The WW has received literally hundreds of messages and comments from people living over there in the eastern villages of Waverley. Lack of space prevents us from including all your comments on our posts.
You may have seen many posts on our various groups pertaining to the planning application by the Cranleigh Village health Trust (CVHT) for a private Care Home and block of flats. All on a small area of land behind Marks and Spencer’s car park and a small residential area of private homes?
There are many private residents against this development. At least 4,600 minimum to be exact.
Another petition has just been launched. https://.www.change.org/campaigngroup
- Where has the money gone?
- Why did land have to be swapped?
- Where is the money coming from to build the Care Home and flats if their so-called ”partner” reneges on any verbal agreement – particularly as the company in question (HC-One) is millions of pounds in debt but still paying shareholders many millions in dividends?
- This is a Care Home, the beds of which are for anyone in the county – and they won’t necessarily be free at the point of entry; the FAQs state “After initial assessment some patients will need to self pay”.
Ash Barn, Church Lane, Monyash,
Derbyshire, DE45 1JH
When I first joined Cranleigh Medical Practice as a partner in 2002 the project to build a replacement health centre and village hospital was in progress. Initially, this seemed to me like a good idea. The old health centre and the wards in the village hospital were dilapidated, and there was great support for the project from the community. Indeed, a very large amount of money was raised by CVHT from the people of Cranleigh for it. At the heart of the project was the desire to replace the community beds which were under threat and subsequently closed by NHS Surrey.
However, five years ago, whilst I was still a partner at Cranleigh Medical Practice, there was no model of care agreed for the 16 community beds in the private nursing home (which the original replacement village hospital has now turned into) and I gather that this remains the case today. In my view, this is a fatal flaw for the project because, as we always used to say, you can stick a sign on the door which says “community beds”, but if there is no model of care and no secure funding stream agreed to utilize these beds, then these are just words. In which case the plans must surely be solely for a private nursing home. The original outline planning permission was granted for a replacement village hospital, not a nursing home. I would argue that another private nursing home is not needed in Cranleigh which is already a net importer of patients requiring private nursing home care. A fact which clearly demonstrates existing oversupply.
The twists and turns in the saga of this project caused me sleepless nights whilst I was working in Cranleigh because the original idea of community beds was attractive, but the many incarnations have all had the same fundamental problem. A private nursing home can make money if it’s big enough (clearly topping up the numbers with another 16 paying patients would help this equation), but genuine free at the point of delivery community beds are a massively expensive luxury, which I suspect renders them unaffordable in this setting. To me then, this has become another commercial private nursing home project which is why I object to the plans.
Anyone who drives this stretch of the A281 – as reported on Facebook – knows it is THE worst signposted road junction with the Downslink, which is so popular with cyclists.
A cyclist who died in a Rudgwick collision has been formally identified.
Around 10.45am on Wednesday, 22 July, police responded to reports of a road traffic collision involving a cyclist and a Renault HGV tipper lorry on the A281 Guildford Road, Rudgwick.
Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, 20-year-old Pathushan Sutharsan died at the scene.
Pathushan, known as Pathu, was taking part in a 120km charity bike ride for Yemen when the collision occurred.
His family have issued the following tribute: “Pathu was a compassionate, sensitive, generous and creative person who always had a positive outlook. He had a life board in his bedroom where he would write down all of his dreams and aspirations.
“Pathu was in his second year studying architecture at Brighton University, due to start his third year in September and was a very dedicated student.
“His passions were photography and singing; he had a music studio as his home in Morden, South London, which he was very proud of. Pathu was also very interested in You Tube and wanted to capture real life situations via his podcasts.
“Pathu was always thinking of others and this bike ride was no different. Although Hindu, he was participating in the charity ride to assist Muslims in the Yemen.
“One of Pathu’s mantras in life included: ‘Will you be proud of the things you have done?’
“Well, us and his friends, although devastated by our loss, are proud that Pathu passed away trying to save the lives of so many people.”
His secondary school headmaster, Mr Bean of WCGS said on behalf of all staff at the school: “Pathu was a much-loved student and studied art, chemistry and maths at A Level. He was a very talented musician, often found in the main hall playing the piano and led Radcliffe as house captain with passion and creativity. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”
Pathu’s Just Giving page for his charity ride has now raised more than £15,000. Let’s give it a boost – and let us all call for proper signage both on the Downslink and the A281 warning the thousands of HGV drivers and cyclists of the hazards ahead?
Police continue to appeal for anyone who witnessed the collision or who has dash cam footage to make contact with them. You can report information online or by calling 101 quoting Operation Oakford.
Still battling against the anti-social behaviour Mr Hunt? Or is that only an election-time occupation?
When the BBC asked ‘Bob The Builder’ Jenrick today what he intended to do about the 1m homes already consented but not built, he stayed Shtum.
Now we ask MP’s Jeremy Hunt and Angela Richardson? Do you also intend to stay silent on the subject? If so, WHY? Because many of those consented homes are in Waverley, and on your patch!
And Angie’s patch is under threat because Surrey County Council has its beady eye on Cranleigh! If The Government gets its way, which it will – Cranleigh’s floodgates will literally, be opened. Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.
More than a million homes granted planning permission in the past decade have not yet been built, according to new analysis by the Local Government Association.
Latest figures show that 2,564,600 units have been granted planning permission by councils since 2009/10 while only 1,530,680 have been completed.
The number of planning permissions granted for new homes has almost doubled since 2012/13 with councils approving 9 in 10 applications. But according to ‘Bob’ that’s not enough and great swathes of the countryside must now go under concrete, to provide jobs for the building industry?
While in some cases there is a time lag between permission being granted and homes being built, new build completions have only increased by half as much in that time.
Alongside the Government, councils have recognised the shortage of housing and the need to build more homes.
In Waverley’s case thousands of new homes have been consented and one major new garden village on a brownfield site at Dunsfold aerodrome. where 2,600 new homes are planned.
However, the backlog of unbuilt homes shows the planning system is not a barrier to house building. The Local Government Association has called on the Government to use its planning white paper to give councils powers to take action on unbuilt land which has planning permission.
This includes making it easier to compulsory purchase land where homes remain unbuilt, and to be able to charge developers full council tax for every unbuilt development from the point that the original planning permission expires.
With the right powers and funding, the LGA said councils can play a leading role in helping the Government tackle the national housing shortage.
As part of its submission to the Treasury ahead of next month’s Budget, the LGA is also calling for the Government to reform Right to Buy, by allowing councils to keep all of the receipts of homes sold under RTB to replace them and to have the flexibility to set discounts locally.
Cllr David Renard, LGA housing spokesman, said:
“The planning system is not a barrier to house building. The number of homes granted planning permission has far outpaced the number of homes being built.
”No-one can live in a planning permission, or a half-built house where work on a site has begun but not been completed.
“Councils need powers to tackle our housing backlog and step in where a site with planning permission lies dormant and house building has stalled.
“If we are to solve our housing shortage, councils need to be able to get building again and resume their role as major builders of affordable homes.
“It is also vital that the planning process is protected, so that councils and communities can ensure we realise the Government’s ambition of building beautiful homes, which includes the necessary infrastructure and affordable housing.”
Planning Permissions (units)
Dunsfold drilling plans to be decided again after refusal ruled “invalid”
Remember guys and gals, this is the same outfit that wants to become your Unitary Authority and make all our decisions!
The decision to refuse planning permission for oil and gas exploration in Dunsfold has been ruled invalid following problems during a “remote” council meeting. You can read how the Waverley Web predicted – trouble ahead – here…UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now?
Five weeks ago, councillors voted by six votes to five against plans by UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG) to drill and test vertical and sidetrack wells, despite council planning officers’ recommendation to approve.
The meeting was the first remote session of the committee, where members took part by video link from home.
The live feed of the meeting repeatedly dropped out and one member of the committee could not be heard.
The application will now be brought back to a future meeting of the planning committee – probably on 17 September – to be decided again
Surrey’s monitoring officer, Paul Evans, said there was:
“a significant likelihood that the irregularities arising from the technical difficulties at the meeting on 29 June 2020 render the resolution to refuse invalid and would render any notice of refusal unlawful.
“The most appropriate and fairest course of action is to take the application back to committee. This is what the Council has decided to do. “In the circumstances the Council will in due course resubmit the application to the Planning and Regulatory Committee to be redetermined afresh with full entitlement given to members of the public and the applicant to make or remake their statements orally and with full provision for debate by members.”
A spokesperson for UKOG said:
“We welcome the chance to restate why the low-impact Loxley project is of material local and national economic importance, is fully compliant with Net Zero, and presents minimal local business, local highway and environmental impacts.
“We trust that the 17 September re-run will result in a decision fully commensurate with the facts presented, natural law and fair democratic process.”
A spokesperson for Protect Dunsfold, which opposes UKOG’s plans, said:
“Obviously we would prefer that this decision had stood but it is clear from the statement issued by Surrey that this has been referred back on legal advice because of technical problems on the day.
“We have every reason to expect that the Committee reaches the same decision for the same planning policy reasons when it is referred back to Committee and we see no reason why it shouldn’t do so.”
UK Oil & Gas plc complained that there had been deficiencies in the decision-making process and asked for the application to be redetermined. DrillOrDrop understands there were also complaints from members of the public.
The complaints included:
- The live stream of the meeting dropped out
- Part of a speech by a councillor in favour of the plans may not have been heard by participants
- A councillor speaking in favour may not have been heard by another councillor who was “waiting in the lobby” to access the meeting
- A councillor could not be heard and had to use hand gestures and the private chat function to register his vote. He also appeared to be away from this screen at one point during the meeting.
- Some councillors were helped by people who were not members of the committee
On some of these complaints, the council’s barrister concluded the meeting may have breached regulations:
“these were issues of greater concern, particularly given the close vote by which the resolution was passed.”
Surrey’s planning procedures require committee members to decline to vote unless they were present when an item was discussed. Under the remote meeting regulations, members are not deemed to be present unless they could hear and be heard.
The barrister said:
“There were times during the consideration of the application at the meeting when members would not be considered to be in attendance as a matter of law.”
One councillor may also have been deterred from seeking the opportunity to speak because of problems with the technology.
The barrister concluded:
“there was a significant likelihood that a Court would declare the resolution as invalid and unlawful, not least in light of the clear consequences of the Regulations.”
Other issues raised in complaints were “not necessarily fatal on their own”, the barrister said, but “would not help the impression that would be received if the matter went to Court”.
- Lack of a summary of the salient points of the debate before the decision
- Occasions where other household members appeared on screen with councillors, leading to potential suspicion of inappropriate influence from people not attending the meeting
- Councillors used a private chat function to pass messages to each other during the meeting
The barrister said:
“Whilst it may well be the case that family members were simply assisting with the technology, there is the risk of a perception of unfairness.”
The investigation dismissed complaints that specific councillors breached the council’s code of conduct and planning protocols. The barrister concluded:
“All issues raised were due to the meeting being undertaken remotely with members being at home in the proximity to other household members to assist in the use of IT equipment or due to technical errors with equipment.
“This was a new experience for members and it is appropriate that if members found themselves in a position where it could appear there were alleged breaches of the code/protocol, that these be addressed with further training in how remote meetings must be conducted rather than any formal investigation.”
Well – they are going, going, gone – according to Your Waverley!
The bins, that were popular receptacles for recycling during lock-down when the borough’s recycling centres were closed, are going. In fact, some have already gone!
The so-called “Bring Sites’ are being phased out as the range of kerbside services widens.
WW cannot help wondering if we will all have to buy even more bins, or will everyone just stick their unwanted stuff in black bags or, even worse fly-tip? Surrey County Council is onto a winner here. It saves shedloads of money by either closing or reducing the opening hours of its CRC sites, and pushes the rubbish down the line to local councils to deal with?
Apparently, bin crews are dealing with much more rubbish – up around 14%. No surprise there then?
We are not eating out, we aren’t in our offices, our children aren’t at school we eat at home. So how do we produce less waste?
Lingering in the shallows of a south Norfolk pond, voracious amphibians rest ahead of a night gorging on slugs, worms and insects. The pool network, long grasses and shrubs in Silfield newt reserve are a perfect habitat for the great crested newt. Boris’s latest pantomime villain.
The UK’s largest newt takes its name from the striking, jagged crest that males display in the spring breeding season. It is a protected species under British law, thanks to the EU Habitats Directive, which the prime minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, had a key role in creating. Despite that, its numbers have declined rapidly over the past 60 years.
An unlimited fine and up to six months in prison await anyone found guilty of disturbing the newt’s resting places and breeding sites or taking their eggs, yet the Local Government Association says it is not aware of any evidence to suggest “newt-counting” is causing delays to housing developments in England and Wales. We can recount a couple of instances in Waverley, but nothing that caused delays.
“Great crested newts have become the comedy pantomime villain of nature conservation,” says Jeremy Biggs, director of the Freshwater Habitats Trust.
Developers are obliged to take care of great crested newts if the amphibians are believed to be on-site or nearby under rules overseen by Natural England. Until the last few years, protecting the amphibians when their habitats were being destroyed by developments centred on catching and counting them and moving them to compensation ponds.
Great crested newts were mentioned eight times in Sajid Javid’s https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/590463/Fixing_our_broken_housing_market_-_accessible_version.pdf
Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, published in 2017 under Theresa May’s government. The paper criticised the “excessive bureaucracy” involved in their protection.
But a fresh approach to the conservation of great crested newts by Natural England and the use of new technologies when surveying habitats, such as DNA analysis and even, in the case of one water company the use of a springer spaniel trained to detect amphibians has rapidly reduced delays. the use of a springer spaniel trained
As Government prepares to open the flood gates to developers – perhaps Bob the Builder Jenrick and his mates Boris the bulldozer and Cummins the? (we will leave a space here for your own personalised description) should look at the one million planning consents not yet implemented?
A day or two ago Cll Liz Townsend referred in the post here to homes consented, but not yet built. We could list a shedload of developments in our borough that remain green fields whilst the same developers say: The fight to stop Surrey County Council’s power grab has begun. If Surrey gets its way for a single Unitary Authority its new growth areas in its 2050 Vision come into play. So here in Farnham and Cranleigh our countryside is under attack! Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages and Farnham
How about, homes consented, but not built after say – three years, -should be long enough for developers to get all their diggers lined up… that they are forced to pay council tax, until they are? This could then be doubled, or even triped the longer the properties remain unbuilt. There is a case here in Farnham with Berkeley Homes. Others in Cranleigh, Godalming and the villages around where sites are surrounded by metal fences to keep wildlife out, or in, as th case may be to keep them in?
‘Your Waverley’ must build homes at the rate included in its Local Plan. If it doesn’t, under Gvernment rules it is not meeting its housing supply. Hence Inspectors then have the opportunity to grant appeal, after appeal.
It appears quite extraordinary to us mere mortals here at the Waverley Web that developers are allowed bank all those consents until they can maximise their profits.
This is not the first time that our MP’s Jeremy Hunt and former MP Anne Milton were reminded of this. Now, perhaps Mr Hunt and Angela Richardson will press for change when the shake-up of planning regulations come into force shortly. Oh! we mustn’t forget the public consultation that comes first – so he who must be obeyed can tell Parliament that the voting fodder have had their say!
We need to get the system changed – and changed now.
In th meantime – don’t let’s blame Waverley for the planning decisions it will be forced to make under the automatic green light for building in the biggest shake-up to hit this country since the second world war!
No more familiar yellow notices on lamp posts, or notices in local papers! Bob The Builder Jenrick wants us to view them digitally.
As you may be aware in a blatant – rather underhand way the head honchos at Surrey County Council are engaged in a power grab. A grab that could see our county dubbed ‘the biggest single Unitary Authority in Britain’ if not Europe – with a population of 1.2+m.
We have been saying for years here on the Waverley Web that local government reorganisation is long overdue. In 2013 Tory-controlled Waverley pledged it would cut the number of councillors from 57 to 53. Instead, it kept the number at the same level and increased Cllrs allowances by 94%! Has made huge payouts to failing Chief Executives and has invested unwisely here in Farnham.
However, credit it where it’s due in recent years councils, regardless of party, have shared expertise and worked together in a bid to save manpower and money. But, more change is urgently needed particularly post-COVID. But certainly not with the unseemly and ill-thought-out haste currently proposed by our County Leaders. Pick up 11 borough and district councils, lump them all into a big bag, shake them out… nd up pops a weasel?
Over the coming weeks/months here at the Waverley Web, will highlight some of the awful errors made by Surrey County Council.
Suffice to say – to highlight them all would require a book!
Some glaring examples that stand out among all others are (a) shocking and dangerous road and pavement repairs: Just like these below all taken in ‘Your Waverley.’ A TV programme on Liverpool revealed that even in a street where houses were being sold for £1 they had better roads and pavements than Surrey.
If Local Authorities we’re ranked Surrey would come last. What have the punitively taxed Surrey residents done to deserve such abuse?
Prompting graphics like this!
For years Surrey Highways has been operating a ‘tick-box’ exercise when dealing with planning applications. Time and again local councillors, attempt to do their jobs properly armed with in-depth knowledge of local traffic conditions in the areas they represent. Using any highway grounds as an objection means zilch!. Highway concerns are ignored and hey ho, off the developers go. What do they leave behind? Simples – accidents, near misses and angry and frustrated locals.
Frustrated for being continually ignored – many councillors just give up to spend more with family. A Cllr dubbed ‘the Cranleigh lorry driver’ once pointed out that it would be physically impossible to drive a vehicle without causing huge traffic danger into an Ewhurst development. He said vehicles were too wide for the one-way road and would destroy the hedges and gardens in on neighbours properties. It was approved. They did. No hedges, and series of traffic dangers every day! With mounting incredulity, they ask: How can highway officers’ come to their conclusions when they don’t even visit sites? Instead, they conduct ‘a desk-top’ exercise and scupper any meaningful decision. A decision which borough’s and districts in Surrey cannot challenge at appeal.
WW believes it should be mandatory for highway officers to visit a site – before putting forward any view. Recently SCC’s planning committee was poised to permit large-scale oil and gas exploration on a site in Dunsfold. A site which councillors had not visited. But would be offered a virtual drone tour of the area. How shambolic is that? Only public protest prevented the hearing. Subsequently, it was refused – but with no highway objection.
We could list thousands of cases – East Street, Farnham; Badshot Lea; Ockford Park, Godalming; Milford Golf Course; Amlets Lane; Cranleigh; Cranleigh Rd Ewhurst; Wildwood Lane, Cranleigh the list is endless…
The most recent in Witley:
This week Cllr Paul Follows and Cllr Maxine Gale drew a line in the sand and deferred an item on Rokes Lane in Witley. They demanded that Surrey Highways come back and review the issues and the consequences of the development on the area – in person – and give a proper comment.
Let’s see how that goes! Well done Cllr Maxine Gale for seconding Cllr Follows’ motion to defer this application which the planning committee then supported.
As letters continue to pour in – For and Against CVHT’s latest planning application – villagers have unveiled the man behind the scheme? Watch this space!
So it is not only eastern villages residents who want answers from Cranleigh Village Health Trust – Cranleigh Parish Council wants answers too!
Here’s a PDF of its actual letter:
Planning application WA/2020/0965 Erection of a building to provide a 64 bed care home with 16 community beds together with a building to provide 14 health worker accommodation units with access from Knowle Lane, associated parking and ancillary work (revision of WA/2018/1966)
• Response as a local authority having regard to the public interest of its parishioners.
The Parish Council discussed this planning application with the regard to the public interest of its parishioners. Concerns were raised about the benefit of the community beds to the Cranleigh community.
Questions were asked about the exact usage of the beds with regards to care, nursing, Alzheimer’s, post op and/or mother and baby care and how the provision of community beds in the CVHT care home differ in funding and allocation to the provision of NHS/Surrey funded beds in any other care home.
Q The Council would like to know the exact usage of these proposed community beds as this is currently unclear?
Q The Council would also like to know what the exact financial community benefit of the beds is and how this differs to other NHS/Council funded beds and how they would be allocated.
Q The Council also asked for confirmation of how the viability of the community beds had been assessed. The Council would like CVHT to clarify the qualifying criteria and to confirm it to Waverley Borough Council.
Q The Parish Council would like CVHT to clarify to us and to Waverley Borough Council the qualifying criteria for the proposed accommodation block as this is currently unclear. Is the accommodation for key workers or local healthcare workers? Should this application progress the Parish Council would like to see any appropriate qualifying criteria and allocation process secured through a legal agreement rather than a condition. We would also like to highlight that there is still no clarity on the legal agreement and connection between the care home and the separate accommodation block. This must also be established.
• Response as adjacent landowner and beneficiary of the restrictive covenant.
The Parish Council discussed this planning application as adjacent landowner and beneficiary of the restrictive covenant. The Council’s concerns are:
• Impact on the ASVI and views to and from the playing field and from Village Way.
• Flood risk – Concerns were raised that whilst the applicant may have mitigated flooding on their site, the discharge into the watercourse would have a cumulative impact, along with other significant local development on residents further downstream.
• Noise and disturbance from the development – odours, noise from machinery and equipment installed in the buildings for heating, cooling or circulating/extraction of air, light pollution. The overall impact on neighbouring amenity particularly on John Wiskar Drive and the Berkeley Homes development on Knowle Lane from what is a 24-hour business operating on site and its associated traffic, in addition to noise pollution impacting Snoxhall Fields and the loss of rural amenity to the recreation ground.
2 • Highway safety – Cumulative impact of additional traffic movements from this development, the Berkeley Homes development, and the operation of the commercial premises on Knowle Lane, particularly the long standing independent garage operating towards the junction of Knowle Lane which requires the parking of vehicles outside, reducing that area of the road to one lane.
The Council also wants to highlight the impact of this development on the dangerous pedestrian crossing between Knowle Lane and High Street as well as the impact on the crossing point from Snoxhall Fields to the Bruce MacKenzie Playing/Football Field.
Here’s a pretty picture of the county of Surrey – which could become a behemoth – Council with 1.2m residents called The Surrey Unitary Authority!
Why? Simples: As Cllr Liz Townsend said at ‘Your Waverley’s’ Full Council meeting recently, The fight to stop Surrey County Council’s power grab has begun.
Cllr Liz Townsend called the county bid “discourteous and predatory” and saw an even darker scenario behind the bid.
“This is an attempt to cut out and weaken the local planning process. To open the doors to development on more green fields. We would be better served to tell the Government that there are currently one million homes granted planning consent that have not yet been built and that is the real uncut truth.”
And here’s the man leading the power grab – Leader Tim Oliver.
In Tim Oliver’s letter to the Secretary of State asking for Surrey to become a Unitary Authority includes this sentence:-
“We can build more homes more quickly and develop the high streets and town centres of the future, but to do this we need to streamline decision making on planning and infrastructure with a single clear strategic approach.
We can tackle inequality and level up within Surrey to ensure inclusive growth. We can reach net-zero carbon emissions and deliver a greener future. Our One Surrey Growth Board is well-placed to provide the place-oriented leadership and strategic co-ordination to deliver this.”
Want to know which areas have been earmarked on Oliver’s Surrey Growth Board?
You can read about those areas here: Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.
The Government will publish a Recovery and Devolution White Paper in the autumn, setting out its plans for the devolution of powers, freedoms and flexibilities alongside intentions to increase the number of unitary and combined authorities and elected Mayors. Doing so will support the achievement of the 2030 Community Vision for Surrey.
‘Your Waverley’ (YW) will stand with the 11 other borough and district councils in the county to stop Surrey County Council’s bid to abolish them lock, stock, and wheelie bin.
Almost to a man and woman, Waverley’s Full Council opposed a county bid for a behemoth Unitary Authority of 1.2m people.
YW, with the exception of two Tory councillors – Peter Martin – a Surrey County Councillor, and Steve Cosser who abstained; have agreed to work with other Surrey authorities to prepare an alternative proposal for re-organisation. This would prevent Surrey becoming England’s biggest single, non-metropolitan, unitary authority.
Tim Oliver (above) Surrey’s leader has asked Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick to make the county a unitary authority – a preemptive strike before a Government White Paper on Unitary Authorities is published in the Autumn.
One councillor after another from every Waverley group or party – Independent; Tory; Labour; Greens and Farnham Residents’ Group registered their “disgust” that neither they, or any other Surrey borough’s leaders had been consulted before the plans were announced in the local government press. Cllr Oliver had, however, engaged with Surrey’s MP’s and in Waverley’s case Jeremy Hunt and Angela Richardson. It is believed the leader of Woking Borough Council – may be backing Oliver’s deal – now dubbed – ‘we want more.’
When Waverley’s Leader John Ward addressed the zoom meeting he called the idea of a “monolithic” single authority “absurd, and “a misguided and blatant power grab.” Although “some” reorganisation was appropriate, this proposal would not serve Waverley residents’ well. “That’s what we are all here for – to do what is best for the residents of Waverley. “
Others were not opposed to some reorganisation but were against the county council’s unseemly rush to create such a huge organisation.
The general opinion was that a single unitary authority is too large and would have a detrimental impact on the social cohesion of the communities within each of the boroughs and districts. Cllr Simon Clark, said the usual size for a UA was between 300,000/400,000 and this rushed exercise was aimed at avoiding next year’s county council elections.
Elections that the Waverley Web does not believe will result in a Tory-controlled council.
Cllr Nick Palmer – asked what is it that has driven this ill-thought-out attempt borne out of desperation and panic? Is it a cost-saving exercise by the government? “Let’s keep Local Government local.”
Peter Clark challenged Tim Oliver and his “power-grabbing band” to give the electorate of Surrey a chance to vote on alternative options. “Don’t be timid Tim and try to postpone next year’s county elections because that would not be democratic.”
Cllr Carole Cockburn warned that time was of the essence – and Waverley and others must not be overtaken by events, must mount a robust opposition by producing a strong case. “I am amazed at the way this has been done, but if we don’t propose something it will be imposed upon us.”
However, her Tory colleague Steve Cosser didn’t agree. He believed the residents of Waverley didn’t care who provided the services they needed as long as they were. There was a strong case for economies of scale.
Others said – they had wanted SCC abolished for years, saying it cannot even convince Offsted that it is competent to run its children’s services. Another asked,
“would you want the people who deal with our pot-holed roads to empty your bins?
Cllr George Wilson claimed: Surrey was an authority which had shown it couldn’t even hold a virtual planning meeting – e.g. The recent UK Oil & Gas planning application – which he described as “A fiasco.” UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now?
“They call this devolution when in reality it moves power and accountability further away from the voters. The sheer hubris displayed is breath-taking. Surrey is too big for a single unitary authority, and the timing of these proposed changes, given the pandemic, the economic crisis, and with the reality of Brexit looming, is completely reckless.”
Cllr Liz Townsend called the county bid “discourteous and predatory” and saw an even darker scenario behind the bid.
“This is an attempt to cut out and weaken the local planning process. To open the doors to development on more green fields.We would be better served to tell the Government that there are currently one million homes granted planning consent that have not yet been built and that is the real uncut truth.”
The WW understands that a letter is to go from, all but one or two local authorities to the Secretary of State voicing their concern and that the relevant chief executives would work together to put forward alternative proposals.
Guildford Borough Council has suggested a contribution of £10,000 from each authority to commission the work looking at this further.
Joss Bigmore (R4GV, Christchurch), who is expected to become GBC leader in September under the power-sharing agreement, said:
“R4GV is very supportive of this co-ordinated approach from the boroughs and districts of Surrey. We will not accept being told what is good for us by a county council that is more interested in Westminster and a ruthless desire to stay in power than what residents actually want and voted for in their thousands last May.
“They call this devolution when in reality it moves power and accountability further away from the voters. The sheer hubris displayed is breath-taking. Surrey is too big for a single unitary authority, and the timing of these proposed changes, given the pandemic, the economic crisis, and with the reality of Brexit looming, is completely reckless.
“There has to be a proper public consultation on the various options proposed but it seems SCC has already made their mind up on their preferred political solution, so how seriously they are looking at the actual business cases remains to be seen.
“We, with our partners across the county, will show our residents there is a better way, consolidation to improve efficiency without becoming detached from the very people who elect us.”
“The full [Guildford Borough] council has not debated this matter. It appears to have been promoted by Tim Oliver of SCC with Surrey MPs, following government pressure for devolvement, but without early engagement with local borough councils or residents and businesses.
“GGG advocate full transparency and involvement of all interested parties with a proper due consultation process.”
The man who heads the Charity kicked off yet another row when he went head to head with leading protestors at a vigil in Cranleigh on Saturday. But it came straight from the Charity’s mouth that it has no Care Home partner and there is no plan B!
Dr Robin Fawkner-Corbett (DR FC) tackled members of the group protesting against a new 64 bed Private Care Home and 16 community beds, during a showdown on Cranleigh High Street on Saturday.
One couple of shocked passers-by contacted the Waverley Web. saying that the group was simply handing out leaflets urging people to object to the use of former parish-owned-land behind M & S in Knowle Lane for a private care home. The land was once earmarked for a replacement hospital/day hospital with funds donated by villagers.
The couple said: We live in Cranleigh so please don’t mention our names – as this whole business is tearing Cranleigh apart including the closure of the once-popular community board.
It appears that anyone objected on the board to the forthcoming CVHT planning application: Here’s the link: http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/planning you were blocked by the administrators and the group of protestors said this was confirmed by the Dr.FC.
Days later a new board was set up by Bamford & Co, the charity’s front-man together with other members of his family, and a Cranleigh Parish Councillor. Thousands of its former members are furious that the popular board has been dumped and has been hijacked!
The couple said – “This whole saga which has plagued the village for 20 years is having a very damaging effect on Cranleigh and is a stain on its reputation. There is so much bad feeling here, and with COVID and BREXIT haven’t we enough to worry about?”
They claimed villagers in Cranleigh and the nearby villages wished the plans could be halted until there was a proper public meeting when all their concerns could be addressed.
They said they were shocked to overhear a well-respected former Cranleigh Health practice GP quarrelling aggressively in the street. Particular as he or his fellow Trustees have repeatedly refused to appear in a public venue to answer residents’ very valid questions.
We understand from the group, that they had been under the watchful eye of ‘Bamleigh’s Stasi’ from outside David Manns department store, the group was expecting trouble but was shocked that it came from the charity’s chairman and not the Charity’s lapdog.
The main inquisitors – we will mention no names for fear of further reprisals in Stasi-controlled Cranleigh – did manage to obtain some hard facts.
- DR FC He confirmed there was no signed partnership agreement with HC-One the private provider that is named in its planning application and on its website as its key stakeholder.
- DR FC did not have an answer to what would happen if no future provider came forward for the Care Home, and what would happen if the proposed development fell flat.
- The Trust – which collected several million pounds of villagers money – for a new hospital and day hospital, on former parish land, now confirms it has no financial partner for the circa £30m development. Which confirms telephone conversations villagers have had with HC-One’s head office.
- Campaigners against the scheme told him how abysmally the Public Relations had been handled, as any dissenters had either been shut down, blocked completely on the Cranleigh Community Board and/or vilified on Bamleigh’s personal Radio Station. Which, we understand has now been dubbed “The Stasi’s Bamleigh Radio.”
- He also confirmed that the benefactor for the residential block of 12 1/2 bedroom flats is former Trustee and property developer Nick Vrijland, who resigned in December and who, it is believed, has now moved away from the village.
- WW understands another Trustee name has gone AWOL from the Charity’s Website? Mr David Barry. (Our next post? – where have all the Trustee’s gone?
- UPDATE PS. We understand from a local informer Mr Barry is still a Trustee and appears on the new CVHealthT website. Our apologies to Mr Barry.
A former Chairman of the Trust – Mr Peter Nutting – himself a Ewhurst property developer – said in a letter to the planners this week.
“I now live in Hampshire and so would not benefit personally from this wonderful initiative by the people of Cranleigh. I was however chairman of the Trust from 2003 to 2006. I have some sympathy for the residents of John Wiskar Drive objecting ( not in their backyard) …”
So presumably living in Hampshire he now believes the residents of an adjacent Waverley housing development in Wiskar Drive are Nimbies?
Letters for and against the development are now piling onto Waverley’s planning portal.
Or was it all a tale of political point-scoring – and the decision to include the Alfold Councillor in the New Dunsfold Advisory Board was made weeks ago?
You can read the questions Cllr Kevin Deanus posed at the Full Council virtual meeting this week, and the answer he received from Leader John Ward. Not, we might add, Cllr Ward’s finest moment!
It would appear that the whole show over the airwaves was a bit of a sham – as the decision on who was going to serve on the controversial board to oversee the New Dunsfold Garden Village was in chef’s speak ‘one that had been made earlier.’ A decision that Cllr Deanus was either probably, or could quite easily, have been aware of?
It was spats all round when the Full Council met on ZOOM this week – first The Leader John Ward and Alfold’s Cllr Kevin Deanus –
Then later Elstead’s ‘Aunty Elsey’ (Cllr Jenny Else) went for the throat of Paul Follows for daring to say at a previous council meeting that she obtained and then used information from social media, perish the thought! She was of course referring to Facebook and not the Waverley Web. She wouldn’t read this scurrilous blog – however her husband does.
The fracas surrounds the new administration’s decision not to renew the Broadwater Park Golf Club’s lease. This overturning a Tory’s decision which, by the way, it took years to make. The site now forms part of Waverley’s Property Investment Strategy – at a time when every penny counts.
However, as is Aunty Elsey’s style – armed with only half the facts, facts she could determine if only she only took trouble – instead went off at half-cock going for the jugular of the messenger.
The spots were practically jumping off Aunty Elsey’s leopard-skin top – sometimes she wears zebra stripes having a penchant for the out-of-Africa look – when she went in for the kill and demanded an apology.
In her best schoolmarm voice, she ranted about the councils’ “disgraceful and dishonourable” treatment of the Broadwater Golf Club and the way she alleges it has been treated by the council for not renewing its lease. She referred to the Deputy Leader’s “hubris.” She said Cllr Follows had dared to question the ethics of a colleague. ‘Not allowed in Waverley’s Code of Conduct,’ she roared!
It appears the minutes referred to Aunty Elsey gaining some of her information from Godalming’s social media board. She repeated the dreaded SM word over and over again.
“Untrue” the leopard roared! “You must treat your colleagues with more respect.”
She claimed she speaks to lots of people and gained her information about the controversial issue from letters and emails from local residents and not from social media. Aunty Elsey, who regularly uses social media particularly during elections, obviously doesn’t really like social media, unlike her councillor husband who really likes social media, and will probably respond to this post on the Waverley Web? She said references to her using SM – that is… social media and not Sado-Masochism – perish the thought, added “insult to injury” she said when it was included in the minutes of the Executive Meeting and she wants the minutes changed. However, Cllr Follows said not only would the minutes not be changed – they would be ‘improved upon.’
Then out came the normally gentle Cllr Follows’ claws:
“You lifted the comments from the Godalming Community Board on May 8 verbatim – I did not say that you were not contacted by others. However, I would urge you to remember the legal confidentialities here. Acting precipitantly without being aware of all the facts is potentially dangerous!”
Oh! come on Cllr Follows, do you really expect Aunty Elsey to make herself aware of the facts or stop act precipitantly when she has been doing that for years? Surely you don’t expect her to break the habits of a lifetime!
Of course, as always, Aunty Elsie believed she had the last word – The leopard roared again! – ‘Don’t you belittle me, Cllr Follows, I don’t have to answer to you. I represent the people of Waverley and have done so for nine years. Stop this now or you will answer in front of the Monitoring Officer. OMG – not Robin Taylor! Is that the sound of Cllr Follows’ knees shaking we can hear from over here in Farnham!
Then Blessed be the peacemaker Mayor Dr Penny Marriott held up her hands indicating ENOUGH! Saying – take your argument outside! Jolly good job the meeting was on Zoom?
So – will it be pistols at dawn over the simple matter of where Aunty Elsey gets her information from? Perhaps someone should tell her? – Mainly from the dreaded word that we won’t mention?
As you will read in the post above Alfold’s Councillor Kevin Deanus has been struggling for 13 months to be seated on ‘Your Waverley’s’ Advisory Board for the new Government-backed new Dunsfold Garden Village.
He claims as the representative of the village most affected by the scheme to build 1,800 homes in the initial phase and another 800 in the second, his opinion on how things should progress has not been valued. In fact, numerous requests to Waverley’s Leader and Executive have been ignored.
“My views are simply not valued – and have been constantly ignored,’ he told the Full Council on a Zoom meeting last night. “And this from a new administration that claimed it would be open, transparent and communicate! In my opinion I have been dealt with in an unprofessional manner for 13 months.”
The full transcript of his five questions are included on the post in the red link above. Suffice to say, it is an understatement to mention that Cllr Deanus – is not a happy bunny!
Even ZOOM couldn’t hide Leader John Ward’s anger – his eyes bulged and his pallor changed as he warned Cllr Deanus that his 400 word ‘Intemperate questions strained the limits of the council’s procedural rules.’
He then reeled off a string of regular meetings, including the dates on which they were held, both internally with the developers of Dunsfold Aerodrome, and with external organisations – including Design South East and Homes England. So whilst WW thought all was quiet on the eastern-front it has been anything but?’
Earlier Cllr D requested the minutes of all meetings held – will he get them? Watch this space?
Cllr Ward said both local borough councillors for Alfold and Dunsfold would be included on the DP Liaison Board, which had not met since March 2019. As mentioned by Cllr Liz Townsend earlier in the meeting: ‘Representatives from the parish councils of Alfold, Cranleigh & Dunsfold would be included in the new Dunsfold Advisory Board.’ However, the Leader omitted to mention whether Cllr Deanus would be among them, as he is not a parish councillor!
Was Cllr Ward being mischievous, or being obtuse, we wonder? The answer may lie in the last paragraph?
The Leader said the development at Dunsfold was moving forward and the new Dunsfold Advisory Board would ensure the project is delivered in a timely manner.
“We are working very closely with Dunsfold Airport Limited (DAL) to bring forward an exceptional new settlement and a four-week public consultation on the Master Plan will take place prior to the reserved matters – (that is the details of the scheme) to be considered by Waverley’s planners. DAL had held its own consultation in October 2019 and if they wish the parish councils can hold their own consultations.”
“So,” said The Leader, “that’s the good news – now for the bad news, and, I notice from the language you use you are mighty miffed that you have not been selected based on your extensive knowledge of the site and the surrounding area, which has not been valued. But, it may come as something of a surprise to you and a distinct blow to your ego that you are not the only person in Surrey that has knowledge of the site and the surrounding area, but thank you for your questions.”
Oh, dear! It appears all is not sweetness and light at Waverley Towers – another post follows – on the spat between A Leopard from Elstead and Mr Deputy Dog!
The COVID pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Waverley’s finances – and with a £6.8m black hole. Only by making cuts and using £3m from its reserves can it balance the books.
With the unexpected hole in its finances officers and councillors have been burning the midnight oil in a bid to find sufficient savings to bridge the gap.
Despite receiving £1.1m Government money, the forced closure of Leisure Centres and other venues and most important the free for all in the borough’s car parks, Waverley Borough Council is not in a good place.
With a recruitment freeze already in place, saving £0.6m the authority hopes, there will be no redundancies. When a revised budget goes before the council in August more recently announced government grants might improve matters.
Finance Director Grahame Clark painted a grim picture at the Overview & Scrutiny Value for Money meeting recently.
Saying: “Although we are only four months into the financial year we are facing the biggest challenge since this council was formed.”
Cllr Mark Merryweather, Portfolio Holder for Finance, said the council was still trying to determine all the issues it faced and was assessing how much money would come from the Government to get it through the uncertainty. The largest single impact was from the closure of Leisure Centres – closed by law – and the car parks which were completely emptied following the lock-down. It was too early to determine whether officers’ assumptions were correct on future car park usage. However, it was believed during July it could reach 50%, and hopefully increasing from then on. The only good news. Commercial property tenants’ rents were holding firm, but the council had been “giving comfort” to some community tenants who had been hit very hard.
The huge reduction in planning work had to resulted in a £600,000 loss of income.
Work on savings, already underway prior to the pandemic, had reached £9m – “so Waverley was running a very tight ship.”
The council was pushing for a fairer formula for future business rates and seeking more Government help – along with other local authorities.
He said removing £3m from the council’s reserves had been “an extremely painful and nasty process.” An act that could affect the council’s future plans.
(Later in the meeting the Executive went behind closed doors to consider the situation on its Leisure Centres.)
Was that thud the sound of Cranleigh’s New Leisure Centre going off the diving board? A £12.75m centre pledged by the former Tory administration shortly before last year’s May elections with money that the new council found once in power that it did not have?
The Voluntary sector had experienced an increased demand for services, particularly in the villages. However it was doubtful that sector could continue meeting such high demand, and Waverley may have to step in?
Councillors agreed to recommend increasing the costs of collecting green waste; look at ways of reducing grounds maintenance and at the agreements it had for funding community groups including day centres. Strategic Director, Annie Righton warned the council must prevent “double billing”‘ for the staff day centres had furloughed.
Following a suggestion from Cllr Jerry Hyman (Farnham Residents’) it was also agreed to investigate further a way of removing money from Farnham Park SANGS.
The next six months would be crucial in determining how much further the council’s income would deteriorate or improve.
It was unanimously agreed that if further Government funding was received – that money would be used to replenish the council’s reserves.
Spends his time prodding and criticising the Government!
Local MPs in Commons Questions, Why the Variation in Hospital Covid-19 Mortality Rates?
By Martin Giles of The Guildford Dragon
Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson (Con) highlighted the quick provision of the new isolation ward at the Royal Surrey during a COVID update debate in Parliament as Health Secretary Matt Hancock took questions.
Ms Richardson said: “On Monday morning [July 20], I will attend the opening of the new Guildford ward at the Royal Surrey, a 20-room, fully equipped with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), isolation ward built in just four months.”
She complimented Guildford Borough Council for ensuring the planning process did not delay construction “Will my Right Hon Friend join me in congratulating the local council on the pragmatism shown and the hospital on its forward planning?
“Does he agree that in the event of a localised spike in cases requiring hospitalisation, the Royal Surrey will be well-placed to deal with it effectively?”
Mr Hancock said: “Yes. My hon friend is a great champion of the Royal Surrey at Guildford. The hospital has done a brilliant thing by, in short order, expanding its capabilities in this crisis, as have many other hospitals around the country.
“One of the positive things that has come out of it has been the dynamism and flexibility of parts of the NHS and their collaboration with local authorities.
“Both of those have risen to heights never previously seen, and I hope we can bottle that best practice and make sure we keep a dynamic, flexible NHS that works collaboratively with local authorities long into the future.”
In the same debate, Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative MP for Guildford’s neighbouring constituency, SW Surrey, who chairs the Parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee, focused on the unexplained differences in COVID mortality rates between hospitals in Surrey. RSCH has the lowest number of Covid-19 deaths.
He said: “I want to ask the Health Secretary about the worrying variation in coronavirus mortality rates between hospitals, which appear to range from 12.5% to 80%.
“There may be some issues of deprivation or ethnicity, but some of that variation is likely to be due to a failure in some hospitals to adopt best practice, which is what the Getting It Right First Time programme, led by Professor Tim Briggs, addresses.
“Will my Right Hon friend agree to meet me and Professor Briggs to discuss whether the Getting It Right First Time programme could help to reduce COVID mortality rates?
The Health Secretary said: “As my Right Hon friend knows better than almost anybody, the unjustified variation in performance between different hospitals within the NHS is a huge issue across the board because if the standards in every hospital were the same as the standards in the best hospital, the performance of the whole would be so much higher.
“That is exactly what the Getting It Right First Time programme was designed to deliver.”
At Prime Minister’s Questions last week Boris Johnson for the first time, last week committed to an “independent inquiry” into the coronavirus pandemic.
He said now was not the right time for an investigation but there would “certainly” be one “in the future” so lessons could be learned.
The group “Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice” said the PM’s pledge was a “long way from what families need to see” and that the PM has refused to meet them to discuss their concerns.
The UK has “suffered one of the worst death rates in the world and Europe’s worst death rate for health and care workers,” said acting Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey.
Because – he’s mad…
very mad or as Blackadder would say, “He’s madder than Mad Jack McMad – the winner of last year’s Mr Madman competition!
Cllr Kevin Deanus – one of the few councillors to be returned to Waverley unopposed wants answers.
WHY? Because he represents the people of Alfold – slap bang next to the proposed new Dunsfold Garden Village which is in his ward. However, he claims he has been shunned, ignored and sat upon, from a great height – by Waverley’s new boys on the block.
The Tories once did it to one of their own when they were in power. They refused to allow Cllr Liz Townsend to join the influential planning committee to prevent her fighting against the huge growth of Cranleigh New Town. Now she’s an Independent with a role on the Executive.
At Wednesday’s Full Council Cllr Deanus wants answers: Here are his comments and questions.
Dunsfold Park is situated within the Ward of Alfold, whom I am proud to represent. The planning permission granted to build 1800 homes, and ultimately, 2600 homes, is the most significant approval in Waverley’s history, both in terms of size, and the disruption to local residents over many years.
On the 8th June 2019, some 13 months ago, I emailed the Leader, Councillor Ward, and copied all Councillors, about my concern how the executive planned to oversee the development at Dunsfold Park. On the 16th July 2019, when raised at Full Council, the leader stated,
“Regular meetings will continue, and we are in the late stages of the process of establishing a Dunsfold Park Garden Village Board”.
On 18th September 2019, at Full Council, the Leader presented the new Corporate Strategy. He will recall that I spoke on the matter with both dismay and astonishment when I read from the Corporate Strategy,
“We shall develop a more open, inclusive approach to communications and decision making”, and “we will be an open, democratic and participative Governance, valuing the worth of all residents”.
I reminded Councillor Ward that he had failed on all of these Corporate Priorities as I was still waiting for the decency of a discussion about how the Dunsfold Park Governance would work.
On the 8th October 2019, a Dunsfold Governance Structure was finally presented at Council. I had not been consulted, and my extensive knowledge of the site and surrounding area was clearly not valued, or simply ignored. I pointed out the glaring and obvious omissions. The structure had failed to include the ward member (and members from surrounding wards), the Parish Council, who represent the community at ground level, and members of the public. I reminded Councillor Ward of the Corporate Strategy and how it had failed at every hurdle. Members of the Executive looked extremely embarrassed, and the leader did offer a form of apology, stating it would be sorted. An informal discussion took place after the meeting, and later I followed this with a further email requesting a resolution.
Councillor Ward did respond and promised to send some dates to arrange a meeting. Some 9 months later I am still waiting for this to happen. I also spoke to a member of the Executive, who I will not name, who was embarrassed and apologised.
Q To summarise my questions are:
1. Since the 16th July 2019 to the current date, can the Leader detail the formal meetings with Dunsfold Park senior management he has held regarding the development, and provide me with copies of these minutes?
2. Can the leader detail meetings held within the formal Governance Structure, approved by full Council on the 8th October 2019 to the current date, with copies of the minutes and dates, and additionally, those from the Dunsfold Park Village Board meetings identified and raised by the Leader at Council on the 16th July 2019?
3 . Having highlighted the blatant omissions regarding participative governance, local engagement and valuing residents, does the Leader believe this is a good example of his Corporate Plan aspirations?
4. As we are now 13 months on, will the Leader confirm he actually will discuss the issue with me and produce an amended Governance structure that includes Alfold Parish Council and Local residents at the appropriate level?
5. Would the leader agree that the community have been dealt with in an unprofessional manner or will he say he is proud of this reoccurring reluctance to engage. After 13 months the issue of local Governance has not been progressed, promises of meetings have been ignored, and the Governance structure from the 8th October 2019 still remains unchanged?
Watch this space when the leader John Ward has to answer on Wednesday at Full Council – on Zoom.
You would have thought that the former Secretary of State for Health would have known how to put a mask on!!!
Cranleigh Community Board – going …. going … GONE!
Has Cranleigh Parish Council become embroiled in a little local difficulty with one of its village Community Boards? The Cranleigh Community Group – run by Andy Web – we stress – nothing to do with the Waverley Web – is still going strong.
Membership of the – once-popular – local chat board (AKA the Cranleigh Community Board) dropped from 9,600 followers to 4,800 in just a couple of days. The majority left in disgust at the blatant propaganda being pumped out by the Community Board in support of Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s latest planning application.
Others were banned, cancelled, removed, spiked or simply wiped-out for daring to ask questions or register their opposition to the private care home which is being proposed on parish owned land once earmarked for a village hospital and funded with money raised by local residents and businesses.
“But why?”- we hear you cry.
Because some followers have dared to ask questions about what’s going on. Questions which CVHT doesn’t deign or wish to answer.
The Cranleigh Parish Councillor who has headed up the Community Board faces an investigation from Waverley’s Monitoring Officer after a string of complaints were received. And, despite repeated protestations from the Chat Controller, it is common knowledge that Bamleigh, aka Martin Bamford, had his sticky little paws all over the Board, he once controlled.
The control-freakery that reared its ugly head on the Community Board stems from just one issue: Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s Appeal and re-submitted planning application to build a private care home on parish owned land with funds raised by local residents and businesses.
The suspicion is that a Community Board – that was originally set up as a voice for Cranleigh residents – has been hijacked and became a mouthpiece for a Cranleigh developer, who is behind the so-called Charity. An all-out PR campaign has been waged by the so-called Community Board, Radio Bamleigh and Destination Bamleigh in favour of the private care homes scheme. The latter two funded by ‘A Benefactor’ thought to be behind CVHT.
A ‘Benefactor’ who it is believed may have even left the village after resigning from the Trust, probably to spend more time with his family?
Amidst rising fury and resentment, the Cranleigh Community Board has now vanished into the ether overnight, dropped into the trash can that lurks on all our screens. Good riddance to bad rubbish is the sentiment being expressed by those who were ‘cancelled’ by the so-called Community Board. If only the Chat Controller, in his testosterone-fuelled Tesla, would vanish as quickly and effectively!
It was a dark day in Cranleigh when the Chat Controller took over the ether and the airwaves WW can’t help wondering when he will take over ‘Bamleigh Parish Council?’ Or, perhaps he already has?
Perhaps we all need to carefully consider the new Government rules about wearing masks in shops – as there are very valid reasons why some people just cannot wear them.
There is absolutely no excuse for the type of behaviour experienced by one young woman who was traumatised by Godalming yobs, with nothing better to do than abuse a young autistic woman.
Waverley Web hopes that Angelina reports this disgusting incident to the police, and there is a message here to the parents of these young and ignorant yobs, and to the group of middle-aged women, she refers too.
It is really quite simple –
There are numerous and perfectly legitimate reasons for not wearing a mask – too many to mention here.
Cranleigh and eastern villages are now officially dubbed as – ‘The Dunsfold and Cranleigh Corridor.’ It now rubs shoulders with such heavyweights as Staines – Woking, Redhill & Reigate and Guildford as a ‘Strategic Opportunity Area.’
The Cranleigh & Dunsfold Corridor has been chosen by Surrey’s Future Steering Board to get star rating and ranks alongside all the other seven big boys in… the Blackwater Valley, Croydon, Leatherhead and Farnborough and others mentioned above to help grow Surrey.
Wow! Perhaps that explains our recent post – for the new community of ALDUN and why developers are falling over each other to get in quick? Is there a new garden village named ‘ALDUN’ being planned in Waverley?
All those Tory Cranleigh councillors who sat behind closed doors and carved up all the development opportunities in the village – may soon have all their wishes granted. The genie is popping out of the bottle. Waverley’s newest town has been born and, if SCC gets it way is about to mature into something – bigger, much bigger!
So at last Cranleigh, WILL get the footfall it has been praying for. However, will it sacrifice on the developers’ alters – the once-proud place that boasted the title – ‘The largest village in England.’
So there we have it! Whilst we have all been watching ~Netflix during lockdown SCC has been busy sticking a pin in to show all its new growth areas of the county. When did it hold one of its ’round table discussions?’ – in January 2020 – just as the COVID cloud hung over us! the next stage of the strategy is to prepare an ‘Implementation Framework with a clear set of strategic priorities for the partners to deliver during the first 10 year period (2020 to 2030).
Perfectly in line with a new Unitary Authority when truly local decision-making will disappear along with billions of pounds of local borough & district council debt – no doubt covered by the Government in a bid to gain more control? Bye Bye ‘Your Waverley’ Hello ‘Surrey?’
And then just to make things just a little worse – We stumble on this website SURREY Fixtures 2050 – Look at Cranleigh S085 – Is that Dunsfold or something Else? Look at the TRANSPORT Network – Where is ours??
No doubt we can rely on the Hon Angie who proposes ‘repurposing the Horsham to Guildford railway line’ Guildford MP pitches to open Guildford – Cranleigh train line.
So there you have it, folks. All bodes well for Waverley – the ar*se end of Surrey in the new shakedown?
Then look at their plans for Road Infrastructure…Oooopps NOTHING in the chosen area just lots of rural countryside ripe to be covered in concrete! And is everything between Cranleigh and the Surrey/Sussex border villages up for grabs?
If you haven’t already choked over your cornflakes and want to learn more just click on the link below…
Not to be confused with the proposed development at Dunsfold Aerodrome – these new homes are available in Dunsfold Village nearby.
The housing association that has built these homes, has been building in the village for twenty years, and has worked with Dunsfold Parish Council and villagers to provide ‘affordable’ homes for village people.
Whilst others wait, with eager anticipation for work to begin on the new Dunsfold Park Garden Village – the silence on the site earmarked and consented for a couple of thousand new homes is – deafening!
During these unprecedented times, rural residents have had added reason to appreciate their surroundings and close communities.
We have seen a huge resurgence in the number of people volunteering in Waverley for their communities and many parish councils have set up COVID 19 mutual aid groups, neighbours have helped neighbours and local communities have supported local businesses.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW WE CAN WORK WITH YOU AND YOUR
LOCAL COMMUNITY PLEASE CONTACT LOUISE WILLIAMS, RURAL HOUSING ENABLER LOUISEW@SURREYCA.ORG.UK
So there you have it folks – as we revealed on the Waverley Web a few days ago the head honchos at Surrey – wallowing in their own mire – after successive bad investment decisions have found a way out of the mess they, yes they, and the Government have created.
“I’ve got a cunning plan, we can cover up all our unwise investments in places like Blightwell in Farnham – and from Camberley to Cumbria by getting together with our colleagues in Spelthorne.’
Recent years have seen a marked rise in ‘prudential’ borrowing, driven increasingly by local authorities taking advantage of low-interest rates offered by the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB). Local authorities’ PWLB debt has risen from £64 billion in March 2015 to £66 billion in March 2017 and now stands at
£77 billion in March 2019.
Spelthorne’s PWLB borrowing has mainly financed the acquisition of commercial property. The Council argued that it was using fixed low rates of interest to “help offset the impact of disappearing general revenue grant support from the Government”. On its largest investment so far – the £385 million purchase of the BP campus in Sunbury-on-Thames – the independent auditor of its accounts cited a “number of significant weaknesses in the Authority’s arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources”.c Since then Spelthorne has made further high-value property purchases – an office block in the City of London and another office development in Nine Elms, Battersea – more than doubling its PWLB borrowing.
Woking Borough Council has also taken on £0.6 billion of PWLB debt since March 2017, financing the acquisition of retail and property sites, with its largest investment so far the new Victoria Square commercial and property development (at an estimated cost of £500 million).
In May 2019 the Public Accounts Committee highlighted concerns that while governance arrangements for the sector as a whole were “generally robust”, some councils have
“audit committees that do not provide sufficient assurance, ineffective internal audit, weak arrangements for the management of risk in local authorities’ commercial investments, and inadequate oversight and scrutiny”.
So while Cllr Oliver is preparing to run up his Unitary Authority flag up the County Towers pole, and preparing his role as the First Mayor of Surrey, next week this report will go to the Cabinet.
PS. You will all be delighted to hear that “final salary” pensions are not affected by reorganisation.
Tonight Cranleigh Parish Council’s planning committee will comment on a planning application which is tearing the village apart!
Now – this comes with a Health Warning – This is the heading on Charity’s website – we may be drawing the wrong conclusions, but do you really believe that HC-ONE intends to build the £14m development? We will let you make up your own minds?
The Question is? Is the Cranleigh Village Health Trust buddied up with the Kind Care Company – HC-ONE to build the above?
Here’s a question posed by one of those nuisance villagers over there in the eastern villages to Christina Pierce the former plumply-salaried former Secretary of The former Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust and now a Trustee of the recently formed Cranleigh Village Health Trust. Bit confusing, we know, but the whole hospital/care home sage is just that – confusing!
Ah, ha! So there we have it! When this toxic outfit has planning permission tucked under its belt, either as a result of an appeal to the Government for the larger application – or the slightly smaller one now sitting on the desks of Waverley Planners – only then will it “consider its options.” In other words, it has no provider all signed up and sealed up?
No doubt it’s due diligence will include a thorough investigation into how its proposed care-home provider has fared during the COVID-19 catastrophe that has engulfed the care sector? How secure its finances are? Not forgetting who is the latest buyer of the company that tucks its profits into the Cayman Islands, despite raising the alarm over its ability to carry its debt burden.
An outfit threatened with the closure of one of its homes for being”unsafe.” Cedar House in Harefield was ruled inadequate by the social care watchdog, which discovered safety breaches, and that was last year – before the coronavirus pandemic. A company praised by the CVHT, which during the lockdown brought in care workers from Kent – 645 miles away from its Home Farm Home on the Isle of Sky – one of the worst affected homes in the country – where numerous workers and residents died.
Hordes of residents from Cranleigh & the eastern villages of Waverley are being turned away from recycling centres across the Surrey/Sussex border – now Horsham District Council has guards on the gates!
Frustrated householders now have to travel either to Guildford or Witley in their gas-guzzling cars to dispose of any household items they have accumulated over the three-month coronavirus pandemic when centres across the county were closed.
Some have found their way onto road verges, farmers’ fields and onto the Surrey Hills. Others rot in back gardens or are dumped outside Charity shops, many of which have not yet opened.
Waverley Web cannot help wondering why it has taken until recently (July 4) for the sites at Cranleigh and Caterham to open their doors. Even now, they are only open for green waste.
We understand SCC employees have been employed by councils throughout COVID-19! Haven’t we all been still paying our council tax? Or have we missed something?
Surrey County Council’s nod and a wink towards its declared Climate Change Emergency included a pilot scheme for five – or was it nine – or maybe 11 possible electric vehicle charging points in ‘Your Waverley?’
Watch out – one of them might be appearing outside your home soon? So be alert and watch out for notices or letters for a charging point coming to a spot near you.
At up to £40,000 a throw – we hope the public in Farnham, Godalming & Haslemere appreciate the efforts being made by the county wallers to meet the county’s climate change credentials.
In July 2019 Surrey County Council followed the Government’s lead by declaring a Climate Emergency and is committed to becoming net-zero carbon by 2050.
In order to meet this challenging target, the Council recognised that it must work with partners, residents, businesses and Government to deliver urgent action to reduce carbon emissions produced in Surrey so it is currently finalising its climate change strategy for the county, working closely with its borough and district partners, including ‘Your Waverley.’
At a recent joint SCC/Waverley partnership meeting officers announced that the following sites had been earmarked for possible electric charging points in Waverley. But not all of these would be given the go-ahead.
- Beacon Road, Beacon Hill, Farnham
- Falkener Road, Farnham – presumably for all the students – who don’t have electric cars?
- Summers Road, Godalming
- Wey Hill, Haslemere
- Christopher Green in Haslemere
- Croft Road, Godalming
- Windrush Close, Bramley – where everyone owns an electric vehicle?!
- West Street, Farnham – where parking is at a premium?
- Hale Road, Farnham
- High Park Road, Farnham
Highway officers said although Cranleigh was now ‘ a TOWN,’ (that will no doubt go down well with the locals) – it has not been included in Surrey’s plans for on-street electric charging points, so none were proposed.
Love them or hate them – cyclists apparently rule the roads around the eastern villages, according to the Cranleigh Cranlinati, a group that throws the odd criticism at the lycra lovers over there. However, you are not allowed to criticise or comment upon the hordes of cyclists swarming through the villages and taking over the Surrey Hills on the local highly censored community board.
Waverley’s representatives were asked to support the pilot project for charging points which included the sites mentioned above, but not everyone was happy with the locations – particularly the Croft Road, Godalming site. That went down like a lead ballooon with the town’s representatives, who claimed losing parking spaces in a road where they were at a premium would not be popular with the locals.
Having decimated the finances of our local authorities what better time for the Government to issue a White Paper on their devolution.
As we type this post Cllr Tim Oliver the head honcho at Surrey County Council, whose once plump coffers are now heavily depleted through such unwise retail investments as shopping malls – e.g. Blightwells in Farnham, is on the case!
He claims councils shouldn’t be waiting for the Government’s Autumn White Paper but should be pressing ahead – to…
“secure greater powers and responsibility and the right structure for Surrey’s future, to tackle the challenges faced and the opportunities coming our way.’
By that does he mean secure greater powers and responsibility for – yes you guessed – Surrey County Council – having swallowed up the 11 borough and district councils – including ‘Your Waverley.’ What better way to cover up the county’s financial mess and sticky situation it has got itself into?
We all have huge confidence in the decision-making record of Surrey County Council – don’t we?
So has Cllr Oliver been working behind closed doors, whilst the rest of us have been living behind closed doors? Nothing like a coronavirus pandemic for the opportunists to make a power-grab out of a crisis?
No doubt Cllr Oliver and his Government buddies already have a cunning plan, which comes at exactly the right time to cover up all the terrible mistakes the county council has made. Had it not been for the County Hall wallah’s, Blightwells in Farnham’s East Street would never have got off the ground. When private investors couldn’t be drummed up for love nor money to host the regeneration project – up comes former Tory Waverley & SCC councillor Denise Le Gal to persuaded her county colleagues to stump up £58 million from its pension fund to finance all those shops and restaurants!
So is ‘Your Waverley’ now talking – behind closed doors – to all the other council chief executives – in this secret and rather underhand process?
Do we see the hand of Boris’s BIG DOM here?
The little local Chamber of Commerce in Cranleigh has been calling for Waverley’s demise since 2018. Ever since SCC predicted making £200m worth of cuts by 2021. It’s President Rosemary French proposed a radical overhaul of the ‘cumbersome and oftentimes duplicating three tier system of county, town, district and parish council structure of our local authorities.’
And at some time – will we, the voting fodder of Surrey get a say in the process, for what is already looking like a done deal? Ah! well another nail in the coffin of local democracy? Remind us – who was that Prime Minister that talked about ‘Localism’ – a long, long time ago?
Will opposition councillors be rolling over and giving Cllr Oliver a free hand?
Do we really need this distraction on top of everything else we are all experiencing right now? Like the loss of loved-ones, the terrible situation we have experienced with family members in Care Homes – home schooling our children, and the loss of part or all of our incomes?
Next May we go to the polls in Surrey to determine who will run the county business for the next four years. Or do we?
However, if it would mean that all those public sector workers who are now ‘pension aristocrats’ with their gold-plated retirement pots from final-salary pension schemes were to go along with those 11 councils. Then who dares wins.
Because according to the Office of National Statistics only 11 per cent of private sector workers are now in the generous final salary pension scheme that public sector workers enjoy.
The Waverley Web understands that numerus complaints from Cranleigh residents are winging their way to ‘Your Waverley’s’ Monitoring Officer about a recent spate of spats on the local chat board. They concern Cranleigh Parish Councillor, Hannah Nicholson, who has been commenting, ill-advisedly, on the village chat-shop, AKA the Cranleigh Community Board. Not to be confused with the Cranleigh Community Group, run by Andy Webb.
Nothing to do with the Waverley Web we stress.
The heavily censored Cranleigh Community Board only allows comments on certain subjects and by certain individuals as long as said comments and subjects are approved by its Censor-in-Chief, Martin Bamford – otherwise known as the Chat Controller!
The Waverley Web has been banned by the Chat Controller because he doesn’t approve of our content or tone and certainly not the truth. The Chat Controller has made it his business to, slowly and stealthily, take over most of Cranleigh, and is now doing his best to ensure all roads lead to Bamleigh. The man now heads up the Bamleigh Chamber of Trade/Commerce, Bamleigh in Bloom; Smart Bamleigh; Informed Voice; Destination Bamleigh; Bamleigh Radio; Bamleigh Village Health Trust and is a Trustee of Bamleigh Knowle Park Initiative – and that’s just his starter for ten!
Rumour has it, in his spare time, he sweeps Bamleigh High Street, with a brush up his a**!
But, we digress! Apparently, Parish Council Chairman, Liz Townsend, had to issue a warning to her fellow councillors, during a recent parish council meeting – no names, no pack drill.
Ms Townsend reminded her colleagues that voicing their opinions on the Cranleigh Community Board could be misconstrued as voicing the views of the parish council. Councillor Townsend said she would like to make it absolutely clear and issue a word of warning to the operators of the Board that she had received a number of messages about the comments made thereon and these comments DO NOT reflect the views or opinions of Cranleigh Parish Council.
“As parish councillors”, she told her colleagues, “we sign up to a Code of Conduct. You are all representatives of this council and when you comment the public will view what you say, as a member of this council, and that is how you and we will be judged”.
Parish Councillor Ms Nicholson remained schtum, whilst the meeting was being watched by – yep – you guessed it, the Chat Controller. Perhaps he has his eye on Bamleigh Parish Council next?
Is the little village of Alfold under siege by developers eager to join it to Dunsfold’s new garden village?
Developers are working in a pincer movement from the north the south, east and west of the two villages on the Surrey/Sussex in a bid to build more homes.
Now villagers are asking – with no development yet appearing at the new Government-backed garden village at Dunsfold – is Alfold destined to become Garden Village Phase 11.
Or ‘ALDUN’ – New Town?
Only the width of a 40ft wide B road separates Alfold village from Dunsfold Garden Village – with consent on the former Dunsfold Aerodrome site for 1,800 homes – and earmarked for a further 500+ in the Local Plan.
Developers have been emboldened by a recent Government Inspector’s decision to allow an appeal by Catesby Strategic Land Ltd for a further 80 homes at the Cala Homes site where 55 homes are currently being built at Sweeters Copse off Loxwood Road.80 more homes on their way to Alfold as a Government Inspector hits ‘Your Waverley’ in its pocket too! The appeal site is located on the edge of Alfold, beyond the currently defined settlement boundary for the village and therefore, in open countryside.
However, the Government’s signal to developers appears to be – if it doesn’t move build on it?
Villagers have until Wednesday to comment on the consultation exercise by Thakeham Homes to build 99 homes on land at Springbok in Loxwood Rd. Fear not, you will have longer to comment on the planning application once lodged. As we post there are no plans on the planning portal. http://thakehamalfold.com/?fbclid=IwAR1wuSjQoLY6t7nWIEJ6SGzABEjQtheDB_eG7wpjbmYvhTc4m6N0jwe1lic https://www.facebook.com/stopalfoldnewtown/
In the same Loxwood Road road – eight new homes are under construction in the Conservation area – adjacent to another construction site of residential units for young disabled adults consented by Surrey County Council, nearby. Alfold gets a new heart – and a safer village?
Developers are now converging on Alfold in their droves – with another 80 homes awaiting determination adjacent to the Esso Service Station with direct access from the A281 Horsham/Guildford Rd at Alfold Crossways. Alfold’s cross, are getting crosser – as the story unfolds on shedloads of new homes on their way to the little village.
In his shock decision on the extension to Sweeters Copse earlier this year, Inspector Michael Boniface also awarded costs against ‘Your Waverley.’ Despite Waverley, Planners claim that Alfold had more than adequately satisfied its share of the 125 homes proposed in Waverley’s Local Plan.
Adding insult to injury he decreed that Waverley did not have, as it had argued – a five-year land supply, and, had been unable to answer basic questions on its approach to calculating its supply. When given an opportunity in a round-table discussion to alter its approach Waverley continued to claim it had a deliverable 5-year supply only to change its position a day later that it could only demonstrate a four-year supply! Its volte-face will now cost the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds.
The Inspector found the council to have acted unreasonably for wasting the applicants time and money, so awarded the developers’ costs against it.
Now for the second time in two years – following a 2018 public inquiry – dismissed by an Inspector villagers face yet another stab at development by Thakeham Homes on land, also in Loxwood Road formerly owned by Care Ashore – The Seamans’ Charity at Springbok. It wants to build 99 homes in a village with little or no infrastructure. No school – little or no public transport; a village and garage shop – and no GP practice. The village regularly floods with water and sewerage, has no gas, and poor water supply. A new access on Loxwood Road would be provided by demolishing an existing bungalow owned by – yes, you guessed – Thakeham Homes! NO PLANS HAVE YET BEEN LODGED.
It is believed the Seamans’charity may now have sold-out to ‘the – have another go brigade’ -Thakeham Homes. But this time for a smaller scheme – being dubbed – ‘the thin end of the wedge’ en-route to the future development of the huge Seamans’ Union land-holding at Springbok in the future.
If the new proposed sites are given planning approval its will result in the eastern part of Waverley contributing to well over 50% of all the development proposed in the borough!
Here is the Sweeters Copse information.https://www.catesbyestates.co.uk/land/sweeters-reach,-off-loxwood-road-&-chilton-close-alfold?r=1
One of our local MPs enjoyed a pint at The Merry Harriers in Hambledon on Saturday, doing his bit to ease lockdown with some amber nectar.
Trust Jeremy not to go for a straight glass though!
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) July 5, 2020
Link to post on the decision earlier this week.
UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now?
And by 6 votes to 5, the REFUSAL motion but forward by Lib Dem Opposition Cllr Penny Rivers is carried. Huge result for Waverley, @WaverleyBC and the campaign to stop this. A very close call though. Thankfully this committee had good opposition councillors. pic.twitter.com/hNcunQnT8D
— Cllr. Paul David Follows (@PaulDFollows) June 29, 2020
Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council Paul Follows obviously doesn’t have a vain bone in his body – certainly not ignoring the rules on getting a haircut – only a days to go eh! Paul?
A couple of weeks ago CVHT chairman Dr Robin Fawkner-Corbett warned the parish council, which provided the land for the development after a land swap – 20 years ago that a new scheme was in the pipe-line and an appeal was being lodged.
Its former ‘parish partner’ has subsequently written to the charity seeking the return of the land as it had not adhered to an agreement between the parties that the land would be returned to the parish if a Hospital was not built within five years. This followed a mandate voted on by residents at a public meeting.
The Waverley Web wonders if the Charity will attempt the same ruse it used last time the scheme went to Waverley planners…? It almost got away with funding a dedicated planning officer, a colleague of one of the CVHT Trustees to assess the scheme. Of course, CVHT saw this as it mentions on its website as “unfortunate” as the officer had a good grasp of the scheme. Possibly a similar grasp as the Waverley solicitor – one Daniel Bainbridge son of yes, you guessed – one of the CVHT Trustees.
Is it any wonder the eastern villagers don’t trust this dodgy outfit, which is already being lambasted on the Cranleigh Community Boards. Apparently, its hospital spokesman and chief marketeer Martin Bamford (BB) has prompted his mates to call to kill-off the Waverley Web. We wonder why?
Over 2,400 suspected cases at HC-One care homes
The leap in care home figures for England and Wales, follow Age UK’s warning to the government that deaths in care homes are “running wild”.
Sir David Behan, director of HC-One, Britain’s largest care home operator, has told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, coronavirus is already in two-thirds (232) of the group’s care homes.
HC-One operates around 330 homes. By Monday night (13 April) there had been 2,447 cases of either suspected or confirmed COVID-19 within its care homes.
The deaths included one staff member.
Will he – won’t he…? Please tell us all Jeremy why you talk one way and act another. Perhaps you could give it some thought?
Here’s a message we received from one of our followers.
Good Afternoon Waverley Web,
Below is an open letter that I have written, in my role as the spokesperson for the South West Surrey Constituency Labour Party. We would be obliged if you could publish this, please. Any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Dear Mr Hunt
I am dismayed and confused that you voted ‘No’ to routine testing for all NHS and Social Care staff last week.
You have been vocal in calling for mass testing of NHS workers and social carers. We have witnessed your persistence on this matter on social media, the print media and indeed on your many radio and tv appearances, including the comments you’ve made as Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee. It’s an area that you’ve articulated your views clearly.
I would, therefore, like to understand why you chose to vote ‘No’ to the motion committing the Government to the weekly testing of all NHS and social care staff on June 24th. In the debate, you said, “If we want test and trace to be effective here, we need to introduce mass testing, starting with health and care staff, and we must not delay.” You were congratulated on your stance by the Labour spokesperson. You then proceeded to vote against it, preferring a motion which vaguely gushes about the Government’s “tireless efforts” and fails to pledge any action for care staff at all.
Studying the debate I see that the Opposition offered to accept that general weekly testing would take time to achieve, but the Minister merely promised testing of NHS staff “where appropriate” and completely ignored the call for testing of social care staff which you had endorsed just moments before.
There are numerous care homes in this constituency, the staff and residents deserve the utmost support to ensure their safety. As a concerned member of our community, I ask: why did you fail to support these front line workers?
The Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate
South West Surrey, 2019
We all wait with baited breath to hear if Mr Corry gets a response – but don’t hold your breath too long Mr Corry – because breath is so good for you!
What an amateur outfit Surrey County Council’s virtual remote planning meeting turned out to be yesterday – Monday – when councillors narrowly refused UK Oil & Gas PLC’s bid to appraise a well site on High Loxley Road near Dunsfold aerodrome.
The proposed site sits almost on the doorstep of Waverley’s highly acclaimed Government backed garden village – soon to boast circa 3,000 new homes. In fact it appeared that if approved the garden villagers – could literally have oil/gas wells in/under their back gardens.
Whilst we have provided the link at the bottom of the post to enable you to listen to the meeting – this comes with a health warning!
DON’T unless you have a strong stomach for a buffering, during an often incoherent webcast – and a decision-making process of a never-to-be-forgotten variety, which was at best amateur and at worst unconstitutional. Councillors at one point sought to dump the reasons for refusal onto the rapidly slumping shoulders of the very same planning officers who had recommended approval of the scheme.
Cranleigh and Ewhurst county councillor Andrew Povey put up a strong show giving over-riding reasons why UKOG should be sent packing; He had the backing of almost every town and parish council in the area – including ‘Your Waverley’ tucked under his belt.
- SCC highways had erected signs in the road – ‘Unsuitable for HGV’s.’ So while its own professional highway engineers had deemed the road unsuitable, others proposed giving the green light to more HGV’s!
The road – by nature of he chevrons around its 90 degree bends was – according to county engineers – very dangerous.
- The area was in an Area of Great Landscape Value – which by Surrey’s own definition was to be treated as AONB – An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
(The site nestles against a backcloth of the Hascombe Hills.)
- County council officers had described the proposed works as posing a ‘seriously incongruous feature’ in the countryside.
- Development would have a serious impact on the rural economy.
How, he asked, could a nearby wedding venue with a multi-million turnover running public events which used flares operate at the same time as the proposed search for gas? The idea is ‘quite preposterous’ to site such an operation, strongly opposed by everyone locally including Waverley Council and the developers of the new Dunsfold Garden Village.
Although backed many of his colleagues, -Cllr Ernest Mallett the member for Molesey argued the council would be shirking its responsibilities if it refused officers’ advice – which included approval of highway engineers.
“If we make a decision here today that does not have some very solid reasons then we could be in for £200,000 worth of costs. We will be very vulnerable at appeal and in my 15 years of serving on this committee I have always considered it a golden rule that you cannot base a refusal on highway grounds that goes against highways’ advice.”
*SCC’s highways supported the application.
Cllr Mallett said: ‘It seems to be the view in this part of Surrey that you can use oil and gas, but not be subjected to any inconvenience! Weddings and events can take place here with upwards of 80 cars and lorries ferrying equipment to and from the venue – for which the council has given permission, without controls. But 10/20 lorry movements are a danger, despite traffic controls and enforceable conditions. Should this go to appeal the county council will be decimated.”
He warned his colleagues by refusing what he described as “an insignificant operation” the committee would be in danger of dealing with it on a ‘special basis’ – or in a way that no other oil or gas application had been dealt with by the authority. It was not near other buildings, was 300 metres away from the Gipsy sites and the wedding events buildings. To believe that the wedding venue would disappear was fanciful – when two huge areas had permission for ‘clear fell’ using large tree-moving vehicles on the same road?
‘How are you going to defend that when you go before an Inspector?” he asked? “We could be slaughtered at appeal.”
Stephen Cooksey (Dorking South & Holmwoods) said the threat of an appeal would not convince him to support refusal – which was in line with all the parish and local district councils. Why? he asked weren’t the gipsies consulted – when the impact on them and the new garden village would be critical.
It was then – after the application was refused by six votes to five – a muddled and confusing counting procedure followed – that the streaming of the meeting was halted – to give time for the actual grounds for refusal to be agreed upon.
This statement from UK Oil & Gas PLC (London AIM: UKOG) followed:
“We note that Surrey County Council (“SCC”) has today refused consent for the Company’s Loxley-1 appraisal project. The company is carefully considering its position but has concerns over the validity of the decision given the meeting’s conduct, the lack of specific reasons for refusal and reasons why the planning officer’s recommendation was overturned. It is likely that UKOG will appeal the decision via the planning inspectorate.
Stephen Sanderson, UKOG’s Chief Executive, commented:
” We are obviously disappointed by Surrey County Council’s refusal of planning consent for our Loxley-1 appraisal project. The refusal was by a narrow 6-5 decision and against the Planning Officer’s recommendation. Unfortunately, the precise reason or reasons for refusal and why the Planning Officer’s recommendation was overturned, remain unclear, which is less than ideal. The meeting’s general structure and conduct also opens up further questions on the validity of the decision. We also note that the Environment Agency granted the scheme a full environmental permit on 26 June covering all environmental aspects of the proposed scheme.
Furthermore, we note that the meeting’s main discussion centred around a possible highways issue regarding the suitability of the Dunsfold road adjoining the site to accommodate the envisaged traffic flows. However, the County Highways and Planning Officers supported this aspect of the application, stating that the traffic mitigation plan would permit safe use of the road during operations.
Here’s what Alfold villagers think. Strange though – the Hon Angela opposes and the Hon Jeremy stays schtum!
On Friday 331 Conservative MPs opposed a motion that would have led to weekly testing of NHS workers and care staff and guess who was among them… yep, you guessed – our MP’s Jeremy Hunt and Angela – ‘how high would you like me to jump Boris – Richardson.’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, alongside Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Jon Ashworth and Liz Kendall had brought a motion to Parliament calling for greater protective measures to be rolled out in the health system.
But it was voted down by more than 300 MPs, including Jeremy Hunt who had called for a weekly testing himself on the same day.
So Jeremy and Angie its OK to join us all clapping for carers – but when it comes to voting – your careers are more important?
At the start of the pandemic, we were told MPs were to receive a huge boost to their expenses allowance when IPSA raised their monthly credit card limit to £10,000; allowed items to be claimed for without proof of purchase, and increased office budgets by £10,000. Since then, IPSA has also changed rules to allow MPs to claim for taxis. We can’t expect our representatives to catch the plague-ridden public transport like the rest of us voting fodder – can we?
Yesterday, a further boost was announced, in the form of a £312 annual homeworking bonus for MPs’ staff, to cover their home telephone usage, internet, electricity and gas – all tax-free. If every parliamentary staffer – none of whose incomes have been hit by Coronavirus – claimed the allowance, it would cost the taxpayer £1.1 million…
MPs will also be able to request up £18,270 extra for their staffing budget to deal with “a rise in workload for their offices as a result of coronavirus” – up from the £10,000 allowance rise announced at the start of the lockdown.
Responding to the neverending parliamentary pandemic pocket-lining, The Taxpayers’ Alliance Duncan Simpson told the Waverley Web:
“MPs and their staff should not be getting budget top-ups for working from home when everyone else is being expected to just get on with it.
“Millions have been stuck in the house, looking after kids and cracking on with their day jobs – where’s their £312 annual homeworking bonus?
“Parliamentary authorities need to get a grip and stop pampering our politicos.”
We wonder, is this is the last excuse for picking the pockets of the public we’ll see from IPSA before the pandemic is out…
“MPs and their staff should not be getting budget top-ups for working from home when everyone else is being expected to just get on with it. Millions have been stuck in the house, looking after kids and cracking on with their day jobs – where’s their £312 annual homeworking bonus? Parliamentary authorities need to get a grip and stop pampering our politicians.”
Before long Jeremy & Angie – you may need those hard hats. Because the public are getting angry – very angry!
According to a Surrey County Council spokesman, the incidents of fly-tipping in the county have reduced. So, perhaps everyone should go out with their cameras and phones and prove them wrong?
The Waverley Web has already found in one small area of the borough: One dismantled children’s pink playhouse; two single-bed mattresses; a burned-out caravan, a couple of crashed cars, and numerous other detritus bagged up and scattered around the borough of Waverley. But if Surrey County Council says fly-tipping has reduced then it must be right!
The Society which speaks up for the people of Cranleigh has been campaigning for months to persuade Surrey County Council to drop its plans for two new schools on a new site near Glebelands School.
Missing Tortoise prompts the WW to break its rule of never advertising missing pets.
Sad souls that we are here at the Waverley Web we gave in to the impassioned pleading of one of our team to advertise that Amy Thopson’s tortoise has gone AWOL.
He says Amy’s appeal to anyone who may have seen her pet in the Lower Bourne area of Farnham pulled at his heartstrings – because 30 years ago his hard-hearted tortoise did a runner and was never seen again! He tells us deep down in his oversized boots he believes his own pet is still running around in the Godalming area – near Priorsfield School? We didn’t mention we saw a tortoise-shell broach that looked just like the picture he showed us! However, he should never have called his treasured pet ‘Nifty!’
But spare a thought for Louise – and ring her on the number below if you see a tortoise haring around in Lower Bourne. Perhaps someone can tell us why tortoises appear to run faster than we all think?
Waverley planning officers together with Surrey County Council highwaymen may be willing to roll over for one of the nation’s largest house builders – but the people of Farnham will not!
Berkeley’s bid to slash car parking at its proposed Woolmead development in Farnham Town Centre by 61 spaces from 141 to 80 was UNANIMOUSLY refused. It’s bid was dubbed as trying to drive a coach and horses through both Waverley and Surrey’s planning and transport policies to the town’s detriment.
The Western Planning Committee of 15 councillors from Farnham and elsewhere were in no mood to roll over and ignore their local authorities accepted parking standards to enable the BB’s burrowing for an underground car park to be halved. A bid by the developer that would leave residents of the one-bedroom homes to racket around the town looking for free parking or using spaces provided by the BB’s in the town’s public car parks – but only for a year.
In other words- Farnham is being dumped on – yet again! said Farnham Society Spokesman David Wylde who asked the council?
“If this proposal had been a part of the original 2018 application to redevelop Woolmead – would it have been approved? And, why was this developer being given another bit of the cherry?
He warned that other developers would be smacking their lips at the wriggle room now being offered by Waverley officers’ recommendation that the revised scheme with no parking for 61 homes should be approved. WHY In a county with the highest car ownership would the two authorities hypothesise such a reduction when it had no basis in fact.
He painted a picture of – 61, or more cars prowling around the Town looking for parking, in the nearby hunting grounds of Farnham Hospital car park, in Stoke Hills above Woolmead or in nearby residential roads. “About the bus service – do we have one? – As for public transport generally that is one of last resort. As for the BB’s need to make the reduction to maximise its profits, he described this as a cheek and blackmail that should be resisted.
Councillors pondered how many more concessions would be wrung out of Waverley before the supposedly ‘shovel-ready’ project’ was built-out? Why should the residents of a town where parking was at a premium suffer from the loss of spaces it could ill-afford?
Why, they asked were officers in conjunction with Surrey- ripping up their own parking standards provisions, just because of Berkley’s misjudged risk and supposedly ‘shaky finances’ as it would now only make a £10m profit and a 20% return on its investment?
Farnham Town Cllr ‘Scottie’ Fraser said officers were deluded if they thought it would end here.
‘Berkeley’s should be told to abide by their undertaking, pick up their shovels and get on with the job – because the people of Farnham will not look kindly on them if they don’t. If they are going to sulk and leave boarded-up site – then so be it- and it will be a stain and an embarrassment on the Berkeley Homes Directors.’
Berkeley’s divisional director David Gilchrist claimed the proposed reduction was in line with Waverley’s Climate Change initiative to become carbon neutral by 2030 and the reduction in spaces would have a positive impact on Farnham town centre’s traffic congestion and air quality issues. The shift post-COVID was away from car usage to public transport, walking and cycling. He forgot to mention that the revision to reduce parking was made in December 2018 (BC) before coronavirus!
Cllr Brian Adams claimed the application had nothing to do with Climate Change Initiatives and everything to do with increased developer profit. By halving the basement and improving the profit by £1.4m!
Councillors agreed Farnham Town Centre was no place to ride a bike, and the picture Carole Cockburn painted of riding her bike to Waitrose with her shopping hanging off the handle-bars was of the never to be forgotten variety. She claimed the scheme’s revision was just ‘Plum wrong’ and went against The Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, its Design Statement and the Local Plan.
In this newly regenerated town – opposite the White Elephant which was described as such by Cllr Kika Mirylees, she asked where exactly were visitors to Farnham expected to park?
Cllr John Neale said:
“Does the developer really want to risk damaging its brand by building a blot on the landscape in Farnham? It is a big concern that the site could go undeveloped, however the people Farnham would prefer to take that risk. The longer it is delayed, the more it will cost“
Cllr Dear congratulated Mr Gilchrist, of Berkeleys, for being able to keep a straight face during his presentation, ‘as I sincerely could not understand the construction costs, or the Independent Viability Report – and that is with 35 years experience in the business.’ He said the developer was trying to drive a coach and horses through both Waverley and Surrey’s established planning and transport policies to the detriment of our town.
Cllr Peter Clark said: “The very fact that Waverley’s planning officers could support this gives me great cause for concern.”
WATCH OUT THERE ARE SCAMMERS ABOUT!
In most cases, unscrupulous villains target the over 60’s.
The Waverley Web has heard of several possible victims who managed to steer clear due to police warnings.
But Guildford has not fared so well where there have been 20 reported crimes, with crooks impersonating police or a bank official.
The phone caller usually claims that someone has been arrested and an investigation is underway as their debit or credit card has been used.
The caller says they need the resident’s help by giving their PIN and card details over the phone or handed to a courier they will send. In four of the recent Surrey cases, a courier turned up.
Fortunately in only six of the 20 recent attempts were successful. However, the personal total loss of £58,705 is huge. The highest single loss is believed to be £22,000.
Older people are particularly vulnerable and the ideal target. All victims were over 60, most over 75 and the oldest 94. Sixteen victims were female, most living alone. In one unsuccessful case, the victim’s husband had passed away just two weeks before.
Police are offering support and advising about prevention because victims can be targeted frequently.
PC Bernadette Lawrie BEM, the Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer for Surrey Police said: “This is a heartbreaking crime that preys on the most vulnerable in our communities and often targets a generation who believe in helping police and want to do the right thing.
“It can leave victims feeling embarrassed, low in confidence and blaming themselves, which they absolutely mustn’t. The only people to blame are the immoral perpetrators of this crime.
“Remember, no police officer, or bank staff on the phone, will ever ask for your bank details, PIN or for cash. Don’t give your details or cash to anyone in these circumstances. Hang up the phone straight away.”
Top tips to help stop this type of fraud are:
- Act with care if you get an unsolicited phone call;
- Never transfer funds into a new account on the instruction of an unexpected caller, even if they tell you the account is in your name;
- Always check your phone line has properly disconnected before making another call. Call a good friend first, wait five minutes or use a different phone;
- Never share your PIN code or enter your PIN into a telephone;
- Never withdraw money and hand it to a “courier” or “police officer”; and
- Never give your bank cards to anyone who comes to your door.
For further advice and information on preventing this type of fraud, see the Surrey Police website linked here: https://www.surrey.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/wsi/watch-schemes-initiatives/os/operation-signature/
Three Cheers from the Waverley Web for this huge achievement. However, perhaps it is time to dispel the myth that our tiny team, also based in Farnham, is in any way linked to this giant of progressive local journalism.
However, what a great pity that it has recently lost some of its treasured freelance journalists that have served the newspaper for many years. Including their stalwart Haslemere reporter – the much loved and highly respected Bea Philpott.
The newspaper of the year titles for 2019 was won by:
Daily Newspaper of the Year Above 400,000 Monthly Reach: The Yorkshire Post.
Daily Newspaper of the Year Below 400,000 Monthly Reach: Western Mail.
Paid for Weekly/Sunday Newspaper of the Year Above 50,000 Monthly Reach: Bucks Free Press.
Paid for Weekly/Sunday Newspaper of the Year Below 50,000 Monthly Reach: Farnham Herald. Sponsored by Camelot.
Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year: Islington Tribune.
Website of the Year award went to HullLive, Hull Daily Mail.
The Birmingham Mail was chosen as the joint winner for daily newspaper Campaign of the Year category for its focus on the Birmingham Pub Bombings. The judges also awarded top marks to the Power up the North campaign carried jointly by titles from publishers Newsquest, Reach and JPIMedia.
A full list of award winners can be found below and by visiting the event page where there is full coverage of all of the nominated entries in all categories.
In a video message of support, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP paid tribute to all who worked in the regional press. He added: “Particularly local and regional press has a unique role to play both in holding local politicians to account and in building a sense of community.”
Will Government promises resemble Mary Berry’s pie crusts – easily broken? Or does ‘Your Waverley’ and Surrey County Council’s having nothing to fear for its future finances?
Speaking at the Daily Press Conference in May Communities Minister Robert Jenrick congratulated his Government on the money handed to local councils.
A journalist said although Birmingham City Council had already received £250m – like other councils across the country its services including car parks, children’s services and leisure centres had been badly impacted by the coronavirus epidemic. He claimed if the Government didn’t match its words with actions, all these services would be compromised.
In response, Mr Jenrick said:
“let me be very clear to all council leaders across the country. We will stand behind them and ensure they will have the resources that they need to carry out the absolutely critical functions they are playing in the national response to the CV. That was the promise that I made to council leaders, as did the Prime Minister early in the life of the emergency.”
We have already provided 3.2 billion of additional resources to councils in just the last two months. We are providing a further £4billion of cash-flow precisely so that they should not have to face the difficult choice that you describe responding to the virus in their communities and for the very important public services – like refuse collection and services to vulnerable children in their communities.
In the West Midlands, local councils will receive £374m to deal with the pressures of the CV, and that comes on top of a very generous settlement at the beginning of the Financial Year which has already increased its spending power by over £300m.
If further resources are required to meet the CV related costs we have asked councils to bear, then obviously we will take that into consideration in the near future. I have been working closely with local council leaders and the Mayor of the West Midlands, who is doing a fantastic job in leading the community forward during this very difficult time.”
Patrick ~Journalist: The key issue here S of S is to make sure the extra support gets through to ALL the local authorities immediately. Take Shropshire as an example. It says that the money it has received does not cover the costs it has incurred and Shrewsbury TC has been saying that money is not filtering down to them and they are the closest to the communities that actually need the help!
Robert Jenrick: “Firstly, in terms of ensuring their residents get what they need. “We are absolutely committed to doing that. Councils are receiving more money, so far, than they reported to us that they need to meet the COVID related costs. They are also seeing a significant reduction in their income because nobody is using car parks and leisure centres. That is a separate issue that we are focusing on.
Of the £1.6m that we gave we are making sure that a significant amount did flow down to the lower tier councils so that your average district council in England will now receive in the coming days a futher£1m or more in grants to help them with their expenditure and also to stabilise their finances.
We have also asked that parish councils should speak to their principal councils who have received that £1m if they need more funding so that the money flows down if they are under financial pressure. We have to get through this together.”
So, fear not all you councillors, from the top to the grass roots of local government – you can rely on the word of Robert Jenrick – and your council coffers will runneth over?
Despite being one of the largest towns in Surrey – Woking has the lowest rate of COVID-19 infections in the county.
The number of cases in Woking 188. Rate of Infection 185.8
All the more significant as Woking has a large ethnic population, a group which has been badly affected by the virus around the rest of the country.
Why? We wonder. According to the local MP Jonathan Lord – Simples. The vast majority of his constituency had responded to the virus epidemic in an “exemplary fashion.”
However, what he didn’t say was how well the local nursing homes had responded in the early days of the infection when they refused to take in any residents from hospitals, ensuring they had the right PPE, closed to any visitors, and prepared isolation areas for any eventuality before the official lock-down began.
Mr Lord, who is a regular visitor to the town’s nursing homes, said he was extremely grateful to Woking’s residents and businesses, who had followed government, scientific and medical advice. He said the number of local infringements had been “vanishingly small,’
He was delighted that Woking has one of the lowest infection rates in the whole of Surrey, and I know we will do our best to keep it that way, even though we have now started the vital task of opening up our shops’ businesses and schools.”
Waverley did not fare quite so well. The number of cases 305. Rate of Infection 242.8
There have been more than 300 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the borough of Waverley, which includes its largest towns of Farnham and Godalming.
South West Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt said “I think on the whole residents in Waverley have been very sensible and have followed and adapted to government guidelines which explain the relatively low infection rates in the borough.
“We’ve had a fantastic local response from the community and have also seen councils working together along with groups and volunteers to support those shielding or struggling. We are also very fortunate to have some amazing health and care professionals and brilliant neighbouring hospitals where the response has been first class.”
Guildford – number of cases 386. Rate of infection 261
With just short of 400 confirmed cases of coronavirus, Guildford and its surrounding areas have the fourth-highest rate of infection across Surrey according to figures from the Health Service Journal (HSJ).
Guildford and Cranleigh MP Angela Richardson was contacted for comment but did not respond.
A total of 96 patients have died within the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust following a positive test for coronavirus, as of June 15.
A message from Andrew Watkins
The impact of the current pandemic on charities has been well documented in the press. However, the lockdown has had a severe knock-on impact on local sports clubs.
The club I play with, Farncombe Wanderers (based at Broadwater Park in Farncombe) is a small club run by volunteers, relying on player subs and bar takings to keep the club going.
Without games this summer, there is no revenue coming into the cricket club. This affects not only the First XI that play every Saturday in the l’Anson League, but also the junior All Stars and our Girls and Ladies sections, the latter of which were set for their first foray into League cricket this year.
Club volunteers are working hard to keep the club going through these difficult times. Players have paid subs even though there is no cricket being played. However, we still face a significant revenue shortfall. As a result, we’ve set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to keep the club afloat: http://gf.me/u/x8y48c.
Farncombe Wanderers is a fantastic family cricket club. Any donations will contribute towards ensuring we are able to continue once this is all over for players of all ages and abilities. If anyone is able to help, please consider making a donation at the link above.
The Berkeley Bunnies (BB’s) burrowing (or not) into the Woolmead site in East Street, Farnham – have had a change of pocket about providing sufficient car parking spaces to serve the development.
Not satisfied with getting away with providing NO affordable housing in the East Street development, or off-site affordable housing either, the BB’s now want to drop 61 car of the promised 141 parking spaces in the basement car park. But has thrown a crumb of comfort our way by offering 30 12-month season tickets for council-owned car parks – thereby reducing parking for Farnham’s residents!
Why? OH, Why? We hear you cry?
Because the developer claimed the scheme was no longer viable – and that was long before the Coronavirus was even a little gleam in the eye of a Wahun bat, let alone toasted and roasted for a Chinamans’ lunch!
When consent was granted the BB’s were given considerable latitude by Waverley Planners in its provision of residential development. If it had stuck to the rules, there should have been more larger units and some affordable homes.
However, the BB’s argued the location was more suitable for smaller homes – so dropped the provision of 20/30 per cent affordable homes, claiming it wasn’t viable. Why? Because it would only make £10.597m in profit – poor bunnies. Not enough profit = less lettuce!
So everyone rolled over – and some fell out – and there were ten in the bed and the officers’ said – roll over, roll over – you know how the song goes…
So you would have thought that having ridden roughshod over the planners once the BB’s insatiable appetite for lettuces might have been satisfiedl But Oh! No! Now they want to slash the parking provision by 50 per cent. Which doesn’t meat either Waverley’s of Surrey |County Council’s parking standards.
By 50 per cent we hear you cry – WHY?
FOR VIABILITY REASONS THAT’S WHY? And – that was before the downturn in the housing and retail market and the economic abyss we are heading for. So we ask the BB’s – what do you intend to ask Waverley Planners for next?
NO PARKING AT ALL and some HUTCHES?
The planning application will be considered at a remote meeting of the Western Planning Committee on ZOOM on Tuesday, June 26 – and you won’t be surprised to hear that the officers are rolling over once again, aided and abetted by their highwaymen friends at Surrey by recommending approval.
Ah well! It’s an ill wind and all that. At least it will prevent any of the one bed flat owners from owning a car; will help the BERKELEY bunnies get an extra helping of lettuce – and line the Pidgley pockets into the bargain.
As for Waverley’s planning experts. The Farnham Society comment in its objection letter says it all –
If this condition to provide adequate parking in the original planning application is dumped the residents of Farnham will have no faith in Waverley’s Planning Department.
Post COVID-19 the Waverley Web cannot help wondering how many other developers will jump on the BB’s bandwagon that is now rolling across the borough to reduce their obligations under previous planning consents?
Like every other council in Britain, Waverley is facing a horrendous deficit, because income from car parks and leisure centres have disappeared.
This leaves a gap of over £4.5 million, and councils are not legally permitted to run up debts as the Government can. Nor can we raise council tax as that’s fixed for the year.
WW. Here’s the sting?
Finally, there are reports that Government, seemingly finding themselves short of things to do, plans to embark on local government reorganisation in the autumn, converting the current Surrey County Council and borough councils like Waverley into a new structure with one or more unitary authorities. I would have thought that waiting for Covid-19 and Brexit to pass would make sense, and we’ll have to see if they really devote Ministerial time to it!
The Waverley Web has taken the week-end off – because we are all beginning to think the world has gone slightly mad.
Andy Smith, Surrey director of CPRE, the countryside charity, has looked at the implications of the Heathrow Airport Appeal Court ruling
In a landmark decision on February 27 2020, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Government’s plan to expand Heathrow airport was ‘unlawful’.
The court concluded that ministers had acted in complete contradiction of the climate emergency and had failed to factor in the Paris Agreement on climate change. Building a third runway at Heathrow, judges ruled, would stop Britain meeting its internationally agreed climate targets.
This ruling means that the Government must reverse its policy on Heathrow Airport’s expansion.
But it also raises important questions about aviation generally, because it highlights the extent to which, BC – before COVID, expanding the aviation industry and increasing the numbers of flights over south-east England would make the climate situation even worse. We have now experienced how quieter skies have impacted on pollution levels.
However, will the Coronavirus have finally put paid to expansion at Heathrow, whilst increasing the likelihood of expansion at Gatwick? Or, will than Pandemic impact on Gatwick and the thousands of people who work there too?
The case against the Government was brought by Friends of the Earth (FoE), who successfully argued that the impact on the climate was not given due consideration – in line with legal requirements – when planning the expansion of the airport.
In particular, that the Secretary of State chose not to factor in the Paris Agreement, nor the full scale of climate impacts that aviation would create.
Heathrow – BC was one of the UK’s single largest sources of carbon emissions. A third runway would have meant around 700 extra flights per day. It would have made the Government’s own targets of reducing carbon emissions and achieving net zero all but impossible to meet.
FoE’s legal team said after the court’s decision: “This is a great result for the environment, and an excellent example of how we can and should hold the Government to account on their damaging decisions.
“We’ve been opposed to expansion from the start, and it’s hard to overstate what a significant win this is.”
Commenting on the court ruling, Sarah Clayton, coordinator of AirportWatch, said the judgment has “clear implications for any large infrastructure project and will require government ministers to take seriously their obligations to cut carbon emissions, through their Paris commitments.
“The Appeal Court has shown that the Paris agreement has real teeth, and suggests that these targets must now be taken into account in all future big infrastructure projects, including plans for new roads, airport expansion and the building of power stations.”
So, where does this leave Gatwick, the major airport on Waverley’s and Surrey’s doorstep? Particularly AC- after COVID?
With airlines including British Airways pulling out of Gatwick and with 12,500 of its employees facing redundancy many of whom live in the Gatwick diamond area in the Surrey and Sussex what does the future hold?
As things stand, while the threat of Heathrow expansion appears to have knocked back, there are still plans for Gatwick Airport to expand by bringing its emergency runway into regular use, potentially making Gatwick a two-runway airport.
If this happens it would add nearly a million tonnes of extra carbon per day. An extra 90,000 flights and a further 28 million passengers could depart from Gatwick by 2038 if current proposals go ahead.
Gatwick argues this can all be done under ‘permitted development’ and without going through a full planning enquiry.
It’s clear that the implication of the Appeal Court ruling on Heathrow is that there should be no new runways at all.
If the Government is serious about tackling climate change and reaching the UK’s target of carbon zero by 2050, it should be prepared to block any airport expansion proposed for the south-east of England, including Gatwick.
CPRE encourages everyone to write to the Secretary of State for Transport objecting to any expansion of Gatwick Airport and pointing to the Appeal Court ruling on Heathrow.
The climate emergency, the importance of protecting biodiversity and the natural environment, and the threats to air quality and rural tranquillity from increased flights, are all compelling reasons to oppose the unnecessary and environment-wrecking expansion of Gatwick Airport.
Write to: Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport, Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 4DR.
The Waverley Web believes that the borough council has been more than fair with us all and we have heard from NHS workers how helpful they have found the measures.. However, as with all things – even hopefully, the Coronavirus emergency – all things come to an end.
So on behalf of our followers. Thank you Waverley Borough Council for (a) giving us the breathing space on car parking (b) keeping us informed every step of the way and (c) asking us for any suggestions we may have in the future. As for the miserable 4p in the £ you keep from business rates – ‘disgraceful.’
May we also suggest that when all the number crunchers get back to work in the Finance Department at Waverley – they tell us all – exactly how much money filtered down from the Government to the grass roots e.g. borough district and parish councils during the emergency. Because we have a full transcript of Housing Minister Robert Jenrick’s press briefing when he pledged that No council would be out of pocket due to the pandemic?
Apparently this little missive caused a bit of a to-do on the Cranleigh Community Board yesterday.
If anyone would like to take issue with the accuracy of the report of the Cranleigh Parish Council meeting perhaps they would like to contact us when we will be more than happy to correct any errors. email@example.com
Councillors agreed At an Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting this week to seek ways of abiding by a mandate given by parishioners at a Public Meeting last September.
It was there that a large crowd called on the council to seek the return of land called ‘The Paddock Field’ exchanged in a land swap with Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust for a peppercorn £1. Claiming this parish was for the prime purpose of a new community hospital.
Although the council has refused the repeated request from the Trust to meet with its representatives to discuss its planning applications, on Monday Chairman Liz Townsend said once again the charity had asked to meet the Chairman to discuss only ‘community matters.’
Its latest ruse to single out the Chairman for talks failed, but Cllr Townsend asked her colleagues if they would agree for a meeting with recently appointed Trust representative Richard Everitt. However, she would only agree if the Clerk and vice-chairman, Nigel Sanctuary were included.
Recently yet another chapter opened on a 20-year-old saga by a charity to build a community hospital and day hospital, with public money, for local people. A decade later it morphed into an 80-bed Private Care Home, 20 community beds and a block of bedsits for anyone in the Surrey Heartlands Trust area. Villagers objected to their donated money being used for a private enterprise, and the planners threw the scheme out.
Now with a planning refusal tucked under its belt and with a change of name from Cranleigh Village
HOSPITAL to Cranleigh Village HEALTH Trust it wants to reduce its original scheme by 20% and build a 64-bed Private Care Home, 16 community beds and a block of 1/2 bedroom flats.
Several councillors – including James Betts, Richard Cole and Marc Scully all expressed their disappointment that, once again, the Charity, was attempting to pick off a couple of councillors in a bid to talk behind closed doors.
Cllr Townsend said she would not allow any discussion on forthcoming planning applications or appeals stressing that with their agreement, only the ‘community aspect of the scheme would be discussed. Full minutes would be taken, circulated and made available to the public.
Councillors commented that they had always been open and transparent in their dealings with the Trust, and although they would only support talks, within strict parameters they saw no reason why all councillors should not be involved, and any discussion held in public.
Said James Betts: “I find it very disappointing and I would like to know why CVHT want a private meeting with just one councillor and the clerk. Mr Everitt is a new face and we will not all be there to question him – face to face, and will hear what went on second-hand. This is a very sensitive issue with our residents.”
It was agreed the meeting could take place – during which it was unanimously agreed that the Chairman would convey the subject of the residents mandate given to the parish council by a public vote at the September 2019 public meeting for the land to be returned to the parish.
She explained that in an exchange of legal letters for the land exchange it was agreed by both parties (CVHT & CPC) that should the development of the hospital and day hospital not go ahead within 5 years the land would be returned to the parish.
Cllr Betts said it appeared from its recent presentation CVHT – A Cranleigh Charity has now unveiled its new development plans to village leaders… that the charity intended to go down the same road it had been following and intended to pursue another planning application. It appeared CVHT had no intention of adhering to the Covenant and although we may ask to have that conversation on the return of the land – it is quite clear it has other intentions and wants to develop that land. However, I would like the question asked:
“Are there any circumstances where CVHT would consider returning the land back to the parish council – and I would like to see a written response?”
It was agreed to discuss the matter again at the next Full Council Meeting – and after parish representatives had met with the charity the council would write to its lawyers and discharge its responsibilities by seeking the return of the land.
In the meantime – The Cranleigh Village `Hospital Campaign Group’ issued this press release to the Waverley Web.
Cranleigh Village Hospital Campaign Group
This group is run in conjunction with “Cranleigh Village Hospital We Want Answers” and is for the campaign to re-open the minor injury unit and to campaign against a private care home being built in Knowle Lane.
Nearly £1.8m was raised by the public in the belief it was to be used for the purpose of building a new fully functioning hospital including a minor injury clinic and the health centre.
Plans were granted for this but was left to lapse when the GP’s withdrew from the deal when the CVHT expected them to fund their part of the venture with their own money.
The hospital was going to be built on The Paddock Field which once belonged to the Parish Council.
The Parish Council at the time (2005) sold the the Paddock Field for the sum of £1 to the CVHT. A private landowner who was also a trustee of the charity donated a piece of land known as the Bruce McKenzie Field to the Parish Council but kept a ransom strip around it meaning there are not full access rights to the land.
The Paddock Field, now owned by the CVHT was last valued at £2.4m.
There was not a public consultation in regard to the land swap even though the Paddock Field belonged to the people of the Parish.
There was a covenant placed on the land that gave the Parish Council the right to take possession of the Paddock Field if the hospital or something that was beneficial to the community was not built within 5 years. For some reason, the Parish Council never acted upon this.
Up until 2019 the CVHT were still using the word “hospital” in the title of their charity, knowing full well that they were never going to build a new hospital.
We as a campaign group found this to be misleading as the public were still donating money thinking the hospital was still a possibility.
Although the CVHT accounts are readily available online, they have only just started to be a bit more forthcoming with what the money raised had been spent on.
The CVHT have always said that their aim was to bring back community beds to Cranleigh. As time went on and the money dwindled they changed from their original plan of a new hospital to a commercial venture with care home provider HC-ONE who are massively in debt.
There is only a 5 year deal regarding the funding from the NHS and Surrey County Council for the community beds. If this funding is not renewed there is a chance that the community beds could be rented out privately back to the care home.
The aim of The Cranleigh Village Hospital Campaign Group is simple, we want the private care home planning stopped, the Paddock Field land returned to the Parish and the remaining CVHT money given to the Cranleigh Village Hospital League Of Friends.
We would also like to see a minor injury clinic and some community beds for the local community reinstated in Cranleigh Village Hospital.
The Cranleigh Village Hospital Campaign Group Comm
Will Cranleigh and the eastern villages soon be awash with nursing home beds?
At a time when older people are finding alternative ways of being cared for due to the massive death toll in Nursing Homes due to the Coronavirus – care operators in Cranleigh are seeking more beds.
Waverley Planners recently granted consent to the long-established Knowle Park Nursing Home- a medium- sized operator in the elderly nursing sector- The Caring Homes Healthcare Group.
Officers granted permission for 23 additional bedrooms and a new day lounge/orangery saying it would make an important contribution towards meeting the local need.
The home is based in Knowle Lane in a large former manor house which was converted many years ago to provide accommodation for up to 46 elderly people (41 bedrooms including five double rooms) including those with physical needs and dementia.
There was some concern from nearby residents to the large increase in the size of the home – almost one third – mainly due to the extra traffic which would be generated into the site from Knowle Lane. However neighbours generally supported an increase in the home’s capacity.
** Soon Waverley Planners and Government Inspectors will be faced with yet more schemes in the same country lane for more care home beds.
The newly named Cranleigh Village HEALTH Trust has warned village leaders it intends to lodge a planning application for 64 private care home beds and 16 community beds and a block of one and two-bedroom flats on nearby land, behind Wiskar Drive in Knowle Lane
In tandem -it also intends to Appeal to the Government against the refusal of Waverley Planners in 2019 to allow it to build 80-bed Care Home for HC-ONE together with 20 Community Beds.
However, when the Trust announced its intention to re-apply and appeal – it made no mention of the Care Home Operator. Has the Trust had second thoughts who it wants to get into bed with?
HC-ONE is Britain’s largest Care Home chain was recently threatened with closure of one of its homes for being ‘unsafe.’ In May more than 700 of its staff and residents had died after confirmed or suspected cases of the Coronavirus in ints 300 care homes.
The operator also raised the alarm last month of its ability to carry on carrying its huge debt burden.
*** Last night at an Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting village leaders agreed it would follow the mandate it received from the people of Cranleigh last September and seek the return of the parish land which formed part of a land swap with The Cranleigh Village Health Trust – which was originally intended for a new community hospital.
Post to follow…
WITH the lockdown eased, it seems a good time to review what has happened since March, together with activity in the past week.
* Castle Street botch
I hinted previously at the issues involved with the replaced paving in Castle Street in May.
Did you have a chance to look? According to Surrey Highways, the works are ‘finished’ – but I believe many of the residents wouldn’t accept the standard of workmanship on the path down the side of their house. The footpath adjacent to Bill Restaurant is particularly appalling.
As you may have seen, work to the pavements has started on the south side of West Street.
* Housing developments
Work has resumed at Abbey View, Folly Heights and Little Acres housing sites. There appears to be limited activity at Brightwells. I contacted the developers or their PR companies looking for an update on their resumption of works?
Taylor Wimpey was the most helpful, providing a statement quickly. It was the first developer to stop construction and appeared to lead resumption of works on the Abbey View site. It said: “A new set of protocols for all sales offices and show homes has been developed alongside new safety measures which have been introduced to protect the health and safety of its customers and employees.”
No indication of the impact on programme and house availability was offered.
Work has also resumed on CALA’s Folly Heights site, but activity looks limited at the moment.
Activity on Bellway’s Little Acres site was intense but closely monitored.
Nothing from Crest Nicholson. Surely now is the time for Surrey to announce a Plan B for the retail sector of the development. Who needs more shops and restaurants now?
WW – A question on all our lips?
* National retailer closures
Carphone Warehouse in West Street ceased trading on April 3 as a result of the company’s decision to close its standalone stores.
The firm says the move is not related to the coronavirus outbreak but was because of the changing mobile phone market. It said the 40 per cent of staff affected by the closures are expected to take new roles in the business.
Johnson Shoes Company, the parent company of footwear retailers Johnsons Shoes and Bowleys Fine Shoes, filed for administration in the week of May 18, marking yet another casualty amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bowley shop in Farnham is in the listed building The Spinning Wheel, formerly the Goat’s Head Inn in The Borough. The building was restored by architect Harold Falkner under the patronage of Charles Borelli around 1910.
A Johnson Shoe spokesman said: “We have had a number of expressions of interest in the business but it remains for sale, and it’s imperative we find a buyer in the near future.”
Let’s hope the business survives.
* New arrivals
Diane Meyers opened for business as Ultimate Male Grooming (UMG) on Wednesday, March 11 and unfortunately had to close because of Covid-19 on Friday, March 20. As it ‘says on the tin’, they provide male grooming services but also have a coffee shop, which is currently open for takeaways. They intend to reopen the grooming part of the shop on Saturday, July 4.
Looking forward to things getting back to nearer normal, in the meantime stay safe. A further update next week. David Howell – Farnham Society.
This article first appeared in the amazing Farnham Herald.
We heard the mutter going on in the Cranleigh gutter from right over here in Farnham yesterday – it was so loud.
Quite a little brew-ha-ha broke out on the Cranleigh Community Board (not to be confused with the Cranleigh Community Group), which we can view – but the other one seemingly run by Cranleigh Parish Councillor Hannah Nicholson, from which we are banned. Aided and abetted by the previous Editor/Controller Martin Bamford – better known in the village as ‘BB ‘Batty Bamford.’
Some of the locals have written to us on our private mail: firstname.lastname@example.org about the Parish councillor shutting down legitimate debate on social media.
For some considerable time, villagers were forced to put up with the constant drip, drip, of drivel that was dispensed by that self-promoting Cranleigh crank, Martin Bamford?
Having set up the Cranleigh Community Board, BB, as he is known locally, threw his toys out of the pram and left the Board when people insisted on posting comments that he and his cronies in the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce didn’t like or agree with.
Huge sighs of relief all round then!
Then up he pops like Punch and dived back in again, aided by his Judy. Because the rival Cranleigh Community Group, which was set up by Andy Webb to question and debate Bamford and his cronies’ self-interested take on Cranleigh, dared to launch a petition to stop a PRIVATE CARE HOME being built on a site that had formerly been promoted as a REPLACEMENT VILLAGE HOSPITAL.
Then, shock horror, the CCG dared to support bringing back to the eastern villages, a once treasured minor injuries unit, which could become an Urgent Care Centre.
In short, the Village has gone to war several times with Bamford and his cronies and he doesn’t like it. He doesn’t like it one little bit. In fact, he’s fizzing and foaming with fury. He’ gets so cross when his opinions aren’t followed you can hear the elastic in his Y-fronts pinging!
So now when he isn’t putting his oar into the board he still believes he owns – he is busy self-promoting himself on yes, you guessed – the Cranleigh Village HEALTH Trust website! Really – will you stop at nothing BB? Or do you have to pay for services rendered?
As for the Cranleigh councillor – perhaps someone on the parish council should suggest she use her ample talents to represent the people who voted for her on village issues – and let Bamford have his Board back?
80 homes proposed on Land at Coordinates 504360 134890, Horsham Road, Alfold.
Here’s a missive from one of our Alfold Followers – who is spitting feathers – and can you blame her?
Dear Waverley Web,
‘As ever – these idiots seem to think they can get away with shoddy Desk-Based studies… if they cannot get the facts right with regards to their drainage system/SUDS etc or flow direction of waterways – then it beggars belief. Just for a change, Surrey County Council seems to have got its act together (probably due to working from home!) and the Document below says it all… Well done Michael Burch!
Having read the developers awful Transport Assessment (all 200 Pages of it ) and what a waste of paper and ink – it was absolute unadulterated waffle. You can tell any ‘STORY’ you want to with Statistics … The survey was carried out on 4th March 2020 which, although shortly before the COVID Lockdown, was undertaken when everyone was starting to get anxious and keeping close to home. I know as I was visiting my Father at St. Peters and the roads were so much quieter even then.
The developer wanted to move the access to the development on the A281 further South – but that necessitated the removal of so much of the Native Hedgerows SCC said it wasn’t viable so officers came back with these measures:
So Much safer now then!!!
Have any of your readers used the Alfold Petrol Filling Station at The Crossways? You take your life in your hands going in, and it is only a little easier coming out!
Would you believe that on the other side of the filling station – yet another access to yet another shedload of houses consented at the former Wyevale Garden Centre site?
If you live in or around Alfold – or travel the A281 Horsham/Guildford Road read this.
Anyone walking on Horsham Road and Alfold Crossways – will know it is a shockingly dangerous road with HGV’s and other traffic far exceeding the speed limit. With Pavements that are totally unsuitable for young families especially children/dogs as it has limited visibility when trying to cross the A road between Horsham and Guildford in either direction
This developer simply shouldn’t even be wasting the Waverley Planning Officers’ time. It should be thrown out as over development in a small village, which has already met its housing quota and with extremely limited facilities, putting an ever-increasing burden on Cranleigh’s water, sewage, health and educational facilities.
“We have no schools here – Surrey County Council closed them here in Alfold and in nearby Dunsfold!”
But not a drop to drink in May/June in parts of ‘Your Waverley!
Remember this in Cranleigh?
And this in Godalming?
Now there’s not a drop to drink unless of course its comes in a bottle in parts of the Waverley borough including Cranleigh, Haslemere. Other areas are suffering from either no water at all – including Winterfold in Cranleigh which has been without water off an on for weeks and other villages where the water pressure is low or non-existent.
So who steps in to bring Thames Water to heel?
‘Your Waverley’s Executive’ Committee..
Haven’t you ever heard about – Saving for a rainy day?
You know the box that says –
NO MORE BUILDING UNTIL WE CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH THE NECESSARY WATER STORAGE FACILITIES AND A SUPPLY THAT CAN MEET THE EXPECTED DEMAND!
You can now take more things to the Surrey Community Recycling Centres – except Cranleigh!♻️
So come on Cllr Young aka ‘Queen Victoria’ and Andrew – our little Povey- and get it open or you could find yourselves out of a job next May!
Coronavirus – Community Recycling Centres update
Most of Surrey’s Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) have reopened to accept a wider range of items.
Residents can take batteries, black bag waste, bulky waste, cardboard, gas bottles, green waste, hazardous waste, scrap metal, small electronics, white goods, and wood.
The CRCs are unable to accept chargeable waste (soil, rubble, plasterboard or tyres) and textiles at present.
Residents using a van, pick-up or trailer can use the sites again, but will still need a valid van permit, as usual. Hire vehicles must have vehicle hire documentation clearly displayed in the windscreen. No vans, pick-ups or trailers will be allowed access onto the Farnham CRC.
The number of people allowed on site at one time are limited and there are revised opening hours.
Residents should only use the CRCs if they absolutely need to, and must check for the latest information before they travel, as these arrangements are subject to change. Please see individual site information for further details.
Due to the fewer numbers of people who can safely be on site and the impact of potential queuing on surrounding roads, our smaller sites in Bagshot, Caterham, Cranleigh, Dorking and Warlingham will remain closed.
Visiting a Community Recycling Centre
Pedestrians cannot walk into any of the CRCs
The following measures will be in place at all CRCs:
- Upon entering the site you will be directed to a lane to wait until a bay becomes available.
- Once a bay becomes free you will be asked to reverse into a numbered bay.
- There will be clearly marked walkways and only one person will be able to be on the gantries to access the containers at any time.
- Once you have disposed your waste you will need to leave by the exit.
As a result of the social distancing measures, the number of people allowed on the site at any one time will be limited. It’s expected that only a quarter of cars will be able to pass through the sites, compared to the typical peak time visitor levels at this time of year. Therefore, queues are expected and people should only visit the CRC if it’s essential. We ask that you bear with us whilst operation of this restricted service gets underway.
Please treat site staff with respect and consideration during this challenging period.
Please see each individual community recycling centre (CRC) below for details of their addresses, opening hours and what you can and cannot take to them and any restrictions that apply.
Our community recycling centres
Alternatively, our community recycling centres are as follows:
- Bagshot (closed)
- Caterham (closed)
- Cranleigh (closed)
- Dorking (closed)
- Lyne (Chertsey)
- Warlingham (closed)
Please note: We do not tolerate any form of abuse directed towards our site staff. Any serious incidents or threatening behaviour will be reported to the police and may result in council services being withdrawn.
Or could there be trouble ahead for Farnham?
Will ‘Your Waverley’ be backing this cunning plan – after its former Tory administration’s huge success of promoting piles of rubble on the Woolmead site, and a looming financial disaster at Blightwells? What better place, and opportune time than right now for Surrey County Council to use Farnham as a guinea pig?
Can we see MP Jeremy Hunt and his Tory mates’ sticky fingers all over this?
FARNHAM’S one-way system is to undergo its most comprehensive overhaul in decades next month – with a pioneering social-distancing pavement widening project set to coincide with a major gas upgrade in the town.
The government has given councils emergency measures during the coronavirus pandemic to temporarily create wider pavements and new cycle paths to ensure people can keep a two-metres apart.
The county council is waiting to hear its share of a national £250m fund to support this.
An inaugural meeting of the Farnham Project Board last Friday, was charged with finding a solution to Farnham’s chronic traffic and pollution woes, plans have already been unveiled for pavement widening in Farnham, Godalming and Reigate.
Godalming Town Council has already been granted permission to close the town centre to traffic – but details are yet to be confirmed for the Farnham scheme, which is complicated by the lack of a north/south relief road for displaced traffic.
Surrey wants to close a lane of Downing Street and The Borough – with Farnham In Bloom volunteers potentially playing a role in using flower planters to separate pedestrians and cyclists from traffic.
Matt Furniss, cabinet member for highways, said:
“There are huge economic, social and environmental benefits to creating temporary wide pavements and cycle paths.
“These range from helping people feel able to support their local traders, to improving mental and physical health, and reducing congestion and air pollution.
“This is a fast-paced response to the coronavirus outbreak, but it links with our strategic aim of creating healthier, happier streets in Surrey.
“The pilot in Farnham will test how pavement widening will work, and we will change as necessary to deliver better streets for residents.”
It coincides with utility company SGN’s announcement that it will shortly start “safety-critical gas network upgrades” in Farnham town centre – set to take place over 21 weeks starting this week.
An SGN spokesman said: “Following close consultation with Surrey County Council, our contractor I&G will be carrying out safety-critical and essential gas mains upgrades between Brightwells Road and Firgrove Hill in eight phases.”
As illustrated to the right, phase one began in Firgrove Hill on Tuesday (May 26), requiring temporary traffic lights.
Subsequent phases will see work continue in Brightwells Road from June 8, and lane closures in South Street from June 22 to August 17.
The most significant of these, phase five, will see a lane closure at South Street’s junction with the A31 at Hickleys Corner.
For around four weeks from July 20, no traffic will be able to access the town from the A31 via South Street, with no left turn into Union Road from South Street and no access along Longbridge Road heading south towards the bridge.
Work will then continue between the bridge at Longbridge and Firgrove Hill up to its junction with Saxon Croft, and eventually Trafalgar Court from August 17 to mid-September.
And finally, phase eight will see works return to Brightwell Road for approximately four weeks from September 21, to carry out final connections and reinstatement.
An SGN spokesman continued: “Vehicle access to properties will be maintained and our team on the ground will let customers know in advance in the unlikely event this is not possible. Access to car parks will be maintained and pedestrian walkways will stay open.
“We’re continuing to liaise with the UK government and public health bodies to make sure we work safely and in line with expert advice during the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We have extra safety precautions in place to protect our colleagues and customers from catching or spreading the virus as we carry out this safety-critical project.”
Don’t by apprehensive about visiting the hospital. If it was good enough for one of our WW followers- then its good enough for you.
He visited the RSCH recently and in a word said it was – “brilliant.” As clean as a new pin, hand sanitiser everywhere. Dedicated lanes to enter and exit, and when you reach a department your temperature is taken, you wash your hands thoroughly, with someone watching over you to ensure you do! Then, it’s business as usual.
One way systems, assigned entrances and adjusted waiting areas are all part of the preparations that Royal Surrey County Hospital Trust has put in place to keep patients and staff safe as on-site appointments are re-introduced from Monday, June 1.
Jacqui Tingle, director of Infection Prevention and Control, said: “Although the number of seriously ill patients with Covid-19 in the Trust continues to decline, we know that Covid-19 will be with us for some time yet.
“This means that we need to start to see and treat some outpatients face-to-face.
“Of course, where it is possible and appropriate to do so, we will continue to offer outpatient appointments via phone or video, but for some patients, we need to see them in person.
“We understand though that for many people the thought of coming into the hospital might make the, feel a little anxious, so here are some of the ways that we will keep patients and staff safe during their visit.
“We are reducing the number of patients who are seen face-to-face at the same time and we have adjusted waiting rooms and clinic rooms to maintain social distancing (if possible).
“We will also be introducing one-way systems in many areas, and reducing the number of patients using the main hospital entrance.
“Our drive-thru services for Pharmacy, Maternity, St. Luke’s and Cardiac Pacing will also continue to run.”
All patients who are invited for a face-to-face appointment will be asked to complete a screening questionnaire at 14 days and 24 hours before their outpatient appointment.
This will also be repeated on arrival at the hospital for their appointment. Other measures to ensure safety include:
- Detailed instructions and a site map, with which entrance to use, included with appointment letters;
- Clear signage for one-way systems around the hospital two-metre markers for social distancing;
- Socially distanced waiting rooms;
- The use of PPE by the clinician where social distancing is not possible;
- Temperature checking for some specific clinics.
Mrs Tingle added: “Please remember that although many NHS services look a little different, we are here for you if you need us.
“If you feel unwell, it is important that you seek help. Remember, you can access a lot of advice and guidance online at www.nhs.uk, from freephone NHS 111, your pharmacy, or GP.”
As you may know the property arm of Surrey County Council wants to relocate three schools into new buildings in Cranleigh.
The chosen site is behind existing homes on Cranleigh Common – and the new access for all the pedestrian traffic is between existing residential properties along an old, mainly disused footpath, opposite The Curry Inn on the High Street.
It is intended to provide around 540 places for primary school children and 68 nursery school places.
There is no parking provision, so presumably, the county wally’s are expecting motorists to stop in the high street to let their children out to walk across a common and reach the dark and dismal footpath alongside, we are told by the locals, a large white house owned by, wait for it, yes you guessed the Flying Dutchman. We collect stamps and money-off vouchers – he collects property?
We have heard from villagers that they are predicting illegal parking and traffic chaos in the High St.
We heard that the planning application for the school replacements was to be considered on January 14th, but the meeting, according to the SCC website was cancelled. Does anyone over there know when it will be considered? Or, has it already been granted under officers delegated powers? Because if there are not enough letters of objection it will go through on a nod and a wink!
Here’s a post we made earlier.
Traffic chaos and danger for children in Cranleigh here it comes?
Please note this is an amended proposal so any comments made previously need to be resubmitted.
Please write, quoting the reference number SCC Ref 2018/0138 to:
Caroline Smith (case officer) MWCD@surreycc.gov.uk
Copies to: Andrew Povey (surrey county councillor)
Just as a matter of interest.
Here’s what the Cranleigh Society, the organisation that speaks up for the village says:
All our concerns for the future of Cranleigh Primary Schools continue…
We are still beavering away as best we can – and for all the letters and emails you sent to the various people we suggested – thank you! We have received the Officers’ responses and are examining all minutely for gaps in logic and care.
We feel under threat.
We believe Cranleigh is under threat from Surrey County council due to its apparent willingness to proceed to build a new school on its green fields. However, it does NEED planning permission from Waverley Borough Council to build around 90 & 17 dwellings on the existing school sites in order to part-fund the new school and nursery.
They consulted with the right people?
Various meetings and online papers produced over the years – lead everyone to believe they’re actually was no choice. To obtain a new school and nursery the community has to have all that new housing. SCC has done its figures – others have too, and just don’t agree. It is clear that a new school could have been built in the grounds of the old one when the two sites first joined together!
They are sure they can persuade nearly all the children to walk to school
By creating a very congested set of roads the future deems everyone will all walk and cycle – right? Little consideration then for those who have to deliver and collect from more that one school or nursery every day. Those who live further than 2 miles away – yes, those are all meant to walk like our grandparents did – and those who depend on Grandparents and carers who come from further away. A greener future can’t be created this way…..
Traffic and Safety issues
We know that all Primary school suffer traffic issues, especially in September with new intakes! This scheme however beggars belief! Parsonage Road is where people have always parked, including the school buses. Now it is proposed to add more cars and vans of those living in the new housing – and the increased cycling – all accessed from a building tucked away behind established housing on Cranleigh Common. All of whose residents will be adversely impacted by the noise and any possible anti-social behaviour.
We are trying
Cranleigh Society representatives and councillors have been asked to attend a meeting – online soon and hope to represent your views so do write in and let us know details of your feelings – especially if you can “consult” with future parents of the schools and nursery.
The Cranleigh Society.
We are so sorry to see so many people are having terrible trouble with fresh water supply – we suspect things can only get worse with this long – but beautiful! – drought. Let’s find ways to clean and water thoughtfully – in the meantime Thames Water really do need to step up and tell us what is happening.
Several people have had inexplicable tummy bugs very recently – from 48 hours to 3 or 4 days. Could be water connected? keep in touch
WE DIDN’T foresee the virus coming, although there is evidence the government had modelled a response to such a situation.
In anticipation of its eventual control, we should be reviewing options and considering our response to all the matters affecting our town.
One critical sector is retailing. Retailers are in trouble. I don’t know whether you have been keeping track, but numerous national companies have gone into administration, and it has been reported that almost a fifth of UK small businesses are at risk of collapsing within the next month as they struggle to secure emergency cash meant to support them through the coronavirus lockdown.
The hardest-hit sectors have been high-street businesses such as retailers and restaurants that rely on shoppers and nights out.
Carluccio’s was one of these and one of the restaurant chains to be included in the original proposals for Farnham’s Brightwells scheme.
They were reported as losing their battle against higher costs and increased competition in March 2018 but survived by closing down a third of their restaurants as part of a CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) rescue plan.
It was about then we discovered the name missing from Crest Nicholson’s list of ‘already signed up’ companies.
Other companies to have disappeared from the list include Byron Burgers and Wagamama.
Brands that have already disappeared from our high street include Carphone Warehouse in West Street and Laura Ashley in the Lion and Lamb Yard. Another retailer has also shut-up shop in Lion and Lamb Yard (WW)
Poundland has temporarily closed 100 of its 850 stores amid the coronavirus crisis, including the Farnham branch.
Monsoon Accessorize, located in West Street, is looking at a range of options, including a potential sale of part or all of the business, raising fears for the future of its shops.
Outside the town, Debenhams, the department store chain, went into administration on April 9 with the Guildford branch scheduled for closure in 2021. WW We now understand this store will not re-open. Middle-range fashion outlets like Dorothy Perkins, which might have come to Brightwells, are facing financial turmoil as a result of the lockdown, and brands like Cath Kidson, potentially a good fit, have gone into administration.
I have spent some time thinking about the proposals for the commercial element of the Brightwells development, and a couple of things struck me.
Firstly, Crest Nicholson should now accept loss of face and engage with the residents of Farnham, as they were asked to do at the society’s 2018 residents’ associations meeting. Their reply? “No.”
They should accept they need to incorporate some flexibility into the construction of the buildings with commercial uses.
A community asset to replace the Redgrave Theatre should be considered to increase the footfall when part of this site becomes unsustainable.
Another small observation – why aren’t there any public toilets, with disabled access, in the development?
The impact of the coronavirus will be with us for several years, if not a decade. Retail has to adapt.
* By David Howell, chairman of the Farnham Society planning committee
Almost all Waverley’s eggs are in the baskets of Haslemere and Farnham. However, Surrey County Council has splashed the cash all over the country. They have a Martini portfolio of properties – ‘any time – anywhere.’
And that’s what they’re gonna do – In Godalming’s High Street when the shops throw open their doors next week.
This is the way to Barnard Castle…>>>
Our SW Surrey MP gives the THREE lockdown rules Dominic Cummings broke.
The PM’s Special Advisor has been attacked by former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a letter to his constituents, which included us here at the Waverley Web!
In his letter to Waverley constituents, Mr Hunt laid out the three ways that Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules.
As if we needed him to tell us that Big Dom had ignored the key health messages that he wrote and we were told to obey!
Mr Hunt said that he was wrong in coming back into work when he had been with his wife who was ill; he should have stayed at home instead of driving to Durham; and should not have visited Barnard Castle.
The letter read: “These were clearly mistakes – both in terms of the guidance which was crystal clear, and in terms of the signal it would potentially give out to others as someone who was at the centre of government.”
Silly old Jeremy, didn’t he realise that Big Dom was forced to drive to Barnard Castle, because that’s where the locals go for an eye test because it’s Twinned with Specsavers?
Mr Hunt, who ran against Boris Johnson for the Conservative Party leadership in 2019, and is still smarting from his failure, also told us, it was more important to hold the government to account on “whether we really are going to follow global best practice and introduce Korean/German track and trace so we kill off a second wave of the virus and get the economy back on its feet”.
But he said he would not join other Tory MP’s in calling for the senior aides resignation or sacking.
No of course, he wouldn’t. After all if Boris gets the bums rush, who wants to slip seamlessly into his shoes… yep you guessed! Our Jeremy! But be quick because judging by Big Dom’s obvious importance to the Government you may have a race on your hands.
Apparently BD is so clever, infinitely more clever than most of the men in Government – so the pundits say. But if he’s that clever why didn’t he think up something more plausible than excusing his trip to the countryside rather than going to Specsavers? We suspect any 4-year-old could have come up with a better excuse than that.
Jeremy added: “As someone who has been at the centre of media storms with a young family, I know you do make mistakes in these situations.”
“I am also not convinced that politics gains much from the spectacle of scalp-hunting even though I recognise that accountability is central to our democracy and sometimes people do need to resign.”
You must have some serious marks in your a** Jeremy as you rock from side to side on that fence you so often sit on?
Here’s what his opponent at the last General Election told us.
One rule for them, another for us.
This week has been dominated by the revelations about Dominic Cummings but for me it breaks down into two very clear statements.
Did he break the rules? Yes. Has he been punished for that? No
I can really only apply my experience of the local context in Godalming and the wider Waverley where I am a councillor.
Large numbers of residents have emailed me (from all over the borough) over the course of this period asking ‘is it ok if…’ when it came to the lockdown rules.
Many did not exactly love the responses that sometimes, because of the guidelines – I had to give. Most of the time I didn’t love having to give that guidance either – especially considering the sacrifice this sometimes meant for these residents. But that was the guidance and it was very clear (particularly if you had symptoms) and I know people understood that. I also have family within Surrey that I could not visit.
I cannot praise those residents enough for following the guidance and in some cases under some pretty unpleasant circumstances. Some of them at least as serious as the issues allegedly faced by the PM’s senior advisor.
Our MP, Mr Hunt eventually took made a statement and again we can break that down into short statements.
Did Mr Hunt think Mr Cummings broke the very clear rules? Yes. Should there be any consequences? No (and move along, nothing to see here)
We can only conclude from his comments that it is clearly one rule for them, and another for the rest of us down here on the ground.
Reminding us all that his overwhelming desire to one day get the big chair himself means that the only side he is on is not yours, or mine but his own.
Cllr Paul Follows, Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for South West Surrey (2019)
And here’s what the Hon Angie – MP for Guildford & Eastern Villages had to say, and is now Tweeting telling us all to … move on! Who is out of step with their constituents – Angie or Jezza?
A week is a long time in politics, but a year is not a long time pre-election.
Here’s the man Paul Follows, Waverley’s Deputy leader has to beat to take the Surrey County Council seat for Godalming South, Milford and Witley in the May 2020 elections. The Liberal Democrat who put up an amazing fight against MP Jeremy Hunt in the General Election has announced he will stand for Cllr Peter Martin’s county seat.
That is of course, unless Cllr Martin decides to anoint another? As he is after all, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Association. He has also held the seat for almost a two-decades.
Over the coming months we will be revealing what voters would like to know about Mr Martin. Even some of the things that Mr Martin would prefer you didn’t know?
E.g. Has anyone in Bramley ever wondered how that monstrosity of a building which now towers over a listed building in the heart of Bramley’s Conservation Area was ever allowed?
The massive new Science Block that now dominates the centre of Bramley, has a very good friend in… yes – you guessed Cllr Peter Martin, a Governor of St Catherines. Another of Peter Martin’s colleagues Richard Seaborne is also a Governor there. The overdevelopment of the school site has been a bone of contention with residents for many years. For the past 20 years, the school has grown like Topsy and now dominates the village.
Mr Peter Martin
Political grouping: Conservatives
Division: Godalming South, Milford & Witley
Borough and District: Waverley
More information about this councillor
Contact information Home address:
18 Windy Wood, Godalming
Surrey, GU7 1XXPhone: 01483 425644 Mobile: 07881614754 Email: email@example.com
- Children, Families, Lifelong Learning & Culture Select Committee
- Conservative Group Meeting
- Surrey Civilian-Military Partnership Board
- Waverley Local Committee
Term of Office 19/09/2005 – ElectionsCounty Council Elections 2017, 04/05/2017 County Council Elections 2013, 02/05/2013
Are we surprised that the MP for Guildford & the eastern villages is making excuses for Big Dom? Despite Accusations of Repeated Lockdown Breaches
Like Zoe Franklin The Lib Dem’s Parliamentary Spokesman – The Waverley Web believes the MP and former Cranleigh parish councillor should reconsider her support, even if she does risk slowing down her climb up Westminister’s greasy pole? Because, she is undoubedly out of step with most of her constituents – and sticking up for Big Dom, could prove she has pinned her colours to the wrong mast! We cannot help wondering what her predecessor our former MP Anne Milton’s views might be on the subject?
At least we all know now that the Hon Angie was – ordered, advised, told, instructed, cajoaled, by the Whips Office into Tweeting her support for her colleague. Wise choice?
The WW can certainly awards Boris Johnson 10/10 for choosing not to present the facts to the Nation, and refusing to answer any of the train crash of questions from the media. Just a shedload of evasion and waffle, which has led us, and almost everyone else we have spoken to suspecting that even Boris believes, truly believes, that what Big Dom did was wrong. Then another car crash Press Conference where Mr Big was treated as though he runs the country? Or perhaps, he does? So he could give, “with respect” his own interpretation of the rules. ‘Stay at HOME, Protect the NHS Save lives.’
So now do you accept Angie that the message to us voting fodder that has been upholding the law to the letter, not visiting our grandchildren, elderly parents, or helping out our relatives, with children that had the virus, was just aimed at US and not YOU or your colleagues? Might you change your tune/support now the FACTS are revealed? Now we all know he drove 30 miles to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight and then drove to London and popped in for some petrol? Does he/you think we all just fell off the last banana boat!
Was it really worth tarnishing your own, very fragile reputation to support someone elses?
Because if the Police do their job properly, and are unhindered in the task ahead, and there is full disclosure of the FACTS, perhaps you, and others will be slighty more circumspect in future? As a new ‘Girl on the Block’ it is often wise to pause – before obeying an insruction. So may be, you should look before you TWEET?
by Martin Giles of The Guildford Dragon
Guildford’s Conservative MP should “reconsider her support for Dominic Cummings and join the growing chorus of voices calling for him to go”, said Zoe Franklin, the Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesperson for Guildford.
But Angela Richardson MP responded: “It is disappointing to see that the Guildford Liberal Democrats are still quoting from factually inaccurate news reports.”
On Friday (May 22), the media revealed that Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, allegedly broke the lockdown rules by driving 260 miles to County Durham with his wife, sick with coronavirus, to his elderly parents for help with childcare, provoking calls for his resignation.
Claims of further lockdown breaches by Mr Cummings are all over today’s newspapers (May 24).
Ms Franklin said: “Understandably, this has angered and upset so many families and individuals who have diligently remained at home throughout the coronavirus outbreak to keep them and their families safe, and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“It is an illness which has resulted in thousands of people dying alone, families being unable to be with loved ones as they have died, or meant people have been unable to be there to look after seriously ill relatives.
“The lockdown rules about avoiding unnecessary travel and self-isolating were clear and designed to save lives, yet Dominic Cummings appears to have believed they didn’t apply to him. To my mind, it is clear that he should resign from his adviser position or be removed, as has happened for others in similar roles who ignored the rules.
“I was therefore surprised and disgusted to see Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson tweeting in support of him. ”I find it inexcusable that, as far as our MP is concerned, there seems to be one rule for Dominic Cummings and another for the rest of us.
“Ms Richardson’s support is also surprising, given that in previous tweets she has made clear, repeatedly, that people should avoid unnecessary travel and stay home in order to save lives. Yet over the course of several tweets she is now attempting to justify behaviour which has potentially put lives at risk and has violated the clear lockdown rules which she herself had previously, and rightly, enthusiastically endorsed.
“Ms Richardson’s constituents deserve an explanation. Does she also think it’s acceptable for the rest of us to leave self-isolation and travel the length of the country to visit relatives if we’re infected with Covid-19? Or does she think the rules don’t apply to the Prime Minister’s chief adviser?
Ms Richardson responded: “It is disappointing to see that the Guildford Liberal Democrats are still quoting from factually inaccurate news reports.
“Number 10, through the statement released yesterday and the press conference last night (Saturday), addressed questions from the media about the actions of Dominic Cummings.
“I endorse the comments of Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, that safeguarding of both children and those who are in the vulnerable shielding categories has always been a consideration in the guidance issued by the government.
“My tweet speaks of my own personal family circumstances of illness with SARS in 2003 and therefore my perspective and understanding of the difficult decisions parents of young children face in trying to get the best support.
“That the spokesperson for the Guildford Liberal Democrats should use the word disgust in relation to my personal experience as a parent of a very ill baby, while very ill myself is unfortunate.
Twitter reports show the Conservative whips’ office has asked Tory MPs to support the prime minister’s position on the Cummings story.
…To its cry of – “We are NOT DEVELOPERS!”
Chairman Dr Robin Fawkner-Corbett rocked up to the monthly parish council meeting to acquaint village leaders with Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s (CVHT) latest cunning plan. It plans yet another development, in its war of attrition, to be submitted to Waverley Council by June 9. It will sit in tandem with an appeal lodged against a previous refusal for a larger scheme. However, he said he could not ‘yet’ share any documents with village leaders. Power to the people of the eastern villages as they joined Waverley Planners to give a controversial Care Home development the order of the boot.
You try refusing that one with an appeal hanging over your heads Waverley Planners, particularly during a Coronavirus epidemic, when planning meetings are held virtually and there is no Joint Planning Committee!
Was that just what the Dr ordered?
Rumours have been rife for weeks that after being thwarted by Waverley Planners in BC – Life before Covid – the Charity was gearing up for yet another go at building on the former parish council playing field in Knowle Lane that it snaffled for £1 from villagers.
The Dr said a planning application was to be submitted for a 64-bed Care Home – 16 community beds – and an apartment block of 14 individual one and two-bedroom self-contained apartments. The scheme, amounting to a 20% reduction would run in tandem with an Appeal for an 80-bed Care Home, 20 community beds, and a 26- bed apartment block that was REFUSED in December 2019. The Trust’s previous aspirations for a replacement hospital had been overtaken by changes in the health system and an increase in the elderly population, he claimed.
Surprisingly, there was no mentioned of the recent planning consent for 25 extra beds granted to Caring Homes Healthcare Group’s Knowle Park Nursing Home 200 yards away in Knowle Lane just a few months ago?
Neither did he say if the Trust’s partner remains HC- One, reported nationally to be in dire straits! In its latest financial accounts, the national care home operator said: ” if the current worst predictions on occupancy and payroll costs proved correct there would be a “significant impact” on its profitability and cashflows and it would require bank support on deferring loan repayments.”
Adding: “The directors consider the specific downside scenario impact of Covid-19 on the group’s occupancy levels and cash flows to be so significant that it represents a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the group’s . . . ability to continue as a going concern.””
Dr Fawkner-Corbett said there had been “important changes to the Board of Trustees with the resignations of Nick Vrijland and Andy Leahy.’ “We are now delighted to welcome new Trustee Richard Everitt – who brings with him a wealth of business experience.” The Cranleigh resident was appointed on March 3 2020.
The mutter in the village gutter is that the developer duo, currently building 265 homes in Cranleigh – with other developments including at David Manns’ in the pipeline, resigned from the charity to pursue their business interests without charitable constraints!
Dr F-C hoped the new scheme would overcome previous objections of “over massing” as it would have a lesser impact on Wiskar Drive. Though reminded the council that the 2006 consented application (which the Trust allowed to lapse) was a larger building on three floors – larger than that refused in 2018. He said the Trust was obliged to lodge an appeal bearing in mind the large sums of public money raised.
However as always, economical with the truth the Dr failed to mention that the original scheme was for a replacement hospital, health centre – and a day hospital and it was for that purpose that the money was raised.
Mr Everitt read Trustee John Bainbridge’s statement as he had been taken ill shortly before the meeting. This would dispel some urban myths about how much money had been fundraised and a ransom strip around the Beryl Harvey Memorial Field. This was an agreement between the parish council of which he (JB) was then a member, and the landowner (Nick Vrijland), which he claimed, was a “win, win for the community.” A transaction completed in 2010 and which had nothing to do with the Trust.
There had been no fundraising since 2006, though the Trust had continued to accept donations. However, the £2m figure quoted on social media was a myth. The Trust had raised only £950,000, far too little to build a replacement hospital. £630,000 of which had been spent on planning applications and professional advice. Included were significant items of expenditure including the ‘Keep Beds Open’ campaign, the levelling and laying of the new football pitch (£90,000) and the improved access and new footpath works in Knowle Lane (£98,000). He said the Trust had been advised by its professional team that the reasons for the 2018 refusal were – ‘Not sustainable,” which is why it would be lodging an appeal.
These works in Knowle Lane were part of a condition of the consent for the Knowle Country Park, part of the Vrijland and Leahy developments in the park, and the (KPI) development at West Cranleigh Nurseries in Alfold Road.
However, there was no mention of the £500,000 paid out in salaries – or fundraising generated in the Cranleigh Village Hospital Shop which continued until its closure in 2018.
Dr Corbett hoped the parish would look at the latest scheme in a new light, with an open mind and consider the significant benefits for the community. There would be no physical Public Exhibition of the plans due to the Coronavirus epidemic. It would be conducted “virtually” on its website. However, the Trust would be happy to answer any questions, if they were received in writing.
Parish councillors looked like rabbits caught in a set of headlights during the presentation. One said afterwards she was “dumbfounded” believing the Trust was coming back with something that the parish council – a former partner of CVHT who had made the land deal for a hospital possible – on the community’s behalf, could at last work on together to achieve something everyone would back.
Chairman Liz Townsend said her first response was “disappointment.” at the Trust’s announcement of its appeal against the original scheme. She had hoped the charity would work more closely with the parish council, which is the community, and which had many concerns and objections in the past and had hoped for a real “community project” that everyone could help to shape and get behind. She recognises, there was strong feeling on both sides. In response to Dr Corbett’s argument that the parish council had refused in the past to sit down with the Trust, Cllr Townsend refuted this saying council rules did not permit it to sit down with ANY developers – regardless of who they were.
“We have to meet in public and deliberate in public, we cannot and will not meet developers behind closed doors in private to discuss applications.”
Dr Corbett said:
“This Charity has been labelled by some as developers, we have never seen ourselves as such.”
There will be a public consultation on the Charity’s website in two weeks.
Background of the 20-year Saga, which has proved to be a toxic chapter in Cranleigh’s history.
• First it was a replacement for the old Cottage Hospital, closed down by local health chiefs. A building with 14 beds, a Day Hospital Physiotherapy Unit and `Outpatients department. This hospital still operates now with improved services including an X-ray department and Midwifery Hub.
• Then it was a replacement Cottage Hospital and a new GP surgery – with ambulatory services – a Day Hospital, outpatients and with minor injuries.
• It then morphed into an 80-bed nursing home, with 20 community beds for ‘local people’
• Then it mushroomed into an even larger ‘Care Home ‘ – with 20 community beds and a bolted on a block of apartments for local health workers.
Then … wait for it … wait for it…
• They wanted a Care Home, with 80-beds for HC-One; 20 community beds AND an apartment block with 28 bedsits for health-workers from anywhere in the Primary Care Trust, or is that now Surrey Heartlands area!
And so the Great Cranleigh Hospital/Care Saga goes on… and on…Ad nauseamwww.cranleighospital.org
Judging from the comments which are growing as we publish – looks like this is could be a goer?
Cast your mind back 9 years, were you at a Christmas Eve function at the Cranleigh Baptist Church opposite Cranleigh Common in the High Street?
It was HM The Queen’s – Diamond Jubilee Year.
Other memorable events that might help jog your memory, because someone must have been badly affected by the incident to come forward after such a long time?
But the clever wallers at the county council had their own means of ensuring Waverley’s Portfolio Holder for Environment & Sustainability was silenced. Well, that was before UK Oil & Gas’s planning application to drill in Dunsfold was postponed until the end of June!
Now the county council will have to find another reason to gag Waverley’s first Green Councillor, an educationalist, green socialist and political activist, and editor of The Compass. No doubt he will ensure next time he makes his objection at the hearing on June 29, it won’t be on Waverley’s headed paper!
No determination should be made until site visit restrictions are lifted. Seeing the area, on the ground, is an essential part of any decision-making process – let alone on such a controversial planning application.
Was Farnham Residents’ Farnham Town Councillor John Ward all at sea at its recent ZOOM meeting?
However, he failed to vote on the important issue of the night – when his colleagues proposed and unanimously agreed to six important principals the Farnham Town Council wanted the new Farnham Project Board to take on board. As well as some minor amendments to its Terms of Reference.
But what’s this bloke’s game? Despite a working group being formed that night – John Ward sends his full-on plan to Tim Oliver(SCC), Hunt, Kemp and co within hours of the council meeting!
Let us all hope that the politicisation of this important topic stops so that perhaps this vehicle can make some progress in achieving something for our residents here in FarnhamfFor the first time in 20yrs!
The Liberal Democrats, Farnham Residents, Green and Labour groups have all managed to put past differences aside to work together for Waverley’s residents. Surely Jeremy’s Tories wouldn’t want to be the odd ones out on this? Perhaps a little less game-playing and a bit more working constructively is called for?
For the uninitiated, it is the opinion of many of the town’s residents that the Project Board has been formed to kick the can down the road so it can see Surrey County Council’s deliberate foolish gridlock of the town come to fruition. Together the Hon Jeremy Hunt and SCC are desperate to cover up the roles they have played in supporting and perpetuating developer Crest Nicholson’s 2007/8 Transport Assessment fraud ~ (The Royal Deer charade.) The Board has now been formed to signal £250m of ‘road improvements.’ And the Town Council is suporting SCC’s bid for electric buses.
‘Improvements’ that will signal further major development including The AQAP, Waverley’s Local Plan, The Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, Blightwells, Woolmead and all the impending major developments coming Farnham’s way – e.g. 320 dwellings proposed at Coxbridge Farm – all reliant on major road changes.
“I am absolutely horrified that Waverley and the county council are getting together to decide what THEY are going to do in Farnham! Surrey (CC) is not a planning authority, it deals with cars and roads. We have worked for years on the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan WE know what Farnham’s problems are. I do hope consultants aren’t being paid large amounts of money? This is the wrong vehicle that will come up with the wrong decisions – and we will not be able to influence anything until it is too far on.”
Here’s the link below. So Zoom in and watch democracy at work?
A Planning and Regulatory Committee Webcast meeting to be held by Surrey County Council on Thursday 21st May at 10.30am to consider the UK Oil and Gas application at the eastern end of High Loxley Road The site abuts the parish of Alfold’s boundary, so the paish council is urging villagers to listen-in.
Alfold Parish Council, alongside other Parish Council’s, district and town councils including Waverley orough Council have registered their strong objections on many grounds, including the impact of Alfold’s residents, local infrastructure, traffic safety and the scheme’s sustainability, being just a few reasons.
The Parish Council is not permitted to make representations at the Committee meeting but can be present (albeit virtually) to hear the arguments both for and against the proposals.
After all, why would it be allowed to have a say about such a controversial scheme right on its doorstep? Perish the thought!
Alfold Parish Council were expressly told that the application would be heard at the June meeting butwith just a few days notice heard that the application has been brought forward to Thursday May 21.
The Webcast link to the meeting is here > https://surreycc.public-i.tv/…/p…/webcast_interactive/486609 , and you should not need to register beforehand to listen in.
The Case Officers report can be viewed here > https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/…/Officer%20Loxley%20Repo…
If you have any comments to make on the application, please email Surrey County Councillors : firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
Here’s just one Alfold resident’s comments.
As you will hopefully now be aware there is significant opposition to these Proposals for UKOG for this Oil/Gas Drilling Application.
There are SO many reasons to simply say NO and you have to look at the many Neighbour, Business, Parish and Borough Objections as well. SCC has an obligation to listen to the Locals and Elected councillors and if they do not on Thursday we will all know that Democracy has left us and the 2021 elections will focus US ALL on this particular application as a strong reason to rethink previous voting decisions. There are many of us here that will ensure we do inform via social media and other sources, if this decision is taken to go ahead. I promise to do all I can to ensure that local residents are given the information they need to understand – if you decide to go ahead with this Application.
I will not repeat the long list of Objections from the MANY that have posted on the website – Yet seem to have no impact on the Planners… I have to ask the question ( As I have on many occasions) – What do they know that we don’t ?? Desk Based assessments are all good and well – But for goodness sakes there has to be some sort of communication – and there simply isn’t.. It leaves residents feeling their views are irrelevant and there is no Democracy.
It is incongruous that this application is being heard during this lockdown surely if footballers can play on a pitch with no contact YOU could have visited the site and seen the roads and local properties that will be affected within 500mtrs of the site, and yet you have decided NOT to truly see the impacts it will have on the local communities and businesses in Dunsfold and the surrounding villages. This is an AGLV and adjacent to the AONB and this has to have some significance – not the insignificant impact that seems to be stated in the SCC Officers report…. Maybe if you live in Kingston it is not relevant– But it IS to those that will have to live with here in the East of the Borough.
It is well known (despite SCC Highways lack of objection) that these roads are totally unsuitable and unsafe in any sense of the word and 3 or 5 way phasing Traffic lights are not going to mitigate the chaos this is going to cause for however long this takes. It is a joke to even suggest they will be removed from 7pm – 7am (PLEASE!!) Sites such as these should be established close to major Highways and NOT country lanes and small minor A roads – which the A281 is as we ALL KNOW.
There is has never been any sort of Cumulative Assessment of the impact on our roads from ALL the developments in the Area – each seems to have to be taken on its own merits – Surely SOMEONE in SCC Highways has to work out the TOTAL increase on the Highways (A281 and local roads) – Is that too much to ask for?
There are issues with The Water Framework Directive 2011, Light Pollution and noise which will affect the local residents and businesses. The potential of local tremors to many of the Grade II listed buildings in the areas has not been considered, nor the Environmental Habits Impact.
No consideration has been taken as to the impact on the Dunsfold Park current use as an Operational Airfield and its future use as a Business Park and Housing Village. The construction traffic alone will bring these minor roads to a standstill.
Finally SCC and WBC have all signed up to the Climate Change Emergency… How does this fit in with this? I understand that there is a need for locally sourced Gas/Oil so we are not importing from the Middle east etc… But this is not the answer – It is the destruction of the countryside that is the life and blood of THIS country and I would have hoped that during this Pandemic that someone would have thought about this – The Countryside SHOULD be protected for what it can produce during times such as these – when we may need to look at producing our OWN food and not importing, when we can protect those Green Spaces which are the LUNGS of this great country – Do not Dig it all up for Housing/ Oil/ Gas. We need to look at sustainable means of supplying our energy – We need to look at means of making our Homes sustainable, we need to look at Building homes where people have access to all the facilities they expect and an infrastructure that supports them moving. I happen to live in a Grade II listed building and looked at trying to be greener – But I am afraid I do not have £16K up front to do it ( You only get minimal repayments over years from the Government) We simply do not seem to have a Joined-up Policy on this it is just Build New homes regardless… Dig up the country-side for Gas/Oil – PLEASE Think about this in a joined up way – not a piece meal way or you and this Country will fail massively
It is time we looked at the BIGGER picture and stopped looking at these short term solutions that TICK boxes.
Please Look at this with the views of the people that will have to deal with this for the next 5 years and remember that we will be voting and I really hope you can bear this in mind on Thursday
Look forward to the ZOOM event. I am just a private person who has only lived here for almost 6 years – But I love this place and I want the best for it. I have no political affiliations – I just care about what is happening here and I am afraid I am really angry about this an many other applications and feel we have lost our Vote, our SAY in what is happening to a place we feel so much about – Please listen to us all – We care.