Is the Cranleigh Society shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted?

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Here’s the latest message from Cranleigh’s ‘former rather weary watchdog’ that suddenly appears to have a new lease of life. But, as Cranleigh sits on the cusp of becoming Waverley’s fourth town, is it now too late to save its rural character?

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The Committee of Cranleigh Civic Society announced this week that it has been strengthened and energised to fight the growing avalanche of proposed housing.

In the wake of the adoption of ‘Your Waverley’s’ Local Plan, far be it for us at the Waverley Web to want to pee on anyone’s fireworks, but isn’t it all over bar a lot of shouting? 41 councillors voted for – one was against – and three councillors abstained! All Cranleigh members voted for the plan, which will undoubtedly lead to yet more housing in Cranleigh. But then, why wouldn’t they?

Most of them were taking part in secret meetings with developers and planning officers long before the ink was even dry on the Daft Local Plan to determine just where thousands of new homes on the countryside would go!  And, as one Cranleigh councillor, the late Brian Ellis, stated at the time – Cranleigh shops need more footfall!’  Now those same councillors actually believe an adopted local plan will minimise the harm! Do they? Do they really? Whilst most of them were busy opposing development at Dunsfold Aerodrome, believing Cranleigh should become a New Town, they were also busy meeting with developers, even in their own homes, planning Cranleigh’s demise. They should be careful what they wish for – soon they may get the worst of both worlds! 

The new man heading the CCS, Terry Stewart, was Chair, then President, of Dorset CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) for eight years. Whilst there he was faced with the threat of housing developments throughout the Poole and Bournemouth Green Belt so lead a team of six villages and communities to defeat the proposals. This included MPs speaking to a demonstration outside Parliament and a procession to Downing Street to present a petition to the Prime Minister (see photo). The proposals were defeated – as were plans for a new village at Lytchett Minster. (See photos below).

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It says experience shows that attacks on the Green Belt and unprotected beautiful countryside can only be defeated if there is a strong, professional team leading an active, widespread community with clear objectives. So the new Civic Society Team includes a retired Solicitor, two experts on building and infrastructure, an insurance expert and environmental and wildlife specialists – meeting on a fortnightly basis or more often if needed.

The society understand that villagers may believe that, whatever they feel, the Council and Government will do whatever they want to do, but the successes referred to above demonstrate that these battles CAN be won! Apathy only plays into their hands – do you really want this to happen?

It claims, ‘CRANLEIGH IS UNDER AN INCREASING THREAT FROM DEVELOPERS – changing your quality of life and the Cranleigh we know and love.’ Since 2014, Waverley Borough Council has approved the building of over 1,300 houses in Cranleigh. Think for a moment the huge impact this will have on the A281, our B-roads and country lanes, our already overloaded and inadequate sewage treatment works and the crumbling infrastructure – and the increased flooding risk. Also, please remember that we are the only main settlement in Waverley without a railway station.

Despite all this, more and more new planning applications are regularly being received.

Just a few days ago we heard that Dunsfold Park is virtually assured of being given approval for 2,600 new houses – and that is just the beginning! Just think of all those extra cars entering and using the A281.

We have heard credible accounts of a developer acquiring “options to buy” large tracts of land down Knowle Lane – is the idea for Cranleigh and Dunsfold to merge? Are we to become another Crawley?

Or does the Waverley Web dare to suggest … Crandun-for!

Cranleigh Civic Society needs YOUR support so please visit our website – www.cranleighsociety.orgFacebook and Twitter links and join our membership. We are working hard on YOUR behalf to protect our very special village, its environment, and wildlife.

The Waverley Web puts up the WANTED sign and guess what? Up pops a Povey on the BBC!

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There we were thinking that  Cranleigh & Ewhurst’s Surrey County Councillor Andrew Povey had gone missing so we put out the WANTED poster on the link below.

Have you seen this man?

No sooner said than done. What do they say about … hell having no fury like a BLOKE… scorned! 

Now, with his feet now firmly gazunder County Hall’s tables, than..Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 22.15.42.png !

as Councillor Andrew Povey – attempts to scratch the eyeballs out of the bloke who snatched the Leader’s mantle from him after the 2011 coup when the Deputy Dog. Bodge and his fellow Tory Tossers took a Vote of No Confidence in him and forced him to resign!

Following his resignation, his immortal words still ring in our ears! He said:

“I came to a crossroads in my life.”

It wasn’t a crossroads you arrived at Councillor ~Povey – it was the end of the road, for one of the most ambitious, unscrupulous, double-dealing, opportunist politicians, it has been our misfortune to come across! And, because Guildford Conservative Association scraped the bottom of the barrel and persuaded the voting fodder of Cranleigh & Ewhurst to put you right back where they believed you belonged, claiming  you were a better bet than your running mate Alan Young, you can now continue your long-held ambition to…

bbc-surrey-logoDislodge the Bodge!

Watch out Hodge there’s a Weasel breathing down your neck aiming to dislodge you!  Povey has been biding his time for almost 10 years to poke you one in the eye for booting him out of his hot seat.

Who says .. what goes around…! Who needs an opposition when you have a Povey in your midst?
Listen to the interview here – starting 2hours 7 mins in.

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Councillor Andrew Povey:

The former leader of Surrey County Council (SCC) criticised the current leader David Hodge, over financial difficulties SCC now face as a result of a  £100 million funding crisis, council tax set to increase by 6%, cuts of £66 million and the council forced to dip into its reserves. Dr  Povey, who led SCC until 2011 said: “They [SCC] had a report from CIPFA, a professional institute for accountants, … in September 2016, and at that time the leader was very much pushing the idea of a 15% [council tax rise] referendum in Surrey, which was really a complete non-starter and this report told him that in history no one has ever won a referendum like this… and that there was an absence of any credible cost reduction plan.
“So in September 2016 that’s when he [Hodge] should have started to make savings because those savings would then have been made in 2016, they would have continued through into ’17 and ’18 so we would now be in a much better position than we are…”

Cllr David Hodge – v- Povey.
Povey and Hodge fell out in 2011. Povey resigned following the resignation of Hodge, his deputy at the time, and Hodge took over as the leader.
At the time Povey said: “It is my intention to stand down as leader of Surrey County Council… so I can develop my business interests.” He also said “It got to the point where we were seeing things differently… we have a different style, are very different people – that can be a strength, but I think it got to the point where it was going the other way.”
Andrew Povey also stood down as a councillor but, after a four-year break, made a surprising comeback in last year’s county council election when, with the approval of Anne Milton MP, he stood as the Conservative candidate for the Cranleigh & Ewhurst division, following the controversial deselection of the incumbent, Alan Young. Since then the local Cranleigh/Ewhurst branch has been in complete disarray with Anne Milton’s new lady-in-waiting Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 14.54.10.pngalso working tirelessly behind the scenes to unseat the present Chairman of  Cranleigh Parish Council – Mary Foryszewski, and to take her seat at Waverley in 2019!
Now, some observers are questioning whether Povey’s public criticism of his leader too, is the first sign of a new leadership bid.

What do they say about – “rats altogether in a sack.”

Cllr Hazel Watson
Cllr Hazel Watson, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said yesterday: “I am pleased that Cllr Povey agrees with what the Liberal Democrats and I have been saying about Surrey County Council’s finances over the last 18 months.
“He is right to draw attention to the criticisms of the county council contained within CIPFA’s report Financial Resilience Review – Surrey County Council. This report was commissioned by the current leader of the council and was kept hidden from county councillors for months.
“He is correct in his judgment of the folly of the leader in pursuing a doomed policy of a 15% council tax rise which was subsequently abandoned. The CIPFA report clearly stated that such a referendum was unwinnable but the leader of the council refused to act on their advice.
“Instead of blaming the government for lack of funding and backing an unwinnable referendum, the Conservative administration should have been working on identifying sensible efficiencies and a realistic level of deliverable savings without cutting services. It should also have acted much earlier on the many empty buildings it owns across the county, which have cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds each year to maintain.
“Surrey County Council is in a poor financial position with no clear plan to improve the situation. Unless a solution is found, then we only have to look to Northamptonshire County Council to see the consequences of when the money eventually runs out.”

THE PLOT THICKENS…!

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL INVESTIGATED BY POLICE!

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After ranting on for years about Farnham’s Air Quality issues has someone, somewhere, finally listened to Jerry Hyman? 

After following the powerful Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee chaired by Farnham Resident councillor Jerry Hyman for some time it was only a question of time before he would force his, and the serious concerns of many others, including the Farnham Society, to be heard. 

AND… NOW THEY HAVE!

Funny really when the webcasts of his meetings are either – not webcast at all  – or they don’t seem to work most/all/some of the time!!

Cover up or what…?  Accountability –  what accountability?

• Air Quality Officer Ann Marie Wade – GONE!
• Executive Director Paul – Wen-am-I-leaving – GONE!
• Deputy Director – Damien, The Omen,  Roberts – GONE!
• Council Leader during most of the period in question Robert Knowless … Has he gone… or is he just missing, most of the time?
• As for Julia – has she just put on her mask and gone to Potts?

WHO PAYS? We Do!

Roger Steel, a former borough councillor and member of Waverley’s executive, has criticised Waverley’s handling of Farnham’s air quality problem on behalf of the town planning watchdog the Farnham Society.

He told the Farnham Herald: “At the moment, Waverley judges that NO2 levels contravene safe limits set by European Union Regulations at three places in Farnham – two in The Borough and one in Wrecclesham Road. But with the correction of the local bias factor, I fully expect at least six to seven places to be exceeding that limit.

“We are concerned that there may now be further delay in the issuing of the 2016 Air Quality Report and subsequent air quality data which is needed so that appropriate measures can be taken to reduce the health risks to residents and retailers, and also so that well-informed planning decisions can be taken.

“Large developments such as East Street – which will increase traffic in the town centre by around 15 percent – should be well and truly put on the back burner until we know the full extent of the problem.”

Mr Steel added, although the content of the audit report and scope of the police investigation is unknown, he believes Waverley faces a substantial “six-figure” fine should it be found guilty of any wrong-doing, adding “if it is the case that Waverley knew its figures were wrong when submitting them to Defra, it could be very, very serious indeed”.

He continued: “The Environment Act 1995 makes clear that local authorities are obliged to monitor local air quality and submit their findings to Defra – and can be penalised if they break this law.

I’ve been writing to Waverley for years saying they are breaking this law, and the council’s leadership has got to take overall responsibility.”

WILL THEY WON’T THEY… NO! Because there is no accountability at Waverley Borough Council.

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But the council is yet to release the audit report in the public domain or reissue its withdrawn 2016 air quality report – leaving a huge question mark as to whether Farnham has a pollution problem or not, at a time when planning appeals for more than 500 homes in the town area are to be determined in coming weeks.

Confirming the news, a police spokesman said: “Surrey Police is investigating following concerns reported to police over an official council environmental report. No arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing to establish whether any criminal offences have taken place.”

A Waverley spokesman added: “The final version of the audit report has been received. The report has been passed onto the police, who are now investigating. We can’t say anymore until their investigation is completed.”

It comes after Waverley commissioned an independent review of its 2016 Air Quality Annual Status Report last August following complaints by the Farnham Society and Farnham-based air quality expert David Harvey that council officers had got their figures wrong.

This error was confirmed by red-faced council chiefs a month later – calling into question the validity of previous annual air quality reports that have used the same basis of calculation, and prompting a comprehensive audit of Waverley’s air quality monitoring and reporting arrangements.

Waverley is duty-bound to submit an annual air quality status report to DEFRA after an Air Quality Management Area was declared in Farnham in 2004, following the discovery of excessive levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which has been linked to as many as 40,000 premature deaths every year in the UK.

The council’s latest Air Quality Annual Status Report, published last May, claimed air pollution – and specifically levels of NO2 only “slightly exceeds” the national objective at three monitoring stations in Farnham; two in The Borough and one in Wrecclesham Road.

However, this was challenged by Mr Harvey, the director of West Street firm ADM Ltd, who believes Waverley has dramatically under-estimated the problem after miscalculating two ‘bias adjustment factors’ used to counter discrepancies between the council’s monitoring equipment.

Waverley’s situation bears painful similarities with that faced by another unitary authority, Cheshire East Council, which admitted ‘falsifying’ its own air quality figures last year, requiring hundreds of planning applications to be reviewed and prompting an ongoing police investigation.

Responding to the criminal investigation into Waverley’s own botched report this week, Mr Harvey told the Herald: “I am baffled as to why what seemed to be a case of discourteous incompetence has been referred to the police to investigate.

“There does seem to be similarities with the between what is going on at Waverley and East Cheshire where the police were called in to investigate what appears to have been ‘deliberate and systematic manipulation of data’ and perhaps is pointing to a wider problem with how local authorities are undertaking their statutory duties to review and assess air quality.

“I have no idea what the police have actually been asked to investigate and cannot understand how it could have come to this.

“I have been in contact with Waverley since first drawing attention to the problem in May last year and have been impressed by how pro-active they have been since understanding that there was a problem with the data.

“I hope that they will now release the corrected and update 2016 monitoring report so that we can understand whether this is actually an air quality problem in Farnham.”

Tell us what you want, what you really really want Cranleigh?

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Frank talking on behalf of the people of Cranleigh as more bulldozers head towards Waverley’s NEW TOWN.

As if these developers give a tuppeny duck what the residents of Cranleigh want –  what they really, really want!

Because from what we hear over here in Farnham, Cranleigh people really, want is some peace and respite from HGV’s thundering through their once peaceful village, and the unrelenting onward march of developers through their streets. Who are they providing homes for? The locals? No homes to satisfy the housing needs of the Woking Wimbledon and Wandsworth Wanderers!

As for the low-cost homes, for village people?

We here at the WW are totally discombobulated!

Low cost for whom exactly? No doubt the very same Cranleigh people that moved into Sirus Place in Parsonage Road, most of whom are from outside the new town! Pull the other one – it’s got cement on it! Three four and five-bed low-cost homes!

And… where did the village benefactor Lettuce and his friend Leafy (aka Vrijland and Leahy) Go? Well you know where don’t you Cranleigh residents? Laughing all the way to the nearest bank! Well, that is if there’s one open?

We notice that now the West Cranleigh Nurseries 265-home development in Elmbridge/Alfold Road has been re-named – Knowle Park. No doubt that sounds slightly more grand than mentioning that it is adjacent to a Poo Factory and to floodplains? No doubt those flooded plains will be a little further away now Lettuce and Leafy have illegally dredged the Cranleigh Waters, affected flooding further downstream, and got clean away with it?

No surprise there then for the Tory Party donors!

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Sorry, Ms. Faithfull. The days you and Mr. Swinnerton cherished have long gone.

 

Farnham’s not a pretty sight these days!​

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Here are just a few of the fifteen, and counting,  empty or closing, retail outlets in Farnham.

But worry not!- Soon there will be lots of new ones to take their place and all funded by the county and borough councils. Happy days! Because quite soon we will ALL be paying more council tax! And, there are suggestions that Waverley’s ‘high worth individuals could pay even more.’

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Tom, Tom – is the fight on…to reduce our council tax?

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Read the full Daily Mail Article by clicking below to read how East Hampshire District Council intends to abolish council tax altogether over the next few years! Wow!

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Published on another date we’d have thought this was an April Fool’s Joke …

Waverley residents can but hope that the new boy on the block, who has migrated from East Hants, will be bringing with him some of the revolutionary ideas they’ve employed there which has enabled them to freeze Council Tax for the past seven years and even aspire to – whisper it who dares! – eradicate it within a few years!

It’s not often we, at Waverley Web quote the infamous Bob Lees of POW, but in his immortal words, ‘The Residents of Waverley deserve better’! And if the councillors and officers at the Burys read this and take a leaf or twenty out of Ferris Cowper’s book, under the guidance of our new Chief Executive, Tom Horwood – who has clearly learned at the knees of a master – it could actually do better … much, much, much better!  Look, listen and learn Leaders, Julie Potts and David Hodge!!!

Yes Hodge the Bodge – Oh, Ye of the 20 county council tax increases over 21 years,  who said recently after announcing a 6% council tax increase and another 19m cut to its social care budget…

“SCC is not having a financial crisis, we are just facing more challenges.”

No pressure there then, Tom. The bar has been set by your former boss at East Hants District Council, and we, the residents of Waverley, expect you to live up to our expectations!

So, what are you waiting for? Get to it! And, ask your county council colleagues to take a leaf out of East Hants book too, instead of laughing and ridiculing them!

No wonder you left Tom.  It pays its present Chief Executive less than an ordinary MP, £60,000, and she actually earns £120,000 for running two councils!

Hee at the Waverley Web we are told you have already impressed the locals by ‘listening’ and ‘hearing’ what they say. Even taking their complaints seriously – so impress us some more? 

There are 14 people other than Joanna Killian The new Chief Executive of Surrey County Council,  earning more than £100,000.  She herself is in the first class carriage of the municipal gravy train on a salary of £220,000 plus expenses, which we expect are considerable!

We rest our case.

Who says nobody listens to the Waverley Webbers.

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Just a day or two ago we wrote this!

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 16.21.28.pngCome to Surrey and visit the UK’s capital of potholes – on and off-road!

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We now understand that Surrey County Council has decided to introduce a new leisure activity under its community Health & Wellbeing Programme.  It intends to keep us all fit and well and remain independent in our own homes, stay out of council-funded nursing homes, and not become a burden on the State of Surrey!
It is called Scuba Pot Hole Diving!

Is someone going to ask the Pope if they​ should be allowed to build at Dunsfold?

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AFTER ALL, THEY’VE ASKED EVERYBODY ELSE!

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER …

We’ve all heard the old adage ‘he thinks all his Christmases have come at once’! If the Secretary of State doesn’t pull his finger out of the proverbial, that could be the verdict for the Flying Scotsman – always assuming, that is, Sajid Javid makes a positive decision when he finally gets around to making it!

Here at the Waverley Web we wonder –  is there anyone who hasn’t commented?

Our moles – both within Waverley Borough Council and PoW (and, no, the PoW mole doesn’t know s/he’s a mole, s/he’s just too trusting of his / her intimates!) – that the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government has written, this week, to ‘Your Waverley’  – copies to every Tom, Dick & Harriet who have expressed a passing interest in the decision – except of course, His Holiness.

 Saying: “The Secretary of State is considering the report of the Inspector, Philip Major who held a public local inquiry from 18 July 2017 into the [Dunsfold Park] planning application … [and he] takes the view that the recently published Report on the Examination of the Waverley Borough Local Plan Part 1 and the associated Final Schedule of Main Modifications include new information which may be material to the application before him.” The upshot being that “The Secretary of State considers that a period of two weeks to submit representations is reasonable in the circumstances of this case” and arising from that he “considers that he will not be in a position to reach a decision on the application by 15 March, as previously notified … he will now issue his decision on or before 31 March 2018.”

How long does it take one man and his army to make a decision that’s as plain as the nose on his face?! It’s like pulling teeth trying to get a decision out of the Ministry of Housing! No wonder there’s a chronic shortage of housing in this country if they keep putting off making a decision.

 In other democratic countries, the application would have been issued in half the time and  1,800 houses would have been built and occupied! But here in the UK, where every mouse, bat, and bullfrog has to be consulted –  – it’s  taken 10 years and counting … so what’s another three months here and two weeks there …?

We’ve heard that PoW is having a pow-wow as we type, taking “the opportunity to submit further written representations ”because it “affects the case [they] put to the Inspector at the inquiry.”

We can just see it now, winging its way over the ether:

Dear Mr. Jewell

Inspector Jonathan Bore has surprised no-one – least of all us! – by the conclusions reached in his report on the Waverley Local Plan Part 1; he has not wavered (no pun intended!) from the position he took during the Public Examination last summer when he unjustifiably ‘talked up’ the housing need target to the unsustainable level of 590 dwellings per year. Waverley Borough Council, to their detriment and shame, did not challenge that at the time or subsequently, and the result is a Plan which blights every part of the Borough but especially our corner of it.

Once again, local opinion has been ridden roughshod over and ignored. Neighbourhood Plans seem to count for nothing and the most unsustainable site for development, Dunsfold Aerodrome, has been elevated to almost ‘holy grail’ status by Mr. Bore. The report, which in its own words correctly states that it is strategic, has none the less placed a disproportionate reliance on this single, remote site for delivery of the unsustainable quantity of homes to be built in the Borough over the Plan period.

Mr. Bore talks at length about his own assessment of the environmental and transport credentials of Dunsfold Aerodrome, without the benefit of the full evidence properly being considered in the separate Call In Inquiry, the conclusion of which was not expected to be announced by the Secretary of State until 15th March. At the same time, Waverley Borough Council has proposed handling a ‘free gift’ worth between £10m and £16m to the owners of Dunsfold Aerodrome by exempting them from all-important Community Infrastructure Levy – money the whole borough desperately needs and would benefit from.

POW believes the residents of Waverley – and especially the residents of Awfold and Duncefold – deserve better!

Yours sincerely 

Bob Lies
Chairman of the Campaign

Protect our Waverley Campaign
… is a group formed to campaign against the development of Dunsfold Park New Town on the Dunsfold Airfield and other un-sustainable planning applications throughout the Borough of Waverley – not that we can be bothered to do or say anything about applications in the rest of the Borough because we only really, truly, madly, deeply care about Awfold, Duncefold, Ker-Chiddingfold and Where-Has-All-the-Traffic-Come-From… Horsham? But we’ve been told it’s not PC to let the people of Cranleigh, Godalming, and Farnham think we don’t give a Donald Duck about them!

Now, dear readers, once you’ve picked yourself up off the floor, where you’ve no doubt been rolling,  and wiped the tears from your eyes, we’ll break it to you gently … we didn’t make that letter up – well, OK, we might have used a touch of poetic licence describing POW and its supporters, but the rest is a reproduction its latest Press Release, written in a fit of pique when Inspector Bore’s Report was published.

Seriously, folks, we couldn’t have made that up if we’d tried. Yeah, we’re tongue in cheek and on a good day we can be funny but that was hysterical … all the more so because they actually believe their own PR! And… if they don’t get their own way they will…do what Violet Elizabeth Bob did and they will…

Come to Surrey and visit the UK’s capital of potholes​ – on and off-road!

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Or you could come to Godawfulming and break a leg on the pavements!

Today we are bemoaning the state of footpaths in  Godalming High Street.

There are numerous trip hazards to be had here – aside from the cobbles!

It comes as no surprise to any of us that we all need to watch our step in Waverley! But what exactly is our town council doing about the dangerous situation with which we are faced?  

We are told council tax hikes are on the horizon from all our local authorities.  The town,  parish, borough, and county councils – but don’t dare look ahead – just look down!

This picture below is just one of many hazards spotted today – 12th February – probably the worst so far. Hideously dangerous to pedestrians. You may even have seen us? animated-spider-man-image-0007
Hopefully, anyone on a night out celebrating  Valentines Day-to-day will look before they leap when they are out in the dark walking past The Lounge bar on the corner of High Street and Wharf Street.

It could be a disastrous evenings-end to a romantic meal out in one of Godalming’s eateries if you end up base over apex!

Perhaps Surrey County Councillor Peter Martin will – ‘take a trip’ down Godalming High Street and do something about it? More like Councillor Penny Rivers will!

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We know that Surrey has been named the worst county in the UK for road potholes – some are now so deep, particularly in Shere Road and Ewhurst, you could dig for coal!

The county has 6,712 “current hazards” and that has probably increased during the construction of this post! These are hazards not marked as “fixed” on its road – that is almost twice as many holes as in neighbouring Hampshire, in second place with only 3,395. This data has been compiled by a website called Fill That Hole, run by Cycling UK, which passes on the details to local authorities.

But what about the statistics for Surrey’s deteriorating pavements, like the one above in Godalming that could cause a serious accident, which, if suffered by the elderly, could result in death!

 

“Whatever happened to localism?” Well, Councillor Cockburn if the cap fits, wear it!

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Councillor Carole Cockburn bleats on about the “cruel blow” a Government Inspector has dealt Farnham.

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“I no more want to see additional housing allocated now to Cranleigh than I do to Farnham and I certainly wouldn’t want to pass on another 450 dwellings to existing settlements in the East of the borough.” ‘Etcetera, etcetera…

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this woman generates.

Her hypocrisy is legendary.

Everyone in the east has been watching her and her Tory Tosser mates as they clamour to pile as much housing as they can muster over there, even on floodplains and adjacent to homes that have flooded for decades.

Her beef is all about, “timing’ and the fact that some very unpopular Farnham planning appeals in the pipeline are likely to be allowed! Shock horror, biter bit we say here at the Waverley Web!

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Did she think that when she was masterminding her Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, which she believes is written in tablets of stone, the rest of the borough was asleep?

If so what about all those other Neighbourhood Plans that were written and then re-written, and then written again, all of which have proved useless!

What about the Cranleigh Civic Society’s efforts to speak up for the village of Cranleigh to prevent unsustainable development – now called Cranleigh New Town! The same village you rubbished as not having ‘very much architectural merit.’  What about the village of Ewhurst which you claimed “was hardly a quintessential English village” and contained a lot of “rubbish.” Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! It beggars belief how you now have the gall to chastise a Government Inspector and say`:

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Could subscriptions be dropping off from Mistress Milton’s Tory donors?

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Get that cane out Mistress Milton?

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A Conservative borough councillor is offering to provide a rent-free HQ based at her home in Worplesdon for the Guildford Conservative Association (GCA), which covers east Waverley.

Wow! can we see a gong coming on!!

 The Association includes the Waverley eastern villages branch of Cranleigh and Ewhurst where the internal flack has been flying for months and where wholesale resignations from members are expected!

The offer comes after GCA  considered moving from its HQ  in Loseley Park in Godalming which the association chairman Bob Hughes, states in a confidential memo is “relatively expensive”. 

Which in other words means, they can’t afford it anymore because donations are dropping off!

Cllr Iseult Roche (Con, Worplesdon) made the offer following the grant of planning permission in November 2017 for a: “conversion of a detached redundant lambing shed to habitable accommodation” at her home, despite  objections from local residents about the conversion within a conservation area, in green belt and in the setting of a listed building.

The application was referred to Guildford’s  Planning Committee because the applicant, a Mr. Costeloe, believed to be Cllr Roche’s husband, was related to a councillor. Her postal address has been withheld from the GBC website because it was judged: “disclosure… could lead to her being subject to violence or intimidation.”

It is believed that candidate selection for the Worplesdon ward is currently part of the overall candidate selection process within the area covered by the GCA, which includes parts of Waverley. A leaked internal memo, from its chairman, has identified four possible options for the future location of its offices:

1. Remain at Loseley, possibly seeking a smaller, cheaper unit.
2. Share offices with another neighbouring Conservative association.

Whoops! Does that mean Mistress Milton intends joining forces with SW Surrey MP Jeremy Shunt?
3. Purchase a property.
4. Pursue the offer from Cllr Roche “rent free”.

Bob Hughes admitted in his memo that the last option: “…has the obvious downside risk of us becoming beholden to one association member and any factors could change the relationship.”

Sharing an office was discounted because: “…this was not handled well by Woking“ … “sharing with Mole Valley would be difficult…”, “…The Surrey Heath offices at Windlesham are a long way…and the area may move to the Windsor constituency…”.

Oh! dear – didn’t even consider moving in with Shunt then?

Cllr Melanie Whitehand, chairman of the Woking Conservative Association, said recently  “There are no plans to establish a joint office, and if Guildford is claiming it’s due to Woking handling it badly, I refute that…”.

WW says: There you go then – like rats in a sack the whole bloody lot of them!

The leaked memo also revealed that Cllr Geoff Davis (Con, Holy Trinity), whose career has been in property surveying and development, had been trying to identify premises for the association to buy without revealing who the purchasers would be.

An office in the centre of the constituency is the preferred option of Guildford’s MP Anne Milton but, with what are believed to be low membership figures, the association does not have sufficient liquid assets at its disposal and would have to seek a loan.

“Here at the Waverley Web are all quite sure there will be someone in the Cranleigh/Ewhurst part of the constituency eager to house the offices! Why don’t they nip down to one of their Cranleigh donors – like the Lettuce/Concrete  King and his developer friend Andy Leafy aka Vrijland a Leahy?

The memo concludes that while purchasing a property was the favoured option it risked tying up all the association’s funds, leaving no reserves. It recommended leaving the property purchase option on hold and the offer from Iseult Roche be explored. Legal advice to the association was that an agreement could be drawn up giving GCA the right to occupy in return for a peppercorn rent.

When Bob Hughes, was asked by The Guildford Dragon NEWS about the leaked memo, he said:  “A confidential options paper was leaked – I don’t know who leaked it…

“We have a number of options, including continuing in our present offices. We are exploring how all options would work – all of them.”

The Guildford Conservative Association, which oversees the selection of parliamentary and council candidates,  reveal very little of its inner workings. Even officer appointments are unpublished on its website. Unless of course when they are unselecting sitting councillors such as Surrey County Councillor Alan Young, by the way, has anyone spotted him recently, or the county councillor who replaced him? Have you seen this man?

It’s called openness and transparency! 

 

Has this highly respected architect​ come up with a better town plan for Farnham?

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Has Michael Blower, a former Waverley Mayor, borough Councillor, highly respected Farnham architect and a former partner of Guildford’s Scott, Brownrigg & Turner, devised a scheme that could bring about a volte-face to the presently proposed town redevelopment? 

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Developers will soon be like bees around The Elstead​ Honeypot.

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 Honeypot Antiques in Elstead closed down at the end of August last year. A sad day and the end of an era for the village. No more wandering through this wonderful Aladdin’s Cave of interesting artifacts.
The windows have been obscured for several months – but one of our eagle-eyed followers noticed the yellow peril in the window had recently appeared and it wasn’t nectar it was a planning application notice.

The target for making a decision on this particular scheme was quoted as 21st January but it doesn’t appear anything has happened as yet and we can’t see it on any planning agenda. 

 This latest plan has provoked six objections to date, though only  12 neighbours have been informed. 

Plans were approved March 2015 for the redevelopment of the site to include reconstruction of a retail unit with two flats over, one attached cottage and pair of cottages to the rear of the site, together with associated car parking and landscaping.
Now, this new application WA/2017/2196 is for:
Thee erection of a building comprising ground floor retail space and 2 flats above; attached dwelling and detached dwelling to rear together with associated works and parking following the demolition of the existing building

The History is interesting: Plans to redevelop the site go back to 2000 but according to a Heritage report attached to the latest planning application. It seems it has a chequered planning history. The link is at the bottom of the page.
Honeypot Antiques has been used as a shop since around 1923. At that time it was only the existing frontage building and in the 1950’s, flat roof rear and side extensions were added. It was a grocer until 1970, then a hardware store and since 1996 has traded as an antiques store.
Between 1999 and 2002 the garden, the garages belonging to the shop and the gas storage compound were demolished and included in a large development at the rear of the shop. This also included the land/gardens of 1-6 Avenue Row, the fish and chip shop, the delicatessen and the United Reform Church and demolition of the next door bakery, butchers and newsagent/tuck shop.
This development went on to become Orchard Close and two new shops on Milford Road, currently a pharmacy and beauty salon.

Whatever happens – it seems once the developers start to swarm, the Honeypot will be no more!

Honeypot Antiques shop.JPGHoneypot Antiques.JPGhttp://plandocs.waverley.gov.uk/Planning/StreamDocPage/obj.pdf?DocNo=5136617&PDF=true&content=obj.pdf

Oh dear! Is Protect Our Little Corner of Waverley having a nervous breakdown?

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With depressing predictability, Protect our Little Corner of Waverley has reacted with fury to Inspector Jonathan Bore’s conclusion that Dunsfold Aerodrome is Waverley’s best hope of meeting its housing need. It is his view that Dunsfold is a strategic site and will lessen the need to concrete over our green fields creating unnecessary and unwanted over-expansion of the borough’s three main towns, Cranleigh, Godalming and Farnham.

A disparaging Press Release issued on Tuesday makes a number of choice remarks from which we have cherry-picked the best to save those of you who are heartily sick of reading PoW’s self-centered, let’s protect the villages of Awfold, Duncfold, You-have-to-be-Kiddingfold, and Where-Has-all-the-traffic-combe-from and bugger Cranleigh, Godalawfulming, and the borough’s largest town of Farnham that has now become a brownfield site because ‘Your Waverley’ has thrown so much sh*t at it!

How Now Says POW?

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Violet Elizabeth ‘Bob (Lees)  – I’ll scream and I’ll scream til I’m sick!

‘Inspector Jonathan Bore has surprised no-one …’

‘… he unjustifiably ‘talked up’ the housing need target to the unsustainable level of 590 dwellings per year.’

‘Once again, local opinion has been ridden roughshod over and ignored … and the most unsustainable site for development, Dunsfold Aerodrome, has been elevated to ‘holy grail’ status by Mr. Bore.’

‘POW believes the residents of Waverley deserve better.’

Oh no, they don’t! What they really believe is the residents of the aforementioned Awfold, Duncfold, You-have-to-be-Kiddingfold, and Where-Has-all-the-traffic-combe-from deserve better! They don’t give a damn about the rest of the borough as long as their own backyards are protected!

Never mind that Cranleigh already has 1,300 homes consented, more in the pipeline and that Farnham is already grid-locked!

Where was POw when Waverley Planners was handing out planning consents on greenfields like Smarties? Nowhere! That’s where. They were too busy handing round the begging bowl to build a war chest to fight the Dunsfold Developer and fill Mistress Milton and Jeremy Shunt’s coffers in order to ensure they did their dirty work in the corridors of power, thus ensuring the application was called in.

And… exactly what good has that done? None whatsoever, quite the reverse in fact. It led to Waverley Borough Council having to spend a shed-load of money it could ill afford to defend their position at Public Inquiry and Betty Boop (the woman formerly known as Liz the Biz) running around like a headless chicken, rubber stamping planning permissions faster than developers could print them off! So frit was BB that housing at Dunsfold was going to disappear, like Scotch Mist, that she granted consents to the Berkeley Bunnies and the Lettuce King to build over 800 houses in Cranleigh on land that everyone knows – floods!

Waverley Web believes the residents of Cranleigh deserve better, and so do our residents here in Farnham.

PS. For those of you who can stomach POW’s crocodile tears for the residents of Waverley, herewith a link to their latest Huffing and Puffing that even the Flying Scotsman couldn’t match!

View: POW Local Plan Press Release

Dumb and Dumber’s crowd just get dumber by the day!

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As our local authorities run like lemmings towards the fiasco that is ‘Blightwells’ retail giants in the county are bleeding to death! 

Today:

Bunnings, the new owners of Homebase Stores, has announced a £1billion write-down with money flowing down British drains, and warns ‘this cannot continue!’

Yesterday:

Meanwhile, cash-strapped Waverley and Surrey County Councils invest £30/50m of our money and our land in the Blightwells, East Street retail development in Farnham!

Today:

Surrey –  Britain’s richest county faces a £100 million cash crisis … and the county council and borough councils are proposing a huge hike in our council tax bills!

The owner of Homebase Stores – has characterised the financial situation of the British arm of its business, which it bought just over a year ago as, “terrible’ but warns it will not allow the situation to drag on! And says:

“its fate must be decided quickly!”

Perhaps  Waverley and Surrey County Councils should do the same, by examining where they are going wrong, instead of just blaming the Government?

“The underlying loss, before interest and tax is £97m”

Said Bunnings Boss – Rob Scott – “I appreciate that what we have disclosed today is terrible news, terrible,  terrible for our shareholders, and we feel the pain of that as shareholders as well, but what is most important is what we do from today onwards to address the issue.

“We are not going to let this roll on for years.” He said there would be a complete review of the Bunnings British Arm, (formerly Homebase) and although closure of the stores – which includes those pictured below in and around Surrey and Waverley, would be ‘incredibly costly,’ as it was sitting on lease liabilities of at least £1bn, but admitted, ‘complete closure of the business could not be ruled out.’

The company bought  the Homebase DIY stores in 2016

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Surrey’s woes will alarm Downing Street as it is a solidly Conservative council and the county is represented at Westminster by seven senior government ministers.

SCC has one of the worst financial outlooks of any area of the country, research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveals. Council documents warn of a £105 million funding gap — the difference between the funding it expects to receive in the next financial year and the money it needs to spend. It is the largest deficit reported by any of the 150 English local authorities whose finances have been analysed by the bureau. The average is £14.7 million. When calculated as a percentage of its budget for the coming financial year, Surrey’s funding gap is 12.8 percent, the ninth highest in the country. The average is 6.9 percent.

The council, whose core government grant has been reduced by more than £200 million since 2010, is exhibiting several other signs of financial stress.  Its usable reserves will have more than halved between 2013 and 2019, falling from £170.3 million to £63.2 million — far lower than its funding gap. On Tuesday night the council approved a new three-year budget, including the use of a further £23.6 million from its reserves despite being warned last year by the accounting institute Cipfa that its reliance on short-term fixes was not sustainable without drastic savings.

And… still, it insists on funding an unpopular retail development in Farnham that the commercial sector wouldn’t touch with a bargepole!!

Surrey has a low-level of emergency reserves and is overspending — by £11 million this financial year.

At a meeting on Tuesday, David Hodge, the council’s Tory leader, attacked the government for reducing funds. “We’re facing the most difficult financial crisis in our history,” he said. “The government cannot stand idly by when Rome burns.”

Surrey has the greatest number of high net-worth individuals of any county, more than Greater Manchester, Kent, and Hertfordshire. Its MPs include Philip Hammond, the chancellor, Michael Gove, the environment secretary, and Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary and Guildford MP Anne Milton.

 

 

A better class of political graffiti in South West Surrey..

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The above picture was taken on a Sunday when the Farncombe Post Office was closed. We applaud the gorilla tactics of our local residents in photocopying articles and pasting them up for all to see! Here at the Waverley Web, we feel it is our public duty to continue to spread the word!
They were highlighting both the issue of the NHS march on Saturday that was hardly reported, that happened whilst our MP and Health Secretary was snoozing at a Hampshire spa after a 2-hour massage.

Jeremy Hunt is also in the sights of the Farncombe community for doing nothing to intervene in the ‘Horizon’ dispute between Post Masters and the Post Office. This dispute has lead to the Post Office suspending the licence of hundreds of Post Masters, meaning the Farncombe Post Office – with its essential cashpoint – is out of action whilst it is resolved.

Farncombe residents are also disgusted at having to traipse into Godalming to queue out the door in their tiny new high street shop.

Come on Jeremy – Wake Up and pull your finger out! Because your donors and your members are leaving you in their droves!

Claims that​ the Government doesn’t give a damn what councils think, but apparently, it cares what​ we think. So, shall we tell them?​​

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County and borough councils are preparing for one of the Government’s worst financial settlements in their history. 

As they grapple with ways of slashing costs, by removing posts, seeking redundancies, and increasing charges here’s a little tidbit that the recently demobbed County Council Chief Executive imparted to one of his colleagues! 

 

 

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Andy MacLeod the Waverley Borough and Surrey County Councillor for (Farnham Residents – Moor Park)  was speaking at a Waverley Overview & Scrutiny Committee recently.

 

 

 

 

 

An Inspector​ calls, time … for Part 1 of the Local Plan.

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We thought we would provide our followers with a few little tidbits from the Inspector Report on the Examination of Part 1 of Waverley’s Local Plan. A plan, long in the making, prepared with blood, sweat, and a few resignations,  that will guide development in the borough through to the year 2032.

Government Inspector Mr. Jonathan Bore, found that: Waverley’s initial Plan that provided for a meager 9,861 additional homes from 2013 to 2032,  did not take account of the latest housing projections so this would now be raised to ‘a minimum of 11,210. This would meet the unmet need, of other borough’s including 50% of Woking’s  and those of the Wandsworth & Wimbledon Wanderers!

 Waverley had previously made no allowance for accommodating part of London or Woking’s unmet housing requirement. 

Why should it?

 Because  The Inspector says,  Guildford & Woking are surrounded by Green Belt, and Waverley is – “significantly less constrained,’ particularly in the East of the borough including Cranleigh. Waverley is also the third most expensive local authority region in England outside London.

elephantWell,  they are now!

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The Inspector states that: “Whilst the Dunsfold Aerodrome site did not match all the criteria,’ …

‘Do we hear a huge sigh of relief from the anti’s? Including The Protect Our Waverley, or perhaps just our little corner,  sod Farnham and the rest of the borough!

Is there a glimmer of hope e hear them cry? A Judicial Review perhaps? A National Heritage order, what about newts, gnats, perhaps the odd Dunsfold Dodo or Alfold Albatross? Or the greater spotted Ames Bat? Anything, just anything? Or, of course, we could always resort to asking our Annie to get her whip out again?

We digress! This is serious stuff folks!

The Inspector says in his report… that if Dunsfold was not developed additional housing would be required in Farnham and Haslemere, and on greenfield sites elsewhere in the borough, in and around all the major towns, including Cranleigh, because of course he now recognises that with over 2,000 permission in the concrete mixer it is now Waverley’s fifth town! He also, says he doesn’t want to see too much Green Belt sacrificed. 

Phew! that’s s relief – WW thought for a moment developers would start building in the Flying Scotsmsn’s nest around Winterfold!

This section is taken from the Inspector’s report – just in case you thought we were producing fake news!

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What’s more…  ‘as regards Dunsfold Aerodrome, the aim of re-using land that has previously been developed is one of the National Planning Policy Framework’s core planning principles.’

What have we been winding on about on this site since weaving this spider’s web?

 

 

Surrey County Council wished the residents of Alfold a Happy​ New Year and then sends in the bulldozers​. Did anyone​ see a planning application?

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Funny that! Numerous other owners, including one who took his own life,  tried for decades to secure planning permission to build at Linden Farm in Rosemary Lane, Alfold.  No way, said Waverley Planners! No way said Surrey County Council Highways! It is a single track road in a Conservation Area!

Then along comes Surrey County Council where Waverley welcomes developers, particularly its partners.

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So now Beard – Partners in Construction have started work on a facility for the mentally disabled in a country lane which is in disrepair and in a village with little or no facilities and hardly any public transport! 

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Could ‘Blightwells’ signal the end of Tory-controlled​ Waverley Borough Council​?

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 Why would we at the Waverley Web say anything when Farnham’s  David Wylde, and others, can say it all for us …

… except to say that we believe it may be too late for the new Chief Executive Tom Horwood to save this tainted authority, which has received a Vote of No Confidence from residents in the East and is well on the way from receiving the same accolade from the West and Central Waverley.

 The May 2019  elections cannot come soon enough! But, you know what, WW suspects that hardly any of this torrid bunch will put themselves forward as candidates. In fact here at the Waverley Web, we have been told that many councillors just cannot wait to get out! 

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Letters from the Farnham Herald

25.01.2018 – Farnham Herald – Planning to should not be political copy

Click above and below for more!

25.01.2018 – Farnham Herald – Meeting was a ‘travesty’ of local government copy

Come on Javid – now jump off the fence before the marks become indelibly printed​ on your ar*e!

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For those who have just come off the Moon – the NIMBY’s, aided and abetted by MP ‘Mistress’ Anne Milton and Jeremy Shunt, ignored and over-ruled the democratic decision of Waverley Planners, and the public to build on the largest brownfield site in the borough at Dunsfold Aerodrome!

In doing so – they have (a) delayed the local Plan (published yesterday) (b) have cost   Waverley taxpayers £1m in officers times, legal and experts fees and (d) have seriously delayed much-needed private and social housing. It has also forced the hand of Waverley planners into allowing unsuitable and unpopular developments on floodplains and in the countryside throughout the borough, and in particular in the East in and around Cranleigh.

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Now the East of the borough could get the best, or perhaps the worst, of both worlds!

 

Yesterday a Government Inspector approved Waverley’s Local Plan – which has been a decade in the making. However, past failures have resulted in a huge loss of potential benefits that may have accrued under (CIL) The Community Infrastructure Levy. 

 

 

 

 

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And.. our message to The Scotsman…

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Here’s the Inspector’s report in full.

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/downloads/file/5963/waverley_local_plan_part_1_examination_inspectors_report

In conclusion, the allocation at Dunsfold Aerodrome is a key part of the sustainable growth strategy for the Borough. It provides an excellent opportunity to meet a significant part of the housing needs of the Borough, including affordable housing, on a brownfield site. It is a good example of proactive planning to achieve coordinated, well-designed sustainable development and it offers opportunities for comprehensive urban design and master planning and social and transport facilities that smaller peripheral greenfield sites cannot usually offer. Subject to MM22 and MM23, the Dunsfold Aerodrome allocation is sound.

The allocation in the Local plan for Dunsfold is for 2,600 homes. The application granted and called in by the Secretary of State is for 1,800 homes.  Shortly Dunsfold villagers meet to decide what they would like to see over the coming years included in their Neighbourhood Plan. WW doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. How about you?

Local Plan published. Is the Scotsman doing a highland fling?

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 We think there may be a strong chance the Scotsman is enjoying a wee dram following this statement published by Government Inspector Jonathan Bore which includes the following statement that leaps off the page!

In conclusion, the allocation at Dunsfold Aerodrome is a key part of the sustainable growth strategy for the Borough. It provides an excellent opportunity to meet a significant part of the housing needs of the Borough, including affordable housing, on a brownfield site. It is a good example of proactive planning to achieve coordinated, well-designed sustainable development and it offers opportunities for comprehensive urban design and master planning and social and transport facilities that smaller peripheral greenfield sites cannot usually offer. Subject to MM22 and MM23, the Dunsfold Aerodrome allocation is sound.

We believe Surrey County Council has encouraged fly tipping!

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This is a letter we received recently from one disenchanted resident.

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This is just one of many such fly-tipping sites in and around the borough of Waverley!  The WW doesn’t condone such filthy habits, but… wasn’t this the excuse some people just needed after finding the CLOSED  signs up outside recycling centres?

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Surprise, surprise!

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This is taken from Waverley’s New Boy’s Facebook Page because he says he is genuinely surprised by the lack of scrutiny and opposition at ‘Your Waverley!’

Watch out sunshine! Councillors are not allowed to access the Waverley Web, at least, not from the council’s internal system! And… the people of Farnham will think they have died and gone to heaven if councillors, particularly from other parts of the borough,  actually start asking what the ‘viability, benefits and current status’ of the Blightwells project actually are?

Go boy go, a bit more of this and democracy WILL rear its ugly head within that hallowed halls of  ‘Our Waverley.’

 

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Tales of the River Bank.

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Hammy the Hamster and Roderick the Rat were amazed when Magna Riverside popped up alongside their riverbank home just under the River Wey bridge in Godalming. The old offices behind Bridge House are being converted into 17 Luxury Apartments with Juliette Balconies overlooking the swirling depths of the River Wey – “ooh that’s nice” they thought. “Maybe we will have somewhere to hide if the river floods our bankside homes.”
Hammy and Roderick say they will enjoy watching the new residents looking out over the Lammas Lands. Riverside it certainly is, unbelievably close to the riverbank. Still, what’s a little water among friends? The week of January 23rd this year saw a deluge of rain. No flooding yet but the site is in Flood zone 2. The building itself is a conversion from the old office block behind Bridge House. Granted in April last year.
Hammy and Roderick think you will enjoy seeing the pictures they took this week.

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At the front of the development is a sign saying the development is being sold through Savills – and then the line ‘Help to Buy available’!
Something NEVER associated with Savills!!

And here are links to the planning consent letter and report:

Planning consent granted letter 20 April 2017
http://plandocs.waverley.gov.uk/Planning/StreamDocPage/obj?DocNo=6333302&content=obj.pdf
Grant report
http://plandocs.waverley.gov.uk/Planning/StreamDocPage/obj?DocNo=6333323&content=obj.pdf

Let’s give our MP his very own pain in the arras!

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Oh dear!  we almost feel sorry for our MP poor Jeremy SHunt.

The Chancellor has just announced he has given him another £6 billion more to play with but he faces an uphill struggle according to the front page of the Daily Mail. 
Will he have time to keep all those promises made to his constituents …or will he be hiding out, rather than facing an angry mob of patients armed with crutches, awaiting their hip operations?
In fact, reading these headlines, do we actually WANT to live longer by eating black beans and other really healthy stuff to avoid various diseases, if only to face hobbling around in agony should we fall foul of a dodgy hip? … probably not!

And.. how do you measure “enough pain?” Do we have to lie on Jeremy’s doorstep in Markwick Lane, Hascombe  yelling, ‘help me help me I’m in terrible pain?’

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The old order changeth yielding place to new?

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‘Sunny Jim’ the garrulous portfolio holder for Environment who has possibly presided over one of the most damaging chapters in Waverley’s recent history has been rewarded for his failure by the Tory Executive. 

Following the recent reshuffle, Councillor Andrew Bolton will now manage the extremely hot, Air … (something we heard a lot of from Sunny Jim)…  Quality scandal, which ‘SJ’ has presided over for the last couple of years!

Could  Waverley earn the Private Eye award in 2018 for …

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Councillor Bolton, the man colleagues describe as, the most boring accountant councillor they’ve  ever met.. and who achieved almost nothing whilst holding the economic development portfolio… now hands the role over into the safe hands of Councillor ‘Sunny, Jim Edwards’ the man who has failed to manage the Farnham Air Quality issue now under the ‘independent’ microscope of a neighbouring local authority!  A scandal which has already seen three senior staff members leaving Waverley, including the Air Quality Monitoring Officer and the man nicknamed ‘The Omen” one Damien Roberts who, together with Paul Wen-am-I-leaving jointly presided over the botched 2016 Air Quality Status Report. Mr Roberts has now taken himself off for pastures new having, ‘thoroughly enjoyed his time at Waverley,’ and Wen-am-I-leaving has retired!

17.10.12 – Council chief quits shortly before the outcome of air quality report copy

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Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 10.09.26So – when is that ‘imminent’  air quality report going to arrive? 

Have you seen this man?

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We understand Dr Andrew Povey, a  former leader of Surrey County Council was elected to replace the outgoing county councillor Alan Yung for the Cranleigh and Ewhurst seat at last May’s county council elections? 

Although his predecessor’s profile was quite high, in fact, he earned the title ‘Kodak Pete’ because his picture appeared so often in the local newspapers, same cannot be said for Dr P!

Judging by the number of potholes wrecking motorists tyres on a daily basis in and around Cranleigh/Ewhurst; the mountains of fly-tipped refuse in and around the Surrey Hills and elsewhere on his patch, combined with the lack of any long-promised major roadworks to deal with mounting traffic issues,  it can only be assumed he has – ‘gone fishing.’

If anyone has seen or heard anything of Dr P’s county council achievements, please get in touch with us at  contact@waverleyweb.org because we would love to tell you all about them. 

 

Times they are a changing?

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Does he mean it? Really, really mean it?

Because if Tom Horwood not only says what he means but means what he says he’s going to do – then times really could really be a’changing at Your Waverley!  in fact, it’s almost beginning to sound like – ‘Our Waverley!’

This is what Waverley’s  new boy,   Chief Executive and former East Hants Council’s old boy,  Tom Horwood said at The Community Overview & Scrutiny Committee this week…

“Ever since I arrived here it has struck me, very much, how our policies and procedures for dealing with complaints could be streamlined. Policies could be more succinct and concise and complaints could be dealt with as they arise!

As they arise?? As in arise Sir Lancelot? Or as in arise from the dead! Surely he means a…rise for the staff or in councillors expenses?

But no, he insists he’s going to streamline the whole process and deal with residents complaints ‘objectively,’  with ‘fairness and in a shorter time-frame,’ and with … wait for it… ‘empathy’ and wants complaints looked at from ‘the customers’ point of view, and – make complaining to Waverley… easier!

Having completely dropped off our web in the corner of Committee Room 1, and shinned back up again… we could not believe our ears when the mighty Tom said he was going to talk to the Heads of Services and ask them to respond to complaints by…‘starting to talk to people’ and wanted the new regime to be in place by the end of March. This March? Yes, this March!

Whoops, here we go again! Is there no stopping this man, soon he’ll be asking for the cornices to be cleaned at Waverley towers and then we will be truly stuffed! Might even have to move to Guildford, plenty of dirt and sleaze over there.

He said – ‘In this coming year I want to see some changes, including a quarterly review because I believe if we just talked to people complaints could be dealt with sooner.’

Councillor Mike Band suggested that the Complaints Procedure should now include the words – ‘the buck stops with the chief executive, saying  he only found out about residents complaints after they had been going on for Yonks!’

Others suggested now might be an opportune time for the council to tell residents in the ‘Your Waverley’ newsletter just how to complain,

And then – the pièce de résistance! Tom, Tom the Sniper’s  son said: The Heads of Services are responsible for their services and to drive standards in the right direction by ‘becoming more accountable.’ He will ensure this happens!

That was it!  We fell off the web with shock, and were trodden underfoot!

 

 

 

WW sees trouble ahead?

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How refreshing to see Godalming’s new boy on Waverley’s block speaking up on our behalf, and asking questions.  However, watch out boyo, we foresee trouble ahead – ask Farnham Residents’ councillor Jerry Hyman, who we understand from an officer, has been brought before the standards board on more than one occasion for asking too many questions? 

Despite being outnumbered, outflanked by heavyweight tories unused to being Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 19.45.34.pngchallenged, and a rather intimidating veiled rebuke from Mistress Betsy at the Joint Planning Committee meeting last week, Paul Follows the Liberal Democrat Councillor for (Godalming Central & Ockford) didn’t turn a hair of his meticulously coiffed young head as he challenged the  council’s decision-making process. He wanted to know why the controversial Blightwells redevelopment wasn’t getting anywhere! A scheme – which was,  “going on when I was at secondary school”.  Did anyone laugh? No way Jose!

Confidence exudes from this young man, and long may it be so, – here’s his profile for the by-election just before Christmas Ding, Dong the fight’s begun to win Godalming’s By-Election. Part 1.Lib Dems.

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Wow! his work covers standards, legal compliance, and ethical conduct! If that’s the case then he’s in for a field day at ‘Your Waverley’ and we hate to think what he might uncover when he digs into the latest shenanigans in his new role  at Godalming Town Council!   Dare we suggest he starts looking into why the Clerk left?  How much she was actually paid?  Not quite the £30,000  which appears in the annual accounts?  

No surprise to us here at the Waverley Web to hear that some parish clerks around the borough are being bullied – except of course the ‘crystal tips’ clerk of most of the councils in the East – Dunsfold/Hascombe/Alfold/Loxwood who appears to run the show on councillors’ behalf! 

Perhaps  Councillor Follows will delve into why Councillor Anne Bott (now Town Mayor following the sudden resignation of Mayor Simon Thornton) is allowed a conflict of interest as she is employed by The Surrey & Sussex Association of Local Councils) funded, in part, by Godalming Town Council. Of course, most of us realise parish councils are no longer the autonomous parochial bodies they once were! They are now controlled by Conservative dominated Waverley, which is, in turn, controlled by South West Surrey and Guildford and Cranleigh Conservative Association.

So, Councillor Paul Follows,  we look forward with some trepidation to watching your progress over the coming year. But, be warned, if you rattle their cages too often your opponents will stack everything up against you next May!  But then you don’t appear to be a guy who scares easily!

 

Bramley’s By-Pass Byham being obnoxious, again!

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Perhaps Councillor Maurice Byham (Conservative Councillor for Bramley) should have heeded this advice, before confirming that he belongs to the ‘nasty party’.

The pompous member for Bramley is featured below complaining to the Chairman of Waverley’s Joint planning Committee that, in his opinion, his colleague Councillor Jerry Hyman, the democratically elected member for Farnham’s  Castle Ward gave a ‘dissertation’ and spoke for too long!

Councillor Hyman was one of only three Farnham Residents’ speakers, who  vociferously opposed the demolition of The Redgrave Theatre and the changes to the Grade 11 listed Brightwells House  to make way for ‘casual dining restaurants.’ Part of the redevelopment of East Street. Shame on you Bypass Byham! We hope the next time you wind on about the traffic through Bramley that your Farnham colleagues show you the same courtesy and cut you down to size! Though we suspect they have better manners.

His comments would have had more relevance if only he, or for that matter, or any other of his Tory Tosser colleagues had themselves had something to say.  Not one single member of that committee uttered a  word in favour of the scheme before they all put up their hands to vote it through again…! 

Councilor Hyman together with his  Farnham Residents’ colleagues were not only entitled, but it would have been a dereliction of their duty if they hadn’t spoken up for the residents of Farnham vehemently opposed to the dramatic changes to be inflicted on their historic town!  After all, not one single member of that committee uttered one single word in favour of the scheme before 12 of them voted for renewing the consent for the third time in 10 years!

 Despite a flood of opposition from the local residents, ‘Your Waverley’ rules that Farnham’s Redgrave Theatre will bite the dust!

 

 

Are we being served … by our local politicians​?

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Here at the Waverley Web we’ve heard that membership of grassroots Conservative groups in this borough is falling … fast! And… due to internal squabbling, one local constituency is imploding!  So has the march of Independents and Residents Associations begun?

Here’s an interesting article from The amazing  Guildford Dragon – which could just as easily apply to ‘Your Waverley.’

This week in Waverley the bulldozers have moved onto a variety of sites in Farnham and Cranleigh and planning applications and appeals for development on greenfield sites continue to flood in.

Local residents are now hitting Facebook urging people to object to development  before they even morph into schemes!

Opinion: Are Residents Well Served by the Main Political Parties in Local Government?

By Chris Dick

Whichever political party seems to be in power the pressure to build more houses seems to trump election promises to protect the green belt.

Here in Guildford, it is the Conservatives who are pushing for new housing on the green belt and it is the Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG), supported, intentionally or not, by a few Tory and Lib Dem rebels, who are attempting to check the proposed developments.

Of course, before development can take place on green belt the council may remove the green belt status via the Local Plan process called “insetting”. Once inset the protection of the green belt legislation is lost and the council can then truthfully say it has not built on the green belt.

As we watch successive developments threaten to continue to take over the green belt down the A3 corridor we also see some areas looking to independent resident association candidates to redress the balance. Epsom & Ewell District Council has been in the hands of independent resident associations for decades and we now see that control of Elmbridge Borough Council has shifted the same way with resident associations forming a coalition.

In 2016 Elmbridge Borough Council finally had a new leader after the borough’s Residents’ group and Liberal Democrat group formed a coalition to end eight years outright Conservative control.

So will we see more resident associations become affiliated nationwide and select their own independent candidates for the 2019 local elections?

GBC councillor David Reeve (GGG, Clandon & Horsley) wrote in the East Horsley Parish magazine: “I think it is worth considering whether our local council would be more responsive to residents’ concerns if its composition was more like that in Epsom & Ewell, where 30 from the total of 38 councillors are representatives of a local grouping called “Residents’ Associations of Epsom and Ewell”.

“It is the only council in England where Residents Associations have overall control. In contrast, the long-standing position in Guildford is that one national party has consistently held about three-quarters of seats on the borough council. Food for thought for the 2019 local elections?”

Tim Murphy, chairman of the Epsom & Ewell branch of CPRE, (Campaign to Protect Rural England) wrote along similar lines in the Autumn 2017 issue of the CPRE’s Surrey VoiceMagazine: “Two years ago, three candidates of the Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG) won seats on Guildford Borough Council on a ‘Defending the Green Belt’ manifesto – Susan Parker and Mike Hurdle in Send and David Reeve in Clandon and Horsley.

“Then in the May 2016 local elections, Jackie Wren won the Oxted North & Tandridge seat on Tandridge District Council on behalf of the Oxted & Limpsfield Residents Group (OLRG), defeating the council leader by almost three votes to one. On the same day, two countryside campaigners, Patricia Wiltshire and David Hawksworth, won seats on Mole Valley District Council as Independents, supported by Ashtead Residents’ Association, securing three times as many votes as the candidates from the ruling party.”

In Tandridge, the councillor for the Portley Ward in Caterham, Cllr Clive Manley, left the ruling Conservative party in protest at the council’s plan to build over 9,000 new homes in the district, entailing the loss of large swathes of the green belt and open spaces.

He said: “I was elected last year on a platform of opposing significant new development.

“There has already been a vast amount of building in the Caterham area which has put intolerable and unsustainable pressure on schools, health services, roads and parking… I cannot remain part of a group whose plans are in direct opposition to the wishes of the people who elected me.”

His comments echoed those of the Conservative councillor for Clandon & Horsley, Matt Sarti, during the debate on submitting Guildford’s Local Plan. He said all his consultation with his constituents indicated they were overwhelmingly against parts of the plan which compelled him to vote against it.

Tim Murphy continued: “Even more recently, at the local elections earlier this year, Independent candidates representing local residents’ associations found themselves catapulted into overall control of Elmbridge Borough Council, toppling longstanding councillors from the previous ruling party.

“Are we seeing, here in Surrey, the beginning of a groundswell movement where candidates who are prepared to oppose their councils’ unrealistic housing targets are elected at the expense of those who are not willing to stand up for the interests of their local electorates?

“In both Guildford and Tandridge, the majority of councillors of the ruling party have accepted the housing figures wished on their areas in widely criticised Strategic Housing Market Assessments (SHMAs), which make no allowance for the environmental or planning constraints.”

But Murphy argues local authorities don’t have to accept these numbers and gives an example of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council which, he says, has successfully resisted the very high housing numbers proposed for the district.

He said: “At a public hearing into its Local Plan the council stood its ground against what it saw as unsustainable housing targets – and, although it eventually had to concede some loss of green belt, the loss is comparatively modest and the overall outcome for the borough is significantly better than had been expected. In consequence, there seems to be no grass-roots revolt against the ruling party.”

But apparently, GBC need not be too concerned. When asked if this matter had ever been discussed at their committee meetings or whether they might consider extending their affiliations to make such a move possible in the future, Amanda Mullarkey chairman of the umbrella organisation the Guildford Residents Association, which represents 25 residents associations and parish councils, declined, on more than one occasion, to reply. Perhaps this potato is just too hot to handle?

6 Responses to Opinion: Are Residents Well Served by the Main Political Parties in Local Government?

  1. Peter ShawReply

    January 5, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    I wholly support David Reeve’s statement and encourage those in Residents Associations to stand for council positions in 2019.

    I’d be so impressed if we could get even half of the council to be made from Resident Association candidates. It will be healthy for our borough and local democracy.

  2. David KingReply

    January 5, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    It is disgraceful that Mrs.Mullarkey refuses to comment on this issue which has a real groundswell of support.

    What is the point of her position if she will not comment on or support this drive for competent administration out of the hands of the political parties.

    If councils do not listen to their electorate I predict that we shall start to see civil unrest.

  3. Alan RobertsonReply

    January 7, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    The moribund Conservative borough council in Guildford should be replaced by independent councillors who care about the area and who will listen to their electorate. The current set up must be terminated at the earliest opportunity.

  4. Jules CranwellReply

    January 8, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Unfortunately for Guildford, the GBC Executive has done anything but stand its ground over unsustainable housing targets. If anything it has artificially inflated the target through its top secret, undisclosed, “black box” methodology, which it continues to refuse to disclose.

    What do they have to hide?

    Let’s hope 2019 [when the next GBC election is due] is the year of the independents, GGG, and residents associations.

    I wish a few more of our councillors had the guts to take the position: “I cannot remain part of a group whose plans are in direct opposition to the wishes of the people who elected me.”

    We won’t be fooled again.

  5. John PerkinsReply

    January 9, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    In my opinion, concert parties are not compatible with real democracy, especially when coupled with a first-past-the-post electoral system. The argument most frequently offered in favour of FPTP is that it leads to strong government, but experience indicates that the electorate is badly served wherever and whenever one party dominates. In practice, it favours the established political parties who support it.

    Another problem is that of character. To quote Douglas Adams “it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it”.

  6. Jules CranwellReply

    January 9, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Unfortunately for us, character seems in short supply at GBC, apart from GGG and depressingly few honest individuals from the other parties. These individuals tend to be reluctant politicians, who have sacrificed their private lives to a greater cause, without allowing personal ambition to cloud their judgement.

    Where is the character in tweeting offensive comments to fellow councillors?
    Where is the character in ignoring the wealth of objections to the discredited Local Plan?
    Where is the character in hiding vitally important calculations on the housing need?

    We should ask ourselves why we have allowed such characterless and mediocre individuals to govern. Arise, the independents and residents’ representatives.

Anne Cooper verbatim.

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You may like some additional facts about Waverley’s financial incompetence when it comes to looking after listed buildings.

  I have attached a couple of documents (these are not included on this post) relating to Brightwell House and the Redgrave Theatre: one is a survey carried out for Waverley at the end of 2016 which shows that urgent repairs will cost £277,000 and a total of all repairs as  – £470,000.

The other attachment is a document from Historic England which urges owners of listed buildings to keep them in good repair, and in use, to deter vandals,  and we know that this is a constant problem for Waverley.

Owners need to take out insurance in case anyone, authorised or not, can sue for damages if they incur an accident inside a vacant listed building!

 Brightwell House has open floorboarding over cellars, no lighting and no security alarm and the Redgrave is full of hazards for the unwary to encounter also in the dark!

REVEALED IN THE AGENDA PAPERS OF THE DECISION MEETING ON WED. 17 JANUARY.

 IT SEEMS THAT CNS WANT TO BREAK UP THE DEVELOPMENT INTO SEPARATE ELEMENTS NEEDING INDIVIDUAL CONTRACTS – THUS BYPASSING THE NEED FOR A SIGNED CONTRACT FOR THE WHOLE DEVELOPMENT BEFORE WORKS CAN START ON A LISTED BUILDING. IT WILL BE A PIECEMEAL DEVELOPMENT WHICH MIGHT GO ON FOR YEARS AND YEARS! 

Needless to say, the tory Tossers listened, but nobody heard and Farnham’s Redgrave Theatre WILL bite the dust! However, sometime soon it could take some Farnham councillors down with it!

 

More burrows on their way to Cranleigh?

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No sooner have the Berkeley Bunnies begun burrowing into Knowle Lane, than the Waverley Web learns that other landowners in Knowle Lane are eager to jump on the builders’ wagon to burrows into their own green fields. They too want to house the Wimbledon and Wandsworth Wanderers who are all migrating down the A3.

Well, why wouldn’t they when a two-up-two-down in Nappy Valley can be swapped for a five-up, five down with ensuites on Knackered (oops! Knowle) Lane in Cranleigh? Ah! but these are for – ‘key workers” where for … London?

According to our mole inside  Waverley, Liz-the-Bulldozer, AKA Lilibet (We’ll have a liddle bet she’ll grant consent)! knows all about it and, desperately worried that her plans for Dunsfold Aerodrome won’t see the light of day, thanks to Mistress Milton and Jeremy Shunt,  is welcoming owners of greenfields in and around Cranleigh with open arms: ‘Roll up! Roll up! Give us a field and we’ll give you a consent …’ Never mind that Wildwood Lane has potholes the size of craters as it crumbles under the weight of lorries pounding up and down it. Who cares? Not LTB that’s for sure.

The Cranleigh Rumour Mill has gone into overdrive since it was announced that David Manns is hosting a coffee shop consultation to-day on behalf of the owners of Suffolk Pensions who want to build 22 houses on a greenfield at Craneswood in Knowle Lane near Knowle Park Nursing Home.  The land is owned by Cranleigh couple David and Sarah Osborne, who are being a bit shy about claiming ownership of the scheme.

Regular readers will recall that the Lettuce King (AKA Nick Vrijland, who owns Cranleigh Nurseries – another green field that’s been consented for housing in Cranleigh) is a major shareholder in David Manns. Does that mean that the Lettuce King and his cohort, Andy Leafy, are up to their old tricks and trying to help concrete over yet another of Cranleigh’s green fields? Or is it just a generous gesture to allow the store to be used for such purposes. Perhaps it would have been a sensible move to use a neutral venue, like the Band Hall, or the community hall, rather than telling residents you are backing Cranleigh New Town?

Rumours abound that a consortium of so-called movers and shakers (AKA people well placed in local business and local government to make things happen) have pooled their SIPS – NO! We’re not talking about a crafty G&T! We’re referring to their Self Invested Pension Plans – in order to acquire local landholdings where they plan to combine their cash and local clout in order to boost their pension pots at the expense of Cranleigh’s green fields and local residents’ amenity.

By the way, isn’t this field adjacent to Cranleigh’s Beryl Harvey Memorial field? You know the one that the late Councillor Brian Ellis wanted to build houses, and villagers stopped him just in the Nick of time!

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Despite a flood of opposition from the local residents, ‘Your Waverley’ rules that Farnham’s Redgrave Theatre will bite the dust!

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Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of Isherwood
In the Pott boil and bake;
Eye of Cockburn and toe of Band,
Wool of Frost and tongue of King,
Seabourne’s fork and Byham’s sting,
Le Gal’s leg and Elsie’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boils the Bury’s bubble.

Despite  impassioned pleas by three Farnham Residents’ Councillors, The Farnham Theatre Association, hundreds of residents – and even, Godalming’s new boy on the block – Waverley’s old guard stuck to their guns and hope they’ve now delivered  their final blow for the demolition of part of the Grade 11 Listed Brightwells House,  paving  the way for demolishing a theatre once visited by royalty to become, ‘casual dining restaurants’, no doubt serving eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog – get the picture!  

Absolutely ideal for the witches and warlocks occupying the Burys belfry now that their usual haunt The Bell and Dragon is closing down! And bound to be an added attraction for the Wimbledon and Wandsworth Wanderers heading down the A3 to make the once attractive Farnham market town their new home? The latter are used to the more exotic fare served up by the Nappy Valley eateries, so they’ll be on the lookout for something to perk up their jaded pallets. Anyone for Tempura Battered Scorpion?

But with dozens of restaurants struggling to keep their heads above the bain Marie surely a theatre, even a provincial one, might be more of a  draw for the upwardly mobile migrators who are used to having the fleshpots of the capital’s theatreland close. 

And now we come to think of it, wasn’t Art & Culture a big part of ‘YW’s Cultural Strategy trumpeted by the portfolio holder Elstead’s Elsie as a major part of its Daft Local Plan????  Another day … another dollar… we suppose, and this time the dollar… but this time the dollar is the most important issue surrounding last night’s  decision tonight heralding the redevelopment of East Street because the county council is investing squillions of Council Tax payer’s money in the scheme and so is..YW! Why? Because there were no commercial backers! Durrrhh!

BUT IS IT A WISE INVESTMENT?  THAT IS THE QUESTION?

Anne Cooper of the Farnham Theatre Association gave such a good showing – we intend to give her her own post.

Although his microphone’s  barely warm, Godalming’s new boy on the block Lib Dem Paul Follows dared to question the council’s sense in continuing with a scheme, which he said , “had begun while I was still at secondary school.’

Brave boy, particularly after chief planning officer ‘Beth the bulldozer’ gave a very peremptorily sermon on the mount to the Tory voting fodder, that the situation before them was ‘Not a planning application’ but a renewal of a previous consent and there was no change in circumstances!’

No change in circumstances? Is the  Munstead Mumpty suffering from short-term memory loss, no change in circumstances! The whole bloody world has changed since permission for  East Street was granted while Councillor Fellows was still in school swatting for his GCSEs!   Only four weeks at ‘YW’ and he’s swapping swatting for sweating!

He said: “I think it is scandalous how much money has been spent on this over so many years, I want to know when something viable is proposed? Is this development still viable, can you persuade the developer (Crest Nicholson Regeneration Ltd) to actually make this happen, and has the harm to this area been adequately looked at?”

Carry on like that oh chopsy one and you’ll get Beth the Bulldozer on your case! Her response was polite, ‘Perhaps as you are so new Councillor Follows, we could talk  about this IMPORTANT scheme – offline.’ A rap on the knuckles with a slap on both cheeks to follow if we ever heard one!

Councillor Andy McLeod read the retail runes, by pointing out the obvious, restaurants were closing, shops, including House of Fraser, were pulling out of high streets, and even the  ‘anchor tenant’  M&S wouldn’t commit and, elsewhere were closing stores around the country!  “The developer keeps saying – it’s  just about to happen, but it doesn’t! Tonight we hear it is going to happen, but we’ve heard it all before, we  keep on renewing consents and it just keeps stringing us along!’ In 2012 this committee refused a four-year extension and only gave three on condition the scheme as had to be built in that time -frame, and yet we stagger on.  They  said it was ‘ shovel ready’ and all they did was  dig a big hole for the bridge, and take down sheds at the tennis courts!”

Double, double Beth’s in trouble; Fire burns and Potts could bubble?

Cool it all with taxpayers dosh,

Then we wait for the developers’ cosh?

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Needless to say – as we predicted a day or two ago… the voting fodder were like pigs at a trough… as they stuck their trotters in the air … and scuttled out of the chamber pot before being barbecued by the people of Farnham! 

To be continued  

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 16.21.28.pngBut it streams for over an hour before it starts!

https://youtu.be/3JPj8UP5BFk

No challenge there then to have the word ‘Housing’ added to his title?

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Here at the Waverley Web we have just spotted this on a community page on Facebook relating to the timing of the Dunsfold decision.  

What is he referring to,   D – FOR DUNSFOLD of course!

 

 

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Secretary of State for Housing and Communities Sajid Javid. 

 

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Abandon hope all ye who enter here?

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Here at the Waverley Web, we’re all for a good old Dante reference and it could come in particularly  handy when objectors turn up, or tune in, to watch ‘Your Waverley’s’ nodding donkeys.’ On Wednesday  17th January they will give the nod, following the previous 2012 nod then 2014, nod, which followed the 2016 nod to the 2018 permission for the part demolition of Brightwells House. Which of course, will then lead to another nod to the redevelopment of Farnham’s East Street?

Just in case you’re nodding off – the East Street Saga has been going on for so many years, it’s hard to remember when they weren’t talking about it – and now it’s just in time to meet one of the biggest retrenchments in restaurants and retailing since heaven knows when? 

Crest Nicholson Regeneration Limited – (has it set up a new arm?) together with Sainsbury’s want to knock down the old Redgrave Theatre and covert the building into two spanking new restaurants, so that Farnham can look like just any other old town center. After all, we don’t want our market towns looking like …. market towns do we? Heaven forbid! How would that fit in with life for the Wandsworth and Wimbledon wanderers? And of course, ‘YW’ has already spent over £10m added to over £30m or is it £50m of  ‘ our money’ that the county council is throwing into the big bad Blightwells hole!

The council planning officers led by…we mustn’t call her Liz the Biz so, Beth-the-Bulldozer, or perhaps ‘Eliza-Do-Little-to save our borough’, aren’t too bothered because according to the report to the Joint Planning Committee... ‘the scheme would “cause less than substantial harm’ to the Grade 11 Listed Building. What the hell does ‘less than substantial harm’ mean?

A building that since 1792 has been treasured by Farnham people in a setting of the Brightwell gardens, a rare lung of green open space, sacrificed on the altar of another developer’s greed! So no worries there then! There’s quite a lot of greed about at the moment in the country, so why not here?

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The Joint Planning Committee will be chaired  by non-other than, Peter -“I must not forget to turn the microphone off  or Farnham objectors might just hear what I think of them too’ Isherwood, who will no doubt be rubbing shoulders with Farnham’s Carole Cockburn who would really rather the council despoiled the villages of Cranleigh & Ewhurst as they have ‘no architectural merit.’ But then no doubt their time will come if she has her way! Oh dear… isn’t Cranleigh’s Stocklund Square next on the developer’s hit list and Cranleigh’s characterful high street could will go the same way! Oh! yes, of course, aren’t they considering demolishing Stocklund Square? Click the link below, because Waverley councillors have been holding ‘secret meetings’ on this cunning plan since 2015! Ask Councillor Ellis, Patricia we mean!  We are sure her late husband will have told her all about it!  Oh dear… is Cranleigh’s Stocklund Square next on the developer’s hit list?

There are however four letters supporting a new vibrant retail/restaurant sector in Farnham and over 400 objectors who don’t.

 We would list all the objections here – except you would NOD OFF! And, so would we!

Now here comes the rub!! Crest Nicholson no longer wish to enter into an actual  ‘Contract’ for the East St development, but a ‘Development Agreement,’… wonder why? Perhaps to-day’s long predicted announcement that Carillion has gone tits up has put more than an icy cold blast up the Aris of the plumply salaried Crest NS Finance Director and Wonersh resident Patrick Bergin!  

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So … we’re  all happy about that… arent we?

Just watch all the mits go into the air with gay abandon as another Farnham treasure bites the dust!

This is a quote from Farnham resident Mr. David Wyle.

“Waverley may  be able to go on inflicting its low- grade mediocracy on us because it doesn’t know what consultation and democracy are; it may be able to go on abusing and misusing its powers because local government regulations favour thugs and bullies, but what it will never gain, not unless it changes its tune, is public endorsement and goodwill.’

 

 

 

 

It’s called passing the​ buck! Where does it stop?

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So when the Governments cuts the funding to Surrey County Council so that it no longer fund the services it is not obliged to provide, it passes them onto Waverley Borough Council, who then pass the buck down to the parish councils – the grassroots tier of local government. When the parishes can no longer provide them – what then?

Surrey’s roads are now so full of pot-holes, some large enough to place a large washing up bowl into them, is it now time that the borough councils started filling them in? If it says no, perhaps the parishes? Or perhaps we should get out there with buckets of tarmac!

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This was taken from Bramley Parish Council’s newsletter to residents.

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As two of​ ​Your Waverley councillors sneer and deride the villages of Ewhurst and Cranleigh, officers are daft enough to remove the incriminating​ remarks​ from U-Tube.

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Here’s a post we published a couple of days ago which revealed what the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee REALLY think about another part of our borough!  One councillor from Hindhead – another from Farnham! Hey, Ho, where did localism go? Certainly not to Ewhurst! Our video of the offensive remarks was removed, but not until many of you had seen it! 

Ewhurst is another part of the borough where ‘YW’ and a Government Inspector, intend to help the Cash and Clout brigade to cover the countryside in concrete!Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 17.26.31.png

The original streaming video has now been taken off U-tube and tidied up by the IT  guys, who cannot produce a decent webcast however hard they try! 

Well, just in case you missed it, here is just part of it below!  Sadly, we couldn’t get the whole conversation on video but we do have it on our telephones! And, if this is removed again, we will not hesitate to use it!

So next time Councillor Isherwood, when you feel like laughing and rubbishing the very genuine concerns of the residents of Ewhurst for speaking up for their village, act responsibly!  And, Councillor Cockburn before telling them to buy some shutters to block out offending development and making other derogatory remarks, turn your bl**dy microphones off! And…

Perhaps Councillor Cockburn,  it is you, and your colleague, who should take advantage of that councillors’ training programme offered to you by CPO ‘Bess the Biz, or Betty the Business! Because you need to do your homework.  The village you describe as: “after all we’re not talking about exquisite pretty English villages here are we,” and “there’s  an awful lot of rubbish there” Ewhurst, has won the Best Kept Village title on more than one occasion and is good enough for such world-renowned stars as Eric Clapton and Kenney Jones to call it home!

Cranleigh too is/was, pretty proud of its very attractive village status, and which you snidely describe as not having much ‘architectural merit.’ Dare we suggest that even those, who, in times past were among the most respected, reasonable, and fair-minded people, once institutionalised by Waverley towers, become self-righteous bores when they are long past their SBD!  

SHAME ON YOU for treating Cranleigh and Ewhurst with such contempt! Do the decent thing and either resign or apologise for your insulting and damning behaviour. Now we all know, right across the borough, what you really think about the East – wonder what you REALLY feel about the west?

 

 

A big payout to Godawfulming’s Parish Clerk?

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Perhaps Godalming residents should be making a few inquiries?

Funny the things you find if you can be bothered to trawl through the small print of local authority accounts!

We know, have a good laugh, sad souls that we are here at the Waverley Web when between running to get our Costa and preparing for the next meeting’s agenda, we go on fishing trips… and here are the chips!!

Well hidden, or at least camouflaged as ‘other staff expenses’  in the Godalming Town Councils accounts is a £30,000 bung given to disappearing Town Clerk! So whats the story behind this massive hole in the Godalming Town Council finances all about? Bullying we hear? No surely not!

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Does ‘Godawfulming’ have its own Bermuda Triangle?

A £3 cost for every Godalming resident, to have the Town Council mismanaged by the incumbent Conservatives?

 

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Is the mucky brown stuff about to hit ‘Your Waverley’s 2018 fan?

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Have the Police been called in yet? The answer is YES!

According to a few  Farnham-based air quality experts ‘Your Waverley’ has miscalculated two crucial ‘bias adjustment factors’ used to counter discrepancies between the council’s monitoring equipment.’ What monitoring equipment?

Now, we all know that the accuracy of ‘YW’s air quality data has been under the microscope for some considerable time – but the silence on the subject from the acting chief executive, now newly appointed Chief Executive Tom Horwood, has been quite deafening! So what is going on?

Perhaps because the audit is being carried out is by his previous employer, East Hants Council, or perhaps the council has not seen hide nor tail of the Air Quality Officer for over a year, or perhaps because the man who pays the bills Wen-am-I-leaving has left? Or because the other Waverley Wally, (The Omen) was also culpable has also left. 

It is now almost six months since the ‘independent’ review was commissioned of the 2016 Air Quality Annual Status Report. This came after the report was criticised for grossly under-estimating Farnham’s air pollution problem!  

  •  It came after Farnham-based air quality expert David Harvey submitted a ‘Level 3’ complaint to Waverley’s acting executive director Tom Horwood, the final stage of the borough council’s complaints procedure, demanding Waverley acknowledge and rectify its mistakes.

To recap.

Waverley’s latest Air Quality Annual Status Report, published in May 2016, claimed air pollution – and specific levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – only “slightly exceeds” the national objective at three monitoring stations in Farnham; two elsewhere in The Borough and one in Wrecclesham Road.

However, this was challenged by Mr Harvey, a director of West Street firm ADM Ltd, who believed Waverley has dramatically under-estimated the problem after miscalculating two ‘bias adjustment factors’ used to counter discrepancies between the council’s monitoring equipment.

This makes the difference between there being an “overall improvement in air quality across the borough’ as claimed by the council, and the air quality has actually deteriorated.

In correspondence between the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Waverley, DEFRA has asked Waverley to explain “potential discrepancies” in its data!

Waverley’s head of environmental services, Richard Homewood,  confirmed in an email to Mr Harvey that the council had “engaged an independent consultant to review our 2016 data, calculations and the 2016 report”.

Mr. Harvey said: “As air quality is very much in the public eye at the moment it makes Waverley’s inability to publish correct data and its woeful response to my representations inexcusable. It is now over a year since DEFRA acknowledged that there was an error in the 2016 Air Quality Annual Status Report which is yet to be corrected or even acknowledged by Waverley.

“The failure by Waverley Borough Council to calculate, prepare and submit accurate and correct figures to DEFRA and also preparing an Annual Status Report for the public on air quality in the borough based on these inaccurate figures is serious and represents a failure of service by the local authority.

“Because the 2016 annual report is not fit for purpose Waverley Borough Council are not fulfilling their statutory duties under Part IV of the Environmental Act 1995 to review and assess air quality.”

Mr. Harvey has also complained about the conduct of Waverley’s officers, who he says have questioned his credibility and accused him of lying, and has accused the council of frequently moving its monitoring equipment “to get lower numbers”.

He has issued seven demands to Waverley, including that it withdraw the offending 2016 report, correct and re-issue it, investigate why no record of the bias calculation was kept, and put in place procedures and training “to ensure mistakes of this nature do not happen again”.

He wants Waverley to acknowledge its mistake in public and provide a full report to both the executive committee and full council.

A Waverley spokesman said last September,  ‘Mr Harvey’s complaint about the accuracy of the report is being taken very seriously and we are currently working with DEFRA to review the 2016 report. At this stage, DEFRA has not confirmed to the council whether the data is flawed.

“Mr Harvey’s complaint about the collection of data used in the Air Quality report and the conduct of Waverley employees is being dealt with in accordance with the council’s complaints policy.

“As the complaint has now reached Stage 3, a review of the complaint under the previous stages is in progress and Mr Harvey will receive a response soon.”

Waverley is duty-bound to submit an annual air quality status report to DEFRA after three Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) were declared in Farnham, Godalming and Hindhead in 2004, following the discovery of excessive levels of NO2 which has been linked to as many as 40,000 premature deaths every year in the UK.

• It also comes after another unitary authority, Cheshire East Council, admitted ‘falsifying’ air quality figures, requiring hundreds of planning applications to be reviewed and prompted a police investigation.

  • According to the BBC, Cheshire East Council said “deliberate and systematic manipulation” took place from 2012 to 2014, which made the council’s air quality data readings appear lower than they really were.

An internal review by Cheshire East’s auditors in 2016 found the air quality data submitted was different to the original data provided by the laboratory that analysed readings from the council’s monitoring equipment.

Annie get your gun? Because instead of Shunt saying ‘YES Prime Minister’ – he said ‘NO!’

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While the countrywide media, including our humble selves, was tipping Matron Milton to become the new Secretary of State for Health the Guildford and Waverley MP’s mate on the other side of the borough was busy dashing any hopes she had of jumping into his shoes! Perhaps the post of Business Secretary, when he wanted to be Deputy PM, held no attraction when it is Jeremy Shunt’s long-held ambition to privatise the health service and climb further up Westminister’s greasy pole? So despite the fact that most of the medical profession longed for our Annie’s ‘gentle touch’  now … 

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So go on Annie give it to him with both barrels!

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Just a few quotes received:

It says a good deal about the decision-making, firm control and lack of insight that May has allowed Hunt to remain “in charge” of the NHS and has even expanded his remit to Social Care. He has NO qualifications to justify the former and even less credibility to justify the latter. I cannot remember a more mistrusted, reviled and incompetent individual since I started my RMN Training in 1971.

Well done, Prime Minister, done your credibility no end of good. Not.

The elderly and their relatives in the UK should quiver with fear at the impending destruction.

T Maunder

Hunt wants to make a name for himself

There is very little I can add to comments on reports of Jeremy Hunt’s refusal to move from his post of Health Secretary, save only to say that it seems that he might want to go down in history as the man who presided over the privatisation of the NHS.

Mark Morsman

and they go on and on…. and on!

As we post… former nurse Milton, 62, is currently the Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships and Minister for Women.

Healthcare is known to be a particular passion of Mrs. Milton who trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and worked in the NHS for 25 years in a variety of roles.

During the 2010-2015 parliament, she served as parliamentary under-secretary at the Department of Health as a junior minister for public health. Despite a public brave face, she was believed to have been disappointed when moved from this job to become a government whip.

Before the reshuffle, Milton downplayed the press speculation. She said, “there is always a lot of press speculation but often based on little real information.”

Michael Gove, the MP for Surrey Heath which covers the three Ash borough council wards of Guildford Borough, remains as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The reshuffle at junior minister level continues today.

 

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

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What is Localism?

In short, localism is the transfer of power, authority, and resources from central government to local government and other public agencies, who in turn devolve to, and empower their communities!

What weasely words these now are to people living in and around the borough of Waverley. On this particular post to the residents of Ewhurst. in fact, if it wasn’t so serious it would be quite funny. The word ‘localism’  has now been shown to be just another political soundbite, in this case of the Cameron days, just like so many other political soundbites, before and since, that have bitten the dust!

Ask the communities of Farnham, Cranleigh, Godalming, and Ewhurst how effective their local voices were in 2017 or will be in 2018.

There is a no bigger example than that of The Farnham Society, The Cranleigh Civic Society, or the parish councils, all of whom have worked tirelessly wasting many millions of hours writing, or contributing to their Neighbourhood Plans! Plans which count for nothing!

  • Farnham’s bit the dust before the ink was dry!
  • Cranleigh’s never made the light of day!
  • Ewhurst’s housing figures will be overtaken before its plan is published, let alone examined and improved.

Last night Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee took another backward step by approving a housing scheme at Backward Point, Cranleigh Road, Ewhurst for 31 New England style homes, some three-stories high!  That same committee refused a scheme for just 13 just a month or so back. But the cash and clout brigade didn’t even bother to wait, throwing in an appeal for the higher number, an appeal which was subsequently granted by a Government  Inspector.

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The Parish Council continue to object, as it believes the development is out-of-keeping with the rural village nestling into the Surrey Hills.

But LOCALISM DIDN’T MATTER ONE JOT TO THE INSPECTOR neither did it matter a jot  TO PLANNING CHIEF ‘ELIZABETH THE BUSINESS’ who will do her Majesty’s Government’s work, without a qualm!

The scheme was described by councillors as – ‘all done and dusted’ by an inspector, so there was little they could do about the undesirable narrow access road with an electricity pylon at the entrance to the site. Or the unsuitable height of some homes, or how close they were to properties in Gransden Close.

Or as Councillor David Else from Elstead so succinctly described :

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 Farnham Residents’ Group Councillor Jerry Hyman’s major concern was,  that if the claims made by a resident (who spoke earlier during the public speaking slot) was correct, had the Inspector based his decision on inaccurate information i.e. the width of the access road? 

We have here an access to a  development which is narrow, which previously served just one house, and which cannot accommodate a pavement! We understand the Inspector was told the hedge alongside the access road was to be removed, and we now understand it isn’t. We should not be approving such developments. If that isn’t true we should not be granting this on a false premise, why can’t we challenge this? I certainly wouldn’t want to drive my car down there and meet a truck, or have my children walking down it with no pavement!’

He also questioned the practicality of the Suburban Urban Drainage Scheme (SUDS) on heavy Wealden clay. 

The application was passed by 18 votes with two abstentions.

Later this month, just weeks after same Waverley JPC refused a scheme for 21 homes on green fields owned by Peter Nutting behind Larkfield, Ewhurst a Government inspector will hear another appeal. There will be yet another public inquiry into Beechcoft Land Ltd’s rejected scheme. And yet another Inspector will say – Hey Ho, let’s go, go, go!’

So out the window goes Localism – AGAIN.

‘Empower local communities’ – what a load of bullsh*t!

But here’s a warning!

“The planning system is one of the fundamental pillars of local democracy, allowing communities to help shape the physical structure of the places they live,” 

“Councillors are the most important link between communities and that system. many councillors feel that this democratic tool is at risk of being undermined.” 

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Now if you really want to know what The Chairman and Vice-Chairman think about residents objections, and what they really think about the villages of Ewhurst and Cranleigh click on the link above and listen to what they have to say at the very end of the tape when the meeting ended and someone forgot to switch off the webcast!

 Do you have a phobia? Are you afraid of spiders or flying? How did you overcome your phobia? @DannyPike wants to hear from you at BBC Surrey from 9am.

NO shunt for Hunt!

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Having wiped the Windolene off our crystal ball it would appear that Hunt’s Shunt up the every greasier Westminster pole failed to materialise.

Instead, Jeremy Hunt’s Health Secretary Portfolio has increased to include the poisoned chalice of Social Care! WOW! Now there’s a challenge if we ever heard one!

He has through pi**ed off most of our ‘ageing’ followers who claim he is maligning them every time he opens his grinning/ grimacing gob reminding everyone it is them who are putting such pressure on the health system – just by being alive! Does he ever consider that this is just the group of people helping to fund their parents, some of whom are over 100 years old, and who are daring to take up space in the ever decreasing number of nursing homes! Same ‘aging population’ are also caring for their parent/s and their grandchildren in their own homes!

If only the Department of Health would stop issuing costly and ridiculously unnecessary advice to the ‘ageing population’ about how they should eat, walk, talk and live their lives, perhaps there would be more money in the pot to help them as they ‘age!’ Because however far, or fast,  they run, their age will finally catch up with them! 

Here’s what we wrote this morning.Shunt the Hunt?

Oh, well, a day is a long time in politics!

 

 

 

Shunt the Hunt?

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The PM has decided not to encourage the Hunt!

In the midst of all the controversy over a crisis in our hospitals, rising crime, and the possible impact of Brexit, what does Theresa May concentrate on…

Not allowing a free Commons vote on a repeal of the ban on the Fox-Hunting bill!  

However, the other Hunt our Waverley MP Jeremy Shunt may soon reach closer to the pinnacle of Westminster’s greasy pole – alongside his Guildford running mate MP Anne Milton, if the Prime Minister  drops our local MP’s into her Harry Potter style great big paper bag, throws it up into the air – and whoever comes out first gets the top jobs! that’s the way to do it!

Of one thing we can all be sure though:.   The Shunt’s hunt for promotion may have been guaranteed by that heartfelt apology dolled out to the suffering whose ‘non urgent operations’ have been cancelled, which of course he described as good planning!  And his grovelling apology to all the other sick and dying people who have languished in hospital corridors and ambulances over Christmas and New Year heartfelt it certainly sounded.   However many of our followers are not entirely sure he has a heart? Just ask a few junior doctors, GP’s and hospital staff if they’ve  have found the tin man’s heart, and most will agree, he has a swinging brick where that particular organ, should be… and they, after all, are the experts in that department!

As for Matron Milton, who always manages to keep her head down, her nose clean, and shy away from anything remotely controversial – other than of course, whipping  Sajid Javid whipped into line on the Dunsfold Park planning application, and thereby, punching a big hole in Waverley’s Daft Local Plan!

When meeting local businesses to hear their mounting concerns over Brexit, what did she have to say:

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It looks increasingly likely that Matron Milton is going to be kicked back onto the wards she is so fond of pontificating about, if Hunt is shunted in today’s reshuffle. Lights, camera, action! Hairdresser, make-up! Our Annie might be about to find out hat it’s like to hunt with the hounds and run with the fox! For the first time in her career we might finally find out what Matron Milton is really made of cos one thing’s for certain: there ain’t nowhere to hide with a portfolio as challenging as Health! 

Let’s hope former Sister Anna carries the banner for some of the overworked and underpaid, nurses in her profession. Whilst cutting the excesses of the vastly overpaid bureaucrats in the Department of Health and across the country’s hospital trusts!  

Oh dear! Now her husband has been removed!

https://politicalscrapbook.net/2018/01/anne-miltons-wikipedia-page-edited-from-parliament-to-change-details-of-her-husbands-link-to-virgin-care/

Is 2018 going to herald in a new webcasting system?

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Now you may not know this man – but we certainly do here at the Waverley Web! He is our personal enemy numero uno!

Now he may be a really nice bloke with lots of friends, and a loving family? But unless he sorts out that duff web casting system bought off E.Bay by the Scrooges at  ‘Your Waverley’ we are going to drop in on him from a great height and bite him where it hurts! Right on the top of his ‘loaf of bread.’

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WW… wonders why?

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Why aren’t ‘Your Waverley’s Audit Committee meetings being webcast?

Not that it will make that much difference, it seldom works properly anyway, that is of course unless Father Christmas turned up at the Burys on Christmas Eve with a new one?

Isn’t it funny that that only member that seems eager to shine a light into the darkest corners of ‘Your Waverley’ is the Farnham Residents’ member!

P.S. This extract is taken from the meeting report, and please note, that they ‘note, that there had been some recent technical difficulties with the system.’ An understatement if ever we heard one!

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Without a brick being laid at Blightwells it has cost Waverley taxpayers over £7m+ and rising!

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Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 21.04.43Here are a few (not alternative) facts to educate, inform and shock the Waverley public regarding the colossal amounts that their Waverley has spent on failing, so far, to get the Brightwells development in Farnham town centre off the ground. And we mean quite literally ‘off the ground’, where not a brick has been laid in spite of Waverley’s ‘heroic’ efforts over the last 15 years.

We have detailed figures showing that Waverley had spent a total of £7.1 million on the project by the end of Autumn 2017. But, still has to finalise a payment for the compulsory purchase of the much-loved Marlborough Head public house to make way for the development. A figure of £1.5 million has been mooted to complete the CPO.

Taking that figure to £8.6m!

On top of this, we all know that on-going negotiations, in a desperate attempt to attract reluctant retailers to take up premises in the scheme, must be costing the council a pretty penny. So, no one would be surprised to hear that spending on this vastly out-of-date scheme has passed the £10 million mark.

That’s an awful lot of money for nothing!

Taking some interesting comparisons from Waverley’s General Fund Revenue Account Budget Summary 2016/17, looking at money for something, our readers might like to know that the Finance Director has listed a total of £11,793,650 as the total spending for council services during the last complete financial year, including £3,789,660 for Community services and £1,792,290 for the Environment.

Money for nothing in Farnham town centre puts all this in the shade!

We  wonder how residents in Godalming, Haslemere, Cranleigh and the villages might react to knowing how much their Borough Council has already devoted to a project here in Farnham that offers little or no prospect of benefiting council tax payers, as a whole, around Waverley?

The WW believes this  must be essential reading for council tax payers throughout the borough who are consistently kept in the dark about ‘Your Waverley’s’  nefarious dealings and are anticipating a nice little hike in their council tax!