’t be any different for departures besides flying from a different runway.”

Airport officials hope to have a planning application finished by the first half of next year.

But Mr Leber predicted the backup runway would not operate until 2026 at the earliest if plans are approved.

A spokeswoman for Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions branded the announcement…

“a second runway by stealth”.

She said:

“This announcementScreen Shot 2019-07-21 at 10.57.55.png by Gatwick management flies in the face of the Government’s pledge for ‘net zero’ CO2 emissions by 2050.

“This clearly illustrates Gatwick’s greed comes before everything and must now be seen as the neighbour from hell for all the communities of Surrey & Sussex that already find aircraft noise unbearable.

“It is totally disingenuous to the residents of Crawley to continue to safeguard land for a third runway when housing demand is high.”

Let the listening begin on fossil fuel exploration in Dunsfold & Alfold?

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You did what – Jeremy?

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YOU – delivered the Olympics? And no doubt can run the country single-handed?

 

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Absolutely – it is about what you deliver! Ask the residents of Farnham what you have delivered there? As for your promises – how about this one?

Now – what do you say about this disgrace Jeremy?

Farnham’s Redgrave Rests in Pieces.

We wonder if Waverley Planners will take enforcement action against this little outfit?

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Not – if they pay enough?

Marvel filming despite planning delay

FILMING for a new blockbuster movie has got underway at Hankley Common despite a related planning application still waiting to be determined.

The upcoming Marvel film Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson, started filming this week, with the second week of filming due to take place next month.

However, despite planning applications being made to Waverley Borough Council, no formal decision has been made surrounding the use of the current nature reserve and Ministry of Defence site as a film set.

Working under the title ‘Blue Bayou’, filming took place on July 16-17, with another five days of filming due to take place between August 20 and August 27, with sets also under construction.

The application includes the “change of use of land for a temporary period to allow outdoor filming”, “use of building and hardstanding construction of sets” as well as 200 parking spaces and use of controlled fire effects.

Details of the sets for construction also include a “helicopter crash”, “plane crash site” and the “Russian farmstead”. Hankley Common has been the site of many famous films and television shows, particularly James Bond movies such as The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day and Skyfall.

A Waverley Borough Council spokesman said

“The planning application is currently under consideration and there will be no decision on this until at least August 2.

“The agent for the application has been contacted to remind them that any filming which takes place outside of planning permission may represent a breach of planning control and may be subject to enforcement action.” Anyone wishing to report a breach should visit www.waverley.gov.uk

Residents can also post their own comments through Waverley Borough Council’s planning site at planning360.waverley.gov.uk/planning using reference WA/2019/1035.

This article comes from the fantastic Farnham Herald.

The first meeting of ‘Your new Waverley​.’ Let the battles begin?

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Five minutes into the first Full Meeting of ‘Your Waverley’  and the gloves were on and the spats began.

Oh dear – Alfold’s former policeman turned politician isn’t happy now he doesn’t have his posterior pinned to a seat on Waverley’s Executive.   He fears as a back-bencher he won’t get enough of a say – or is it perhaps money, out of Dunsfold proposed new 1,800/2,600  garden village? Coming to an airfield near him soon?

 

 

So up popped the weasel from Bramley to provide the first slap of the evening, to ask on the Alfold Councillors behalf – how the NEW EXECUTIVE planned to oversee the Dunsfold development?   O.M.G. and didn’t those two words “New Executive” stick in the gullet of Tory Richard Seaborne. The very same councillor who, along with Cllr DeAnus opposed ANY development on the largest Brownfield site in the borough. Perish the thought that they should now be so concerned about how it is to be managed.  Without the benefit of their spanners in the works, perhaps? By the way, why wasn’t  Alfold’s Bobby delivering the question he posed? Or was he at Dunsfold Park with his begging bowl?

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Want to know why?

Numerous members of the public have been debating this little matter on our scurrilous Blog for some time. Now there’s your answer Bunty and Aunty Doris.

View the clip above: – Listen very carefully – as both the Leader John Ward and his Deputy Paul Follows deliver the slap, bang, wallop on behalf of ‘Your New Waverley.’

 

As he says on the clip – this is the third time you (The Tory Group) have asked this question? Why? Or is this for the benefit of the public? 

So we are doing our civic duty by bringing it to your breakfast table this morning.

 

Scoring goals is becoming a bit of a habit for Alfold.

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Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 09.41.44.pngEarlier this year ‘Your Waverley’ gave a cash boost to Alfold Football Club. It handed over £20,000 towards improvements to its grounds to include: new floodlights, a spectator stand and other ground improvements.

For a football club whose members come from Crawley – yes, Crawley, not Cranleigh, or Alfold or Dunsfold but Crawley in West Sussex. Apparently, its players don’t even train in Alfold – they train in, yes you get it – Crawley!

Did the money come from developer’s contributions under their 106 Agreement contributions for infrastructure? Because although 150 new homes have been consented only 20 plus + have so far been built in Loxwood Road. And not forgetting Surrey County Council’s new school units which didn’t need planning consent let alone contribute infrastructure contributions. No sign yet, we are told by villagers of the rest of the proposed developments at Brockhurst and the former Wyevale Garden Centre. or, perhaps the planners have other sites in mind for further development?

Now the village has hit the jackpot twice, in a matter of months. This time ‘Your Waverley’ has awarded Alfold Sports & Social Club a thumping £73,300 towards improving the clubhouse and the village hall.

Just goes to show how effective it is when councillors dub a village… 

…”Poor old Alfold?”

And you have former bobby Cllr Kevin Deanus to put his best foot forward for your  team?

The money comes from “YW’s’ capital receipts and improving Alfold is one of its corporate priorities, as it will actively engage the club’s social sporting customers and ensure sporting and social opportunities exist for all.

Apparently, the money comes from “easement funds” which are allocated towards communities and sporting facilities, the WW presumes, throughout the borough?

Now here at the WW, we wouldn’t want to be accused of peeing on anyone’s fireworks, or in this case, goalposts, particularly as there are among our team, football fanatics. But we do wonder what this part of the report means:

Background

1. Alfold has seen some significant housing developments in the local area and as a result, some of the community facilities in existence need to be enhanced to meet this additional need. Following Executive approval, Waverley Borough Council received a financial sum from a housing development in Alfold for its interest in some adjacent land required for access. The majority of this sum will contribute to Waverley’s overall capital programmes but this report proposes that a relatively small proportion is allocated to improve local facilities in Alfold. This project covers two organisations which cater to the needs of the Young and Elderly both in sport, leisure and community well being. Alfold Parish Council is supportive and the proposed scheme has been developed following several meetings with members of the Sports and Social club. The Club will be managing the project governance.

“Significant housing in the local area” Around 150, if they are all built – and presently under construction 55? Or are they including Alfold’s new neighbour? The Dunsfold new garden village.

 

  1. Alfold Village Hall was built in 1963. It was the culmination of considerable local fundraising and the physical hard work of the community. Over the past 53 years, the village Hall has continued to flourish. In 2005 the hall was extended, the kitchen enlarged and a small meeting room built and the toilets were refurbished. The hall is structurally sound, but as the years go by, the fixtures and fittings are becoming tired and worn. Fundraising takes place, but the amount raised is generally small, and the upgrades and replacements are beyond their reach. The carpet requires replacing, and new tables and chairs are urgently needed. The stage curtains are at the end of their useful life, and the car park is inadequate to cope with the demand to park. The purchase of parking strips will allow for this parking and help protect the grass. The ovens in the kitchen need replacing as they are inefficient, and hand driers in the building would be both more efficient in financial terms, but also more hygienic.
  2. These necessary improvements will allow the hall to be fit for purpose for the future and will ensure that the facilities are used extensively for future generations as they are now.
  3. Alfold Sports and Social Club has been serving the community for over 40 years. The facilities support sporting activity to football, cricket, tennis, stoolball and darts, as well as providing an environment for social events.
  4. The clubhouse was last updated many years ago. The carpets are worn and ripped in many places being held in place with tape, and the curtains which were made by a local resident, are still in use some 30 years later.
  5. The clubhouse requires the ceiling to be removed, and old wiring to be removed or replaced. The club needs insulating to be more efficient. The general electrics need to be brought up to current standards, and the plumbing system needs to be upgraded to be able to cope with the current demands. The curtains, chairs and tables need replacing, and in addition, some alterations are required to make better use of the building. The existing beam needs to be removed so a larger opening can be created. With the installation of folding doors, it will enable the club to be split into two, maximising its potential use. Walls need plastering, skirting and floor screed will make the facilities outstanding, and upgrades to the existing kitchen facilities.
  6. Finance Implications:

Estimated Costs

2018/2019

Village Hall
Alfold Sports & Social Club

£18,200 £55,500

Total

£73,700

Funding

Alfold Community WBC Easement

£12,500 £61,200

Total

£73,700

 

Alfold Football Club puts its best foot forward – whilst Cranleigh’s 106 monies go to A Cranleigh top fee-paying school!

Do you really trust our MP and former Health Secretary to run our country?

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An investigation by the Health Service Journal – the country’s premier health publication has revealed that despite multiple warnings about the national 999 IT system they were ignored by both SW Surrey MP former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his successor Matt Hancock.

Patients have died after the government overruled multiple safety concerns raised about an IT system used to triage 16 million NHS patients a year.

 

On at least three occasions where patients triaged by the NHS Pathways software died months, sometimes years, after central agencies were alerted to safety concerns by ambulance trusts – but declined to make changes requested.

NHS Digital – the organisation that oversees NHS Pathways assessed the complaints but made changes only where “clinically necessary”. It has repeatedly asked coroners to “strike from the record” concerns raised about the safety of NHS Pathways’ advice.

Since 2015, coroners investigating 11 patient deaths have called for changes to the NHS Pathways software, used by NHS 111 and 999 services to triage patient calls, to prevent future deaths.

Coroners have raised these concerns with health and social care secretary Matt Hancock, his predecessor Jeremy Hunt, NHS England, NHS Digital, the Care Quality Commission and service providers. Although NHS Pathways is run by NHS Digital, overall responsibility rests with NHS England.

Agonal breathing

Among the cases uncovered by HSJ, two women – Caragh Melling, 37 and Barbara Patterson, 67 – with agonal breathing died on 27 December 2014 and 2 January 2015 respectively after NHS Pathways was used to triage their calls. Agonal breathing is sudden, irregular gasps of breath, requiring immediate CPR.

Two separate coroners’ investigations following their deaths raised concerns about how agonal breathing was handled by NHS Pathways and recommended changes to prevent future deaths.

However, between 2010 and 2014, at least three different ambulance trusts raised concerns with the national NHS Pathways team on four occasions about the software failing to advise call handlers to identify life-threatening agonal breathing. 

In both the women’s cases, ambulance trusts told the coroner no changes were made to address their concerns about NHS Pathways before the deaths.

In a report sent to NHS Pathways’ clinical director in April 2016 regarding Ms Melling’s death, the coroner stated:

“NHS Pathways were contacted in 2014 to raise the absence of the breathing analysis tool as being a cause for concern. No action appears to have been taken. I also understand that the medical director of the ambulance trust has again raised concerns at the national level, but it is unclear whether any action is being taken.”

However, said some changes were made to the early assessment of patient breathing in 2014, ahead of the two deaths.

Both the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS Digital claimed that, despite concerns raised by ambulance trusts, there had been no faults in the system for treating agonal breathing and any fault lay with call handlers, not the software.  NHS Digital confirmed it declined to make changes to agonal breathing requested by a provider in 2014, over concerns it would delay CPR.

It is not clear whether ambulance trusts’ concerns about NHS Pathway’s handling of agonal breathing have been resolved. NHS Digital said further amendments were made in June 2015, 2016 and 2017.

However, one ambulance trust source said several ambulance providers have continued to log concerns about agonal breathing.

Lone callers

In a separate case, another coroner raised concerns with NHSE in July 2017 after the death of Colin Sluman, 68, the previous year. Among other recommendations, the coroner said changes were needed to how NHS Pathways prompted call handlers to ask whether a patient was alone to prevent future deaths.

NHS England responded to the coroner saying it had raised these concerns with NHS Digital’s lead clinical author for NHS Pathways, Darren Worwood, who declined to make any changes and had said responsibility for assessing whether a patient is alone was with 999 and 111 providers.

In September 2018, another man, John Scott, died and a separate coroner again raised concerns, this time directly with Mr Worwood, about the way NHS Pathways advised call handlers to deal with patients alone when calling.

In its response to the coroner, NHS Digital again said determining whether a patient was alone was the responsibility of 999/111 providers, not the NHS Pathways software.

Software updates

The NHS Pathways software is updated twice a year but it is unclear whether these updates directly address concerns raised by coroners and NHS providers about the treatment of patients that are alone and those exhibiting agonal breathing.

One ambulance trust told HSJ that improvements would be made to NHS Pathway’s advice concerning patients alone this year, or possibly early next year. However, NHS Digital has previously stated no change was required.

 NHS Digital says there had been no faults in the NHS Pathways system in agonal breathing and patients alone cases and blamed any failures on local 999 and 111 providers not using the system correctly. In some of the other deaths raised by coroners, NHS Digital agreed to make changes to the software.

NHS Digital said: “We take any coroner’s report we receive very seriously and work with our partner organisations across the NHS to ensure that we respond appropriately and make the necessary changes to the system if required. It is categorically untrue that there are any cases where concerns have been raised and changes have not been made to the system where they have been deemed clinically necessary.”

However, the organisation will not share the NHS Pathways incident log. This would provide a full record of users’ concerns raised with NHS Digital. It said it would take too long for staff to extract the information requested. 

Responding specifically to concerns raised about agonal breathing, NHS Digital said it “strongly refuted there was a problem with the system” and said, in the case of Mrs Patterson’s death, ambulance call handlers “were not probing adequately in assessing the breathing pattern”.

What is the NHS Pathways?

NHS Pathways snap

NHS Pathways is a piece of clinical software, run by NHS Digital, that is used to assist non-clinically trained call handlers to elicit information, offer advice and dispatch medical assistance based on a patient’s call.

It is used to triage all NHS 111 calls in England and many, but not all, 999 calls. Overall, it is used to assess and triage more than 16 million calls a year.

It also powers NHS 111 Online, a website and app that allows patients to enter symptoms directly into the software and receive triage advice without human involvement. Launched in 2017, NHS 111 Online has been used a million times and, as of February this year accounted for one in 10 uses of NHS Pathways.

NHS 111 and 999 providers are expected to strictly adhere to prompts and scripts in the software, or risk losing their licence to use it. However, in some instances, providers have created local workarounds where they feel there are gaps in the advice offered.

The software covers more than 800 symptom pathways and its content is overseen by a national clinical governance group, hosted by the Royal College of GPs, which regularly reviews and updates the content twice a year.

NHS Digital says when potential issues are raised about the software, a clinical assessment is made within 24 hours. When changes are needed to NHS Pathways, these changes are independently clinically assessed and tested before going live.

The current senior responsible officer for NHS Pathways is NHS England’s digital development director, Sam Shah, who has recently shifted to the new central tech unit NHSX.

Workarounds

The investigation also reveals that several ambulance trusts have created “local workarounds” to fill gaps in the advice offered by NHS Pathways. This was despite many saying their call handlers, who have no clinical training, have no discretion to deviate from the NHS Pathways advice, and one claiming any deviation would risk NHS Digital withdrawing their licence to use the software. In February this year, a coroner told NHS Digital:

“There appears to be a contradiction between the call handlers being told they have no discretion when using NHS Pathways and their being given additional guidance for certain calls. This contradiction could cause confusion.”

NHS Digital said: “NHS Pathways is not a ‘scripted’ system where there is no ability to deviate from the exact wording presented. Call handlers are trained to form appropriate ‘probing questions’ when needed, or to rephrase questions safely and effectively.”

Neither NHSE nor the DHSC answered questions posed by HSJ regarding the process for responding to specific safety concerns raised about NHS Pathways, including in cases where patients later died.

In a statement, a DHSC spokesman said: “We take any concerns raised by coroners very seriously and as part of our long-term plan we want the NHS to be the safest healthcare system in the world. Where coroner reports are issued to the department for a response, we work with the relevant bodies to ensure concerns are carefully considered and learnings are identified, so that appropriate action can be taken.”

An NHSE spokesman said: “Assessment systems used by 999 or NHS 111 services are regularly reviewed by clinical experts to ensure that they classify a patient’s needs as accurately as possible, based on the answers given by the person making the call, and therefore give them the right response or advice.

“While incidents like these are therefore extremely rare, where concerns are raised they are clinically investigated and any necessary changes made.”

 

Guess what – ‘Your Waverley’ has started to LISTEN!

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The recent election results revealed something quite extraordinary at ‘Your Waverley.’ 

That it needs to listen more to the communities it serves to ensure the borough feels more like ‘Our Waverley.’

As part of a whole programme of change planned by the New Guard – a coalition of Greens, Labour, Lib Dems and Farnham Residents’ – and hopefully, Conservatives once they stop grizzling, to listen more. Heading the change is Waverley’s Chief Executive Tom Horwood who, as you can see,  is already in listening mode. So if you want to be heard get in touch to-day July 15 listening@waverley.gov.uk

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Even the head honcho at Waverley Towers is seeking new ways of engaging with the public now the New Guard – Progressive Alliance – holds the reins. Tom Horwood and the new brooms have already begun sweeping in a new way of working and engaging with the public – and we say, about time too.

Let’s just hope they don’t start sweeping away those huge cobwebs in The Towers darkest corners -Ye Gods we could be history!

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A Government Commission says councils ‘should shame developers of the worst housing plans.’

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Maybe, just maybe, ‘Your Waverley’s’ planning officers should take a good look at a report due this week.

‘That council should make an example of ugly building design and that communities should be given greater input to ensure better quality homes.’

The Buiding Better, Building Beautiful Commission (BBBBC) would have a field day in the borough of Waverley. A local authority which has, in the past consistently and completely ignored the public’s concern for the type and style of new development which is being literally “dumped” on their doorsteps, many of which are in rural and semi-rural villages.

The Commission has concluded that while the current planning system can deliver beautiful places to live, it does so, “rarely.” And, residents should be given a greater voice.

Both wannabe prime ministers, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are dodging the housing crisis by failing to set out sufficiently ambitious plans to tackle the housing shortage. Though here at the WW we suspect their spin doctors are advising them to steer clear of the thorny issue of building more AND BETTER homes. Particularly here in Farnham which is currently being swamped?

So Waverley Borough Council – the Government’s message to YOU is: SAY NO TO UGLINESS.

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How’s about your NEXT LISTENING EXERCISE – IN ADDITION TO OIL EXPLORATION AT DUNSFOLD – START LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO LIVE IN, OR NEAR SOME OF THESE UGLY NEW BUILDINGS?

If you have wondered how difficult it is to get robust planning decisions at ‘Your Waverley’ watch this clip.

Are Waverley’s eastern​ villages under siege​?​ From up, down, and all-around​?

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Bulldozers on the ground – a rising number of Gatwick planes proposed overhead, and now oil exploration giants queueing up to go underground in the search for oil and gas in Alfold and Dunsfold.

However,  it is Government policy to encourage oil and gas exploration in the UK.

 MP and wannabe PM Jeremy Hunt has already said he is keeping his options open – and is talking to his mates in the oil and gas industry who live near him in Dunsfold & Chiddingfold before he makes his mind up. 

WW wonders if he has talked to the largest concentration of gipsies who live adjacent to the drilling site or other villagers who could be affected? Or don’t they matter?

Certainly ‘Your New Waverley’ Is taking the matter very seriously and is setting up a Listening Exercise – so that everyone can make their views known. We will post on the details of this later.

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UKOG – UK Oil & Gas PLC  https://www.ukogplc.com  

UKOG – UK Oil & Gas is just one of the companies intent of finding fuel in Dunsfold – and elsewhere in the Waverley Borough. Conoco has already found gas in nearby Alfold and villagers heard this week that IGas Energy also wants to join the party. drilling company seeks to explore for oil and gas near Surrey village of Dunsfold 

Roll up – roll-up. Exploration to the east of Dunsfold and now to the north of Dunsfold. However, we believe, the owners of Dunsfold aerodrome, under whose land the deposits lay, has refused requests to drill there. 

Here is some information prepared by Cranleigh resident and retired geologist Chris Bulley helpfully provided through The Cranleigh Society to assist residents to navigate their way through the oil and gas fields.

Surrey County Council – SCC Ref 2019/0072 (https://planning.surreycc.gov.uk/planappdisp.aspx?AppNo=SCC+Ref+2019%2f0072)

Waverley Borough Council WA/2019/0796 Is for the Loxley Well site South of Dunsfold Rd and east of High Loxley Farm. 

Submitted 30/5/19; public consultation opened 11/6/19; public consultation ends 8/7/19; withdrawn late June subject to resubmission with revised access route.

However, Surrey County Council will take representations from the public later.

Drilling at Dunsfold – What is planned and Updates to application

UKOG  submitted a planning application to Surrey County Council (SCC) in May 2019 to drill a conventional gas appraisal well in the Dunsfold area. UKOG hoped the planning application would be decided before year-end.  The area is covered by Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence PEDL234 and operations are regulated by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), a government agency, which reports to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS), where a company’s financial and operational competencies are checked.

In June, UKOG confirmed it would submit a revised application to SCC due to the need to pursue an alternative access route. The originally proposed access road might have impacted sites of reptile activity and of prehistoric activity, in an Area of High Archaeological Potential. UKOG has not put a timescale on when the application will be resubmitted.

The application covers a gas appraisal well on the eastern extension of the Godley Bridge structure, which has been previously drilled by Conoco with the Godley Bridge-1, Alfold-1 and Godley Bridge-2 wells in 1982/3, 1986 and 1986/7, respectively, (without incident). The map below (from UKOG’s November 2018 corporate presentation with annotation. https://www.ukogplc.com/ul/UKOG%20Corporate%20Presentation%20Nov%202018..pdfshows the location of these three wells with respect to the gross reservoir structure. The potential gas-bearing reservoir is the Portland Sandstone of uppermost Jurassic age, which is at a depth of around 2,800 feet (about 850 metres) below sea-level. The Portland Sandstone is a recognised oil/gas producing reservoir elsewhere in the Weald Basin such as at the Horse Hill discovery. The drilling plan for the appraisal well includes a deeper test of the underlying Kimmeridge section (a section of rocks found at Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, and running beneath the Weald), which UKOG considers lies within the largest untested Kimmeridge feature in the Weald Basin. The appraisal well will drill to a vertical depth of about 4,750 feet (nearly one mile) below the surface. It is planned that the appraisal pilot hole, horizontal sidetrack and testing programme can commence in late 2020 following further production drilling at Horse Hill near Gatwick.

There is no fracking planned within the proposed drilling programme and if UKOG was to consider it necessary a further planning application would be mandatory.

The well site would be a zero-discharge site with the whole area and adjacent drainage ditches covered by an impermeable membrane, a tried and tested process. Once the operations are complete: if the wells are considered commercially viable then a further application would be submitted to retain the site for longer-term production of hydrocarbons; otherwise, the site would be restored to its original use. The site itself is located upon Weald Clay, an impermeable rock.

The new well will appraise an accumulation that could contain a significant gross gas-in-place estimated at around 60 billion cubic feet, similar in size to a small North Sea field.

UKOG plan to long-term test any hydrocarbons encountered in the well in order to assess commercial viability in as short a time as possible.

Of additional interest, following the decision by DEFRA not to renew the lease at Bury Hill Wood for Europa Oil & Gas to drill the Holmwood well to beneath Coldharbour, UKOG has become an operator for the hydrocarbon licence (PEDL143) and is assessing other potential well sites for exploratory drilling. UKOG states that the locations under review fall outside the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As of 4th July, IGas Energy PLC, the operator of the licence to the west of Dunsfold that covers the western half of the Godley Bridge structure (including wells Godley Bridge-1 and Godley Bridge-2) has announced that it plans to drill two exploration/appraisal wells on Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence PEDL235 to explore and evaluate the resource potential of both the Portland Sandstones and the Kimmeridge Micrites.

It will now move to submit a planning application but will undertake community consultation to take account of feedback from local residents before submitting the full planning application. This will take place on August 1 at the Winn Hall Dunsfold between 4p.m. and 8 p.m.

A spokesman for XR said: “It’s disappointing that UKOG is ignoring public opinion in Dunsfold and Surrey generally by pressing ahead with its application.

“Exploring new sources of oil makes no sense at all given the desperate need to reduce carbon emissions. XR groups across the county are already campaigning for Surrey County Council to refuse all oil drilling applications in the region.

“We encourage other people concerned about this to join us. We need to make sure all projects of this type are stopped or we will end up with oil wells spread across the whole region.”

During UKOG’s pre-application public consultation in February, many residents and campaigners voiced their concerns about the potential environmental impacts.

One resident said she felt the proposal is “a threat to human health and animal health” and another campaign group said the site would “industrialise our countryside, add to HGV movements in country lanes, and pose a pollution risk to our water, soil and air”.

In response to these concerns, UKOG released an information leaflet to “counteract the fiction being circulated by well known and ill-informed scaremongers”.

Chief executive, Stephen Sanderson, said: “We are not fracking. We do not want to and do not need to because the rock formations we’re targeting are naturally fractured by Mother Nature and can flow oil and gas sufficiently well on their own. This statement of fact is supported by our activities at Horse Hill near Gatwick Airport and at Broadford Bridge near Billingshurst

“We are not looking for shale gas or shale oil as in the North of England. Our work uses only conventional oil field techniques as used in over 2,000 wells in the onshore UK and the three wells drilled in the Dunsfold area in the late 1980s. Our aim is to assess the commercial viability of the conventional gas and oil discovery made by these three 1980s wells.”

In his statement, Mr Sanderson said UKOG’s “primary objective” is to…

 “appraise the gas discovery made in the 1980s at Godley Bridge, which extends for about 10km and underlies Dunsfold Aerodrome”.

However, he dismissed claims that UKOG is causing earthquakes and said operations would not “industrialise Surrey or Sussex”, pollute the area or create “HGV chaos”.

The statement continues: “Our activities are designed to increase the UK’s energy security by reducing the increasing dependence on long-distance oil imports from places that often have less rigorous safety and environmental standards than the UK.

“Even if all vehicles become electric by 2030, we’ll still need to import 300-400,000 barrels of oil per day without increased UK onshore oil production.”

More to follow.

Mr Sanderson pledged to restore the site once activities have ceased, and share UKOG’s profits with the community if the well site is successful.

If permission is granted by Surrey County Council, UKOG hopes to begin work in late 2019 or early 2020.

The Weald Action Group has been contacted for comment.

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Godalming’s Neighbourhood Plan referendum result.

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A Referendum on Godalming’s Neighbourhood Plan was held on Tuesday here’s a post we put up on the day. And below is the result.

Not a huge turnout for such an important document? But a convincing seal of approval for a Neighbourhood Plan that will underpin Waverley’s Local Plan, and could put a little more power back into the hands of Godalming residents.

If you care about Godalming’s future get out there today and vote in your vital referendum.

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https://www.waverley.gov.uk/downloads/file/6800/godalming_and_farncombe_neighbourhood_plan_april_2019

 

Spot all Hunt’s Besties who have been given​ the order of the boot from ‘Your Waverley?’

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But Oh dear, will some of them be affected by his reluctance to oppose oil exploration in Waverley?

Spot all the unseated Tories plus Peter Martin & Bobby Know-less who hang on in there.

Denise Le Gal
Ged Hall
Tony Gordon Smith (asleep)
David Munro

Zimmer frames ready for action?

As you may have heard when interviewed last week on BBC Surrey – Jeremy is keeping his options open on oil/gas exploration proposed in Dunsfold, mind you, he does that on most things doesn’t he, keeps his options open?

Flip, flop, flit flop here he goes again… He said he is talking to a number of experts in Dunsfold and Chiddingfold who are involved in the oil industry. We can think of a few people in Milford he should speak too?

Are you on your way from Mares Pond Copse Jeremy? Because what with one thing and another life could be getting even hotter there for you than jumping into Theresa’s leopardskin shoes?

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There is a great map on the Friends of the Earth website which shows who falls within petroleum licence area, Adam Taylor Smith for one and all those other south of Milford Tory loyalists. Just stick a postcode in. UK fracking map Where could fracking happen? You may be surprised.

The Map shows areas in the UK selected for fracking – and where licenses have either been granted or are under consideration.  Coming to a field near you?

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If you care about Godalming’s future get out there today and vote in your vital referendum.

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Or you could stay at home – watch Wimbledon and let others spend YOUR money and make your decisions for you?

YOUR TOWN NEEDS YOU.

Yes, we know that we are all referundumed out – but if Godalming is to get developer’s dosh towards its vital infrastructure – we/you must all vote NOW for the town’s Neighbourhood Plan.

The plan certainly ain’t perfect, but one thing is certain – better an imperfect Neighbourhood Plan, that can be revised,  than no plan at all? Because without the vital document to underpin the Waverley Local Plan 25% instead of a measly 15% of developer’s contributions towards vital services will go to… yes, you guessed – ‘Your Waverley’ and Surrey County Council not to the town that bears the brunt of swathes of development proposed on former green belt land and open countryside.

Listen carefully to Deputy Leader Paul Follows’ words in this message. If you don’t have the time or inclination to vote – then don’t moan or groan – just suffer in silence when the bulldozers move onto a green field near you?

Here’s the link:

https://www.facebook.com/135691707151701/posts/379918679395668?s=36701694&v=e&sfns=mo

And here’s a post we made earlierDo you want Godalming to have a bigger say in how it develops in the future?

If you have wondered how difficult it is to get robust planning decisions at ‘Your Waverley’ watch this clip.

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Waverley’s senior planning committee was considering an application by Waverley’s NBW – Crest Nicholson – to build 100 homes at Woodside Park,  in Catteshall Lane, Godalming adjacent to the ambulance station.

Until the New Guard took over in May CNS, has more or less been able to do pretty much as it liked!

Officers and members of the old administration have been playing ping-pong with this scheme for quite a while, but the old boys granted outline permission shortly before the election with only 17% affordable housing.  Just in case you didn’t know developers cannot afford to provide (a.h) because their “Viability Assessments” prove they cannot trouser enough dosh if they do. 

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Building described by neighbours as “A Fortress.”

New councillors – and even some old – were not impressed with the bulk of the building; lack of parking which could prompt even more off-street parking in Catteshall Lane; the design; lack of infrastructure; density and the impact of a building with balconies overlooking another new development  in the “lane.”

Unable to prevent the development going ahead, due to extant outline permission granted; objectors had to make do with sending the scheme back to the developer… again for revisions that address concerns.

Some members of the new committee went head to head with the officers to oppose the scheme. Which proved to be about as popular as root canal treatment judging by the body languages displayed by the council’s “planning experts.” 

See and hear the debate for yourselves by clicking on the link below.

https://youtu.be/2P4l68BhwTs

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Languishing in his new throne as if he had occupied it for years Richard Cole, couldn’t contain himself from supporting everything put in front of him – even one of the worst examples of urbanising development ever seen in a village! Backward Point, aptly named for a Miller Homes development in Ewhurst. Backward step more like?

Has the new incumbent been receiving his Induction for the role from the – Isherwood/Cockburn duo?  Or is it a case of – if you sit in the hot seat approve it? And if you can, shut anyone up who tries to take an opposing view?

Come back Cllr David Else – a chairman and a professional in the true sense of the word.

It is a brave man who tries to shut up the new Deputy Leader Paul Follows, who persuaded the committee to ignore officers recommendations to approve the details for 100 homes, with inadequate parking,  on a road its townfolk have described as a  ‘death trap and a living hell.’

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Thankfully Cranleigh’s pocket rocket AKA Cllr Elizabeth Townsend who only moments earlier had almost busted her britches at officers’ suggestions that it was perfectly satisfactory to look into people’s bedrooms from the proposed Woodside Park balconies into houses only recently completed on the other side of the road.

Whilst reading officer Patrick Arthur’s’ horoscope she said:

“No Patrick we should, and do care about balconies that overlook other people’s homes across the road, ” She then launched into a full-blown attack on those who didn’t include planning conditions agreed by members; who omitted vital conditions and reports from the likes of Thames Water and the environmental agencies!

Just an aside: We can’t help wondering why a development consultant who owns his own Sussex -based business fighting for the past nine years for developers has now morphed into a senior planning officer? Does anyone know?

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Friends of the Earth stalwart and Milford resident Mike Smyth is a winner.

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Well done Mike and Kathy Smyth.

A PIONEERING eco-initiative for schools masterminded by a Milford member of Waverley Friends of the Earth has won the prestigious national prize awarded by the Co-op at a ceremony in Manchester.

Mike Smyth, chairman of The Schools’ Energy Co-operative Ltd, took home the prize for the ‘Inspiring Co-op of the Year Awards.’ Mike and his wife Kathy worked tirelessly on environmental issues all over the Waverley borough – including an enterprise in Alfold.

 The co-op based in Godalming has installed  – free of charge – panels on 50 schools all over the country, providing them with sustainable solar-powered electricity supply at reduced prices, engaging both the local community and students in its projects.  It supports school members by providing an alternative to the prevailing commercial rent-a-roof or leasing model.

The group’s main aim is to retain as much as possible of the benefits for the schools, their students and the surrounding communities.

It also provides educational support to member schools and works with the schools and local community groups to maximise the environmental, educational and community impact of the solar installations.

The co-op was originally launched in August 2014 to install its flagship 150kW array of solar panels at Glenleigh Park Primary Academy in Bexhill, East Sussex, and that scheme is still one of the largest community-owned school solar systems in the country.

Mike and project director Laura Moreno were presented with their award at a gala dinner during Co-op Congress in Manchester, the sector’s annual conference, which was celebrating its landmark 150th year. Its annual awards are a celebration of excellence and achievement in the co-op sector.

 Mike Smyth said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have won the award for most Inspiring Co-op and grateful to everybody who voted for us.

“I certainly didn’t expect us to win as we are a relatively small co-op and we were up against some much larger organisations.

“I think we won because the public recognised and identified with our core mission which is to help schools tackle climate change by generating renewable energy but also to support them financially in their educational and environmental work.”

The co-op scooped the prize after a public vote which saw numerous organisations and individuals shortlisted in six categories. A record 33,000 votes were cast across all categories, with nominations and votes coming from large and small businesses, members, customers and co-operators across the sector.

Ed Mayo, secretary-general of Co-operatives UK, said: “The Schools’ Energy Co-operative Ltd is an outstanding example of how working co-operatively creates opportunity, prosperity and meaningful work, and brings social and economic benefits to communities and businesses throughout the country.”

Is the ‘Silly Season’ just about to get a whole lot sillier – at ‘Your Waverley.’ UPDATED.

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This is the development on former recreation land sold by Cranleigh Parish Council in a land swap with CVHT for £1 –  for a HOSPITAL The ‘charity’ now wants to build a £14million development to include an 80 -bed Private Care Home, with 20 community beds and  26 bed-hostel for health workers from anywhere.

YOU COULD BE FORGIVEN FOR THINKING THAT SOMEONE HAS CONTRIVED TO ENSURE THAT ONE OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL PLANNING DECISIONS AFFECTING THE EASTERN VILLAGES WILL BE HEARD IN AUGUST!

 

STAND BY YOUR BEDS! ALL HOLIDAY LEAVE IS CANCELLED in Cranleigh-upon-Sea, in light of an imminent invasion by the BED SNATCHERS & LAND GRABBERS!

Now listen up everyone! We have some very important news that (Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust – (CVHT) would rather you, the hoi polloi, didn’t know.

Whilst the rest of us schmucks are wriggling into our itsy-bitsy bikinis, schlepping around in our flippers and snorkels and dusting off our buckets and spades, in an effort to enjoy a bit of down-time, the ‘movers and shakers’, as they like to be known – more like ‘on-the-makers’! – behind the misnamed Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust – henceforth to be known as the Cranleigh Village Hospital *uck-up are gearing up for a coup!

Yep, that’s right. All aboard the CVHT Gravy Train! Not content with shafting local residents out of millions of pounds which they fund-raised for their dream – for a local village hospital – which has turned into a nightmare – a privately owned but publically funded care home – the money-rustling-grabbers are now gearing-up to seek planning consent by stealth … whilst all the objectors and those likely to ask awkward questions are up to their elbows in saltwater, thus enabling the CVHT *uck-up to avoid getting into any more hot water!

CVHT HAS fobbed off the infamous Andy Webb of the Cranleigh Community Facebook Group – nothing to do with the Waverley Web we hasten to add! – with a dumper-truck full of platitudes about consulting with the village, after it receives planning permission in August.   An 80 bed Care Home with fees normally charged by HC1 of circa £1,200 – £1, 300 per week, and a measly 20 community beds for Surrey County Council – instead of a new Cottage HOSPITAL to replace the old cottage hospital, the trustees of Cranleigh Village Hospital *uck-up, clearly think they’re home and dry!

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Community beds, we might add, that will now serve the ENTIRE population of Surrey – and not just the admittedly huge CCG (Commissioning Care Group area (Waverley & Guildford)) first predicted by the WW.

Why not go the whole hog and take the entire county into Cranleigh? After all, we now understand that the proposed affordable housing elsewhere has, and will, take residents from around the county too.

Needless to say, in true County Council style, it, will only undertake to pay a miserly £600 + for a bed, so the worried-well-to-do, who can actually afford an HC1 bed will be subsidising beds for the cash-strapped County Council which is desperately back-filling its gold plated pension black hole with dumper trucks full of poor old council taxpayers cash as fast as it can shovel!

These Local Authority wallers are the very same wallers who have closed 65 beds at  Longfields Homes in Cranleigh and more at Cobgates Nursing Home here in Farnham, replacing them with CARE home beds, at a knock-down price, in Cranleigh, so they can then flog off their own site – trousering a couple of million along the way – and build another shed-load of “affordable homes” or top up their gold-plated pension pots whilst LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK!

We have heard from a former CVHT volunteer that many of them believe that they, too, have been shafted – having given many thousands of hours of their time AND MONEY – for what is now considered a lost cause.

They are now calling for one million pounds of the LEASE money and the money they fundraised to go to the REAL & ONLY CRANLEIGH VILLAGE HOSPITAL to improve its growing number of essential diagnostic services. 

Cranleigh League of Friends has just opened a half-a-million pound X-ray facility, with money raised from the same villages,  and the Royal Surrey is committed to bringing in more facilities.

So instead of donning their swimmers, might we suggest the New Guard at ‘Your Waverley‘ ensure the hearing of this highly controversial scheme is postponed until September– after all, that’s only another month. We understand villagers have been waiting for a NEW HOSPITAL – with all the trimmings, including a promised Minor Injuries Unitfor two decades?! During which time two of the Trustees have been busy gaining permission for hundreds of new homes elsewhere in Cranleigh?

Rumour has it that one of Waverley’s new head planning honcho’s – who has his own developer-led consultancy – has more than a passing interest in ensuring this one gets done and dusted as quickly as possible. If that is the case, all the more reason to delay until September to ensure that a very bright light is shone on this very shabby, shoddy and distinctly shady deal!Grab the public’s money – Grab parish land – make promises you cannot keep and run?

 

 

 

 

 

Who wants to be Canterbury’s new​ Belle?

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Having failed to trouser a seat at Waverley Towers, Ewhurst resident Angela Richardson has set her sights higher in her efforts to climb the greasy pole. She wants to become the parliamentary candidate for Canterbury in Kent.

Deserting us so soon Angie? Surely not – there must be a Waverley by-election in the offing soon, patience dear girl, patience. Everything comes to those who wait. And… you have definitely shown you are a determined lady in waiting.

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The  – “I’m backing Boris” Tory activist who has clocked up more steps schlepping around the country for the Conservative Party than Strictly’s Anton Du Beck, is stepping over the Surrey/Sussex borders looking for greener pastures. Not too much green left in your area then Angela?

She says: “Having overseen a campaign of unparalleled intensity and dedication by candidates in the run-up to the recent electoral wipe-out of my Guildford Borough Council colleagues, as well as narrowly missing out in the Waverley Borough Council Ward I was contesting to Lib Dem opposition who didn’t even campaign, I can assure you that our Association definitely got the message.”

We hate to tell her, but it was the Rupert Bear scarf wot did it for her! Not those lazy LibDem hunks, who didn’t get off their bunks. Still  – if you had been seen to be backing the Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust in its ruse to trouser planning permission for a Care Home – instead of a Hospital – you too could have scooped up those 30 vital votes in the blink of an eye Angie. That will teach you to serve the residents who elected you to serve the interests of the parish council rather than serve at the altar of the developer devils, dear Angie. – No doubt you will learn how it all works when you get to Parliament. We wish you luck.

Here at the Waverley Web, we see also see that Ewhurst’s belle is backing Boris. Bit rude given how Anne Milton and Jeremy Hunt are her Bezzies?  Or, perhaps not? Perhaps she, like us, thought  Fit Flops was a pair of shoes until Jeremy Hunt came along. No doubt you were as pleased as the residents of Dunsfold to hear on the BBC Surrey yesterday Angela – that he is keeping his options open on the application before Surrey County Council for shale drilling for oil/gas in Dunsfold?   Apparently, he has a lot of friends in Chiddingfold and Dunsfold who are in the industry who are advising him!!??

https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2019/05/angela-richardson-why-brexiteers-should-vote-conservative-on-thursday.html

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Do you want Godalming to have a bigger say in​ how it develops​​ in the future?

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Please note: Conservative councillor Jan Floyd-Douglass voted against the Charterhouse application. She says she listens to both sides of the argument and then votes, even if it is against officers recommendation to refuse. Wow! even the new Tories have minds of their own now?

And … more of a say on ALL important  issues affecting the town for which some residents have adopted the soliloquy – “Godawfulming?”

Do residents want to reinforce the case for making the way ahead for Godalming planned by Godalming again?

Just so that the Waverley Web can put you in the picture – until Godalming’s New Guard took over – the previous administration, that just happened to be almost all Tories – couldn’t be bothered to debate Godalming matters, either at the town or parish councils.

WHY? We hear you cry?

Because – quite simply – why bother – when the REAL decision-makers were holed up in Waverley Towers and as most of them were borough councillors why give up an evening’s bridge/golf/TV at two meetings – when you can score a hole in one.

But thankfully soon – Godalming’s time could come again…

 Soon the Godalming Town Council, led by Cllr Paul Follows,  could well be considering planning applications and other matters of local importance.

Yipee – is that the sweet scent of democracy we smell wafting over Godalming for the first time for many years?

 

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Please, Sir? We want more.

 

 

The effect of this was seen in the controversial decision last week to let Charterhouse School build on Green Belt to construct two new boarding school houses for girls because the charitable organisation needs more pupils – in other words, it needs more dosh.

Green Belt development isn’t allowed unless there are exceptionally strong reasons for it, and Godalming Town Councillors were against it. They believed the reasons given were not “exceptional” and were certainly not “strong.”

But it went through the Waverley planning process because the town council doesn’t have a say. When it was considered by the Joint Planning Committee it was passed by 14 votes.  (We believe these were all Conservatives plus some Farnham Residents and the Liberal Democrat Chairman. (However, it is almost obligatory for the Chairman of the Joint Planning Committee to vote for everything – even holding Easter at Christmas if the planning officers’ says so.)

Saying YES to everything comes with the job.

However, there were five (Labour, Green and some Lib Dems opposed to the scheme), with one Lib Dem abstention.

 So – whoops there goes another green field!

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He says:  “Although I’m perfectly happy working with Farnham and Haslemere councillors on Waverley issues,  I believe it’s unreasonable to expect them to take a keen interest in Godalming. Clearly, Godalming Town Council should recover a say in planning, and if the town’s proposed Neighbourhood Plan is approved by a good majority, that’s a vote of confidence in them and it will help them recover a proper say. So Let’s vote yes.”

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So  “Do you want Waverley Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Godalming & Farncombe to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

If you want to read the full plan, it’s at https://www.waverley.gov.uk/downloads/file/6800/godalming_and_farncombe_neighbourhood_plan_april_2019.

 

Dunsfold aerodrome is one of​ two Surrey sites​ chosen to be among 17 other garden​ villages to be built across the country.

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Here’s Friday’s Post.

BREAKING NEWS – You heard it here first.

Housing secretary James Brokenshire yesterday announced almost £3 million of government funding for an extra 19 garden villages across England, which he said have the potential to deliver 73,000 new homes.

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visualisation of garden community plans for Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.

A 10,000-home urban extension to Chelmsford in Essex, a 7,000-home settlement near Ashford in Kent, controversial plans for a garden community on the green belt in Tandridge, Surrey, and a “dementia-friendly” village in Rutland, are among the proposals that have been supported.

 

A total of £2.85 million has been pledged by the MHCLG to “support the development of plans for housing”, with each project receiving £150,000 “to progress planning applications and specialist reports needed before homes are built”.

The 19 new garden communities are:

Berinsfield Garden Village (South Oxfordshire District Council) – the potential for up to 2,300 homes south of Oxford.
Borough Green Gardens (Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council) – an opportunity to deliver up to 3,000 homes.
Burtree Garden Village (Darlington Borough Council) – a project led by Hellens Group with the support of Darlington Borough Council, aiming to deliver up to 2,000 homes.
Chilmington (Ashford Borough Council) – aiming to deliver up to 7,250 homes south-west of Ashford.
Cyber Central (Cheltenham Borough Council) – aiming to deliver up to 3,000 homes and around 8,000 jobs, primarily in the field of cybersecurity.
Dalton Barracks (Vale of White Horse District Council) – a free-standing proposal with the potential for up to 4,500 homes south of Oxford.

Dunsfold Park (Waverley Borough Council) – an opportunity for up to 2,600 homes in the form of a new free-standing settlement by 2032.

East of Biggleswade (Central Bedfordshire Council) – led by UK Regeneration, a free-standing project proposing up to 1,500 homes east of Biggleswade.
Newton Abbot Garden Community (Teignbridge District Council) – the potential for up to 6,800 homes that provides the opportunity to regenerate the existing town centre.
North East Chelmsford Garden Community (Chelmsford City Council) – the potential for up to 9,850 homes.
North Dorchester (West Dorset District Council) – proposal for up to 4,000 homes to the north of Dorchester.
Shapley Heath Garden Village (Hart District Council) – the potential for up to 5,000 homes by 2043 in the form of a new, free-standing settlement.
Skerningham Garden Community (Darlington Borough Council) – a project led by Skerningham Estates with the support of Darlington Borough Council, aimed at delivering up to 4,500 homes.

South Godstone Garden Community (Tandridge District Council) – up to 4,000 homes on the green belt.

South Seaham Garden Village (Durham County Council) – led by Home Group, a free-standing project aimed to propose up to 1,500 homes.
St George’s Barracks (Rutland District Council) – a new, free-standing settlement proposing up to 2,215 homes near Rutland Water. This has been described by the MHCLG as “a dementia-friendly community village” that “would allow the elderly to live safely and independently in their own homes”.
Threemilestone Garden Village (Cornwall Council) – proposing up to 2700 homes to the west of Truro.
West of Elvington (City of York Council) – up to 3,339 homes as part of a free-standing garden community.
Whetstone Pastures (Blaby District Council) – a free-standing proposal for up to 3,500 homes in the heart of Leicestershire.
In his speech, Brokenshire said: “These new communities stretch from County Durham in the North, to Truro in the south-west. Together they have the potential to deliver 73,000 new homes.

“We welcome the new homes these projects will bring, but this is about so much more than ‘housing units’.

“It’s about supporting local areas that have the vision and drive to create great new places – with all the facilities, green space and transport to make a community that will thrive.

“And I’m really pleased that our plans include a specially designed community that would support the needs of people with dementia, as part of a new Garden Community at St George’s Barracks in Rutland.”

The new garden villages are in addition to 24 garden cities, towns and villages already supported by the government.

Here’s what one of our followers commented in our earlier post on   Dunsfold Park.

I first got involved in Dunsfold in 2006 when I attended a public consultation in Cranleigh. As Guildford and Waverley Friends of the Earth, we spent the better part of 2 years undertaking due diligence on the proposal which at the time was groundbreaking in the sustainability concepts it sought to introduce. As part of this, we approached the then Head of Planning campaigns at Friends of the Earth – Hugh Ellis. We didn’t know at the time, but Hugh had been one of the main authors on the Labour government’s first stab at an eco-town policy which was issued in the form of Planning Policy Guidance (PPG). Hugh agreed that the scheme ticked all the boxes in the PPG and deserved support and came down and spoke in favour at the planning inquiry on behalf of Friends of the Earth.

However, as we all know, the first scheme for 2,601 was rejected by the SofS at the time (John Denham) although I was told that it was a pretty close run thing. The day the announcement was made that Denham had refused it was also the day the masterplan won a prestigious national planning award, the Francis Tibbald award, beating the KingsX regeneration scheme.

So the garden village concept was already embedded in the scheme from the start.
In 2010 Hugh Ellis left Friends of the Earth and became Head of Policy at the TCPA – where he still is incidentally. He has always been passionate about sustainability and climate and at TCPA from 2012 onwards he evolved their garden town/village policy. I gather he remains in touch and supportive of Dunsfold to this day.

Denise – this Garden Village award is based on a government policy rather than the TCPA. The government version is a watered down version of the TCPA. It’s a bit soft but it isn’t bad. See this link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/garden-communities

The second scheme is based on the award-winning masterplan of the first in terms of layout. However, ideas about sustainable building, particularly in terms of renewable energy, have evolved and there have been extraordinary technological changes since 2009. Although Dunsfold still aspires to be an exemplar in this respect – I have had this assurance from Trinity – there is uncertainty over the optimum model for an exemplar development to pursue and no examples of truly sustainable new settlements in the UK. It seems to me that everybody working on other new large scale schemes in this country (as opposed to individual houses or small schemes) isn’t much further forward than where Dunsfold was 10-12 years ago.

Dunsfold already has a 2MW solar farm and a 2MW anaerobic digester but these alone don’t produce enough to power the new settlement on renewables. So I hope some of this money will be used by Waverley to support Dunsfold in building an environmental exemplar which we think is going to require rooftop solar, either PV or thermal (or both), heat pumps and a micro-grid. A micro-grid is where instead of having every house directly connected to the national grid they are all connected together and then go through a central connection – this allows for cost-effective local energy balancing and energy storage. I think there is already a micro-grid there on the industrial side but I hope that we can see this extended to the residential.

It would be an even greater benefit (both as an exemplar and for future residents) if the micro-grid could be ‘community owned’ which would be entirely in keeping with Ebenezer Howard’s original principles in Garden Cities of Tomorrow, originally published in 1902 and on which the movement is now loosely based.

Backward Point, Ewhurst.

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Despite huge local objection- Waverley Planners recommended approval of an additional nine homes – three of which are “affordable” added to 32 already granted to  Miller Homes in ‘Cherry Tree Lane’ Ewhurst.

Hey, Ho, where did localism go? Certainly not to Ewhurst!

However, Members of its joint planning committee said an emphatic No to the scheme.

Despite the fact that the access road has already obliterated a mature hedge screen between the new development and bungalows in Gransden Close – Waverley Planning ‘so-called experts’ are “satisfied’ that another nine homes can be built. So there could now be 42 homes on the site of a single-storey bungalow at Backward Point, Cranleigh Road. Ewhurst.

Carole Cockburn said: “Quite frankly I think this is awful and I remember going to the site visit, standing in the road and thinking – really – but we lost the first phase on appeal, this is a poor design, is cramped and overlooks nearby homes. This is overdevelopment of the site trying to squeeze in another nine.”

A suggestion from officers that obscure glazing could be used to prevent overlooking brought a fierce response from Cranleigh’s pocket rocket Elizabeth Townsend.

“If it overlooks other properties, then we shouldn’t approve it, not rely upon the use of obscure glazing!”

She wanted to know? Why wasn’t play space included, why should the village recreation ground provide the play space? Had the impact on the public footpath been assessed?  Where were the pedestrian refuges the narrow access road? What about the damage to mature trees?

Why are we being asked to approve something that doesn’t meet the county council’s parking standards asked Cllr Steve Cosser? On and on, members’ objections rolled, why were huge properties overlooking small bungalows causing loss of light? And why was this developer cramming even more properties onto the dangerous access onto the Cranleigh Road?

The ward councillor Val Henry said: “You would have thought county highways might have raised an eyebrow over this 45 homes to the hectare development, but it appears to have washed its hands because Cherry Tree Lane is a private road!”

Objections like these below counted for nothing when officers recommended approval of the application on Wednesday.

  • Ewhurst is served by a reasonable road from Cranleigh but only small track roads from Shere and the road to Horsham and Ockley are not up to standard for additional units.
  • –  Water supply unreliable
  • –  Power supply unreliable.
  • –  Inspectorate has turned down other developments in Ewhurst at appeal due to local housing density
  • –  All the development in Ewhurst is in one area.
  • –  The Council refused a 13 unit scheme on this site due to poor access.
  • –  The site access is totally unsuitable.
  • –  There is no passing place on the access track.
  • –  Many vehicles will have to park on the road.
  • –  The track is named Cherry Tree Lane which could encourage drivers to try to use it as a cut-through when it is, in fact, a cul-de-sac.
  • –  The access track is also a public footpath.
  • –  Overdevelopment
  • –  This development will result in demand for a new school, doctors surgery, waste tip and road rebuilding.
  • –  Loss of privacy and light to neighbouring dwellings.
  • –  Emergency vehicle access is not suitable.
  • –  Out of character development.
  • –  The allocation of houses for Ewhurst has been met and exceeded.
  • –  Thames Water has already stated that they cannot supply water to the proposed development of 58 homes at Firethorn Farm.

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Two of the “affordable homes” with gardens of 10 metres are smaller than the National minimum space-standards – but this standard has not been adopted by ‘Your Waverley.’

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Ewhurst Parish Council has raised “Serious concerns over the restricted access to the site from Cranleigh Road, believing that by adding another nine units to those already consented would generate even more traffic onto a bell-mouth where conflict already exists. It believes the development is “cramped” and out-of-character with the density of properties in Ewhurst, and will overshadow the property “Sixpenny Buckle.” The tree cover will be compromised and there is inadequate parking, which could lead to cars parking elsewhere on the development making it difficult for emergency and delivery vehicles and which could lead to vehicles parking on the recreation ground.  The one-bed property has NO amenity space.

The application was refused by 17 votes to 5.

Then,  Chairman Richard Cole,  who voted for the application, asked the officers: “Are you content with the reasons?”

WW asks – have we another Isherwood in the making?

Will converting shops and offices to residential be prevented in, ALL our towns and villages, by ‘Your Waverley?’

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The area covered by the Article 4 direction.

The Council has taken a hitherto, little used planning rule, to prevent Haslemere’s  Beacon Hill high Street from becoming just another residential area.

But when will this apply to the rest of the borough?

The Council’s senior planning committee has made an Article 4 Direction – to protect the commercial area of Beacon Hill from losing its retail and commercial space.

Following consultations with residents, and land and property owners on their concerns that conversions from commercial to residential were robbing the area of much-needed business space, Article 4 was invoked and is now in force.

Under existing GOVERNMENT planning legislation – legislation that has been heavily criticised by many, property including shops, offices and premises used for light industry, warehousing or distribution can be converted into homes without planning permission. So there was little the council could do stop the loss of high street premises. This has already resulted in many hundreds of former businesses premises becoming homes under their permitted development rights. And there was damn all the council could do about it!

Cranleigh Parish Council and Haslemere Town Council were among the first to be consulted, as both had made numerous representations to Waverley about the loss of shops and offices in their high streets.

Now the direction has been invoked, anyone wanting to do this in Beacon Hill will require planning permission.

Waverley’s Interim head of Planning Paul McKim said although high streets needed to adapt to modern shopping, working and leisure habits, those changes needed to be managed.

“The council, business communities and local residents need to be involved in shaping the future of our rapidly changing high streets. “We hope the Article 4 Direction will prove to be an effective tool in helping to shape our town centres. We will be watching Beacon Hill with great interest and if the model proves successful, we will, in partnership with town and parish councils, consider this approach in other areas.”

You can read it here:

Confirmed_Beacon_Hill_Article_4_Direction_Redacted

 

 

 

Wouldn’t it be great if someone recognised these teenagers and dobbed them into​ the Police?​

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If so – it may even save someone’s life one day soon? And it could be yours or a member of your family?

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The three teenagers pictured above spat at, punched and struck a man’s thigh with the flat side of a knife during an attack on a train travelling between Milford & Godalming last month. May 18th to be precise.

The Police have just released the CCTV footage following the incident which took place at 12.35am on Saturday, May 18, as the train travelled between Godalming and Milford railway stations. 

WW can’t help wondering why it took so long to release the CCTV footage, but there may be a good reason?

Although the man in his 40’s who was attacked did not require any medical attention, he did push them off the train when it arrived at the next station, which bearing in mind recent fatal attacks was brave or was it a foolhardy thing to do?

However, what may have seemed a prank to these boys, may result in more serious behaviour, in future so if you recognise any of these faces – tell the police now.

 

BREAKING NEWS – You heard it here first.

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It is among 19 sites around the country to be awarded the accolade.

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Could the take-off & landing where once-The Harrier; The Vulcan, The Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and planes for the Berlin Airlift took flight, soon become a Garden Village runway? 

Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 10.28.56.pngThis decisions – announced today – will provide a significant boost to the local economy in due course. And will, no doubt, be pounced upon by Jeremy Hunt, the local MP, as a feather in his own cap, as he continues to campaign for the premiership – despite the fact that he was initially opposed to the Dunsfold Developer’s plans, even going so far as to appear, at the behest of SDPNT (Stop Dunsfold New Town), at the first public inquiry to protest! He, together with Guildford MP Anne Milton, had the application called in for refusal, however, it was approved by former S of S Sajid Javid after a delay of many years.

This decision is a huge accolade for the Flying Scot and his team at Dunsfold Park who have been battling, for some 16 years, against local NIMBYISM and the entrenched views of the likes of…

… the unlamented Mary Orton-Pett (AKA Mrs MOP), former CEO of Waverley BC, who was virulently against development at the former aerodrome; Richard Shut-the-Gates and Robert Know-less, former Leaders of the Council, and narrow-minded former parish councillors, Betty Aim-less, the late unlamented Brian Ellis, OJ (AKA Charles Orange Esq) and Nick Pidgeon; not to mention Clerk & Chief Money Handler on behalf of POW, Crystal-Tipps Weddell; Bob Lies and Sarah ‘Udders’-Sullivan, of POW, and Anthony Isaacs, of CPRE, who all did their absolute damnedest to prevent this particular development on their doorsteps.

Oh to be a fly on the wall when Lies & Isaacs learn about this!

It is a truly magnificent feather in the cap of Tom Horwood, CEO of ‘Your Waverley,’ and former leader Julia Potts (who shall, henceforth, no longer be known as ‘The Potty One’).  Elizabeth Sims, former Chief Planning Officer who together, took collective responsibility and, went out on a limb to save Waverley from itself, by grasping the nettle and embracing the benefits that a new settlement on a brownfield site at Dunsfold Park could offer the Borough.

A case of better late than never!

Meanwhile, SHAME on those who didn’t buy into this scheme and, in the process, have brought this Borough’s countryside up to its knees in concrete through their obdurateness, selfishness and sheer bloody-mindedness.

The conferring of village status on Dunsfold Park will help to ensure that this development fulfils the vision that the Flying Scot set out for it when he first taxied down the Dunsfold runway back in 2003: to create a genuine 21st century village with not only homes but jobs, community shops and other essential facilities in an attractive, landscaped environment. A sustainable community where people will be able to live, work and play, as opposed to the bland housing estates being built by other developers locally and the ‘ghetto’ which OJ sneeringly and publically suggested Dunsfold would become – and of whom it can now be said:

Never in the brown field of conflict has one man been so wrong about so much!

It’s not often that the Waverley Web praises developers – in fact, this may even be a first for us – but credit where it’s due. We cannot help but admire the perseverance, stamina and sheer bloody-mindedness of the Flying Scot who refused to be deterred or demoralised by the worried-well-to-do and has steered a once derelict and deserted airfield to garden village status in the face of almost overwhelming odds.

It is an achievement that the generous-spirited amongst us can all be proud of …

But we await with interest how the …

Let’s Crap-on-Dunsfold Aerodrome-from-a-Great-Height Sorry Advertiser …

… chooses to portray this latest piece of good news to emanate from the brownfield site. Surely, even they, cannot turn this into a bad news story … but, if past experience is anything to go by, we won’t be holding our collective breath!

Thousands of new homes to be built in Guildford’s countryside.

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Protesters at the council's offices
Image captionThousands objected to the new policy

The new housing policy was backed by Guildford Borough Council in the face of thousands of objections. Opponents believe it permits unnecessary development on rural land.

The council said the plan, which allows the building of 10,678 homes by 2034, would meet rising demand that could not be met in urban areas.

Some 2,000 homes are earmarked for the former Wisley Airfield site, with a further 1,500 at Blackwell Farm off Hog’s Back and 800 in the town centre.

The council said the following villages had been removed from the green belt: Chilworth, East Horsley, Effingham, Fairlands, Flexford, Jacobs Well, Normandy, Peasmarsh, Ripley, Send, Send Marsh, Burnt Common, Shalford, West Horsley and Wood Street Village.

Opponents can lodge a High Court appeal. Perhaps the Campaign For The Protection for Rural England should be launching another Judicial Review?

Georgie Paulson and his mum Katharine
An 11, year-old  joined his mother at a protest against the plan

They were among protesters who gathered outside the council’s offices ahead of the vote. Saying they were so concerned about the loss of the green belt. “We are custodians of the countryside and we need to safeguard the green belt,” she said.

Presentational grey line

What is the green belt?

English countryside

Green belts were introduced after World War Two to stop cities from sprawling and countryside being spoilt. There are tight controls on building in these areas.

The government says the “essential characteristics of green belts are their openness and their permanence”. It is made up of both greenfield sites, which have never been developed, and brownfield sites, which are often on disused or derelict land that needs to be cleared.

About 13% of England is now covered and the 14 green belt areas are meant to be permanently protected – and are only reviewed in exceptional circumstances.

However, it has reduced in size by about 100km2 (39 square miles) since 2010, primarily due to councils adopting new planning policies.

The “Guildford borough local plan” has been years in the making, but opponents criticised the decision to hold the key vote just before elections, which could shift the balance of power in the council.

Former Conservative council leader Paul Spooner agreed the timing was “unfortunate” but said that delaying until after elections would mean “we have to go through the process again” with an estimated delay of two to three years.”On that basis, it makes sense to move forward now.”

In March, a government planning inspector said the plan was sound and it was justified to build on some green belt land to meet a pressing need for housing.

Now – what do you say about this disgrace Jeremy?

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Or, are you too busy climbing up the greasy pole and bashing Boris to care?

A leading doctor who served on an NHS England group tasked with designing new child cancer standards says that changes to soften the proposals were “insisted on” by its officials.

No doubt this whistleblowing consultant will soon be looking for a new job? The very same whistleblowers that our MP Jeremy Hunt former Health Secretary said previously, “I will protect,” but then reneged on that promise.

Just like he did on this one in Farnham. Where’s the Redgrave Jeremy? Ashes to Ashes – Dust to Dust? Like so many of your promises?

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James Nicholson, a consultant paediatric oncologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, has spoken out saying that the clinical reference group for children and young adult cancer services – of which he was a member – was threatened with its whole project to set new standards being dropped if it objected.

He said the group debated resigning en masse in protest over NHS England’s position. He said the national body was “standing in the way” of clinicians trying to improve care for children and said the wording of the standards being consulted on this month should be considered invalid.

 

Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 10.05.23.pngDr Nicholson was present at a meeting in September last year where clinicians were told that the recommendation about co-locating intensive care services with child cancer units needed to change from “must” be present to “should”.

This was demanded, he said, by NHS England’s national cancer team, which is led by cancer director Cally Palmer, chief executive of the Royal Marsden Foundation Trust – a cancer centre which lacks an on-site intensive care unit.

Dr Nicholson said the CR  group, made up of expert clinicians from across the UK, only agreed to changes to ensure the remainder of the new standards were not abandoned. They insisted patients who were transferred from one site to another were monitored with new quality metrics.

He said: “It was very clear if we didn’t accept it, the service specification would either go no further or we would all have to resign en masse.

“I recall no one being happy with this change and the CRG was unanimous in thinking that a change from ‘must’ to ‘should’ was not appropriate.”

Last week HSJ revealed how NHS England had “buried” long-running concerns over the model of care in London. Former London medical director Andy Mitchell accused Ms Palmer of a conflict of interest and said he believed either she or NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens was responsible for preventing a 2015 report from being published and proposals for change going any further.

Claims that the CRG had been put under pressure were described by NHS England as “deeply unfair”, but it has said Ms Palmer will “play no part” in future decisions on child cancer services. CRGs are groups of clinicians established to shape standards for specialised services, which are commissioned by NHSE.

Dr Nicholson, who chaired the paediatric review element for the CRG, said Ms Palmer’s conflict of interest was not compatible with her role and the operating model at the Royal Marsden was “frankly absurd”.

“We were told by NHS England at a CRG meeting that this [the change from “should” to “must”] had been insisted on by the cancer policy team.

“There was a long discussion. One option discussed was mass resignation.

“We accepted that probably the only way of that service spec not being dead in the water – for all of the good changes that were still in place – was to let it go forward and hope in the public consultation there would be enough of a backlash to address it.

“It was a real compromise.”

He is no longer a member of the CRG, as the membership of all CRGs was revised early this year. He said the group felt resigning wouldn’t have achieved much but added: “We might well have been wrong. “It just seems complete nonsense when you’re trying to pull together a specification of what good care looks like that you can let such compromises slide in.

“It just feels like a slap in the face when a large number of experts from around the country who have contributed to this [standard] to make it better, and progress is slowed. It is truly depressing and it’s very demoralising.

“NHS England should be supporting us, not standing in the way and it does feel like they’re actually standing in our way.”

He said during engagement events outside London, clinicians were “incredulous that we would even ask the question if intensive care should be co-located.”

He said the model of care at the Marsden where children are transferred to St George’s Hospital for intensive care was “inappropriate” adding: “When you have a city as large as London, to have a service set up where paediatric oncology and intensive care is not co-located is frankly absurd and that is the view held by a vast majority of the profession.”

He said the risks were mitigated by the Marsden transferring children early but “it is not good quality care. For example, if they have a sick child which has leukaemia who ends up being transferred to St George’s for intensive care my understanding is they don’t have the same clinical trials open at St George’s and there is not the same oncology cover so they don’t get the same quality service”.

On Ms Palmer, he said: “I don’t think that level of conflict of interest is compatible with having any input into a service review which has an impact on your own service.” He added he believed an independent inquiry would be helpful if the issue can’t be resolved any other way.

“I would like to see the wording of the service specification reversed. I think there should be a recognition that those changes that were made in the service specification should not be regarded as valid.”

In response to Dr Nicholson’s comments, NHSE said it was grateful to all the clinicians for their effort and time in developing the proposals which are now out for public consultation.

An NHSE spokesman said: “All members of the clinical reference group signed off the proposals despite some obvious differences of opinion between various clinical views during their development. The CRG recommended clear safety requirements where some services are not on the same site, and that is exactly what is now being consulted on so everyone can again have their say.”

Objectors to ‘Your Waverley’ meeting any of Woking’s unmet housing need rocked up at The Court of​ Appeal …again!

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KA-POW!

HERE WE GO AGAIN …

POW’s back in town again
and CPRE’s got their back again
One more time
Here we go again
The Judge will listen again
We’ll be their fools again
One more time
We’ve been there before
And they’ll try it on again
But any fool knows
That there’s no way to win
Here we go again
They’ll break the bank again …

There they were again – the same tired old faces – fronting The Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE) and Protect Our Waverley (POW) – beating their perpetual drum to stop the Borough of Waverley taking some – only some, mind – of Woking’s unmet housing need. Housing need that they claim is no longer required or wanted because the needs of the town have disappeared skywards!

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All the regular Rumpoles piled into Room 71 (not Room 101!) to urge a panel of judges to remove 83 homes per annum from Waverley’s housing numbers, that were imposed on it by Government Inspector Jonathon Bore. If CPRE and POW succeed in their long-running battle, they could throw a hand-grenade into the Department of Communities and Local Government’s Inspectorate.

Er, why? we hear you ask in justifiable puzzlement.

Because both Mr Bore and a previous High Court Judge will have been found to have erred in law in how they applied Woking’s unmet need to Waverley. And the Inspector will have been found to have acted illegally by not adhering to the policy and guidance rules within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) when dealing with Part One of Waverley’s Local Plan.

And, if the Court of Appeal decides that they did err, it will remit the decision back to an Inspector and the whole process will begin all over again! Here we go again …

Here’s an example of just how Woking Borough Council intends to meet the housing need of its townsfolk:

Lawyers acting for the appellants – some of whom have been schlepping around the district, yet again, begging bowl in hand, whining for yet more money to continue to fight the so-called good fight – accused the Inspector of failing to seek up-to-date figures for both Woking’s unmet housing need and supply, saying his actions were both irrational and not adequately reasoned. They argued they had no wish to quash the Local Plan, but asked the panel of Judges to simply remove 83 homes per annum – a total of 2,400 over the plan period.

Although at times it appeared that the complexities of the housing numbers that the three local authorities were required to meet in Guildford, Waverley and Woking were under review, the Judges warned that this was not the issue before them! Their narrow remit was to decide whether the Inspector’s decision had been legally flawed when imposing some of Woking’s unmet need on the borough of Waverley.

Counsel for the appellants claimed there was a ‘clear legal flaw’ by the Inspector, who had not attempted to acquaint himself with robust figures for Woking’s unmet housing need or its supply coming forward. He should not have imposed a higher number of homes on the mainly rural borough of Waverley – a figure that had necessitated an uplift in homes for Waverley’s small rural villages.

Waverley’s new Deputy Leader, Paul Follows, heroically sat throughout the hearing as the three judges asked the appellants’ barrister why he believed the Inspector had acted illegally? Where was the Leader we wonder?

‘Are you saying the Inspector did not do what the NPPF says he must do?’

He responded with a resounding Yes! “There was up-to-date and relevant information regarding Woking that the Inspector should have had regard to. If he had taken account of that he almost certainly would have refused Woking’s unmet need.”

Said the Judge: “But an Inspector does the best he or she can,” but Counsel maintained the Inspector had not done the best he could based on the material before him and “applying 50% of Woking’s unmet need to Waverley was perverse and irrational.”

One judge asked if the appellants wanted the Local Plan quashed and sent back to the Secretary of State to re-determine? But Counsel for CPRE/POW said they wanted Woking’s unmet need removed from a borough which boasted 92% of its countryside in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Great Landscape Value and 60% Green Belt and reducing its housing figures from 11,200 to 7,500 was “significant.”

Unsurprisingly, the hearing ended without a decision being made – that is for a later date. In the event that the judges, in their wisdom, don’t find in favour of CPRE and POW’s argument no doubt the next stop on the POW gravy-train – which is being funded, at vast expense, by Tax Payers – will be another room in another Court …

All aboard! All aboard! Don’t miss the train, boat or plane!

Meanwhile, the concrete mixers are on manoeuvres!

 

 

Is this how to acquire planning permission if you are/or were a legal officer at ‘Your Waverley​?

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The actual application under discussion begins at 1 hour 18mins as ‘Your Waverley’ streams meetings for hours before meetings take place.  A previous application which included permission for a new building in the garden was allowed earlier. Just listen to what the objectors have to say.

https://youtu.be/hIDmZ0D6rj4

KA-POW!

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In three short paragraphs, Waverley’s new Deputy Leader has put the kybosh on CPRE and POW’s fantasy of working with the new Waverley Dream Team in order to quash Waverley BC’s requirement to take a share of Woking BC’s unmet housing need.

In less than a month since taking over at Waverley, Councillor Paul Follows has met with Anthony Isaacs and Bob Lies, (CPRE & POW’s head honchos respectively), listened to their arguments, assessed their plan and found it wanting.

No surprises there then!

Whilst the Waverley Web entirely understands the New Broom’s desire to be seen to be listening to the voices of dissent, it didn’t take him long to detect and highlight the holes in the dastardly duo’s argument, which leaks like a colander.

No doubt Messrs Isaacs and Lies won’t take a blind bit of notice of Councillor Follow’s pithy assessment of the risks they are running. Why would they? After all, it’s not their money they’re frittering away on feckless and frivolous arguments. Not on your nelly! It’s ours – the poor, beleaguered Waverley Council Tax Payers’!

And for those of you who are still under the illusion that these bumbling buffoons only have the best interests of the residents of Waverley at heart, let us attempt to reset your perception:

• CPRE & POW claim they are seeking to remove the Woking unmet need number and not quash the whole of the Local Plan.

• The problem with that, as Councillor Follows pointed out in his recent letter to them, is that the Court is highly unlikely to get involved in setting housing numbers.

• The Court of Appeal’s task is simply to consider whether the Inspector and, subsequently, the High Court Judge erred in law in how they applied the Woking unmet need amount to Waverley.

• If the Court of Appeal decides that they did err, it will remit the decision back to an Inspector and the process will begin all over again!

Meanwhile, all reasonable and sensible advice leads to the conclusion that this high stakes strategy carries a very real risk of:

• increasing, not decreasing the future target
• strengthening the argument in favour of consenting the planning appeals against Waverley in the short term
• increasing the uncertainty that currently surrounds the draft Local Plan as a result of the appeals.

Of course most people – including councillors – are concerned about the housing targets and housing delivery in the Borough but the difference between them and CPRE and POW is that they aren’t engaged in a game of high stakes Russian roulette with other peoples’ money!

Suffice to say if Messrs Isaacs and Lies’ great gamble doesn’t pay off they are going to be as popular in Waverley as skunks that have rolled in fox poo!

The Deputy Waverley leader’s response ( below). 
The hearing on Monday 24th June will be webcast here, so pull up a chair and bring some biscuits! The background of the case is on the Court site here.

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Was ‘Your Waverley’ entertained by Charterhouse School – just days before planners recommend its scheme to remove​ yet more Godalming’s Green Belt?

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Could the playing fields of England soon be buried under another pile of bricks and concrete?

We have heard from a number of Godalming residents including John Mair and Steve that they are not entirely happy that ‘Your Waverley’ councillors are being ‘entertained’ by Charterhouse School. Not sure whether it is tea and biccies or drinks and nibbles – however, we digress. Suffice to say – the hard sell is on…?

With a planning officer’s recommendation to approve building shedloads of student and staff accommodation breaching yet even more green belt in Godalming, should councillors be getting up close and personal with the influential applicant. An applicant who may be just days away from –  tucking a planning consent for more student and staff accommodation under its belt?  The top public school which boasts the wannabe Prime Minister amongst its alumni? –

John & Steve think probably not.

But Deputy Leader Paul Follows, standing in for Waverley’s new Leader John Ward who is on a slow boat to ….? Is going along for the ride., for the reasons he sets out below. 

Says John Mair:

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Just perfect timing eh! Cllr Follows? Surely not – just a coincidence we are sure?

At a meeting of Godalming Town Council earlier this week, at which there was a large public attendance – councillors voted by 7 votes to 4 to object to the application. Residents believe this development is only the start of a great deal more development planned by the school on the Broom & Leas site in Godalming. 

 

Radio Ga Gal speaks up for Our Jeremy as he fights to cling onto the greasy pole?

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National Radio are clearly phoning round local Conservative Associations for comment on leadership and any swivel-eyed loons that are left to vote for them…
Here’s the audio!

Chairman of SW Surrey Conservative Association Denise Le Gal, who was recently ousted from her Farnham seat on Waverley Borough Council takes part in a radio phone-in to speak up for Prime-Minister contender The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP for SW Surrey. 

She argues Hunt speaks up for the 48% of those who voted to remain in the European Union and is confident he can do the deal.

Ms Le Gal said at a public event after the Referendum that she had urged her children to hang on tight to their Canadian passports, just in case they wanted to leave the country.

During numerous interviews this week Jeremy Hunt claims he is an MP in a marginal constituency!

 

 

At last, the CPRE has come up fighting for a town in Waverley.

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Support claims for a Haslemere development are just ‘greenwash’ claims The Campaign for The Preservation of Rural England.

DEVELOPERS eager to build up to 180 new homes in a Haslemere Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are under fire for ‘greenwash.’

Redwood property developers have recently concluded a public consultation on pre-application plans to increase the draft site allocation in Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan part two from 50 houses to 180 at Red Court Estate in Scotland Lane.

No surprise there then?

Part Two of the Local Plan was pulled by the former administration before the elections – for more work to be carried out, mainly due to the uproar over sites included in the plan in Haslemere. The draft Part Two is expected to be considered by Waverley’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee in September then goes forward for adoption by Full Council in November for publication in March 2020 and adoption in November 2020!

But supporting statements to promote the Haslemere scheme have angered local residents, and organisations, including Haslemere Town Council, for implying they are in favour of the proposals.

Responding, Redwood said: “We sincerely apologise if any inference of support has been mistakenly aligned with any local community members or groups.”

First to publicly object in a letter to the Haslemere Herald on May 30, was the town’s eight-strong confederation of schools, which stressed it remained officially neutral.

Haslemere Town Council and neighbourhood plan group Haslemere Vision have now gone public to deny they have endorsed pre-application housing proposals. The Waverley District of the Surrey branch of Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has also denied suggestions it supports the scheme.

Surrey CPRE director Andy Smith said: “This is a prime example of ‘green wash’ whereby developers pretend that their schemes are environmentally sustainable when in reality they are anything but.”

Anthony Isaacs, CPRE Waverley District chairman added: “The developers of Red Court claim in their literature that the proposals to build 180 houses on green fields designated as an area of great landscape value and/or within the Surrey Hills AONB ‘conform and align absolutely’ with CPRE policies on access to National Parks and AONBs.

“Most emphatically we do not share that view.”

Note : The CPRE and POW ( Protect Our Waverley Campaign Limited) will appear in the High Court on Monday as they have appealed the elements of the 5 November 2018 decision relating to Policy ALH1 of Local Plan Part 1, and its allocation by the Local Plan Inspector to allocate the borough 50% of Woking’s unmet housing need.

  •  The application to appeal had been allowed on the grounds of importance of the principle, and the grounds for appeal was a novel argument not previously considered at the Court of Appeal and was not in itself an indication of the likely outcome of the appeal.

You couldn’t Adam and Eve it could you. Duplicitous Hunt at it again. Wasn’t it JH and Anne Milton who called in the Dunsfold Park Application. The very same application on the largest brownfield site in the borough that was eventually approved by Sajid Javid, and then contents by the CPRE & POW in the High Court – again – and again…

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Is there trouble at Farnham’s Mill?

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Just one month into ‘Your Waverley’s new administration and as they say in Yorkshire ‘There’s trouble at Mill.”

juliapottsparachuteNo sooner had former leader Julia Potts unhitched her harness and settled into her new seat at Dockenfield Tilford, and Frensham, than the sparks, started flying within the Farnham Residents’ Group. The very same group that claimed it was changing the face of Farnham, by supposedly kicking out the Tories and taking out Politics with a big …

P?

Is the group that prides itself on being ‘non- political’ already showing signs of being just as political as all the rest of the political parties that have held power at Waverley Towers? We hope not.

With John Ward a former Pi**ed off Tory at its helm, it certainly appears so. The pompous, bumptious, self-important John Ward, whose records show only månaged to attend about half his Waverley meetings last year, and even then spent most of his time Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 11.51.11.pngdealing with his phone messages, has, no doubt,  already brought a smile to the Potty One’s face.

In his efforts to ‘take over Farnham Town Council as its Mayor; Waverley Borough Council as its leader’ and the Farnham Residents’ as its Chairman – JW appears to have let a little success go to his head? Or, is it to his wallet?

It is fairly obvious to all Waverley Web readers that the man who founded Farnham Residents’ has been thrown overboard from the Good Ship Ward? Could it possibly be that Cllr Jerry Hyman,  has spoken out too often on the environmental concerns that dog Farnham – its air quality issues – the Blightwells fiasco – the harm being carried out in Waverley’s name to the Special Protection Areas of which Farnham so jealously guards and of which it is so proud?

Let us all hope not for our good town’s sake? Because the man who over-turned the large scale voluntary transfer of Waverley’s council housing stock of which “YW” is now so proud, deserves recognition, not retribution. The man who founded Farnham Residents’ who actually rocks up at meetings, has ably chaired them, and speaks up for the whole borough of Waverley and not just Farnham – hasn’t even received a crumb at John Wards’s round table. In fact, it looks to us here at the WW that Excalibur has been thrust in his back?

Or was John Ward a Tory plant – perhaps destroying a party from within is much easier than from without?

He didn’t even manage to turn up for the first Western Area Planning Committee – sending his apologies – again…

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2007 – 2016 Served as a Conservative.

 

The latest load of nonsense from the CPRE.

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You know the one – Campaign for The Preservation of Rural England? The outfit that has been granted leave to Appeal against the High Court Judge’s decision to allow the Local Plan Part 1 to properly get off the starting blocks?

Today’s edition of you couldn’t make it up comes from Crispin Truman, Chief Executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). Saying he wants more affordable homes, preferably on brownfield sites. Maybe, if he’s so worried about the lack of affordable housing in rural areas,  he should speak to his minions at CPRE Surrey and tell them to stop opposing housing on brownfield sites!

In the meantime more and more and even more applications are pouring in from developers eager to build over OUR  countryside in Waverley.

Be careful what you wish for!

Ms Smyth, whilst we always welcome your erudite and learned comments on the post above, unfortunately, the references to policy and legalise are a bit – well, to be honest, a lot! – above our pay grade and we’d really appreciate it if you could explain the points you are making in terms that we laymen can easily understand.

In the meantime, if anyone knows the answer to the question in your final para about Dunsfold Park, please can they tell us because we really need and want to know. Frankly, the thought of DP Phase II not going ahead and yet more of  Farnham. Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh and everywhere in between being concreted over have us running for the hills … because let’s face it, that’s the only place the developers won’t be building if DP Phase II gets thrown out with CPRE/POW’s dirty bathwater! Never mind all the rain we’ve been experiencing over the past week … it will be raining concrete in  Farnham and the other towns and villages if that comes to pass!!!

Help us if you can, we’re feeling down
And we do appreciate you being round
Help us get our feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help us …

Frustrated railway passengers slam changes to Godawfulming’s railway station.

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There was a great deal of angst and much discussion about controversial changes to Godalming’s Listed Railway Station recently when ‘Your Waverley’s’ central planning committee met. However it appeared, but there was damn all anyone could do about these and future proposed changes.

Fact is, it appears British Rail can do more-or-less whatever it likes to the Grade 11 listed building under its permitted development rights.

According to council planning officers, the railways companies have more rights than the rest of us.

The scheme under consideration was for Listed building consent for internal and external alterations to provide altered level at the side access door, CCTV and remotely controlled door lock at Godalming Railway Station, Station Approach, Godalming.   However, this is only part of a more complex scheme for the station which was not under discussion by the new Central Area Planning Committee… Chaired by Cllr Richard Cole.

 

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Although officers recommended approval – and councillors agreed to grant the application – they made their concerns over some of the future proposed changes loud and clear.

They didn’t like the idea of bollards being erected in front of the station – in regular use by passengers as a drop-off point, despite officers assurances that extra spaces would be provided in the nearby car park!

For completeness, the SWR has given fuller details of future works that fall outside the scope of this application but will be carried out later. These include:

  • Installation of a glass and aluminium/steel enclosure with roller shutter on platform 2 to the side of the existing side entrance;

 

  • Installation of three automatic ticket gates, one wide aisle, Station Control unit intercom receiver; customer information screen and heater; Relocation of two ticket vending machines with new canopy and repair of tarmacadam floor;

 

  • Removal of the telephone box and make good tarmacadam floor; Removal of two passenger validators;
    Removal of modern galvanised steel fencing and gate; Relocation of lighting column and station sign;

 

  • New bollards to provide a protected walkway between enclosure and station building;  Thus preventing drop-offs.

 

But it is the closure of the unpaid entry on Platform 1 that is causing such consternation for Godalming’s travelling public.

Entry will be prevented by the installation of steel fencing with intercome receivers.

Residents claim there will be insufficient ticket barriers inside the ticket hall and restricting access to Platform 1 will cause problems for existing rail users, and the new residents of Aaron’s Hill when that new development takes place. 

So there you have it, folks! – It looks like Godalming’s railway passengers who come from all over the Eastern villages might just find life a tad more difficult than it already is. However, Waverley’s new central planning committee members want officers to write to SWR outlining everyone’s concerns. Here’s what one traveller had to say…Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 19.28.47.png

As mature trees face the chop in ‘Your Waverley,’ here’s what others are doing to​ stop the rape of precious woodlands.

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In 2018, a leafy suburb in north-east England became a scene of devastation. Now Michael and Angela Green are leading a fight to prevent further destruction of their local parkland.

Read this and take heart, if you fear for the woodland trees where you live in and around the borough of Waverley. Because our planning officers are turning a blind eye to numerous breaches of conditions, including those imposed on ancient woodland, and trees covered by Preservation Orders. Particularly those butchered by developers in Farnham.

Recently Surrey County Council was forced to abandon a council meeting and meet elsewhere when 35 climate activists sang Police’s number one hit song: “Every Breath You Take.” 

 

They had been protesting outside the county hall as councillors arrived earlier that morning handing out flowers and letters to members asking them to “act now”.

They were singing the line “I’ll be watching you” repeatedly as they walked out.

Extinction Rebellion was asking the council to do three things: to declare a climate emergency; to divest its pension fund from the fossil fuel industry, and to refuse drilling licenses for oil companies in the county. One of which affects the Waverley village of Dunsfold.

Council leader Tim Oliver told councillors before the singing that he is setting up a working group to develop an environmental charter to include climate change issues. “As a county council we are clear as to our responsibility to our environment. 

“This group will also review the causes of traffic congestion which we know has a significant impact on air quality.

“I’m sure they will want to engage extensively with external organisations as they draw up a deliverable charter. Let’s see what we can do together to make a positive impact in this area.”

Speaking after the meeting, activist Chris Neill, from Godalming, said: “We were pleased that many of the councillors engaged with us outside the chamber and spoke positively, recognising Surrey County Council needs to do much more to address climate breakdown.

“However, it’s clear that they are not acting with the urgency that is required. We really don’t want to disrupt meetings but we have to do what’s necessary to draw attention to this very serious situation”

Claire Matthes, a mother from Haslemere taking part in the protest, said: “It goes against my personality to disrupt formal meetings but the times demand it.”

Meanwhile in County Durham “We call the events of February 2018 ‘The Happenings'” says Michael Green. “It was a surreal and shocking moment for us. Nothing like this had ever happened before.”

His voice shaking, Michael (a resident of Darlington, County Durham) is talking about the day in 2018 he went for a run and came across a scene of devastation. A beloved grove of mature trees in his home town had been cut down.

In a matter of days over 200 established native British trees, including beech, oak and ash, were felled to make way for new housing development.

Devastation caused by tree felling in Blackwell, Darlington

Michael shared his story at Darlington Groundswell,one of Friends of the Earth’s climate action events. 

“It looked like a hurricane had struck. I was so distressed I came home and went straight to bed,” says Michael. “I couldn’t bear to tell my wife Angela.”

Native British trees are home to wildlife

The grove of trees was on the site of a former golf course, itself on medieval farmland, in the Blackwell area of town. As long as anyone can remember they marked the tranquil entrance to this historic market town.

The trees were felled during the ‘Beast from the East’ snowstorm when temperatures hit lows of minus 6oc.

Mature beech trees in Darlington were cut down to make way for executive homes

Does this scene remind the residents of Cranleigh of anywhere in particular? Or those living in Haslemere and Farnham?

Local people told how owls screeched through the night for a week, presumably unable to find their nests, and that a colony of hibernating great-crested newts almost certainly perished.

Ancient hedgerows and a well-loved woodland path were lost, and two ponds badly disturbed. 

That happened here in Waverley too – and the former Chief Planning Officer remarked – “they can always be replanted!”

Why trees are important

This tragedy for Blackwell’s residents shows how ideas of past and future can clash in communities across the country. And, it is happening to trees and hedgerows across our borough of Waverley.

The Georgian parkland surrounding the Blackwell Grange hotel – once the seat of the Baronetcy of the Havelock-Allans – has barely changed since the 18th century. But in 2012, news emerged that Darlington Borough Council had earmarked the former golf club site and part of the Hotel’s parkland for executive housing development.

One councillor in the community called the development “progress”.

Yet the woodland was cherished by locals precisely because it hadn’t changed. “We love the meadows and the parkland because they are timeless; the connectivity between these ancient green spaces, past generations and the present community is truly tangible,” says Michael.

We saw a community in crisis. A community which was bereaved.

Why we need trees in our lives

The Council ran a consultation in 2015 with some local residents, and planning permission was granted.

However, Michael and his fellow campaigners from the #LoveDarloTrees network say that the planned scale of the destruction of the woodlands was not made clear enough.

The group is also disappointed that the consultation excluded residents living on the opposite side of the road.

How often have we seen this in Waverley? Too frequently. 

Michael and Angela Green talk to protestors against tree felling

Of course, it’s too late for the felled trees. Many local residents have changed their daily routes to avoid having to repeatedly see the devastation.

And the story doesn’t end there. Darlington Borough Council still plans to open up the remaining historic parkland for development. 

Georgian parkland surrounding Blackwell Grange in Darlington is under threat from housing

This area has a wild woodland, a pond, a grove of ancient lime trees and a ‘ha-ha’, a type of sunken fence which was used in 18th-century landscaping. A listed red brick wall runs along the northern limit of this parkland. 

But the #LoveDarloTrees network is determined not to lose this cherished green space.

Save the Trees

The group has carried out an ethnographic study to understand how local people feel about their community green spaces. They’ve continued to tie green ribbons and posters to trees, and the community has held a number of protests.

The group has even managed to track down Sir Mark Antony Havelock-Allan QC, the 5th Baronet of the family who once lived in the Blackwell Grange. Sir Mark has thrown his support behind the campaign to protect the parkland.

Friends of the Earth Darlington supports #LoveDarloTrees protest

Michael and Angela believe the loss has brought people together more than ever before in defence of a beloved landscape.“Residents have become rebels, voters to vandals,” laughs Michael.

#LoveDarloTrees is now campaigning for the remaining parkland to be turned into a permanently protected natural park for the whole town.

Celebrating Earthmovers

Michael and Angela’s efforts to save the remaining parkland were recognised with an award at Friends of the Earth’s Earthmovers ceremony in May 2019. The ceremony was held at Darlington Groundswell, Friends of the Earth’s regional climate action event.

Michael and Angela Green were awarded the David Gladwell prize for their tree campaign

Organised by Friends of the Earth and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery , Earthmovers Awards recognise the inspiring work of local environmental groups in their communities.

If you’re inspired by Michael and Angela’s work and would like to campaign for urgent action on matters related to your local environment, why not consider joining one of our new Climate Action groups?

 

Be careful what you wish for!

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We at the Waverley Web have read Paul Follows latest Twitter postings with interest. Should Paul Follows spin the wheel?

Like many of our followers, we have welcomed the ‘new brooms’ at Waverley and their commitment to open and honest dialogue with the electorate, as opposed to the secret squirrel stuff that went on under the previous Tory monopoly administration. But …

Yes, of course, there’s a but! This is the Waverley Web and when have you ever known our spiders roll over and wave their little hairy legs in the air?

The but is that the new brooms need to be exceedingly careful that they don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!

It’s all very well for Paul Follows to sit down with CPRE and Protect our Little Corner (POW) but this isn’t just about CPRE and POW and what they want. If Paul Follows wants to jaw-jaw (or, in this case, pow-wow – or do we mean wow POW?!) he will also have to jaw-jaw with ALL the stakeholders, not just CPRE and POW – just because the usual suspects shout the loudest doesn’t make them the only toddlers in the playpen!

Jaw-jaw is all well and good but it would be naive in the extreme for Paul Follows to assume that the new brooms at Waverley are going to solve the issues surrounding housing numbers by just engaging with POW and CPRE about them.

A review of the Local Plan isn’t within the gift of the Lib Dems, the Farnham Residents, CPRE or POW and whilst we would all like to see less housing cluttering up our countryside, the reality is there are VERY REAL RISKS that in lobbying for this review all these good-intentions could go horribly awry and the upshot could be that Waverley’s housing numbers DO NOT DECREASE and, instead, they INCREASE! Thanks-a-lot POW!

This isn’t a case of the only way is down – a review could go either way!

Like them or loathe them, the previous Tory administration at Waverley spent years with their heads up their … – oops! we meant to say, in the sand – denying that there was a need for any more housing in Waverley. They firmly believed that if they said No! No! No! And denied, deferred, delayed and procrastinated it would all go away or, as so often happened, be superceded.

But it didn’t and when, under La Potts’ aegis, she recognised and accepted that Waverley couldn’t and wouldn’t be allowed to continue taking the *iss any more and decided to grasp the nettle, she did us all a favour.

Why? Because that denial, deferral, delay and procrastination policy has cost us, the Waverley council tax payers, dearly. Not only financially but in concrete terms, because it is the reason developers and anyone with a paddock at the end of their garden have had – quite literally – a field day! With no Local Plan in place, it has been a developer’s and would-be developers’ charter to build on every green field, paddock and bit of redundant farmland they can lay claim to.

If Waverley BC, under the direction of Matthew Evans, Mary Orton-Pett (AKA Mrs MOP), Richard Shut-the-Gates and Robert Know-Less – not to mention POW’s mother, Stop Dunsfold Park New Town (SDPNT) – had accepted the inevitable and acquiesced to the Dunsfold Developer’s original scheme to build 2,600 houses at the aerodrome in 2009 not only would a great many of those houses now be built and occupied, Waverley BC would have been able to defend its green fields and belt and Cranleigh and Farnham – not to mention the villages of Awfold and Duncefold – would not now be turning into concrete jungles with housing estates popping up like mushrooms all over their formerly green and pleasant environs

At the end of the day, CPRE and POW are arguing about a measly 80 houses per annum. And in running that argument they risk another Inspector concluding that Waverley’s housing numbers are not too high but too low!

We, at the Waverley Web, have the greatest respect for Paul Follows and the Farnham Residents and their ambitious plans for the Borough but they need to bear in mind that it’s very easy to stand outside the tent and throw brickbats but it’s not so easy to be in the tent trying to reconcile the bickering factions and ensuring, in the process, they don’t all end up costing us yet more money we can ill afford and land we’d rather not lose!

Paul Follows and his colleagues need only look at the internecine battles that are going on in the Tory party and the Labour party at the moment and the damage that is doing to the country and take heed!

Should Paul Follows spin the wheel?

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The WW will follow with its view later… watch this space. Well – you would be surprised if we didn’t.

followsspin.jpgPaul Follows, the new Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council is the Liberal Democrat Cllr for  Godalming Central & Ockford. Although he has represented that ward for only 18 months he has taken a huge interest in the whole borough during that time.

He says: “I have now returned from my meeting with CPRE and POW (which was as frank as I expected).
I pledged before the election that if by some electoral miracle we were running Waverley (or part of running it) I would get everyone in the room to talk – and very proud to have started that dialogue and it was acknowledged by all parties that would have been impossible under the previous administration.”

What I honestly want from this is a reduction in the housing numbers in the local plan (If you recall I voted against this plan in the first place).
That’s what POW and CPRE seem to want too. Where we had differences was how we go about that.

What they want:

to get a judge to quash the policy that gave us the ‘unmet need’ from Woking and thereby reduce the housing numbers.
Fine – in theory.
What I’m worried will happen:
If the court does that, the plan will have a gap in its figures that the court isn’t empowered to fill – and will refer it back to the competent authority (in this case Waverley) to fix it. Which would (we believe) force the plan to be reassessed under current constraints and variables – which everything I am seeing means actually a big INCREASE in housing numbers. CPRE and POW currently dispute this interpretation but to me, that is a huge risk.
– If successful, all the while we have not done that (and it would be a lengthy process) the plan would be materially undermined and subject to challenge and appeal from developers on individual planning applications.

What I proposed:

– stop the appeal, and the waste of money on all sides in entails;
– We commit to doing a proper risk assessment of what re-opening the local plan to reconsider the housing numbers would entail and crucially – if the numbers would be smaller or not. We would keep them closely involved in that.
– If it proved sensible to, reopen the plan.
– If we did that, also I would want then to reassess the affordable and social housing elements in full.
What they proposed:
– seek a deferral on the court case to give everyone more time
– That we share our respective interpretations of the housing numbers question.
Everyone has taken actions so…

… hopefully,

we will have a meeting

2. So what it boils down to now potentially is trust and seeing if something can be done before we run out of time (and I’m told the early court date was something the previous administration agreed which has set this ticking clock in motion).
I just want to ensure that what is a genuine attempt to help reduce the housing numbers does not make things worse by orders of magnitude because at the end of the day my first duty is to the people of Waverley.
Happy to answers any question on this update…

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Will they shunt the Hunt?

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The WW is not quite sure why our Jeremy thinks 1.5m homes is going to appeal to local Tory members… here’s his manifesto folks

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So where’s your promise to old people then Jeremy?

The old who have spent every penny they ever earned in a lifetime on their nursing home fees? Leaving just enough to bury themselves?

Who cannot get care at home unless they are in “critical need,”  have just had their free TV licence withdrawn for over 75’s unless they claim Pension Credit.

Cannot get NHS care in a nursing home unless they are literally on their last legs, and often not even then?

Are called “Bed Blockers” because nursing homes places cannot be found for them to leave hospital?

Are losing their trusted GP’s and are being asked to travel to find one? And, believe they are nothing more than a burden to the country by simply drawing breath and are losing the will to live!

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Peep Bo – I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time Treesa!

 

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Jeremy Hunt actually just said this yesterday. You couldn’t Adam and Eve it could you?  He literally inherited the seat from his Aunty Virginia Bottomley. Or Virginia The Airhead Health Secretary as she was known in Parliament.

Marginal? Hardly!

Neil Sherlock and then Simon Cordon (both Lib Dem) had narrowed it to 861 when Virginia was the second most hated Health Secretary.. but South West Surrey a marginal, really?!

More dirt on Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt, here:  http://northernvoicesmag.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-secret-of-hunts-success-hunt.html

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Labour has arrived in ‘Your Waverley’ – how did they do it?

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Sometimes we here at the Waverley Web think everyone elsewhere in the country believes Surrey residents all live in multi-million-pound properties, play bridge and drink gin & tonics by the bucketful – some do – but many don’t.

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 Former MP Nick Palmer recently secured the seat for Binscombe in Godalming, along with one of his colleagues. He tells us below why, and how, he achieved his aim. 

He says Labour in Surrey! Nothing strange about that…

Since I was elected as Waverley Labour councillor for Binscombe with George Wilson and subsequently joined the Borough Executive, I’ve talked to plenty of non-Labour people, who were not so much horrified as bemused, rather as though Waverley now had a representative from House of Stark. It’s 17 years since we had Labour councillors here, and I’m not sure we’ve ever had Labour Executive members. I’ve met a number of people who say they would have voted Labour but didn’t think we had a chance. “This is Surrey! It’s the stockbroker belt. How did you do it?”

Well, two things.

First, the belief that society should be mutually supportive is somewhere in every human heart, whether we live in a £10m mansion in Surrey or a desperate tenement in Glasgow (and over the years I’ve canvassed both). Life is short and precious, and it makes sense to spend some of it trying to help each other get the most out of it. That’s the fundamental theme of Labour, regardless of where we live. We need to keep that flame of idealism and optimism flaring afresh even in difficult times. More of our lives than we like to think is governed by chance – you and I are just a stroke away from depending on social care, a corporate decision away from losing our jobs, a bad council policy away from ruining our children’s school. Socialism is essentially collective insurance – if we do well, we help out; when things go wrong, we’re helped. It makes sense, even if you’re doing well – because you actually don’t want the world around you to be dark and full of terrors.

Labour has something to prove in Waverley: that we work hard and effectively for ordinary people.

Second, if we accept the principle, we need to try to make it a reality. Naturally, that’s a bit easier if we live in Manchester than in Surrey, but that merely means we try harder. During the local elections, we canvassed every home in Binscombe. Nobody else bothered. That doesn’t mean they were bad candidates: they put forward their views in leaflets and let people decide, and that’s fair enough. But Labour has something to prove in Waverley: that we work hard and effectively for ordinary people. And without being nasty about past council majorities, it does strike us that a little fresh energy and commitment is not a bad thing.

I’m not a fanatic about politics – I socialise, pursue a full-time managerial job, play poker, write books about board games, enjoy life. But I do think that a life worth living should contain a chunk of effort to make the world around us a better place, with more compassion at home and more solidarity globally. Labour doesn’t always get it right (Iraq! PFI!), but its virtue is consistency: a steady dedication to do our best to make life a little better and more hopeful for everyone – not just those who have rolled a double six in the snakes and ladders of our puzzling world.

I was an MP for Broxtowe for 13 years, the only Labour MP the seat has ever had, and when I moved to Surrey it was natural to keep going. The local Labour Party is thriving with the largest membership for many years, and I hope that many Waverley Web readers will join. Living in Surrey doesn’t mean that you give up on working for social justice. It just makes it more fun when you win. And then, of course, you’ve got to show that it really makes a difference. Watch this space!

PS  “If people want to join Nick’s email list for updates, he’s on nickmp1@aol.com.” He is trying to build up a borough-wide list of people to keep updated on what’s happening – not a party political thing.”

Nick Palmer is vice-chair of Surrey SW Labour Party. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Palmer

WW thinks Labour also had a little help from its friends.  Surely the Compass political Alliance had something to do with it?! No Lib Dem or Greens stood in this ward.

A little more about one of our new Waverley councillors. We would like to hear from more?

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Watch this space.

Are rural parking charges quite the golden egg the county council hoped for?

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“Using the council’s own figures, only £201,000-a-year on average out of £448,000-a-year it hopes to raise will be used to help maintain the countryside.

“The council says it will not be applying to the Planning Inspectorate for consent to install the parking meters. We believe the council should apply, it also denies the public its legal right to object.

“Other more efficient options should be used to maintain the countryside.

“Democracy and common sense were left behind when this decision was made”

Screenshot 2019-05-17 at 22.28.36.pngHasn’t the SCC Cabinet Member Mike Goodman some explaining to do?

Didn’t he tell us all that charging to park on OUR commons would enable the council to trouser £3m over the next 15 years? Didn’t he tell us the move was to “protect the countryside.”

Well, he may be right about protecting the countryside because despite what he claims s, fewer people are going there.

The Surrey County Council cabinet member has been a robust defender of the parking charges introduced last year at various commons around the county, claiming they will bring in £3 million over 15 years and that they are necessary to protect the countryside.

The charges are already in place at Newlands Corner, Chobham Common, Ockham and Wisley Commons and Norbury Park, and Cllr Goodman claims they are on track to hit their first-year targets.

But the trouble is, almost nothing he says about the charges adds up.

Claim: The parking charges will generate £3 million over 15 years

Whether the parking charges will produce that profit has been one of the central issues of the controversy over their introduction – if they won’t help the countryside pay for itself, then the justification for introducing the charges vanishes.

But looking at the full business case that the council published on its website, it isn’t exactly clear how the charges will manage to produce £3 million, even on the council’s own terms.

Some parking meters have been vandalised, adding to costs and reducing revenue 

The business case claims that between 2018 and 2023, the charges will provide a net revenue of around £581,000 – an average of £116,200 per year.

What this means is that in the following 10 years the parking charges will have to generate a net income of £2.4 million – an average of £240,000 per year. Effectively, the charges will have to more than double their profits and it is not clear why the council thinks they will.

However, this is only the start of the unanswered questions.

READ MORE

Battle Over Parking Charges

Business case ‘in question’
Councillor rants about residents
Will the charges break even?
  • Norbury Park ‘virtually empty’

Claim: Visitor numbers are on track to meet the council’s expectations

The other key issue in the controversy is over visitor numbers, and whether or not the charges are putting people off going to Surrey’s commons.

a petition objecting to the charges, Cllr Goodman claimed that, despite challenges, “vehicle numbers across Surrey with the exception of Norbury Park should exceed the expected figures for the first year”.

Before the parking charges were proposed, the county council counted the number of vehicles using the car parks at Whitmoor Common, Chobham Common, Rodborough Common, Ockham and Wisley Commons and Norbury Park.

The published business case included annual averages for each common, the total being 446,000 visitors across the countryside estate.

However, figures obtained by a member of the public under the Freedom of Information Act cast doubt on the accuracy of these numbers as well.

Ockham Common, one of the commons affected by the parking charges 

Take, for example, Chobham Common, where counters at five of the six car parks recorded an average of 164,260 vehicles. Given one car park was not counted, the true number is likely to be slightly higher.

However, the county council claimed in its business case that there were only 127,000 visits to the common’s car parks per year – a reduction of more than a fifth.

Why this reduction? We don’t know, and the business case doesn’t say.

Norbury Park’s Young Street car park stands empty back in September 2018 – visitor numbers have halved since the parking charges were introduced (Image: ©Grant Melton Photography 2018)

Even more curious is the case of Norbury Park. The counters were only installed at the Fetcham car park, where they counted 49,942 cars.

The business plan claims the park received 56,000 visitors per year before the charges, presumably taking into account the fact that they hadn’t counted either Young Street or Crabtree Lane, but if that was the case then between them those car parks would have only 6,000 visitors per year – or just eight per day.

Whatever happened to Diane James?

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Our former local Waverley Borough Councillor, UKIP MEP and UKIP leader (for a massive 18 days) didn’t stand in the recent Euro elections, even though she has recently switched to The Brexit Party.

Her social media intern has stopped the updates, and her website has been hacked.
At least she has her redundancy ‘transitional allowance’ to see her through if she is unable to find a job – MEPs who have served one term get a maximum pre-tax payment of €50,900 (£44,930).

So do we expect to see her back on Ewhurst Parish Council soon? Better still – get yourself back to ‘Your Waverley’ at the next available By-Election Dianne? That would certainly stir things up – and you could finish off what you started. By sorting through that basket filled with all the dirty washing left by the Tories. Because now that Farnham Residents’ has turned its back on Cllr Jerry Hyman, the man who could have checked the laundry – is there any one man/woman enough over at ‘Your Waverley’ to do the job? 

So go girl – go? Get back into the local scene – because you certainly stirred things up in Europe.

 

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Can the Lib Dems shunt Hunt from South West Surrey?

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JeremyHunt_kingofbuytolet

Well Lord Ashcroft certainly seems to think so. And judging by the recent Armageddon type Tory defeats at the local and Peterborough elections – WW thinks so too.

Lord Ashcroft polls have released a post-election poll of voters’ intentions for the next General Election. Based on his results, Flavible Politics has produced a map of likely results by constituency – and this shows Waverley as a LibDem gain:

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Not only SW Surrey either, but also Guildford, Woking, Mole Valley, Esher & Walton and Reigate in Surrey (and a very narrow loss in Elmbridge), and eighty more gains across the country.

Is this even credible? At first glance, clearly not – but let’s look a little deeper.

In the local elections for Waverley borough three weeks ago, the Conservatives took only 38.7% of the total votes cast, against 27.3% for the LibDems, 20.5% for the Farnham Residents Association, 6.8% for Labour and 4.1% for Greens.  But there was in effect a “progressive alliance” between the LibDems, Greens and Labour, taking the total progressive vote to 39.2% – just a fraction behind the Conservatives.

Then, in last week’s EU elections, Liberal Democrats topped the poll on 35%, followed by Brexit on 28.8%, Greens on 14.5%, and Conservatives on only 11.5%! Conventional wisdom is that the EU results were distorted by the dominance of Brexit, but – “it ain’t necessarily so”.

Lord Ashcroft’s poll, on which the projection is based, did not only ask about future voting intention, it also enquired about, and analysed, past voting history, in the last general election, as well as last week for the EU. 

His analysis showed that while yes, some of those who have switched from Labour or Conservatives to LD, or to Farrage’s Brexit, would return to their original party for a general election – not all of them would. Hence, Conservatives would not recover to their earlier level of support – and Liberal Democrats would retain a substantial share of their newfound (or newly returned) supporters.

If this projection turns out to be sound, that would create an extraordinary situation where nationally, just 4% would separate four parties:

Of course, it’s not that simple: what voters tell pollsters they will do, and what they actually do, are often very different – especially when the next general election could be a long way off. Circumstances will change, new events will get in the way. But what is surely true, and will remain so, is that we are in a period of remarkable fluidity in British politics, where extraordinary developments have come to seem almost commonplace: who would have predicted just three months ago, that we would end up with 16 MEPs?

The idea of Liberal Democrats winning SW Surrey in the next general election may well be just too fanciful to be taken seriously – but the possibility of getting at least much closer is surely not?

So thank you, Lord Ashcroft.

 

 

Rumpole says – not you lot again?

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angry-judge2

Six months ago nother High Court Judge gave the CPRE & POW leave to appeal yet another decision on ‘YW’s’ Local Plan Part 1. You can read it here. Here we go, here we go, here we go Ooooh!

HERE WE GO AGAIN …!

I was cheated by you and I think you know when
So I made up my mind, it must come to an end
Look at me now, will I ever learn?

or do we mean …

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

Money, money, money
Ah, all the things I could do
If I had a little money …

What are we on about? As if you haven’t guessed …

PoW (Protect our little Corner) has just announced it needs to raise approximately £25k for its Court of Appeal challenge on June 24th. They need the dosh In case they fail in their latest bid to stop further housing in the Borough. If they succeed Waverley Borough Council will pay – although PoW still needs funds to cover court costs and some of the fees for solicitors and Counsel. WOW! Now ain’t that sad!?!

Apparently, this time around, PoW believes that funding should come from as wide an area as possible within Waverley as the whole Borough stands to benefit if they and CPRE win their case!!!

You don’t say?!

Cutting to the chase: PoW is off to the Court of Appeal, in cahoots with the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) to see if they can reduce Waverley Borough Council’s housing quota.

So, not content with having already cost ‘Your Waverley’ – which means you and me, dear Reader, for it’s we, the Council Tax payers, who fill WBC’s coffers – in their abortive attempts to stop development at Dunsfold Park. The largest brownfield site in the Borough, and by far the most fitting place for housing development.  Now CPRE/POW are busy with plans to prevent Waverley having to meet some of Woking’s unmet housing need. Not that we disagree with the idea but should they really be making more waves? Costing Waverley Council Tax Payers yet more of their hard earned dosh at a time when the Council is already struggling to meet all the demands on its cash-strapped coffers?

Furthermore, somewhat mendaciously, what PoW isn’t telling its gullible supporters is that if PoW and their predecessors, Stop Dunsfold Park New Town, hadn’t fought so long, so hard and, ultimately, unsuccessfully, against development on the biggest brownfield site in the Borough, there is little doubt that the multiple housing developments that have sprung up – and continue to spring up – wouldn’t have got a hearing let alone a foothold across the Borough. 

For, whilst SDPNT and PoW were busy protesting against and holding up development at Dunsfold Park, Berkeley Homes, Cala Homes, Crest Nicolson, Bellway, Miller Homes, Andy Cranleafy, the Lettuce King, Nick Vrijland, and Uncle Tom Cobbley wouldn’t now be digging up half the greenfield sites in the Borough.

IF,  Dunsfold Park had consented back in 2009 when they first applied for housing development, we may not be looking at the countryside of Waverley swimming in concrete?

Back then, PoW’s predecessor claimed there was hardly any demand or need for housing development in their corner of the Borough. 11,210 dwellings later … POW now, belatedly claims it wants to protect the remainder of the Borough! Talk about shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted!

Previously, PoW’s fundraising was pretty much limited to the movers and shakers in the villages we have mentioned with Phase I of Dunsfold Park now consented and numerous of their green fields  already buried under concrete, it’s dawned on the not-so-great-and-not-so-good of those villages that they’ve been sold a pup.

So PoW is having to widen its net and is busy trying to fool the rest of the Borough that they care, they really, really, REALLY care about housing everywhere and not just the aforementioned. 

To add to PoW’s woes, with a new Chairman in charge of Awfold Parish Council, we rather doubt Mrs Penny Mayne will want to risk being tarred with the same brush her predecessor, Nick Pigeon, was when he and Parish Clerk, Crystal Tipps Weddell, embarked on their infamous money-collection service on behalf of PoW. Certainly not now one of those behind investigating the scandal is a new parish counsellor!

 Waverley Web has heard that members of PoW are really scraping the bottom of the barrel this time around and are involving themselves in some pretty novel money raising exploits. In fact, Ruth Archer quite unintentionally summed up one of those initiatives when, speaking about Open Farm Sunday, she said in Tuesday night’s edition of The Archers: … [there’s nothing] “so popular as getting hands-on with an udder.”supremejudgepow

The mutter in the gutter in Awfold and Duncefold is that the PoW Cow has been hiring out her udders and one irate wife has caught her husband red-handed (not to mention red-faced) with a handful of … um …, er …, well … the PoW Cow’s udders!

Is that even legal? enquired one startled Waverley Web correspondent. We’ve no idea but form an orderly queue, please!

But enough of the wisecracks, the real question is: What does this initiative really do for the residents of the Borough? The answer: Bugger all! For the long and the short of it is that most of the villages have already taken more than their quota of housing – in case PoW hasn’t noticed, Alfold is already in the process of quadrupling in size with development coming out of its ying-yang;

Cranleigh already has more than 1,700 houses consented and Duncefold is imploding like a bad mushroom! So what’s our advice? Save your money and spend it on something useful – like a pair of ear defenders and a window cleaner when the concrete mixers and dumper trucks roll into a field near you!

All aboard! All aboard! The PoW gravy train is just about to leave the station … Roll up! Roll up! All those who want to waste more of Waverley Council Tax Payers’ hard-earned dosh on another round of fisticuffs in the Court of Appeal. Meanwhile, the diggers in Awfold, Duncefold, etc, etc, etc, will just carry on dig, dig, digging

http://powcampaign.org/call-for-funds-2

Another lorryload of new housing on its way to ‘little old Alfold?’

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Some villagers are calling the scheme – ‘Madness.”

Ye Gods – where better than to stuff another 80 homes – than this tiny village on the Surrey/Sussex border?

A village where MP Anne Milton leads its Flood Forum – where there are few facilities, even the central village pub closed down – where power cuts are an everyday occurrence, and where poo regularly appears in residents’ gardens!

So why not let Catesby Estates build 80 homes on farmland on the Loxwood Road, using an existing access created by Cala Homes for 55 new cheek by jowl properties currently under construction adjacent to Chilton Close?

We wonder if Waverley Planners will agree to an “emergency access” as they have recently agreed at Knowle Park in Cranleigh? Then there could be another By-Pass?

Now developers want to gobble up a bit more valuable farmland – and build behind Chilton Close – a Housing Association development – where vacant properties remain just that – VACANT.

Why? Because transport links are practically non-existent – where a car is a necessity and not a luxury, and where you have to travel to Horsham or Guildford for any meaningful shopping?

No wonder the locals in Alfold are crying foul! They will soon have 1,800 under construction right on their doorsteps at Dunsfold Park – and another 500 proposed in the Local Plan on the same site.

The Wyevale Garden Centre has been earmarked for development ( a recent application refused because it was too large) but it will bounce back shortly.  Another with outline approval on the Brockhurst Site on A281 Horsham/Guildford Road and another lodged by Surrey County Council and Waverley Borough Council on the Loxwood Road near the Springbok Entrance opposite the “closed village school.” 

Surrey County Council doesn’t need planning permission for anything it does – it just “consults.” and ignores both the local, and Waverley’s views!! In fact DONE DEAL. However, it closed the village school 20 years ago and has, so far,  made no provision for more pupils in Cranleigh!

 

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Here’s what some of the locals think.

Sarah McCreath

Chilton Close Alfold

This proposal should be rejected due to the following reasons:
– The transport network supplying the village is already stretched with the A281 being the only single carriageway access to the larger towns and it being already constantly busy. At peak times, access onto the A281 can take some time with constant traffic flow.
– Public transport is not sufficient in the local area to sustain further housing – a trial of a daily, hourly bus ended at the start of the year.
– I am led to believe that a previous assessment of the land classified at least half of it as a flood plain. This latest survey has been carried out following a dry winter and no works have been carried out to amend it’s previous problems – how can this not have been taken into account!?
– The site is not large enough for such a large development – houses would be overlooked as well as themselves and existing developments (some of which are yet to be completed!).
– There would not be sufficient open spaces. Current park facilities have not been updated in some time and talk of other play areaâ€TMs being created following development 20 years ago, have not taken place – this would worsen the need.
– Emergency service provision for the area is not sufficient and further housing would not solve this. With Cranleigh Ambulance Station now only a response post and the fire service requiring a retained force coming from another village – all responses have some distance to travel – more housing would only worsen this.
– There is thought to be a bat colony in adjacent woodland which is likely to be affected by this development.
– There are very few local amenities e.g. no school, no Dr’s, only a small lightly stocked local shop. All the children from the village have to travel at least 3 miles for school. County boundaries being so close also limits school choices greatly. The local GP surgery is in the next village – such a great increase in housing would put further pressure on these.
– There is still no mobile phone signal in much of the area and although Fibre Broadband is available to the actual exchange, speeds are still extremely slow to some properties. Whilst I appreciate providers may be more inclined in the future to update this, this doesnâ€TMt justify the impact on existing residents using these services in the meantime hoping for them to be improved eventually.

This village has the general facilities and amenities to support it being just that †̃a villageâ€TM. With developments such as this wishing to add another 20% of houses to it, the facilities are not designed to support them and this, together with other upcoming developments in surrounding areas, in my opinion, needs to be addressed well before adding more.

Another resident.Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 09.56.53.png

WW expect residents will hope their Cllr Kevin Deanus will have his say, although he is no longer a member, only a substitute, on the Joint Planning Committee at ‘Your Waverley.’

Surrey’s empty heads leave OUR buildings vacant for 112 years!

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Cash – strapped Surrey County Council has left 20 buildings empty for a cumulative total of 112 years – with one building empty for 18 years. And, some of those are in ‘Your Waverley.’

Countrywide, councils have spent £74m looking after empty buildings.

Surrey County Council based in Kingston, outside the county boundary, was created in 1889, and has been Conservative-dominated since 1973 – save for falling under ‘no overall control’ at the 1993 local elections. The council is responsible for roads, waste disposal, education and libraries. And, you may have noticed that waste disposal, and libraries are all under threat!

The empty buildings which include former nursing homes – Cobgate’s in Farnham, and Longfields in Cranleigh cost the council £307,464 in maintenance during 2016/17. The Farnham nursing home costs the most of any building to maintain – at £65,358.98.  Longfields in the east of the borough is boarded up and is derelict – though it once cared for more than 70 residents of Cranleigh and the surrounding villages. It also included dementia and Alzheimer’s care, for which villagers fundraised for a sensory garden.

The information, obtained via Freedom of Information legislation, has left the council’s opposition dismayed after Lib Dem leader Cllr Hazel Watson requested it. 

Cllr Watson said: “The Conservative administration at County Hall has allowed 20 of its own buildings to stand empty for a cumulative total of 112 years, with one building in Warlingham left empty for a shocking 18 years. “It is wrong these council buildings have been left empty without earning any rental income and not properly maintained, in fact, left to decay with the result they are less valuable. This is no way to manage property.”

Cllr Hazel Watson
Cllr Hazel Watson

Cllr Watson said: “These empty buildings should either be used for providing council services or let for rent or sold. “I am pressing the Conservative administration to stop wasting money and for urgent action to be taken to use, rent or sell these buildings. I regret, as a county councillor, I have had to resort to the Freedom of Information Act in order to obtain what are basic facts about county council-owned properties.

“I can only assume that the Conservative administration at County Hall deemed the information too embarrassing to provide to me, which is completely unacceptable.”

Cobgates care home in Farnham will close at the end of this year
Cobgates nursing home in Farnham has been vacant since 2016 and cost the council £65,358.98 

A spokesman for the council said: “While we have a very small number of properties that aren’t currently occupied, they are kept under constant review.”A great deal of work is going on to use these properties to either generate better services for residents or create an income for the benefit of all Surrey’s taxpayers.”

Q

WW asks – why are opposition councillors forced to seek Freedom of Information Requests, to get information that should be, provided to them, and in the public domain?

What a load of rubbish – Part 2.

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We posted this three days ago. Now the Sorry Advertiser has plastered this MISINFORMATION, again… right cross its front page!

Don’t believe a word of it. Dunsfold Park has No intention of hosting a ‘rubbish dump’ for the area. And, it now considering taking a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. (We heard it from the horse’s mouth) – However,  the company is concerned that residents of the eastern villages may stop petitioning against the closure of the Civic Recycling Centre at Nanhurst Crossroads. (perhaps that is exactly what the county council is hoping for.) 

rubbishmasterplan.png

 

(or, in the local vernacular, colloquially speaking, WHAT A LOAD OF HORSE SH*T!)

What is it with the Sorry Advertiser?

Why does it feel the urge to consistently take a pop at Dunsfold Aerodrome?

In yet another attempt to rubbish – quite literally! – the largest brownfield site in the borough of Waverley which has, after a sixteen-year fight, finally achieved planning consent to build 1800 homes, Get Surrey – the Sorry Ad’s online mouthpiece – gleefully reported that:

Tons of rubbish could be dumped at Dunsfold Aerodrome after it was identified by Surrey County Council as one of 22 potential sites to manage waste.

Given Surrey County Council is running down, with a view to closing, the recycling centre at Nanhurst Crossroads, just a hop, skip and a jump from Dunsfold Aerodrome, what is the likelihood that they’re going to open another rubbish dump – Get Surrey’s very emotive term, we might add, not ours! – at the former Aerodrome?

Even less likely is the prospect of the site owners, Trinity College Cambridge, agreeing to the siting of a rubbish dump in their new town/village… whatever you want to call it.

Delve a little deeper, behind and beneath the bombastic, misleading and supremely negative headline, which clearly implies that Dunsfold Aerodrome is going to disappear beneath a mountain of smelly, household detritus, one discovers that:

‘The Surrey Waste Local Plan 2019 to 2033, was submitted to a planning inspector last month. The plan shows how and where the waste will be managed in Surrey in the future and draws up policies for handling the waste of future housing developments. Industrial sites have been identified as potential land for waste development and facilities such as composting, renewable energy making plants and recycling.

Land at Dunsfold Aerodrome is listed among the 22 sites by the council as potential land for waste management facilities.’

So, the truth of the matter is, in due course, when the former aerodrome morphs into a new settlement, it might, just might incorporate its own waste management and handling facilities within the adjacent industrial park, where composting, recycling and renewable energy making plants could be sited for its inhabitants and tenant businesses! Not to take the detritus from Cranleigh New Town and beyond.

None of that is BREAKING NEWS as far as we’re aware as Dunsfold Park has been talking about groundbreaking recycling and renewable energy plants feeding the new village as far back as 2007 – at which time the Sorry Ad was too busy acting as the mouthpiece for Stop Dunsfold Park New Town, the forerunner to Protect our little corner of Waverley, to write any positive stories about the largest brownfield site in the borough. Nothing’s changed there then!

Indeed, we think – but, at the time of posting, are still in the process of checking – that Dunsfold Park already has a bio-digester on site which creates energy from food waste and, if that’s the case, rather than the major blight Get Surrey is febriley implying, the Aerodrome is, in fact, ahead of the game!

Trust the Sorry Ad / Get Surrey to put yet another negative spin on what is, in fact, yet another very positive story for and about Dunsfold Aerodrome. Unlike other developments, just a hop, skip and a jump away in Cranleigh where other developers, rather than embracing waste management are looking to DUMP it on everyone else.

Here’s what the Lib Dems said it would do for ‘Your Waverley.’ Will it do what it said on the tin?

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ummingbird

Remember… Former leader the Julia bird may have flown from Farnham to Frensham, Tilford and Dockenfield but she is watching you all? 

The Liberal Democrat Group has arrived, and although things are quiet at present, there is much work going on behind the scenes. Coalitions created, roles defined for new councillors, inductions held, and plans for the future are being drawn up as we write.

However, there are some huge challenges ahead for ‘Your Waverley’ not least of which is the matter of £1m worth of savings to be made, a Judicial Review on the Local Plan pending in the courts, dealing with the Farnham Blightwells development debacle and numerous controversial planning applications in Haslemere, Godalming and Farnham town and villages.

There is also the huge job of dealing with the Dunsfold Masterplan which includes 1,800 of the first phase of the new settlement.

Cranleigh too faces a number of highly controversial schemes – A New Bypass, the start of which is already being created by stealth, siting of new schools in a highly congested area, plus a new leisure centre.

So, there is much to do about everything. Let us all hope the new Rainbow Alliance is up to the job?

MANIFESTO AT A GLANCE

CHANGING THE JOB DESCRIPTION OF LOCAL COUNCILLORS

COUNCILLORS THAT LISTEN,Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 10.45.01.png

A number of Tory councillors have attendance rates below 30% Response and general participation from some councillors is at an all-time low

 

SHOW UP & WORK HARD

We would:

  1. Publish the attendance of all our councillors. 2. Hold public surgeries on a regular basis to engage with residents. 3. Fully and actively participate in council sessions and represent the views of our residents. 4. Appoint one of our councillors as an internal monitoring officer to ensure the above commitments are met.

A FAIRER, BALANCED & MORE TRANSPARENT COUNCIL

NO ONE GROUP SHOULD MAKE ALL THE DECISIONSScreen Shot 2019-04-29 at 10.46.41.png

Before the election 50 of 57 Waverley seats were held by the Conservatives. Near-total control by one party leads to an absence of debate and scrutiny.

 

We would: 

  1. Reform the standards panel to make it easier for residents to take a question and take action against councillors. 2. Change the procurement rules for big contracts to protect public money. 3. Ensure that all scrutiny functions, including audit, include members of the opposition. 4. Facilitate public and full debate at all levels of the council.

SENSIBLE PLANNING & INFRASTRUCTURE

SUSTAINABLE DECISION MAKING

Conservative promises on the green belt have been repeatedly breached. Hundreds of houses are being built without the infrastructure to support them.

THAT ENGAGES RESIDENTS

We would:

  • Set up a committee to investigate available land for social housing, bring it forward to council and set up a public consultation for each site to deliver more social (council) housing. 2. Create a committee (held in public) to properly monitor all Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds.

 

  •  Reopen the local plan at the earliest opportunity to change the housing mix and increase affordable and social housing provision for every application to at least 40%. 4. Set up open, public forums to discuss large (above 100 dwellings) planning applications prior to it going to a formal planning committee so that residents can have a proper say.

DEFENDING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND AIR QUALITY

SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT

Air quality in Waverley is under threat and monitoring is inadequate. Sustainable environmental policies are needed if the borough is to develop.

SUSTAINABLE WAVERLEY

We would:

  1. Increase the number of air quality monitors. Currently, there are just 2 in the entire borough. 2. Create a permanent air-quality monitoring group that reports to the full council and publishes its reports independently.
  2. 3. Work to reduce car usage and increase the number of electric car charging points and to promote sustainability in planning applications and development by encouraging sustainable travel options 4. Seek to eliminate single-use plastics wherever possible and help towns and parishes to do the same.

Published and promoted by Heather Hullah at 95 Green Lane. Godalming on behalf of the Waverley Liberal Democrats.

Here’s the link to the document.  https://tinyurl.com/Manifesto2019

The WW asked for the Conservative Manifesto but we never received it.  The WW has been blocked from the Waverley Borough Council e-mail system – so new councillors will have to either log on to follow us – or log on from their personal e-mail accounts.

 

Surprise, surprise – guess what Surrey County Council is investing OUR money in now?

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It comes as no surprise to any of us Farnham townsfolk that the investment strategy of our county council wally’s is tainted. We, the council tax payers, pour our hard-earned cash into the great black hole called the final salary pension pot – and then… they invest the money in 28 shops, yes, shops and now…

 

... Steve McDonald of Divest Surrey, e-mails us with a news update about the campaign to seek the removal of  £145 million worth of climate-wrecking fossil fuel investments by the Surrey Pension Fund.

Screen Shot 2019-05-30 at 09.35.33.pngDivest intends to hold its planned action on Friday 7th June.

Divest Surrey writes:

‘The main news is that Extinction Rebellion (XR) has joined us in our fight to remove what is now £ 145 million worth of fossil fuel investments by the Surrey Pension Fund. XR was the group who organised the recent climate protests in London and all over the world – and are growing rapidly.

We are asking everyone to come along to the next pension fund Trustees meeting at County Hall, Kingston, Surrey at 10 am on Friday 07 June, and join like-minded members of the public to do what we can to influence those who believe that continued massive fossil fuel investments somehow assures us of a good future.”

This “battle” we are having with the committee is so important. If huge pension funds like Surrey’s along with many other financial institutions all over the world continue to fund the search for more fossil fuel, then as we are all well aware, everyone loses!
Venue Ashcombe Suite, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN.
Date Friday 07 June
Time 10.00 am – Please be there by 9.45am. As members of the public, we will be escorted to the meeting from reception.

 

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH. UPDATE.

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We posted on this three days ago. Now the Sorry Advertiser has plastered this MISINFORMATION, again… right cross its front page!

Don’t believe a word of it. Dunsfold Park has No intention of hosting a ‘rubbish dump’ for the area. And, it now considering taking a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. (We heard it from the horse’s mouth) – However,  the company is concerned that residents of the eastern villages may stop petitioning against the closure of the Civic Recycling Centre at Nanhurst Crossroads. (perhaps that is exactly what the county council is hoping for.) 

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(or, in the local vernacular, colloquially speaking, WHAT A LOAD OF HORSE SH*T!)

What is it with the Sorry Advertiser?

Why does it feel the urge to consistently take a pop at Dunsfold Aerodrome?

In yet another attempt to rubbish – quite literally! – the largest brownfield site in the borough of Waverley which has, after a sixteen-year fight, finally achieved planning consent to build 1800 homes, Get Surrey – the Sorry Ad’s online mouthpiece – gleefully reported that:

Tons of rubbish could be dumped at Dunsfold Aerodrome after it was identified by Surrey County Council as one of 22 potential sites to manage waste.

Given Surrey County Council is running down, with a view to closing, the recycling centre at Nanhurst Crossroads, just a hop, skip and a jump from Dunsfold Aerodrome, what is the likelihood that they’re going to open another rubbish dump – Get Surrey’s very emotive term, we might add, not ours! – at the former Aerodrome?

Even less likely is the prospect of the site owners, Trinity College Cambridge, agreeing to the siting of a rubbish dump in their new town/village… whatever you want to call it.

Delve a little deeper, behind and beneath the bombastic, misleading and supremely negative headline, which clearly implies that Dunsfold Aerodrome is going to disappear beneath a mountain of smelly, household detritus, one discovers that:

‘The Surrey Waste Local Plan 2019 to 2033, was submitted to a planning inspector last month. The plan shows how and where the waste will be managed in Surrey in the future and draws up policies for handling the waste of future housing developments. Industrial sites have been identified as potential land for waste development and facilities such as composting, renewable energy making plants and recycling.

Land at Dunsfold Aerodrome is listed among the 22 sites by the council as potential land for waste management facilities.’

So, the truth of the matter is, in due course, when the former aerodrome morphs into a new settlement, it might, just might incorporate its own waste management and handling facilities within the adjacent industrial park, where composting, recycling and renewable energy making plants could be sited for its inhabitants and tenant businesses! Not to take the detritus from Cranleigh New Town and beyond.

None of that is BREAKING NEWS as far as we’re aware as Dunsfold Park has been talking about groundbreaking recycling and renewable energy plants feeding the new village as far back as 2007 – at which time the Sorry Ad was too busy acting as the mouthpiece for Stop Dunsfold Park New Town, the forerunner to Protect our little corner of Waverley, to write any positive stories about the largest brownfield site in the borough. Nothing’s changed there then!

Indeed, we think – but, at the time of posting, are still in the process of checking – that Dunsfold Park already has a bio-digester on site which creates energy from food waste and, if that’s the case, rather than the major blight Get Surrey is febriley implying, the Aerodrome is, in fact, ahead of the game!

Trust the Sorry Ad / Get Surrey to put yet another negative spin on what is, in fact, yet another very positive story for and about Dunsfold Aerodrome. Unlike other developments, just a hop, skip and a jump away in Cranleigh where other developers, rather than embracing waste management are looking to DUMP it on everyone else.

Witley’s draft Neighbourhood plan goes under the microscope​.

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Residents of Witley and neighbouring Hambledon have an opportunity to view how their neighbourhood could look over the next decade.

Sections 1 -3 are introductions and overall vision and as such merely state known facts.

In  Section 4: 4.9 the parish council wants 30.5% of new housing to be 4+ bedrooms but at the same time,  will actively resist planning applications from people wishing to extend their existing 2-3 bedroom homes saying that this needs to be justified.

(Some may remember that Government once had an ‘extensions policy’ to retain smaller properties, particularly in rural villages.  Two years ago the Government bought in a ‘temporary policy’ to allow an extension on detached properties up to 8 metres, slightly less for semi-detached properties. This had now been made ‘permanent.’

So sorry Neighbourhood Plan – no can do?

Here at the Waverley Web we would put the boot on the other foot and ask why build such a large proportion of 4+ bedroom homes if the requirement is for smaller homes? Couldn’t be because the developers want more executive homes could it?

4.10 What do the plan’s authors mean by social and intermediate tenures? Would that be a few rental and part ownership “affordable” homes? Affordable homes in Surrey are surely an oxymoron. As for “part rent part buy” – ask some of those poor young souls who have been trapped in properties, they now cannot sell! Why? Because devious developers who over-value properties to line their own pockets are making the lives of the young almost impossible.

4.17  States that gardens must be at least 10m deep x width of the house (= 50-60sm) or in the case of flats a balcony of 3sm but in Policy ND8 it states that balconies should be 3sm and gardens 5sm either there is a typo or no garden is required?

4.23 & 24 There is no comfort to be found here as to whether there will be sufficient water and sewage supply being available as this is left for the developer to discuss with Thames Water.  Presumably, they will look only at the development before them as they have in Cranleigh with little improvement made. Developers, there are currently disposing of sewerage into holding tanks, and letting the affluent’s effluent out slowly into the system!

This is unacceptable. Large developments tacked on to existing, and in some cases elsewhere in the borough ancient, sewage and water supplies have proven to be insufficient leading to overloaded systems unable to cope, and breaking down.

Section 6 includes a new Medical Centre of 12,500sq.ft. but no mention of where this new centre will be? This new centre will include a new pharmacy but what will this mean for the existing service provided by independent pharmacies such as Milford Pharmacy who provide excellent service?

It appears that there is little space to increase the size of the existing infant schools but no mention is made of how the increased numbers will be catered for. This should not be a problem for the senior school as Rodborough is on a 25-acre site and either rebuilding or expanding existing premises are options providing the funds are forthcoming from Surrey County Council?  Without assurances of funding for the provision of education space no permissions for building 480 new homes should be given.

Our Witly reporter says she hopes that something more substantial than proposals for a travel plan is in the offing. Too often problems like this are kicked down the road, the expansion takes place but no buses are provided leaving parents living further out left with no option other than to use a car.

Section 7. While it is true that there are good links via main roads and the railway the reliance on cars remains overwhelming because of poor bus services. The objective of improving the experience for pedestrians and supporting a steady flow of traffic while mitigating the impact on the environment is pie in the sky. There is no public transport to speak of and approx 480 new homes with 2-3 cars each means at least 1000 more vehicles just in Milford as most of the new homes will be there.

Neither are there plans to improve or repair the existing road system so congestion is inevitable. There is much talk of new footpaths but where are the guarantees they will be built.

7.12 specifically mentions the much-needed improvements to the Station Lane/Church Road junction. Other than traffic lights there is very little that can be done to improve a junction that is already a problem before the 200 new homes are built on Milford Golf Club. If there is a solution it would have been spelt out in the Plan. Unless new wider roads are planned (and they are not) then traffic exiting the new developments onto existing roads will be a problem.  Talk of New Highway Design in Policy T2 (page43) is wishful thinking.

7.14 States that requirements for charging points will be a necessity. Recent planning consents given by Waverley Plånners have included more of these, but earlier developments have not?

Travel policies T4, 5 & 7 are laudable and would that they could be achieved but we saw all these types of proposals in Farnham and we know what a mess that is. Wishing for funds sufficient to mitigate traffic congestion, providing sustainable travel modes to reduce pollution levels and accessible transport for the disabled will require far more money than the developers can, or will, be prepared to contribute.

SCC is responsible for providing good safe roads and has proved it cannot keep up with the rising number of potholes.

It appears that the majority of the 480 homes will be built in Milford on two large sites.

The development of the  Milford  Golf Course land has been granted so nothing can be done about that. Unless of course legal covenants covering the site are challenged in the Courts? Last night Waverley Planners gave developers the go-ahead to build homes on Milford Golf Course.

The Secretts’ land is a brownfield site and therefore preferable to any greenfield site. The combined development on these two large sites should also prevent any development in the smaller villages/hamlets of Enton, Wormley, Brook and Sandhills.

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Bank Holiday Blues for some in ‘Your Waverley.’

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Here’s a little billet-doux we received from ROSALEEN EGAN 

27th May 2019

Hi Waverley Web,

Well, I attended the Count yesterday as a UKIP count agent. When I applied ( to Waverley Borough Council?) for myself and four others to attend I had to chase our authorisation letters, only to be told we were not on the list and there was not any room. This foolishness was sorted out but you can imagine my surprise when I arrived at the Count to find Seven  Lib Dem agents. That was it, no TT’s, no Labour, no Greens, no Brexit Party and no Indies!

The Tory Boo Boys just didn’t have the guts to turn up, watching the piles of votes accumulated in the Lib Dem and Brexit Party boxes as this would have silenced them. Someone needs to let them all know that part of the democratic process is going along and watching your party being decimated and learning from that process, not hiding away and saying it is all that nasty Farage man’s fault!

Well done to all the polling staff for keeping their good humour over a very long day ably led by Tom Horwood, who I have to say, is better than Napoleon Wenham by a country mile.

Rosaleen.

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Godalming Lib Dem town councillors – certainly know how to communicate.

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Although the new Godalming Town Council team is just out of the starting blocks, they are out there communicating with us all, publishing all their e-mail addresses Hurrah! Will all the others be doing the same in our town of Farnham and in Cranleigh?

OUR GODALMING TOWN COUNCILLORS (2019-2023)

Wherever you are in Godalming there is at least one Liberal Democrat Councillor (and our 10 councillors will be working together with a further 4 Green Party, 2 Labour and Independent colleagues)

Mayor of Godalming (2019): Cllr Penny Rivers
Deputy Mayor (2019): Cllr Michael Steel
Leader of the Town Council: Cllr Paul Follows

Here is the list of councillors and contact emails:

Full profiles on the Town Council Website:
https://godalming-tc.gov.uk/councillors/

BINSCOMBE WARD
————————————–
Cllr Heather Hullah (Heather.Hullah@Godalming-tc.gov.uk)
Cllr Paul Rivers (Paul.Rivers@Godalming-tc.gov.uk)

CENTRAL AND OCKFORD WARD
————————————–
Cllr Adam Duce (Adam.Duce@Godalming-tc.gov.uk)
Cllr Paul Follows (Paul.Follows@Godalming-tc.gov.uk)
Cllr Anne-Marie Rosoman (Anne-Marie-Rosoman@Godalming-tc.gov.uk)

CHARTERHOUSE WARD
————————————–
Cllr Michael Steel (Michael.Steel@Godalming-tc.gov.uk)

FARNCOMBE AND CATTESHALL WARD
————————————–
Cllr Alex Adam (Alex.Adam@Godalming-tc.gov.uk)
Cllr Penny Rivers (Penny.Rivers@Godalming-tc.gov.uk)

HOLLOWAY WARD
————————————–
Cllr Joan Heagin (Joan.Heagin@Godalming-tc.gov.uk)

and although not Godalming Town Council

MILFORD WARD
————————————–
Cllr Christine Baker (Christine.Baker@Waverley.gov.uk)

Please do contact us at any time – a number of us are also Waverley Borough Councillors and we will be publishing a surgery schedule soon.

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You know what they look like. You have their contact details. Now keep them on their toes? 

A lonely​ little petunia in an onion patch?

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The Waverley Web Bank Holiday picture caption competition.

 Carole Cockburn, Farnham Town’s only remaining Tory councillor, contemplates four years watching the opposition make decisions affecting her patch and the surrounding villages.

Is David Beaman really the Chairman?

 

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“I’m a lonely little Petunia in an onion patch.” 

 

 

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A bit of a barny going on at the Waverley Web.

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Our recent post How to turn a solemn occasion into a farce – Waverley style! The egos have landed? has caused a bit of a stir. Some comments 18 at the last count, and considerably more  to contact@waverleyweb.com  

Some of you are so shy – WHY? We won’t tell – promise.

Thing is, someone mentioned that the Tories had turned down an offer from the new administration to select two members to serve on a  new and expanded Executive. An Executive that may not be there for that much longer, as not everyone is entirely happy with Cabinet-style government.  Here at the WW – we think it stinks and is far less democratic than the committee system.

You can bet your Granny’s pension that the officers would rather have their eyes poked out with a blunt stick than make that change?

Anyway – here’s what Paul Follows  Lib Dem Deputy Leader has to say below:

The Leader John Ward is staying schtum possibly because he’s in Farnham people’s doghouse due to the way he has treated the man who founded Farnham Residents’ and who was mainly responsible for its election successes. A man who has been unceremoniously shoved aside.  Tell us if we are wrong Cllr Hyman – you have been remarkably quiet when all about you are losing their wigs?

Cllr Paul Follows has burst into print saying he would like to clear up a few misconceptions: Responding to Tory good guy David Else…

If the leader (of any party) nominates someone, they can decline?

However – it’s the group/party leaders that have this conversation. We can’t cherrypick who we would like from the Conservatives (I wish we could). The offer goes to Julia Potts – for your group to have 2 seats on the executive – she declined on behalf of her group.

 

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So is the Potty tail wagging the Tory Dog? 

 

So there we have the answer to our Q. Who were the two Tories who declined? None – because, surprise, surprise  The Potty One decided! And, if she who must be obeyed says Nine, None, Niet; Nao; and in Chinese BÙ to you! If it’s not my party then I’m not playing?  Wonder if she asked her colleagues?

Tell us Cllr Townsend; Else; Deanus; Seabourne please do? And, if not why not?

Back to Cllr Follows…

Each group leader was responsible for sorting our their committee allocations. I can only speak for the process I used for the Lib Dem group. I proposed some individuals for the executive (for the seats on our ‘side’) – which the group signed off on. People I nominated, by the way, were because they had a specific outside professional capability in that area which made sense rather than anything else. I have this apparently novel approach where I want councillors to be as active and capable as possible in the roles that they hold. This was something that extended back even to when we were picking candidates before the election and I really do think we have an excellent group of 14.

In our meeting anyway, I just opened it up to the floor in our group meeting – I have a lot of new councillors so everything is a bit new in that sense. Following that meeting (and about 400 emails between the group later) we got to something everyone was happy with – based upon what people wanted, the experience they had, hours they could or could not put in etc.

We have group leaders in the Lib Dems (in this case it’s me) but it’s not some autocratic nonsense – its a collaboration or it wouldn’t work. I actually have no idea how the other groups pick their committee seats but I just went for what is natural to me in this position and just asked the group and talked to people.

Hope that makes sense anyway and happy to answer anything further.

Paul Follows

Who was it that just a day or so ago said: “The way forward is for us ALL to work together?”

The Mayor Cranleigh’s Mary Forysewski. Get your whip out girl and act as ringmaster to make it happen. 

The Rainbow Alliance now running ‘Your Waverley.’

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Always nice to have the Deputy Leader in the centre!
Can you spot who is really in charge?

The new Rainbow Coalition Executive of Farnham residents, Liberal Democrats, a Green and amazingly a Labour Councillor. In Waverley! Here’s the momentous press release. We say momentous, as for the first time it includes quotes from all Group Leaders!
Apparently, the Leader and Deputy Leader roles will ROTATE every year. Now that’s got our heads spinning!

Farnham Residents – John Ward – Leader (Farnham)
Liberal Democrats – Paul Follows – Deputy Leader (Godalming)
Farnham Residents – Andy Macleod – Planning & Policy Services (Farnham)
Farnham Residents – David Beaman – Health Wellbeing & Culture (Farnham)
Farnham Residents – John Neale – Place Shaping, IT & Customer Services (Farnham)
Liberal Democrats Anne-Marie RosomanHousing and Community Safety (Godalming)
Liberal Democrats – Mark Merryweather – Economic & Community Development (Farnham)
Green Party – Steve WilliamsEnvironment & Sustainability (Godalming)
Labour Party Nick PalmerOperational and Enforcement Services (Godalming)

Liberal Democrats – Chair of Joint Planning – A Cranleigh Lib Dem to be nominated.

We understand the Rainbow Alliance offered an Exec seat to the Tories, but they declined. They liked the idea of 4 more years playing childish opposition politics rather than grown up co-operation.

Here at the Waverley Web, we are seriously impressed with some of the new intake, Labour’s Nick Palmer was MP for Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire (1997 – 2010) before losing to Anna Soubry, with plenty PPS experience in the Dept for Environment, Dept of Trade and Industry and Business. We believe he currently works for Compassion for World Farming in Godalming.

The Green’s Steve Williams was a former Labour activist, expelled from the party (one of the Godalming 3) for supporting Dr Louise Irvine in the General Elections. He seems to be chair of The South West Surrey Compass, the brains behind the cross-party campaigning which has eventually been so effective in sweeping away the Tories. Their catchphrase is:
9781916489905“Southwest Surrey Compass is part of a national organisation which aims to be ‘the home for everyone who wants to be part of a much more equal, democratic and sustainable future’.

Steve Williams is a co-editor of the book ‘A New Way of Doing Politics’ alongside Louise Irvine, Susan Ryland and Penny Rivers. Available in all good Waterstones here!

 

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YES, WE CAN. 

 

 

 

How to turn a solemn​ occasion into a​ farce – Waverley style! The egos​ have landed?

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‘Your Waverley’s very own Game of Thrones?

PLUS ÇA CHANGE, PLUS C’EST LA MÊME CHOSE … we flipping hope not!

So there we were – all 89 of us! – on the edge of our seats, glued to our computer screens, waiting, just waiting to watch Waverley’s answer to Game of Thrones – otherwise known as the most important and solemn occasion to take place annually at Waverley Towers: THE MAYOR MAKING CEREMONY and WELCOME TO A NEW ADMINISTRATION …

and this happens – or, rather doesn’t happen!

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Perhaps if the new Mayor hadn’t taken such an excruciatingly long time to find her spectacles (to avoid future faux pas, we find a natty little string of coloured beads helps, Madam Mayor!) we might have been able to hear retiring Mayor and former Councillor, Farnham’s Denise Le Gal’s, rendering of ‘So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye’ but we, her not so adoring public, were denied Le Gal’s swan song due to the Godalming Webcast Gremlins who have yet to leave the building – unlike many of their erstwhile former Tory masters!


But, if the residents of Waverley cannot salute you for your efforts on their behalf, we, at the Waverley Web, will. We have awarded you our very own Waverley Web JWD – for a ‘job well done.’ But, for the record, it’s a disgrace that you were cut off in your prime by the most inefficient Webcaster in the Western World!

New Mayor, Cllr Foryszewski’s beloved German Shepherds could have provided a better service than the Wally in charge of Webcasting at Waverley!

Where’s Wally? Who’s Wally? What a Wally! We feel a new campaign coming on and strongly recommend the NEW ADMINISTRATION puts sorting out its Webcasting Wally at the top of its new Agenda before Wally makes Waverley a laughing stock – again!

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For pity’s sake, Is this the image we want and expect to see of our Mayor?

Describing herself as the “Gobby- girl from Birmingham”, whom, we might add, managed to ruffle feathers in Alfold before sweeping into Cranleigh, the new Mayor was generous in her praise for those who had given her the opportunities, over the past 20 years, to reach this, the pinnacle of her success to date. Mainly due, she said, to Gone-to-Potts, who, grinning from ear to ear from the sidelines having purloined one of her colleague’s seats, paid tribute to her retiring Farnham colleague, Le Gal for her unstinting service to the Borough.

It must be acknowledged that the new Mayor has succeeded, against the odds, where many others before her have failed. For no Tory administration holding the balance of power has ever have permitted ‘THE OPPOSITION’ to take the Chain of Office! And if you think that’s sour grapes just take a peek at Waverley’s history books. However, in a sign of what we hope is going to be a kinder, fairer politics at a local level and, in an act of considerable magnanimity, Councillor Foryszewski’s nomination was proposed by Farnham Cllr Carole Cockburn, who waxed lyrical about the merits of Mary  and seconded by a very gracious Lib-Dem, Paul Follows, who said:

The new Mayor has succeeded where many others before her have failed. No Tory administration holding power would ever have allowed ‘the opposition’ to take the chain of office! Of that, you can be sure. Mary’s nomination was  proposed by Farnham Residents’ John Ward and seconded by a very eloquent Lib Dem Paul Follows saying:

 “I hope whatever rosette you wear you will serve us with dedication and dignity, and there would be fewer things that separate us than the those that will draw us to work together.”

With considerable dignity and humility, Mary Forszewski acknowledged the recent election defeats, saying she wanted everyone to embrace and work through the “challenges ahead” and offering the hand of friendship to the man who was responsible for the foundation of the Farnham Residents’ Group, and his election successes saying:

“Why aren’t you up here Jerry [Hyman]? We’ll get on well together, won’t we?”

If this is a sign of things to come, the Waverley Web’s job here is done but, despite these promising new green shoots, we were disappointed to see that in the divvying-up of all the major roles, Farnham’s Mungo-Jerry appears to have been cast into the Boondocks. If that’s his reward for founding a party and helping to lead it to greatness, for standing up for his own and everyone else’s residents and speaking his mind, maybe our work here isn’t quite done …

As one – slightly – disenchanted Correspondent commented: the “Ego’s had Landed.” 

” Vote Rainbow Alliance – get two Tories?

Fortunately, we didn’t miss out on all the back-slapping before the Webcast’s Wally pressed the wrong nob – AGAIN!! and we did grab this!

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and then this!!

 

 

So now the Annual Mayor’s Show is over, robes donned, chains swapped and drinks imbibed in the Mayor’s parlour…? 

The WW has applauded you Madam Mayor for your past efforts, and criticised you once or twice too! But is there any possible chance you could do the one thing that the Waverley Web and the voting fodder of this great borough of ours have been waiting a long time for? Something no one else has achieved?

Trash the Rumbellows Friday night webcast machine and buy one that works? Whatever you do don’t take it to the Cranleigh Recycling centre, because your county council colleagues have ruled that you will have to carry it all the way to ..Caterham!

By the way, does anyone know if a new leader and deputy were appointed?

And, what about an EXECUTIVE? Is there one?

You might find out here: Because Cllr Follows is taking over from the Waverley Web, and a damn fine job he is making of it. Off to find a sun lounger.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Godalmingcommunity/permalink/2446902482262725?sfns=mo

 

Does Waverley have its very own ‘Bet Shred?’

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Waverley officers led by Head Honcho Tom Horwood have been busy since the election armageddon… very busy! 

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Panic, not they haven’t been getting rid of all those documents they refused to share with their opposition colleagues over the past decade – well at least we hope not? They wouldn’t – would they?

No – they have been shredding the paperwork brought in by all the former Tory councillors, whose desks have groaned under the weight of  Agenda’s and committee papers/reports – some of which go back to the dark ages. The Paperwork they won’t be needing now they can spend more time with their families?

And there were we thinking that most of the millions of pages spewed out every month from Waverley Towers were electronically delivered. But appears not, as one newby waiting to take his seat tonight told us the CEO  said officers have been very busy, shredding. And, there were we thinking they were down at Bet Fred putting money on who was going to run the Waverley Show, not betting on who would get to shred?

The Full Council and Mayor making ceremony will be held tonight.

Vote Rainbow Alliance – get two Tories?

Farnham Residents’ take control of the Town Council.

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According to some – it was the Waverley Web that scuppered the Tories!

Including our owner(?!?!) David Wylde (bottom left) Our Publisher (?!?) Jerry Hyman not pictured, presumably because he was writing posts from his spider’s web?

What a joke. Whilst we here at the WW regularly feature letters from Dear David, we thought Jerry or (Jaz) as his ‘friend’ Wannabe Waverley councillor Adam Taylor-Smith calls him, was far too busy?

Wasn’t the borough councillor for Firgrove Ward busy enough masterminding the election defeat inflicted on both borough and town councils? Did he have enough spare time to fill in by writing for us and sweeping the A31 on his way to Waverley council meetings?

We want to know why these two boys aren’t turning up for their shifts?!?

What a clever man he is, and he has a day job?

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Suffice to say, as the picture from the amazing Farnham Herald reveals, the new guard Farnham Residents now outnumber their Tory colleagues by 18 seats to four. Could Farnham Town Council become a non-political council in the future? 

But in Farnham, is it chaos already?
The Mayoral role has been extended until 27th June to give them more time to argue amongst themselves perhaps?

 

Vote Rainbow Alliance​ – get two Tories?

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And there we all were thinking we had voted for change? A new era for the borough dubbed by the tories as ‘Your Waverley’ that would, at last, become ‘Our Waverley.’

Whilst Waverley voters may have bought the T-shirt for a Rainbow coalition, who will actually run the council??

 

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Before the voting slips are even cold, we understand True Blue Mary Foryszewski, will be anointed into the most powerful Job –  Mayor of Waverley! And a former Tory (who will from now on be referred to as “APOT’ – A Pissed off Tory) becomes the new Council Leader. The self-elected leader of the Farnham Residents’ will thankfully be supported – and oh boy will he need supporting – by Lib Dem Deputy Cllr Paul Follows. A man who gathered more support in the recent elections than all the Tories put together.

So why has The Rainbow Alliance chosen to hand over control of the council to a Cranleigh woman who hasn’t exactly covered herself in glory in recent months?

After losing her chairmanship of Cranleigh Parish Council to the feisty Elizabeth Townsend, she literally threw in the towel and failed to turn up to a single meeting! Except of course for the opening of an envelope in her role as deputy Mayor.

Having incurred the wrath of every single one of her parish colleagues for opposing a Memorial Garden to commemorate war veterans, she then appeared in the Conservative In Touch pre-election rag, applauding its existence! 

So Why has the new administration appointed John ‘APOT’ Ward to lead the council forward into the brave new world of Waverley? A man who has had a poor attendance record, and who hasn’t exactly shone in holding the Tories to account as a Farnham Resident! Well, we suppose a Farnham ‘POT’ is better than a ‘Farnham POTTY?’

Let us all live in hope, even if we die with disappointment and boredom, that after a year as Leader in Waiting, Paul Follows will become the head honcho we have all been waiting for? And just in case wannabe borough councillor Angela Richardson is reading this and believes the WW is the PF Fan Club?  We put our weight behind the people who communicate with the public and tell it as it is. Not those who treat the residents of our borough like mushrooms keep them in the dark, and throw a load of manure over them from time to time – ok?

We have looked back to find any previous examples of an administration holding power allowing the opposition to appoint the new Mayor. Perhaps one of our more enlightened followers will tell us? contact@waverleyweb.com

 

 

Will a Folk Concert herald the opening of the new Cranleigh By-Pass?

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It isn’t only Bramley’s By-pass Byham that wants to re-route the traffic – Cranleigh man wants to do it too!

And… on Monday ‘Your Waverley’ will give the go-ahead for a three-day concert at its Licensing Committee. A committee that has not even been officially formed yet!

I hear footsteps slowly walking
As they gently walk across a lonely f[ield]
And a voice that’s softly saying
Darling this will be goodbye for evermore

There goes my reason for living
There goes the one of my dreams
There goes my only possession
There goes my everything

As my memory turns back the pages
I can see the happy years we had before
And the love that kept this cold heart beating
Has been shattered by the closing of a [field]

Warbles Tammy Wynette, providing a fitting swan-song for Cranleigh’s latest green field, for a Folk Concert that is being promoted to herald the opening of the new Cranleigh By-Pass. All in the name of Charity!

Taking a leaf out of By-pass Byham’s book, Cranleigh’s movers-and-shakers (known locally as ‘pi**-takers’!) are also keen to re-route the traffic. And – if they cannot do it legally, they will do it by stealth!

 On Monday, ‘Your – oh so complicit – Waverley’s Licensing Committee will give them the go-ahead for the three-day event, which will be held annually. A Quasi-Judicial Committee that has not even been officially formed yet!

With yet another planning scalp tucked under its bulging belt on one part of the Knowle Park, the Knowle Park Initiative is now well on the way to creating By-Pass Stage One: Starting in Alfold Road and serving the new KPI/A-2 Dominion 75 home development, which includes an additional “emergency exit for emergency vehicles.”

Councillors Townsend (Cranleigh), Follows (Godalming) and Hyman (Farnham)  all questioned the need for the so-called ‘emergency access’ given that it hasn’t been requested by either the fire brigade or ambulance service because the spine road of the development is deemed sufficiently wide to take large vehicles.

On the back foot and only days away from shutting up shop for the elections, officers at ‘Your Waverley’ agreed, once again, to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted, saying, “in future applications [they would] ask the emergency services for their views on whether such accesses are necessary.”

WTF? You couldn’t make it up, really you couldn’t!

Anyone else detect a very strong stench of rotting fish in the state of Cranleigh?

Not least because we, at the Waverley Web, have never known another developer – like Barratt Homes, Berkeley Home, Cala Homes, Crest Nicholson, Millwood Homes or Uncle Tom Cobley Homes to ever seek similar alternative accesses for emergency vehicles!

 

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Here’s your Cranleigh Man – now with more time on his hands -to do the work? 

So when the WW heard from a Cranleigh follower that another ‘new access” – only temporary (of course!) – was required to take traffic for up to 5,000 people from Knowle Lane – through Knowle Park to Alfold Road – for a Folk Festival planned for September, every orifice began to twitch!

 

Below is a comment sent to contact@waverleyweb.com from Angry of Cranleigh:

Trees and hedgerows removed at their whim in the name of yet another charity – 1177, which is arranging a festival to raise money for the church? Really?

… look behind this and you will notice the start of a so-called ‘temporary road’ for Cranleigh’s very own Friar Tuck. Going to where? You may well ask!

To Robin Hood’s new development? This will increase the value of his housing with a straight road into Cranleigh’s Knowle Lane.

Where then, you may well ask? Another so-called charity wants another “emergency access” Down Snoxhall Road across our precious Downslink, across residents [AKA Parish owned])’ land outside the Bandroom and into the car park and village!

Of course, this will all be denied by the Fat Friar, Robin Hood and his merry men, all of whom will benefit greatly from this new temporary road, for which trees are currently being felled(!), making the Friar’s land ripe for even more development at some point in the future no doubt!

So poor old Cranleigh gets poorer by the day thanks to Robin and his merry men! Not only has its residents lost their land (we believe the land to which the writer refers was sold for a £1 to Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust (CVHT) by Cranleigh Parish Council for a so-called village hospital, which has now morphed into a private ‘Care Home’) and their money, now their High Street and Knowle Lane are permanently log-jammed and impassable due to HGVs, which is driving shoppers out of Cranleigh New Town.

And now it looks set to be closed off permanently so the lardy Friar Tuck and his motley men can get even lardier!.

By checking’YW” website it appears Cranleigh Parish Council had strongly objected to the application.

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As the new guard takes​ over Godalming – the​ old guard start by playing silly bu**ers!​

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Welcome to Godalming Town Council 2019-2023

Fresh from their election success the Rainbow Alliance has prompted a few changes which have gone down like a lead balloon.

Popular Godalming resident Penny Rivers became the Mayor of Godalming and Paul Follows takes the helm.

With faces resembling slapped asses, during those elections, the few remaining Tory councillors, opposed a very simple motion to sort out some outdated wording in the council’s Standing Orders. Taking note of the many female members of the new administration it was proposed that instead of ‘Chairman’ – the reference to the lead of committees becomes “Chair” so now the new mayor will no longer be referred to as the ChairMAN – but as The Mayor.

The plonker, who is one of only three Conservatives who remain, opposed the change and asked for his opposition to be recorded.

The Tosser was Cosser (as in Steve)

You would think, that at the first meeting of the new council, the Tories might have been chastened by their huge defeat and remained silent. Kept their powder dry for a real fight, over something substantial affecting Godalming. But oh! no, let’s put the boot in early and squash the upstarts. “Better to keep silent and be thought to be a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt?”

We will not even mention – perish the thought – that one of the Botts who got the boot – had to step into the previous Mayoral Role, whilst he serves Her Majesty!

Cllr Follows says that

“accessibility, equality and much-needed modernisation of the administration of the town council, in general, will be a constant of this new administration.”

“We will be sensitive to tradition and custom but it will not be at any and all cost. We will acknowledge and celebrate the rich history of our town but we will not exclude people because they ‘don’t fit a mould’ or type that some of the previous councillors tried to perpetuate.”

 

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Cllr PennyRivers The new Mayor of Godalming mentor and colleague of the new Chair of Godalming Town Council Paul Follows.

 

 

Jeremy Umm…

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We love this photo in today’s Guardian.  Sums up the state of ‘Your Waverley.’

Our MP Jeremy Hunt flounders on why people should vote Conservative

Tory leader hopeful fails to offer a compelling reason. He initially could only come up with: “Because you believe in Conservative policies.”

That’s right – how about closing Green Oak School in Godalming and promising NOT to build on Greenbelt land for starters?

And… guess what Mr Hunt – the public deserted the Tory party in their droves because they agree with you – they couldn’t think of a good reason either!

 

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You are all invited to run ‘Your Waverley.’

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The cross-party Rainbow Alliance of Labour, Greens, Lib Dems and Farnham Residents’ met to raise a glass and then get down to hard work writing the new policies for running Your Waverley. And yes, anybody could be involved. You don’t need to be a paid-up party member to be involved and shape your new council.

Crazy bonkers stuff? Different – yes – crazy no! Will this herald the changes we have all been waiting for? 

Just look at this fun-packed agenda from last Saturday below:

A Working Agreement for Waverley:
With Waverley Borough Councillors

Andy Macleod, Farnham Residents

Paul Follows, Liberal Democrats

Steve Williams, Green Party

Nick Palmer, Labour Party

Plus contributions from other Waverley Councillors: Farnham Residents, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Labour Party, Independents on their personal election story and key priorities.

11.15am Replenish your coffee and…

Group Discussions: Key Issues

• The Way Forward for Waverley
What are the key borough-wide issues that should be priorities for SWS Compass?

How do we support and inform our borough councillors?

• An Agenda for Godalming
What are the key issues for Godalming?

How do we support and inform our Town Councillors?

• An Agenda for Haslemere
What are the key issues for Haslemere?

How do we support and inform our Town Councillors?

• An Agenda for Farnham
What are the key issues for Farnham? How should progressives work with and through the Farnham Residents?

• The Godalming Compass
Looking ahead to the next edition of our magazine – said by some to have laid the groundwork for the progressive victories in Godalming.

12.00pm Feedback from Groups (5 mins each)

12.30pm Notices: Future Events – Planning

We look forward to seeing these discussions in the Council chamber next week! Indeed it must be the first time WW has had to tag The Labour Party as relevant in South West Surrey!

Just one criticism. Well, they did say everyone could help run Waverley!

We are well-aware Cranleigh – dubbed by the Tories as – “Poor Old Cranleigh,” is not considered to be a town. However, surely the wannabe new town, which is predicted to have another five thousand new homes within and nearby its conurbation should have its place on the new administration’s Agenda? The eastern villages have been the dumping ground for new homes for long enough.

Now a major developer is unloading further phases of its development sites to housing associations because they cannot sell homes already built. Why? Because the eastern villagers are being swamped with new homes. Homes built on flood plains.

Garbage only – no trash!

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…This is the notice ‘Cross of Cranleigh’ has suggested Surrey County  Council erects at its Community Recycling Centres!

Waverley Borough Councillors who believe the recent local elections were all about Brexit couldn’t be further from the mark according to many of the billet-doux that have been dropping into our inbox since the Tories’ recent election Armageddon.

Visitors to Cranleigh’s recycling centre at Nanhurst Crossroads have been irked beyond belief to discover that their so-called Community Recycling Centre is cutting back – yet again – on what it will accept. The list is endless but, to give you a flavour…

no more:

• black bag waste
• TVs and monitors
• carpets
• furniture including mattresses
• hard plastics
• garden chemicals and paint
• wood and timber
• roofing felt
• tyres

The powers that be claim this is a ‘trial’ whilst they ‘review alternative options for maintaining an effective service’ but the truth is, as many residents have already guessed, Nanhurst Recycling Centre was earmarked for closure but local residents kicked up such a rumpus that instead, the Council has embarked on a closure by stealth plan.

The first part of its cunning plan involved reducing the number of days the centre was open from seven days a week to three!

The second stage is to cut back on what can be recycled so drastically that they reduce the footfall at the centre …

The third stage will be to announce that footfall has decreased so dramatically that there’s insufficient demand so it is closing the site.

RESULT!

Meanwhile, vehicle emissions in the Borough will increase as Cross of Cranleigh, Ballistic of Bagshot, Defiant of Dorking and Worried of Warlingham have to drive all the way to Caterham (yes, you did read that right: CATERHAM – 30 miles and 58 minutes from CRANLEIGH!) to dispose of all of the aforementioned.

And they wonder why Fly Tipping is on the increase?! Durrhh!!! Who wants to spend a precious two hours of their spare time on a round-trip from Cranleigh to Caterham to dispose of their recycling?!

It wouldn’t be so bad if residents were being offered a discount on their Council Tax so they could offset their fuel costs and carbon emissions but, oh no, the Surrey plonkers  have the great distinction of having increased its Council Tax by 88.9% in real terms since 1997 – whereas Council Tax as a whole in England during that period has increased by 57%!!! according to the Taxpayers Alliance. A band H taxpayer in Waverley is shelling out £4,014 per annum this year, whereas the national average in the South-East is £1,814! Which begs the question, what is SCC doing with all this dosh? Shovelling it into their gold-plated taxpayer-funded pension schemes and funding shops here in Farnham?

And, whilst we’re on the subject of where does all our taxpayer money go, can anyone explain to us why Surrey is offering to produce its six-page Changes at Surrey’s Community Recycling leaflet in six different languages other than English? Including texts which, to our untutored eyes, appear to resemble Arabic, Cyrillic, Chinese, and Spanish – although we’re happy to be corrected if that’s not the case! According to the 2011 Census data, White was 90.4% of the ethnic population in Surrey. Therefore, if we need to save money, rather than cutting back on the number of recycling centres why don’t we cut back on the number of documents the Council translates into multiple languages if only 9.6% of the local population need a translation? Especially given that Google Translate offers the service for free!!!

So, Dear Mistress Milton and Dr Povey it’s not all about Brexit, it’s about GARBAGE! Get it? Sort it!

A health warning for the residents of Cranleigh.

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Do not criticise the following if you wish to remain a member of the Cranleigh Community Board run by Cranleigh Chamber of Trade’s head honcho Batty Bamford.

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  • Any businesses or restaurants where you may have experienced less than perfect service. OR YOU WILL BE OUT.
  • If you are a gipsy living in or around Cranleigh –  do not comment on the board – or you will be out!
  • NEVER EVER STAND UP FOR THE GIPSY POPULATION LIVING ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF CRANLEIGH! Or you too – Will be out!
  • Never ever, ask questions of the Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust.
  • Do not make any reference to the fact that it is no longer a hospital, but is a care home, and do not criticise or question the change/s.
  • Do not criticise or make comments about the huge amount of development now thrust upon Cranleigh. It is there to provide the shops with more footfall and is supported by ‘some’ members of the Chamber of Trade.
  • Don’t moan about traffic or parking problems.
  • Never post pictures of burnt jacket potatoes.
  • The board is there for you to wax lyrical over the delights of living in Cranleigh. If you don’t you’re out.
  • Don’t refer to Batty Bamford as the Cranleigh Dictator who has more fingers in pies than Greggs Bakeries. Our apologies if there is a bakery in Cranleigh?

If you want honest debate, join the alternative called the Cranleigh Community Group that is almost uncensored is run by Andy “Flash” Webb a Cranleigh villager, born and bred and who now lives in Alfold.

 

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Oh dear! It would appear we have upset the ‘mighty Bamford’ to whom Steve Taylor refers!

Now there we were thinking he was just Batty, but he actually tells porkies too. So we will remind him of this post below when he blocked a Dunsfold Gipsy (Tory Gaskin) who wrote to us over here in Farnham to tell us.

As for your comments about this site supporting developers. Correct. We support developers here in Farnham and in the rest of the borough who build on brownfield sites. Unlike you Mr Bamford who support not only development in the countryside, for your mates, but development on the Green Belt too. Tell the truth Mr Bamford, or someone will tell it for you.

Youth Crime and hate crime is rising in Cranleigh New Town and the Eastern Villages.

 

Will Nicky Barton’s result signal another big​ change? This time Surrey County Council?

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It came as no surprise to us here at the Waverley Web that an Independent won the Haslemere Surrey County Council  By-Election.  

She proved herself a formidable and hardworking councillor when she represented the Town from 2013.  Which is more than can be said for the Tory who replaced her, and became another CHINO – ‘Councillor Here in Name Only.’ He attended only 14% of council meetings!

And – another Tory bites the dust!

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These testimonials say everything about Nikki Barton.

With no party line to follow and, as someone living within the ward she is hoping to represent, Nikki has a proven track record of not only listening to the views of the community but, where necessary, taking appropriate action. A true community player with no hidden agenda, who I know will truly and honestly represent the issues and concerns of the people of Haslemere. Ken Griffiths, AKA Community Ken

The Rail Partnership has been a huge positive to Haslemere, Nikki and her team work very hard to promote Haslemere and what the town/area has to offer. Her work to put Haslemere on the map has surely had a profound effect on the number of visitors coming to the town and with our great location opposite the station this footfall has undoubtedly had an increased effect on the trade we receive. Manager, The Station House Hotel

Nikki Barton was a strong supporter of the local community and to me personally here in Haslemere in January 2017 when the Alzheimer’s Society decided to close the Dementia Day Care Centre where my husband and many others suffering from Dementia attended. Nikki recognised our local vision for the need to help keep this valuable service for Clients and Carers. She voiced our concerns at meetings at both local and County levels and stood beside those of us who were determined to keep this service operational. Without her unwavering encouragement, support and negotiating expertise, we would not have had the voice to bring about the opening of a new thriving Community Charity for dementia care in Haslemere, The Hunter Centre. I am proud to support and recommend Nikki as an Independent Candidate for SCC. Margaret Barlow, Trustee – The Hunter Centre

Our family has complex needs and we were struggling with different issues. Nikki quickly grasped what was needed and organised a meeting with head of Children & Family services (and other services involved) to ensure our family received more comprehensive and joined up support. We are grateful for her focused and pragmatic support. Mrs B. –  Haslemere

 

These further testimonials on the HASLEMERE FIRST FACEBOOK PAGE were from the time Nikki Barton was a candidate for the Surrey County Council elections that were held in May 2013. She was duly elected on 3rd May 2013, thanks to great community support.

It used to be said that if you cut Haslemere through its centre it would be blue all the way through. Times have changed and even the die hard Tories are disgruntled. We have had nothing but frustration and poorly thought out policies from our Tory council and councillors for the last 2 years at least. Haslemere is changing and voting Nikki Barton in as an independent councillor who has Haslemere as her priority is the way forward! I support her wholeheartedly! Viv Shorleson, Haslemere First page, Facebook

Coming out of Facebook hibernation to express my admiration and support for Nikki Bartonwho is running as an independent in the county council elections on Thurs 2nd May. I often find myself thinking that the only way to change things is to get involved and Nikki is certainly doing that, despite having three young children and volunteering locally. After spearheading the parking campaign in Haslemere last year, I think she sees that she can make a difference, putting issues ahead of party politics. Nikki, I salute you! Pamela Gimblett, Haslemere First page, Facebook

Good luck Nikki – you are a breath of fresh air! Georgie Cullen, Haslemere First page, Facebook

MANIFESTO TESTIMONIALS

Nikki is passionate about the Town in which she lives and is prepared to find time out of her busy schedule as a young mother to fight for the benefit of this our Town and the surrounding countryside. Unlike most other candidates who put their Political Party first, Nikki will always put the people of Haslemere and their wellbeing First and Foremost. Ken Griffiths, Manifesto Leaflet, Haslemere resident

Nikki cares about the future of the town and will listen to what local people think is important rather than follow the party political view. Julianne Evans, Manifesto Leaflet, Haslemere business owner, JL Nobbs

Nikki listens and she cares about people and their aspirations.  She is real and does not try to be what she is not.She knows she cannot be all things to all people but she will not fob them off with platitudes either. Robert Serman, Manifesto Leaflet, Haslemere resident

TWITTER TESTIMONIALS (@VoteNikkiBarton)

I have known Nikki for several years. She is loyal, trustworthy and passionate. Will be a superb councillor for Haslemere. Ian Holden, via Twitter

It’s a brave thing to do. To be an independent candidate in a Tory *stranglehold* @VoteNikkiBarton deserves support in #Haslemere on 2nd May. Melanie Rollinson, Woodie & Morris, via Twitter

Delighted ur on Twitter. Will support u! Your commitment and dedication to local life is admirable. Bisous. Xx @VoteNikkiBarton, Anna Marie Hunt, via Twitter

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The party may have gone to Pot – but the Potty one will be at the helm of a ‘New Look’ Tory group.

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Having turned her back on her Upper Hale residents in return for a safe seat in Frensham, Dockenfield & Tilford. Julia Potts has saved her skin to continue leading the Tory group at ‘Your Waverley.’ Having sacrificed her deputy, Ged Hall (“greater love hath no man than to give up his seat for his leader”)  she has Godalming’s Peter Martin at her side!Screen Shot 2019-05-09 at 18.46.49.png

 She says they will be forging a different style when the New Guard takes over the council on 21st May. She wants to “reconnect with residents,” and re-build the party.” Beaten but not bowed by the punishing message given last Thursday – she will lead, what is still the largest group on the council. Perhaps she will persuade her colleagues to start by:-

  • Not voting for totally unsuitable and damaging developments on flood plains in the eastern villages. Areas where infrastructure and amenities are poor, or non-existent? And… then referring to them as “poor old…”

 

  • Take notice of residents when they fill village and town halls to take votes of NO CONFIDENCE in your administration?

 

  • Listen, and hear residents’ concerns and instead of ignoring them, bear them in mind?

 

  • Be more open and transparent and admit to mistakes when they occur. Everyone makes them – just own up – the public would respect you for it.

 

  • Stop congratulating yourselves and officers.’ It is the officers’ job to provide reports and Self-congratulation is an unnecessary indulgence.

 

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  • Don’t treat new councillors in the opposition parties like pariahs. The public put them there and have given them the mandate to act on their behalf. Work with them for all our sakes?

 

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Here’s the man who called for Farnham to become Waverley’s first unpolitical town.

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And here’s just a small clip of what he said in the Farnham Herald.

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And here’s the man who worked tirelessly alongside his colleagues in the Farnham Residents’ Group to make it happen. Jerry Hyman – the new councillor for Farnham Firgrove.

jerrywithtapeonhisfaceHere’s a picture of Councillor Hyman when they tried to shut him up.

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And the Tories have the temerity to wonder why they have been kicked​ into touch in Farnham.

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Dangerous levels of dust detected

POTENTIALLY dangerous levels of dust have been recorded in Farnham town centre between the Brightwells and Woolmead construction sites in East Street.

Two major developments going ahead at exactly the same time? How dumb is that?

According to Waverley Borough Council data, levels of ‘PM10’ particulate matter reached as high as 189.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) at The Woolmead at 9am on April 24 – almost four times the legal limit.

It coincides with Berkeley Homes’ demolition of The Woolmead shopping precinct and Crest Nicholson’s demolition of the adjacent Redgrave Theatre.

The European Commission allows for 35 exceedances of its 50 µg/3 guidelines as a 24-hour mean per year. Council figures reveal levels of PM10 at The Woolmead have only exceeded this daily average three times this year.

However, alarming hourly spikes in PM10 have been recorded over the past month – with nine hourly exceedances recorded on April 7 and 23, and a dozen recorded on April 16, 17 and 18.

As the weather gets drier and construction of the Brightwells scheme ramps up, concentrations will likely increase – putting Waverley in danger of breaching the EU legal limit.

Responding, Stewart Harris, construction director at Berkeley Homes (Southern) East, said the Woolmead developer “has taken all reasonable measures to control disruption and pollution”.

He added: “Throughout the works, we have employed specialist demolition consultants to carefully monitor and regulate the works including minimising dust pollution.

“We are unaware of any significant increases to dust pollution during the demolition. We haven’t received any notable complaints from the local community about the levels of dust and will continue to monitor and mitigate the situation.”

A Crest spokesman added the developer has measures in place at Brightwells to eliminate “as much dust as possible”, including a wheel wash, road sweeper and mobile water suppression.

It was social media what did it for the Tories?

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Its called the blame game.

Thankfully – so far nobody is blaming the Waverley Web for the lambasting handed out to the Tories in last week’s elections. It is all down to the Godalming Community Board featured here.

Picture of Ged Hall complaining about the ‘anti-Conservative’ Facebook groups…

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The WW election picture caption competition​.

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Normally three’s a crowd but in this rainbow bromance – – nobody is missing the Blues.

Does this show the Leader and Deputy Leader of the NEW Waverley? Or, Will Farnham Residents’ be putting its candidate forward to lead YourWaverley?

Just a little gentle reminder about Leadership… So the same mistakes, made by the last lot, are not repeated. at ‘YW.’ 

Leadership is about humility. Don’t boast. Look after your team, do your job well, other people will sing your praises for you. It is not about bossing people around or controlling them, but about “giving subordinates the opportunity to express themselves, and to prove themselves. Give them the chance to be judged by you, and they won’t let you down.”

 

 

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From left to right. Cllr Paul Follows, Richard Ashworth and Steve Williams. Richard Ashworth https://twitter.com/richardalabour Labour Town Councillor for Godalming Central & Ockford
 Steve Williams, Waverley Councillor and Godalming Town Councillor for Godalming Charterhouse, who topped the votes in Charterhouse
Steve led the ‘Godalming Three’ expelled by Labour for supporting Louise Irvine against Jeremy Hunt:

The new face of ‘Your Waverley.

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As the dust settles on our ballot papers. The Farnham Residents, Liberal Democrats, The Greens,  Independent, and Labour in Waverley, are all filling the borough’s bottle banks.

So what of the Conservatives? Is Julia Potts tearing her hair out at the thought of facing four years in opposition?

No way, not the PottyOne we know. She will be setting out her stall before the ballot papers are cold and packed away. Just in case, that odd vote is found that could send Hindhead’s Peter Isherwood heading for the exit. He who has won his Hindhead seat on something resembling the flick of a coin! What a way to secure a seat? The WW  team hope he never graces a seat at the top table again!

Let us all hope that the Tories, after such a punishing smack, resist the excuse of blaming their Tory masters. But, instead take a good hard look at why the roll call of ousted colleagues is so long, in true blue Waverley:-

Pat Frost, Mike Hodge, Denise LeGal, Chris Storey, Wyatt Ramsdale, Nick Williams, Ross Welland, Ged Hall, Stewart Stennett, Jim Edwards, Carole King Tom Martin, Andrew Bolton, Rashida Nasir, Liz Wheatley, and more all GONE

Godalming’s Peter Martin only just hung in, Isherwood was pulled from the hat and Julia Potts herself only scraped in coming 2nd to her Tory partner. And, she had dumped her previous Farnham ward, which she would have surely lost to Farnham Residents. Farnham unceremoniously dumped her deputy leader Ged Hall, who had fallen on his sword,  giving up his Tilford seat to his leader.  No greater for his love hath no man for his leader than sacrificing his seat? Definitely no cause to let the red wine flow?

But some fine Tory councillors live to see another day – Kevin Deanus – uncontested and the indomitable Liz Townsend among them. She, and he will be carrying Cranleigh and Alfold’s banners regardless of the council make-up

There was much spluttering about 2 Labour successes, Labour in Waverley!!!

So here is a timely reminder. They follow in the distinguished footsteps of two of the finest councillors ‘YW’ has known. The late Harold and Elsie Denningberg. Harold was awarded the Freedom of the Borough – an honour achieved by few.

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What an achievement to see The Green Party in evidence at last. They take their places just as a landmark 1,800-page report hits the streets revealing one million species are at risk. More than at any time in Human History.

The United Nations report paints an alarming picture of species extinctions, declines in wildlife and habitat loss. And we must not forget the Independent. Well, done Jack Lee even your opponent Rosaleen Egan (UKIP) voted for you.

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Watch out Ms Potts – there’s a new species, on the prowl.  How are you going to shut up the man who has fought against the environmental damage which ‘YW” has ignored for so long?

Jerry Hyman, the member for Farnham’s Figrove will now be accompanied by a phalanx of Fifteen Farnham Residents’ from the length and breadth of Farnham. With the added bonus of  Farnham Residents holding power in the Town Council.

Last but certainly not least – Paul Follows, the man who has worked tirelessly to change the political face of Godalming. It was almost unimaginable when a young fresh-faced Paul Follows stepped across the hallowed threshold of Waverley Towers, just 18 months ago. It took only weeks for him to suss out there was much to be done out, both there and at the Town Council. Now, with the Bots booted, along with many other Tories- there could be a very stiff broom sweeping through both the town council and ‘YW.’

Cllr Follows a very media-savvy professional, didn’t play dirty, he played a highly intelligent and fair campaign. Even ensuring the Lib Dems and Greens stepped down for an Independent in Haslemere; the Greens and Lib Dems delivering each other’s leaflets. For his Herculean efforts, and his spirit of co-operation he has earned the respect of all. Now he will be rewarded when he takes his place alongside thirteen of his Lib Dem colleagues on Tuesday 21st May.

Godalming shows us all how political campaigning should be conducted.

NEXT STOP. INTERESTING TIMES?

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Godalming shows us all how political campaigning should​ be conducted.

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How refreshing to witness political campaigning Godalming style.

Perhaps we could all learn a lot from Shirley Wardell canvassing for The Green Party and Godalming, Farncombe and Catteshall’s new Waverley Councillor Penny Rivers.

Out pounding the town’s pavements together they delivered one another’s leaflets. This showed the sort of co-operation that should exist in these heady days when politics with a Big P, has become a dirty word.

Let us hope – that the same co-operation continues in the days ahead? if it doesn’t – then we shall ensure our readers know about it!

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One little anecdote that was passed on to us during polling day, which shows the Tories too – are all heart.

“Just joined the telling in Farncombe mid-morning, and the kind Conservative gentleman offered to share all his numbers.
Unfortunately, he’d spent the last 3 hours writing down an internal Waverley reference number rather than the Polling Card number!”

Bless him – it’s the thought that counts.