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Only 7 days to pitch in to help Haslemere protect its green spaces.

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There is massive opposition in the town of Haslemere to the inclusion of parts of its treasured green spaces being sacrificed on the alters of developers. Whilst sadly, other cherished green spaces have already gone under concrete all over our borough including Farnham and vast swathes of the land in the eastern villages around Cranleigh, Haslemere is calling for everyone’s help.

The Waverley Web has received the following information: But will ‘Your Waverley’ listen? Here’s what Waverley’s Deputy Leader thinks.

A Message from Kirsten Ellis – Independent Cllr for Haslemere.


Kirsten believes it is possible to combine pragmatic, necessary development and housing expansion with planning that does not sacrifice AONB in the town centre.

Dear Friends of our Green Spaces,

We only have 7 days to complete our responses to Waverley BC’s Local Plan Part 2. Some of us will already have got to it; others not. There’s still time…!

We in Haslemere who care as a community about protecting green spaces and biodiversity appeal for your support of Haslemere Town Council’s recommendations to Waverley Borough Council, especially in relation to our settlement boundary and in asking for the removal of the site allocation DS06 (Red Court) from LPP2.

Please submit your views to the LPP2 public consultation before the deadline of 29 January. Lack of response to this crucial LPP2 consultation at Reg 19 stage will be taken as consent and approval by WBC.

The overwhelming majority of Haslemere residents, as reflected in our Neighbourhood Plan and supported by last night’s vote at the Haslemere Town Council, object that WBC seeks to impose on us the site allocation of Red Court, a biodiverse-rich Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which is also a wildlife corridor and home to precious wildlife and endangered species. 

A little background: Robert Hunter, the co-founder of the National Trust, was first Chairman of our parish council of Haslemere. This is the town he chose for his lifelong home, and from here, led his fight to protect open green spaces from development, beavering over policy to turn his dream of preserving nature for humanity into hard legal reality.  When, in non-Covid times, we sit on our now town council, we are between the same walls where he made many passionate arguments about the vital importance of protecting from development common land (later classed as Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Area of Greater Landscape Beauty) for future generations. Last year, with our new influx of Green, Lib-Dem and Independent Cllrs, we declared a biodiversity emergency as well as a climate change emergency.

The settlement boundary that HTC has approved (as opposed to the boundary which WBC seeks to impose) respects the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Haslemere residents who voted to protect and conserve the countryside encircling us in a ring of green and within the town centre. Only 8% were supportive of development in the category of the Red Court site, and 89% were against. 65% voted against allowing even small- scale developments building outside the settlement boundary. In the last elections, due to public anger over the perception by the community that their views on wishing to protect their environment were not being taken into proper consideration by the then-Tory majority, half the HTC Conservative Cllrs lost their seats, to be replaced by Lib Dems, Independents and Greens.

As well as HTC and Haslemere Vision, Haslemere Society, Natural England, Surrey Hills AONB, CRPE, Surrey Wildlife Trusts and Black Down and Hindhead Supporters of the National Trust, there were over 530 objections to Red Court from all over Haslemere and beyond when its planning application (WA 2020/1213) was submitted to WBC late last year (outcome pending).

Please find attached the statement made to WBC last October about this site’s regional importance by Tom Oliver, Professor of Applied Ecology at the University of Reading, Senior fellow on Defra Systems Research programme and member of European Environment Agency Scientific Committee.

Professor Oliver’s expert view is that WBC’s allocation of Red Court in its draft LPP2 is “not commensurate with the recent national pledge to safeguard biodiversity and WBC’s own policy declaration on the Climate Emergency which commits the Council to regard climate change as a serious threat that requires urgent action to reduce carbon emissions and conserve biodiversity. His assessment concluded: “In summary, there will be a substantial net biodiversity loss from this development on AONB and AONB-candidate AGLV land, which conflicts with both local and national policy targets.” When I asked Professor Oliver about why he felt it was important to speak out for protecting Red Court after he had studied all its characteristics and context, he said that he saw this site as an important AONB case study and that “the more precedent there is for developing on high biodiversity value AONB land, the easier it becomes for other cases.” 

Natural England has said developing on this site will have an adverse effect on the Wealden Heath and significant impact on the setting of the Surrey Hills. By its own assessment, Redwood has stated they intend to fell at least a further 40% of the mature trees on this land to develop the estate. 

WBC have a legislative duty of care to conserve biodiversity and ecology on their watch, and LPP2 is a generational blueprint affecting future development in Waverley for a decade that coincides with a major shift in awareness about how crucial it is to stabilise our climate and protect against biodiversity loss and stabilise our climate.

Haslemere

Can you help Haslemere folk?

WBC’s planners have said that having listened to Haslemere, they have committed to saving 95% of its AONB, AGLV and Greenbelt. But the AONB and AGLV sites they have removed from the proposed LPP2 in order to justify Red Court’s inclusion do not have the same high-biodiversity as Red Court and are listed (DS 11& 13 in LPP2 2018) as “without a significant landscape impact”. They have made it clear they want the Red Court allocation to be retained and say that they are not able to make up the required housing numbers without it, an assertion which is being challenged by HTC and Haslemere Vision. Research shows that our housing numbers can be met without needing to build on greenfield outside our Council-approved settlement boundary, and this is reflected in our Neighbourhood Plan.

If WBC gives a green light to this allocation, it will reward and enable a property speculator who knowingly purchased AONB/AGLV designated for protection — a rich ecological and biodiverse habitat — with the intention of destroying it for profit. WBC would not only be acting against national policy guidelines and their own Corporate Strategy but also acting against Haslemere’s Neighbourhood Plan, ignoring the democratically expressed wishes of the Haslemere community and its Council, a blow for Localism. Haslemere is currently the only town whose Neighbourhood Plan is not reflected in alignment with the proposed LPP2! It is important to note that LPP2 has achieved alignment with all other Waverley localities, a significant achievement. Come on Waverley, you are almost there, go the extra mile!

Haslemere’s Mayor John Robini, Surrey County Councillor Nikki Barton and the majority of HTC Councillors voted to reflect the views and aspirations of our community in a vote last night supporting the following response to WBC:

https://www.haslemeretc.org/uploads/1/1/5/9/115942197/appendix_8_-_lpp2_consultation.pdf

Our Neighbourhood Plan understands that Haslemere’s collective wealth lies in protecting its natural environment and biodiversity; much of the area is among some of the earliest National Trust land acquisitions and we are the gateway to the South Downs National Park. We value our treasured ‘Dark Sky’ status which would be eroded if we do not develop wisely. We also prize our town’s connections to the National Trust, and as the chosen home for writers and artists who sought inspiration in its natural beauty: Tennyson, George Eliot (who wrote Middlemarch here), Arthur Conan Doyle (who used Hindhead heath as his inspiration for The Hound of the Baskervilles) and the artist John Tyndall, and additionally we are proud of history for community-building dating back to the time of the Arts and Crafts movement. We are willing to accept higher density in our town centre and want to give preference to the allocation of brownfield sites first.

Personally, as someone who lives in close proximity to the Red Court site, I — like many who live in the heart of Haslemereappreciate the beauty and richness of its nature, birdlife and biodiversity, which Tennyson walked past on his daily walks. But for anyone concerned about the preservation of AONB at a national as well as a local level, it’s not difficult to see the allocation of this site as a proverbial canary in the coal mine.

If you care about protecting the Surrey countryside for future generations, please state that DS06 (Red Court) is not a suitable site allocation. People, not just locally, but nationally, will look at how WBC behave in relation to the duty of care of such high biodiversity land. 

Respond here:

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/Services/Planning-and-building/Planning-strategies-and-policies/Local-plan/Local-Plan-Part-2

Kirsten Ellis (PhD)

Independent Councillor, Haslemere South

Please find these additional links to Haslemere community and residents’ association websites for further information:

http://www.haslemeresouth.com

https://haslemerevision.org.uk/response-to-scotland-park-planning-application/

http://www.haslemeresociety.org/uploads/1/0/3/8/10380361/ths_redcourt_wbc__wa2020_1213_f.pdf

Did Surrey County Council celebrate National Pothole Day?

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The residents of Waverley need no prompting to vilify Surrey County Council for the state of many of our borough’s roads. In fact, it is driving many of us around the bend!

However, with election fever now building in the county, now might be the right time to remind our sitting councillors of just how bad some of our roads are? Or perhaps ask some of the wannabe councillors to take action on this highway curse – that is getting worse!

Pothole pic Hold on Jack

Gather around your nearest road crater and make a wish.

Here’s one pothole filled in by workmen in Cranleigh High Street!

The UK’s road quality ranks 37th in the world, closely followed by Rwanda in 39th place. Our potholed roads are now becoming a national obsession and a national disgrace.

Potholes have become a blight, and even worse, a very real danger – as playing dodgems is the latest sport of many a motorist. Lorry, car drivers, cycle and motorcyclists regularly weave their way around huge potholes, putting both their lives and the safety of oncoming traffic at risk. 

During the pandemic, we were encouraged to get on our bikes and 1.3million of us did just that. However, some cyclists are dying in the attempt to get fit on our potholed roads – not just the bumps, broken limbs, scrapes and life-changing injuries but in the past five years, 250 of us have died as a direct result of potholes!

We have heard from many of our followers that the A281 Horsham to Guildford Road in the east of the borough is an absolute disgrace. it says something about the state of Britain’s roads that we now have a special day dedicated just for potholes on the Nation’s calendar every year!

Are you aware in the Budget last year Rishi Sunak pledge £1.6 billion to fix potholes?

With the pandemic forcing people to stay at home and fewer cars on the roads, Surrey has the perfect opportunity to crack on with repairs.

While we’re all paying our taxes, taxes set to increase and now we are staying indoors as much possible, councils must do everything they can to annihilate these pothole atrocities and save our lives and our money?

So what can be done? As well as scheduled inspections, local authorities accept reports of defects from the public. If there’s a particular pothole you have a gripe with, we thoroughly recommend logging on to Surrey County Council’s website and report it. However, we did – having lost yet another tyre, but received no compensation whatsoever, as the pothole had not been previously reported. 

 

 

 

Dr Povey prepares for Surrey elections by sprinkling stardust.

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When times are hard – a little faith, trust and pixie dust are always welcome – and the county councillor for Cranleigh & Ewhurst has just discovered his wand.

The councillor – who has neither been seen nor heard for most of the past four years has suddenly emerged. Just in time to slide back into the seat, he intends to reclaim at the May county council elections?
He recently positioned himself outside the Cranleigh recycling centre. A centre that has been closed most of the year, and which now opens only a couple of days each week. A move that has sent residents of the eastern villages schlepping over to the Witley Recycling Centre.

Then he began trumpeting the Surrey county council community fund.  A  £100 million Surrey County Council giveaway, or should it be called bribe? 

You can read all about it here:

He then did a run – presumably his usual morning run, along the Downslink checking the fallen trees. 
“As a result of recent high winds, a number of trees were blown down and blocking the Downslink. I ran down the section from Cranleigh to Baynards Station this morning and pleased to see the Surrey County Council Countryside Access Team have cleared this section. It was a beautiful sunny morning for a run but it is very muddy in places.”

Here’s what Cranleigh’s Little Povey says:

The Surrey County Council community fund (your money) is now live on the SCC website. This is a large capital fund for community projects that residents can suggest. You can comment on the suggestions that are put up. There are two that have been suggested so far for Cranleigh, a Biodiversity and Sustainability Education Centre and a Mentoring Programme. Please take a look. Suggestions can be made in outline first and a full business case can follow later.

So what’s his next giveaway? Don’t hold your breath… 

In the caption below County Cllr Andrew Povey reveals the electric charging points that villagers won’t be plugging in to – and asks to hear residents’ views?

Views? Nil Point – comes to mind. Is it time to move over Dr Povey?

The electric charging points that Cranleigh & Villages – won’t be plugging in to!

Come on Waverley residents? Pile in to help Haslemere.

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The public consultation exercise on ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan Part 2 ends on January 29th – just nine days time.
Included in the plan are sites allocated for development in the borough – some highly controversial – others not so. It also includes a section on Gipsy & Traveller sites – where these should be situated and the number of pitches. 
Residents in Haslemere are claiming that ‘Your Waverley’ has acted on other Neighbourhood Plans in the borough except Haslemere’s by including the controversial ‘Red Court’ – pictured above –  in their allocation of sites. Residents claim by doing this they are ignoring the wishes of both the Haslemere Town Council and the local community.
So with time running out the people of Haslemere are asking everyone to ensure their voice is heard before January 29 – when the consultation closes.
Last night at Waverley’s Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee – head of planning Zac Ellwood told members the response to the consultation – so far – had been light with very few responses. However, he expected a rush of comments in the days leading up to its closure.
Outlining the timetable, after responses had been logged and reviewed, in April/May the final plan, which could include minor modifications, would go to the Secretary of State for examination in public by an Inspector. If sound it would become law between November and February 2022.  However, there could be further delays of several months if there were major issues around certain allocated sites.
I am not second guessing, but there has been a lot of debate in Haslemere about sites put forward, and we have to look carefully at the evidence.”
Many residents of Haslemere are up in arms at the proposed loss of this an important green space in their town and have been campaigning for several years to stop development there. Coming to a greenfield in Haslemere soon?
Mr Ellwood said Neighbourhood Plans for other areas including Chiddingfold and Dunsfold was progressing. However, Cranleigh’s Plan had been delayed as a site which it had relied upon would not now come forward for development, so its plan was at a different stage in its progress.
Officers faced a huge amount of work over the coming months, and this was the “calm before the storm.” Staff would need to move fast to meet the time-scale – stressing the adoption of Local Plan Part 2 was vital to show that Waverley had a 5-year land supply.
Developers want to build a phased development (50 homes in phase 1) of 180 homes on The Red Court site off Scotland Lane. Developers Redwood plans to build many more if/when it gets the go-ahead in an Area of Great Landscape Value and Outstanding Natural Beauty on the edge of the South Downs National Park Scotland Lane/Red Court, (AGLV/bordering AONB land, part of the biodiversity-rich Wealden Heath.)
They claim Waverley would be acting in blatant contravention of its own NFFP Government policy. Over 500 objection have been made – however, the Waverley Web wonders if these have been directed at the Consultation on LP2? Hence the call to make their voices heard NOW before it is too late!
Despite 89% of residents being opposed to the plan – three Tory Conservative councillors voted for the Red Court site to be included in LP2.

 

Have trolley – will travel for ‘Your Waverley.’

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You could trawl through Waverley Council’s  Overview & Scrutiny Value for Money Committee Agenda for its meeting this week – however, you could lose the will to live! So here at the Waverley Web one of our blokes with nothing better to do trawled through until he got to page 190 where he found this?  So there you have it – we, the ratepayers bought a supermarket on 1st December – just in time for Christmas. ‘ Your Waverley’ has won the Supermarket Sweep.

I

I’ve been shopping – says ‘Your Waverley’s Deputy Leader Paul Follows.

 

However, thankfully we have this information posted on the Waverley Web comments page from Deputy `Leader ~Paul Follows – who is as good as his word about being “transparent honest and open with us” – the voting fodder.

Here’s what he had to say:

‘So let’s try and answer some of the questions:’

1) We (WBC) own the freehold;
2) the tenant is M&S in West Wickham (specifically an M&S Food)
3) we have factored in their plans when the current lease is up for renewal.

More detail now available in the public domain, please see the VfM reports pack on the WBC website for the meeting of that committee next week.

So our sticking a pin in the map wasn’t far wrong – though our guys first thought the supermarket was in Hampshire, but then Kent.

Reading other reports of meetings to be held this week it is quite obvious that unless councils make investments like these to generate further income – in a few years time they will go BUST! It would appear this year it gets NO Government grant. So we’re home alone folks!

 This is due to central government’s year by year plan, to strip local authorities  (especially Borough and district councils) of proper funding.

 There is no doubt that some councils – including several in Surrey – have overstepped the bounds of prudent housekeeping, but Waverley has restrained itself with the exception of Brighwells which is funded by circa £53m of Surrey County Council’s pension-fund money. A move which scared the previous conservative administration witless, but which, despite many warnings, it carried on regardless. Only time will tell if Farnham’s Brightwells is a big golden egg or a big white elephant? It hopes to open the development in July – with the Reel Cinema opening in August.

The new administration with Mark Merryweather at the helm as Portfolio Holder for Finance has struck a different tone completely with open and honest accounting. The supermarket investment mentioned is a four-year contract to generate funds to balance the books that have been stripped by the pandemic (HM Government is not keeping its promises to cover losses of revenue due to the lockdowns, despite pledges to the contrary) Communities Minister Robert Jenrick promises councils will not be out of pocket by Covid-19. But ‘ Your Waverley’ is not so sure.

‘Your Waverley’ has won the Supermarket Sweep.

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 The residents here on planet Waverley are now the proud owners of a circa £7million pound supermarket.

Yipee! Guess we have always wanted to own one rather than playing dodge the unmasked customer in a bid to outwit COVID! 

We know not where said supermarket actually is? So here at the Waverley Web, we stuck a pin in a map of the Waverley environs and it landed somewhere in the middle of Kent. We wonder  – is that county in Waverley’s area of “economic influence?” 
Working from home for our team is no fun – so pinning the tail on the supermarket – sounded like a great new board game. Came in handy whilst home-schooling the kids!
Neither do we know who the supermarket retailer is?  – Could be Tesco ‘every little helps’ or ‘Live Well for Less and  Taste the Difference at Sainsbury’s?’ Or perhaps we could “Live a Lidl – because every Lidl helps?’ Maybe, it is Morrisons or Azda – but our money is on – ‘It’s not just Food its M & S Food’  because Waverley loves the brand as it is pinning all its hopes on the brand as its key stakeholder in Farnham’s Blightwells project?

When ‘Your Waverley’s’  Special Executive met in November – (we have included a link so you can hear it for yourselves.) Or, perhaps to be more precise, we should say, you can hear the bit “YW’ wants you to hear – the remainder was in private. Not everyone was entirely convinced that entering the supermarket stakes with cash straight out of the council till – was a good idea.

Here’s a link to that debate, including a bit of a rant by Godalming Cllr Steve Cosser who outlined his numerous concerns.

Could ‘ Your Waverley’ be entering the Supermarket sweep?

He was surprised the Executive had even considered spending £7m + £400,000 in fees to acquire a supermarket out of town? Even more, so that it came from internal borrowing. How could a council that was pleading poverty consider finding such a large sum of money – and how much more was buried in its accounts?

He claimed the proposal was an abandonment of the council’s strategy to only invest in an “area of economic influence,”

We have heard from a few residents that are not entirely delighted with the prospect of pushing the trolley full of public money out into – we know not where. Perhaps someone soon will tell us where the Supermarket is – so we can shop there, once the lock-down is lifted of course, so we can boost our own investment income?
You can listen to the debate here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE3hoJ0UXco&t=2011s&fbclid=IwAR3024rjVLVU_nXMNSHNlcuY14ihWXjmVBkmf5VQHCPq70zC1jyAa_Kk8Yg

Here’s what one of our followers wants to know?

Special Executive Meeting on the 20th Nov 2020 approximately 21 mins into the meeting. Councillor Steve Cosser quotes on record to the proposed purchase of a supermarket (not local) at a cost of £7 million pounds and fees of £.4 million. Why would the remaining councillors attending the same meeting as Councillor Cosser not object after his good argument of funds being used elsewhere? Everything about this deal is suspicious use of public funds is it not?

My questions would be?
1. Who advised them?
2. Who is proposing to do the legal work and who is connected to who (good work if you can get it?)
3. Do they think the taxpaying residents would be happy with the decision made by the councillors?
4. Could this be pensions pocketing exercise rather than the needs of the inhabitants?
5. Who in the council has ever paid more in legal fees and costs for an asset (their homes?)

 

Don’t despair – there’s help out there in ‘Your Waverley.’

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NEWSFLASH – Vaccinations began today at CRANLEIGH VILLAGE HALL.

Paul Follow.  Deputy Leader of ‘Your Waverley- ‘Keeping in Touch.’

COVID & GENERAL UPDATE 
Good morning everyone.
💉 VACCINATION
The vaccination programme is clearly progressing, albeit a bit slower than I think we all want it to be. My understanding is that there is a shortage of storage/vials/needles etc and this is as much of an issue as the vaccine itself (but that this is also being addressed).
I am receiving regular updates from Public Health England, the Royal Surrey and a number of local GP’s.
📍VACCINATION CENTRES
Lots of issues about travel for vaccines. Waverley BC has made numerous suggestions on this – but this is almost wholly being managed by Central Government.
I would urge our MP to encourage Central Gov. to let Local Gov. help with this. It is far better placed to advise on suitability (these will be unknown places on a map to most MP’s and civil servants).
♻️ WASTE COLLECTION
I want to thank residents for their response to the waste collection issues and temporary suspension of the green waste collection and for their fantastic comments about the staff.
🛂 ENFORCEMENT
Despite all the regulations – COVID enforcement powers are not the clearest in law.
For residents, a basic golden rule is this: police can enforce people, borough environmental health can enforce premises.
🏞 EXERCISE AND PARKS
Please keep local and use common sense. I won’t say any more than that on exercise.
The government did not mandate the closure of parks. The borough can do this – but, like many residents, there is a very real debate about the mental health and wellbeing of children. If you are using the parks, again – please use caution and keep to the published guidance.
THANK YOU
Just to finish, thank you to all residents, key workers and our council staff for everything you are doing.
I will continue to update as more information comes my way.
Please also see below a list of useful contacts ⤵️
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
Leader, Godalming Town Council
Paul.Follows@waverley.gov.uk

 

 

Subsidised school meals – v- subsidised MP’s meals?

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Which would you choose?

Actually yes Sir! But possibly this for the next five days?

Perhaps a highly-paid final salary pensioned bureaucrat will tell the Surrey children who receive these lunch parcels, how they split that banana and the orange into five? And who eats a baked potato of that size for lunch? Really, – you couldn’t make it up? Here at the WW, we have calculated that the food in this picture – which we understand includes bottled water – what’s wrong with the tap – comes to around £8 with careful shopping – the remaining £7 of the £15 provided by us, the taxpayer, goes in – yes, you guessed – administrative costs.  However, we should point out that parents we have spoken to, do not wish to appear ungrateful, saying ‘every little helps,’ and there is ‘no taste to nothing!’

However, having watched the television coverage, we find it difficult to understand why some of the mothers who are bitterly complaining are also sporting acrylic nails at thirty pounds a time – plus 2/3 week weekly infills at £15! Parents too have a responsibility to recognise that feeding their families must be their top priority.

On 21st October 2020, MPs voted down Marcus Rashford’s bid to extend free school meals over half term.

The general sentiment was that:

“Conservative ideas of a small state, individual responsibility and upholding the value in the institution of the family should be maintained”

i.e. the state (taxpayers) should not fund these meals and families should be held responsible.

If this is the case, is it not hypocritical to expect the state to subsidise MPs meals in parliamentary canteens? Surely, if they cannot afford meals on their generous salaries, their family should help to pay for them?  Or perhaps we should be funding similar sized food parcels?

Perhaps Surrey County Council’s Press Office will explain how they account – to the last penny – for these meagre rations. Please, Sirs, we want more?

Paul Follows, The Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council, is seeking an explanation from the county council and would like to hear from anyone affected at Paul.Follows@Waverley.gov.uk 

 

 

NEWSFLASH! The Hon Angie has dumped TWITTER!

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CRIPES!

How on earth will we all manage without Guildford Cranleigh & Village MP Angela Richardson’s daily Tweets now she has turned her back on us? 

Our Cranleigh correspondent reports he almost choked on his cornflakes and needed a double espresso to calm the tightening in his chest when he heard Angie’s love affair with Twitter had ended today – and all because of Trump.

Damn the man!  Just goes to show when an elephant flaps its ears in Mar -a-Lago, the ripple effect across the pond and all that …  Yeah, we know it’s all about a butterfly’s wing but, seriously, who can liken Trump to a butterfly?!

Anyway, we digress, now the Hon Angie has thrown all her toys out of the pram to defend The Donald’s right to Tweet. She has long been a fan of the man, believing that her first love – The Boris – and The US President had many of the same qualities. A while back she stood up for The Dom – and now it’s for The Don!

Any friend of Boris is a friend of mine?

Ah well – we will all just have to grin and bear it – which certainly beats sucking it up!  As for the long-suffering residents of the eastern villages’ MP, they will just have to make do with our very own sanctimonious Jeremy from now on – yeah, that’s the one, the man who, after what felt like a lifetime in charge of our NHS, left us so ill-prepared for a pandemic, our NHS heroes and heroines were reduced to wearing bin-liners whilst they waited on imports of PPE, sourced at vast expense offshore!  We hear from our moles over there in the east that the Hon Angie was getting a good deal of grief on Twitter – some calling her “hapless and inefficient,” so dumping it was a relief.

 So how on earth will we all manage without  Angie’s daily Tweets? Not that we have read much about her job as PPS to the hapless education chief Gavin Williamson – so no loss there then? 

Lib Dem former PMC for Guildford & Villages – who is still Tweeting!

But fear, not folks, Zoe Franklin her Lib Dem running-mate for the top job says she will still be there to inform you and answer any questions you may have about all things, Guildford & Cranleigh villages.

Here’s the response you will get: Don’t write to the Hon Angie – ring Annie Milton?

And there are lots more criticising Angie for her lack of information. Here are just a few of the excruciating Tweets we will all miss. Mainly congratulating colleagues, the PM and the Downing Street Cat.

So there you have it. One of our Waverley MP’s spends most of her time ‘ congratulating’ anyone and everyone – while the other one…

Marshals needed to aid the vaccination centres.

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In the link below are the latest COVID infection rates for ‘Your Waverley.’ Village by village town by town. There is also an opportunity to volunteer as a marshal this week at COVID vaccination centres.

But here’s what many people believe Boris should be telling the Nation.

“So, here we go again”! I’m on your TV telling you things are going to be shi* for a while and yes that’s what I’m doing.
I’m stopping you from going out, from seeing your friends and loved ones. Do you think that makes me a bad person? Do you know what?…. this job isn’t easy. All I’m doing is trying to please you lot and stop you all dying at the same time.
I give you rules, you break them, ease things a bit, you take the pi**. You are all a bunch of ungrateful, selfish human beings and I’m now at the point where I’m only inflicting more rules because you idiots are putting ridiculous pressure on the NHS, by ignoring the things I have asked you nicely to do.
You all think you are scientists, doctors and experts? You are not & neither am I. But I AM taking advice from the best in this country and doing my best to please you all.
So stop being so bloody selfish…. yes it’s boring, it’s getting old, but it won’t go away if you all continue to throw your toys out of the pram.
Grow up, take some responsibility for yourself and your so-called loved ones and do as you are asked!!

 

Even if you don’t give a damn about yourself or others. Let’s give this poor man a break?

Vaccination Centres at Glive in Guildford and Cranleigh Village Hall are going live from Tuesday.  They will be open 8am to 8pm seven days a week and need volunteers to act as marshals.  There will be a lot of people arriving for appointments at 5 minute intervals throughout the day so marshals are needed to make everything run smoothly.
Please share this link with anybody you think might be willing to help.  Any furloughed friends getting bored for instance. The link enables people to sign up to the shifts they want to do straight away – they just have to check a box saying they will abide by the volunteer agreement.
  There are 168 volunteer shifts a week so that’s a lot of people needed. 
Thanks
Carol Dunnett
Chief Officer
Direct Dial 01483 957020
Voluntary Action South West Surrey
Supporting the voluntary & community sector in Guildford and Waverley
39 Castle Street | Guildford | Surrey | GU1 3UQ | 01483 504626
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Find out how your town or village is affected.

Are lockdown rules unfair on Waverley’s independents?

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Gifts galore at Alison Townsend’s store in Farnham’s popular Lion & Lamb Yard.

 

Is it any wonder that independent shops across the Waverley borough are struggling?

Major supermarkets,  pharmacy chains and gardening centres continue to flourish whilst hundreds of our smaller independent?

Most of us who shopped regularly and supported our independent traders is now during lockdown – forced to buy our cards – birthday and anniversary gifts from major supermarket and garden centre chains, which continue to trade as they either sell food, pharmacy or garden products.

Waverley’s towns and villages are proud of their small independent shops, many of which are owned by local residents, who reflect the originality and character of the town or village where they were founded.

In Farnham, the pandemic has hit our Elphicks store. A business in which its owners have invested heavily in recent years. Another is David Manns in Cranleigh. A family business which has been going strong since 1887 and is now struggling and during `October entered into a (CVA) voluntary arrangement with its creditors.

Here’s a statement we received from one of the most popular independent departmental stores in Surrey.

Statement from the Directors of David Mann & Sons Ltd.

‘Due to the recent challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of COVID-19 the directors decided to take early and decisive action to seek advice on the options for the company to enable it to continue trading, survive the pandemic and trade strongly thereafter.

As a result, the directors appointed advisors to assist them with the company’s restructuring, to address legacy creditors and future proof the company in this current economic climate.

Following the guidance provided, the decision was taken to propose a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

The CVA proposal will enable David Mann & Sons Limited, with appropriate professional support, to provide a mechanism which will allow the company to have a more profitable and flexible business structure thus making sure we have adapted in these unprecedented times appropriately.

We can confirm that David Mann & Sons Ltd. is not in liquidation and look forward to reopening just as soon as this current lockdown allows.’

So come on Waverley residents – let’s all pitch in and help save David Manns? If we don’t it will probably, like so many other businesses,  end up as a block of residential flats?

The Farnham Society, together with Chambers of Commerce around Waverley are lobbying their MPs. However, in the present COVID climate, it is difficult to make a case for opening smaller independents in the dire situation we are in with rising infection rates and hospital admissions rising.
So – how do we help our independent businesses?
When normality returns – and it will – it is then that we return to our village butcher, our baker and candlestick maker. Because they are part of what we are and where we live. They are what makes our towns and villages – and our borough of Waverley special. They need us and we need them.
So let’s do it?

Godalming’s Balloon Fairy lifting spirits in ‘Your Waverley.’

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There is absolutely no doubt that the latest lockdown announcement will have a huge impact on many people’s mental health.
If you need to talk to someone, there is support available
However – remember the following: Here’s a message from the Godalming Balloon Company. This is just one of the small local businesses in Waverley that operated throughout the March 2020 lockdown and is still going strong. A brownie and a balloon – could lift all our spirits.
Oooooh if a small business ever needed you, it’s now!
Hours may have to be a little flexible (I have two smalls to homeschool) but on every level, I will ensure balloons are received…after all, who doesn’t need a 🎈🧚‍♀️ in their life?
PLUS: My roomie @nellys.bakes does a glorious selection of cakes and brownies!
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Latest detailed Covid data for ‘Your Waverley.’

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The Waverley Web has been studying the very informative Exel- spreadsheet provided to Waverley councillors and the public by Farnham Residents’ Cllr Jerry Hyman. We have linked it into the page below as it shows in detail, town by town and village by village the spread of COVID-19 – 31 December.

 We believe that any light that can be shone upon the rates of infection by any Waverley councillor has to be appreciated by the public. We found the in-depth statistical information very useful, as it revealed the hotspots in the borough. We have heard on private e-mails that many Farnham and some Cranleigh and eastern villages residents have found it very helpful. Let’s hope it makes us all very wary of what we do and how we do it -doesn’t it? We are not aware that on the official WBC website there such detailed information. Well done Cllr Hyman for the hard work this must have entailed.

Councillors

Farnham Residents’ Cllr. for Firgrove.

Attached is my spreadsheet of the latest PHE Covid case data for the Waverley and surrounding MSOAs, covering tests to Boxing Day.
Farnham, and particularly the North Farnham areas of Upper Hale, Hale, Heath End, Weybourne and Badshot Lea, do appear to be suffering due to spread from Aldershot and perhaps visitors from Guildford (and the train connection to Woking, a recent hotbed of infection).   
South Godalming is bucking the trend, being the only Waverley MSOA with a 7-day rolling Case Rate less than 200.  
Of course, the south Godalming folk should not rest on their laurels, as the mutant virus may have since caught up with them.  The cases reported today are people infected between 7 and 10-14 days ago, and with the effect of pre-Christmas Tier 4 visitors and Christmas Day family mixing yet to be seen, the current situation may be somewhat different. 

You will see the light orange and darker orange hotspots for the period under Cllr Jerry’s microscope a few days earlier. These include – Farnham – to be expected in view of shoppers flooding in from Tier 4 areas when Waverley remained in Tier 2. However, the higher infection rate in small villages such as Witley and Wormley – are not easily explained. Could this be as a result of schools – such as `King Edwards – or perhaps Surrey County Council’s decision to send everyone from the eastern villages to the Witley dump? Cranleigh’s recycling centre is only open for certain materials on a Monday and at weekends so it’s off to Witley they all are forced to go?

The infection rate in Cranleigh is growing, as is Godalming where its popular shops had a burst of activity shortly before Christmas.

Waverley COVID-19 Cases 29 Dec, 3 sheets

The latest on schools in Waverley is as follows:

As far as I can see, this is the situation:
-Primary Schools- January 4th
-Secondary Schools- Years 11 & 13 January 11th.
 All other years January 18th
Just to add, this is a government decision and not a council decision.
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
Leader, Godalming Town Council

Judging by some of the comments coming from junior doctors – remember the guys and gals our MP Jeremy Hunt had a fight with a while back when he was Secretary of State for Health? Here’s what one told us.

“Just spoke with a junior doctor. She’s broken. Physically and mentally exhausted. Her hospital is on the verge of not being able to cope. Strongly believes that without public support and people sticking to the rules the NHS isn’t going to be able to save you.” #Covid19UK

And if the message below doesn’t keep us all here in Waverley away from meeting up with your friends or family tonight, for a New Year’s Eve celebration – nothing will!

‘Your Waverley’s’ very own Trump on a roll again…

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SW Surrey’s  Hunt chump will never get over losing out to Boris the Bulldozer will he?

The former UK health secretary has proposed taxing the over-40s to cover the costs of social care for the elderly.

He says “it’s now – or never” – to fix a social care system that is broken. Hunt broke ranks on Tuesday to propose a “tax surcharge to people over 40,” a measure introduced in Germany and Japan. He said the taxes were “only a small amount extra, but as you get older you start to pay a little bit more.”

Buy to Let landlord and multi-millionaire MP Jeremy Hunt who came under fire for setting up a buy to let property business – and snapping up seven flats in one town.
Mr Hunt has set up Mare Pond Properties with his wife Lucia and used it to buy the apartments in the upmarket marina Ocean Village in Southampton.
The Cabinet minister says the money he makes from the business will be used to make donations to charities and good causes. 

Our MP Jeremy Hunt, Conservative chair of parliament’s health and social care committee, called for “boldness” from prime minister Boris Johnson, his rival for the party leadership last year. Because of course, he knows what the word boldness means – having upset every young junior doctor in the country on his watch – the very same guys who are now heading-up the teams fighting COVID-19. Some of whom have lost their lives in the process!

Hunt says  Boris should ‘seize the opportunity’ created by his large majority in the Commons and the public mood in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

“I just think the year after the pandemic, if we don’t do it now, it really is now or never. Because the public has never understood better how important our care system is.

Wake up, Mr Hunt! The public knows only too well how important the care-system is? They have been paying for their elderly parents and other family members down to their last penny. What rubbish you talk about down to their last £23,000 down to their last couple of pounds more like!

Under your watch, many of your residents were refused any NHS contribution towards their care, despite needing nursing-care input, for long-term health conditions whist in nursing homes. Appeals ignored, as families dug deeper into their own pockets. And now you suggest, they should be taxed more forevermore?

Mr Hunt says the current funding model for social care is widely seen as unfit for purpose, leaving huge bills for many who need care and significant pressure on cash-strapped local authorities and providers.

Perhaps he hasn’t read the new model of care proposed by Surrey Heartlands NHS Trust. The Trust that runs healthcare on his patch in Waverley?

Perhaps he should read it now? Because this is what the local health bodies have told Cranleigh Parish Council what health care will look like in the future.

Having discussed your concerns with colleagues across the Guildford and Waverley Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), we can now more clearly explain our joint position on our future plans.

‘Whilst we recognise the importance of local nursing home provision for those who need it, because of the rapidly changing nature of the way care is provided in the community, it is simply not possible for the CCG or SCC to make a firm commitment to purchasing a specific number of beds for NHS-funded care in the future. As an ICP it is our responsibility to ensure the best health outcomes for our local communities; with a Parish Council Meeting 17 December 2020 Page 5 of 7 significant shift away from bed-based care for older people – due to patients having better outcomes if they are recovering or being cared for in their own place of residence – we will continue to invest in enhanced community services and support to allow more people to be cared for at home wherever appropriate. This investment includes the creation of community-based multidisciplinary teams, aligned with the local geographies of our Primary Care Networks, creating a much more personalised and locally-based service. These expanded neighbourhood teams will include GPs, pharmacists, district nurses, community geriatricians and Allied Health Professionals e.g. occupational therapists. This approach means that community-based care in Guildford and Waverley will be in line with the NHS Long Term Plan and is where we want to focus much of our future investment for older people.

In conclusion, whilst there will always be a need for some level of NHS funded care home beds, the landscape is rapidly changing; in line with the NHS Long Term Plan, we are putting much more focus on community-based care, supporting people in their own homes for as long as possible, which is evidenced to improve outcomes and quality of care. We appreciate that the position explained earlier this year was different and we again apologise for this. We are, however, obliged to consider our current operating position and ensure our plans are aligned with best practice evidence and national strategies.

In light of this, we consider that it is not, therefore, appropriate for us to make a long-term commitment to purchasing additional bed-based care as this would be contrary to our overall direction of travel as a local health and care system. In the meantime, as I’m sure you will appreciate, our focus now has to be on responding to the pressing demands of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this helps to clarify our current position more clearly.

He says efforts to fix the system have repeatedly hit a wall, with ministers shying away from reform as many proposals have sparked a fierce backlash.

So says the longest-serving Health Minister in the history of this country?

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt who this week proposed a tax on the over-40s to fund social care.

READ MORE: UK chancellor Rishi Sunak fuels tax hike speculation

Hunt broke ranks on Tuesday to propose a “tax surcharge to people over 40,” a measure introduced in Germany and Japan. He said the taxes were “only a small amount extra, but as you get older you start to pay a little bit more.”

The MP, a cabinet member for much of the past decade including as health secretary between 2012 and 2018, said both countries had avoided “public pushback” with the measures.

“I think the biggest battle now is with the Treasury because the sums of money are eye-watering. We were even more bankrupt as a country after the Second World War and then we had the imagination and vision to set up the NHS, and I think this is another 1948 moment.”

Johnson promised to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all” on the steps of Downing Street in his first speech as prime minister last year.

Oh, dear! As we said before – Hunt’s having a Trump moment!

If you were with others on Christmas Day you may be in for a shock.

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If you were mixing on Christmas Day then this is really important as cases of the virus in Surrey continue to grow.
It may shock you to know that if you’ve been in contact with someone that has COVID-19, you will be most infectious around New Year’s Eve or Hogmanay as it is known in Scotland. You also may have no idea you’ve even caught it!
Hospitals are now under extreme pressure with some London hospitals reporting that they are running out of oxygen.  They cannot believe they are in the same position they were in early on in the pandemic!

There have been 825 new cases of coronavirus  recorded across Surrey in the last 24 hours, according to figures released on Monday (December 28).

The largest number of new cases was recorded in Reigate and Banstead with 116, followed by Guildford with 106, 81 in Tandridge and 75 in the borough of Waverley.

Latest NHS England data reveals another 14 new Covid-19 related deaths – six at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, seven at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and one at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust. 

One nurse follower has asked?
If the NHS is at breaking point, why has the government abandoned the £100m Nightingale Hospital at London’s Excel centre? Department of Health couldn’t even tell us what had happened to it, a week or so ago!
The Waverley Web understands – there simply aren’t enough staff! And as we write, many nursing staff, who have not been vaccinated, are testing positive, and are therefore forced to leave their posts and their patients.

There was a little Spider – his name we do not know.

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William is a spider – with a team of three or four?

He’s tucked behind the curtains and the door.

He moves about with stealth and ease – and once a year –

 with others – moves into Waverley’s Christmas Trees.

Among the twinkling lights, William and the others – spin their glistening webs – 

No-one sees them do it! – They are all in bed.

They cover most of Waverley – despite the fallen trees,

Exhausted by their efforts – they fall upon their knees.

Avoiding all the diggers and HGV’s, William made his way back to Farnham,

to his favourite Christmas tree.

It’s there that you will find him like a shining a star.

So – when next you see a spider   – be grateful, jump about and shout with glee,

Cos it isn’t every day there’s a homemade spider star – atop your Christmas tree.

Tears for Tiers in ‘Your Waverley’

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By now it will not have escaped your notice that Waverley has now moved from Tier 2  to Tier 4 which has no doubt brought many of our residents close to tears!

Everything you need to know – and instructions you should heed are in the link below:  This includes a message from John Ward, the Leader of Waverley Borough Council 

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/news/article/689/waverley_to_go_to_tier_4_on_boxing_day

However gloomy you may feel- and however anxious you are about the future. Just take a moment to reflect on what Christmas Day 1914 was like for these guys.

Let us all hope for a brighter 2021. The shortest day is now over, minute by minute light will return and Spring is not so far away now? So let’s hang on in there. Let’s get through Brexit, get vaccinated and let 2020 become a salutary lesson on the importance of Infection Control.

Here at the Waverley Web, we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy, safe and happier New Year.

 

 

 

COVID-19 is accelerating across the South East – including Surrey.

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Mayor of Godalming Penny Rivers out and about with the town’s Round Table recently.

 

Follow this link to hear messages from Waverley’s Deputy leader Paul Follows and Penny Rivers Mayor of Godalming on COVID-2020.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Godalmingcommunity/permalink/2965117963774505/

The speed of COVID’s acceleration is spelt out in stark data on HSJ today which shows the number of COVID positive inpatients in English hospitals rose 2,256 to 16,183 over the seven days to 19 December.

The 16.2 per cent increase compares to one of 7.4 per cent in the previous seven-day period, underlining how the pandemic is speeding up.

If this rate is maintained, the English NHS will end 2020 with approximately the same number of COVID positive inpatients as at the peak of the pandemic on 12 April.

The Health Service paints  the following picture for the regions:

  • London: Responsible for the largest rise in patients, up 817 (39 per cent) to 2,909 on the 12 December figure.
  • Eastern: Inpatient numbers jumped 536 (38 per cent) to 1,943, the highest ever total recorded in the region.
  • South East: A rise of 376 inpatients (19.3 per cent) to 1,943, the highest total recorded since 20 April.
  • South West: The fourth region to see a dramatic increase in inpatient numbers, up 208 (24.7 per cent) to 1,051, a figure last recorded on 17 April.
  • Midlands: The region with the highest number of COVID positive inpatients. The number rose 7 per cent to a level equivalent to that on 14 April.
  • North East and Yorkshire: Rose 4.5 per cent to 2,413. The region reported a similar number on 9 April.
  • North West: Inpatient numbers remained flat for a fortnight. Its 2,253 inpatients is very similar to the number recorded on 28 April in the region.

WORRyIng. No Plan B for The Big C!

The ending of contracts with the independent sector has put cancer surgery in the capital under threat, writes Ben Clover on HSJ today.

COVID admissions have put pressure on services that can no longer turn to alternative providers. Although many of Waverley’s patients receive their cancer care at The Royal Surrey Hospital, some are also in the care of London hospitals.

The HSJ discovered that NHS England ended contracts with HCA, The London Clinic and the Cromwell Hospital at the end of August, after concerns about underutilisation.

Under the previous deal with the private sector, rules were in place to make sure low-priority private patients were not treated ahead of NHS patients who needed surgery urgently.

HCA and The Cromwell have confirmed the contracts were ended in August and were not renewed. 

HSJ understands NHSE, under pressure from the Treasury, was not willing to pay the prices asked by the three private providers.

Since the start of the Pandemic private hospitals received millions in Government funding despite most extra capacity going unused. The NHS contract with the Nuffield Hospital in Guildford has ended. Around two-thirds of beds in private hospitals like The Nuffield in Guildford and Mount Alvernia were not used during the summer. However, the Independent Provider Network, which represents private providers said any profits made were returned under the terms of the contract.

Just a little something to make you smile – after all this gloomy news.

We see that Sainsbury’s is saying that if the travel ban on UK freight continues for much longer we could see shortages of lettuce in our shops.

“Hope this isn’t just the tip of the iceberg”

 

Panto off this Christmas? No way – It was alive and well at ‘Your Waverley.’

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CartoonsDon’t mess with me – when I say the word ‘Confidential’ I mean it!

A couple of days ago we wrote about the Ding-Dong not so Merrily on High at Waverley Towers in the bad-tempered pre-Christmas council meeting.  But we reported on only half the Pantomime! The curtain then rose on the second act – during which The Borough Solicitor’s advice – no, actually more like an instruction – was ignored by all but one of the Tory opposition.

The political fracas followed Mayor Penny Marriott’s motion to hold a ‘sensitive property matter’ that was subject to a legally binding confidentially agreement’ behind closed doors. Enter, centre-stage on her broomstick, or was it the parachute she used to protect her backside in the last election came Julia Potts, leader of the Tory Group. The lady did protest her ‘extreme concern’ that the matter that had generated extreme public interest was to be debated in private. 

Galloping in as the pantomime horse – the *rse end, of course, came ‘Oh Carole’ Cockburn claiming it was perfectly easy to debate confidential items in public just as she had done many times when she was Mayor “provided the meeting is well chaired!” Giving a second kick to the present Worshipful Mayor for the second time in one evening. Neigh!! 

You can read the earlier Ding-Dong below.

DING-DONG-MERRILY-ON-HIGH

Next on stage in a bid to halt the “Tories political grandstanding” came Baron Hardup AKA Deputy Leader Cllr Paul Follows, who said the council was merely “adhering to legal obligations it was forced to abide by.” In part made necessary in view of the “disinformation” that had already been spread publicly on the subject by the Tories!

He resented being accused of misleading the public and could if he wished, reveal e-mails written by non-other than former solicitor Wonersh Cllr Michael Goodridge and comments made in public – saying, “we can provide the evidence.”  He claimed, the Tories had, either not read their papers, or were trying to present false information.”

Godalming’s Widow Twanky – Steve Cosser – so steamed up and puffed up we thought he was going to implode – claimed the confidential papers revealed how the matter – the identity of which we at the WW know not – has been handled. “The secrecy that surrounds this site, could and should be scrutinised by the public. “You are setting a dangerous precedent shoving an issue into Exempt that doesn’t need to be there” he yelled!

Is this coming from an experienced councillor who has seen numerous items debated in private by his crowd during its controlling years – mainly in a Conservative Group Pre-Meeting? 

Perhaps we should ask our legal advisors’ for their view, said  ‘Aunty Elsey’ – Cllr Jenny Else, who regularly claims she always obeys the council’s Code of Conduct and its rules!

Borough Solicitor Daniel Bainbridge told members” “The recommendation from officers is that you debate EVERYTHING on this item IN EXEMPT. This is not the first time the council has been asked to consider something entirely in private, and there are very good legal reasons why at this stage in the proceedings this should happen.”

“I cannot stress more strongly the risk to the council if the contents of the report are discussed in open session.”

Having listened, but obviously didn’t hear his advice, or chose to ignore it – Cllr Else, together with 19 of her colleagues voted against; Only one Tory – Cranleigh’s Cllr Mary Foryszewski opposed the Tory whip. The remaining 34 councillors, based on the legal advice voted to exclude the press and public.

Will ignoring the whip find former Mayor Mary chained to her dog kennel?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vaccinations are on their way to ‘Your Waverley.’

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Despite the latest gloomy news, and despite Waverley being in Tier 2 – Christmas is going to be a shadow of its former self for many of us – as we now border other towns and villages in Tier 4 with much tighter restrictions.

Only Waverley residents among Surrey boroughs will be able to mix indoors and only on Christmas Day, as opposed to the five-day period originally proposed. But we cannot be complacent. Waverley is still reporting 217 cases in the past seven days, an increase of 104 on the previous week.

It was reported earlier today that there were 608 reported new infections in Surrey and six deaths in Surrey hospitals overnight (Saturday).  This brings the death toll in Surrey to 1,553. 

new Christmas rules?

A brief summary is below:

  • Anyone in Tier 4 areas, this is all of Surrey except for Waverley, should not mix with anyone outside their households.
  • Across the rest of the country including Waverley, the rules allowing up to three households to meet will now be limited to Christmas Day only rather than the five days.
  • People must not break the rules at New Year – as before there will be no relaxation of rules on December 31.

What are the restrictions now in place for most of Surrey?

The new Tier 4 rules are similar to that of the national lockdown in November. They include:

  • Non-essential shops and gyms in Tier 4 areas must close
  • Plans to allow social bubbles over five days will be scrapped with only those in Tiers 1 to 3 allowed to form a bubble on Christmas Day itself
  • People should not enter or leave Tier 4
  • People can only meet one person from another household in an outside space

The majority of Surrey is now in Tier 4 after new tougher restrictions came into place at 12.01 am this morning.

‘We will not be having the Christmas we all hoped for’

Surrey County Council

Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, has issued a statement.

I know this will come as a blow to residents and businesses across Surrey, but it is absolutely necessary that we act fast to save lives.

We are essentially heading back into the lockdown restrictions the whole country was under in November, and unfortunately, we will not be having the Christmas that we all hoped for.

It is tough to take, after a really difficult year but we must keep up the fight. Let’s not let our guard down, let’s all play our part and keep Surrey safe.

Surrey’s Local Resilience Forum, including the county council, will continue our work to ensure that help is available for those in need and our Public Health team will continue to monitor local data every single day to track this virus and stop the spread.

“We will continue to support our NHS colleagues in rolling out the vaccine as fast as possible across Surrey – this is our hope of returning to normal life and we will do everything we can to make this happen.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest advice and statistics for Waverley

Waverley is in Tier 2

The borough of Waverley has been in Tier 2 (High Alert Level) since Wednesday 2 December. You can find Tier 2 FAQs by visiting our Covid FAQs page.

Find out more about Tier 2 restrictions

Currently, Waverley remains in Tier 2. However, infection levels are rising and it is more important than ever that residents and people in the borough remain vigilant. 

Those who work in the borough should follow the rules of the tier they live in. Visit the gov.UK website to find out what the Covid restrictions in your local area are. 


Christmas bubbles

On 19 December, the Prime Minister announced there would be stricter restrictions to Christmas bubbles.

Bubbles of up the three households in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 will now only be allowed to meet on Christmas Day, instead of meeting across a five-day period. 

Households in Tier 2 have been told to stay local and not to host people from Tier 4 areas. 

Find out more about Christmas bubbles

Fear Not – help is on the Way. Here’s the Pre-Christmas scene at St Christopher’s Church in Haslemere. How apt that the authorities have allowed a church to be used to bring us tiding of great joy.

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Surrey County Council’s Community Helpline is still active to aid those in need: Community Helpline number: 0300 200 1008

Most of Surrey goes into Tier 3 – but not ‘Your Waverley.’

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An appeal by Waverley’s Leader Cllr John Ward to exclude Waverley from Tier 3 COVID alert measures introduced by the Government yesterday, has paid off.

Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock announced that although “sadly” the whole of Surrey would move up a tier – Waverley would not.  So remains in Tier 2.

Direct appeals by the borough council, combined with residents’ determined efforts to stick to the rules, has paid off for our borough. Well done Waverley – let’s keep up the good work. Let’s make Christmas safe in our borough and enter the new year in a fit state for the vaccination programme to begin.

Councillors in Cranleigh heard last night that the CCG will begin the local vaccination programme in its village hall after Christmas, and is proud of the part it is playing in the battle against COVID-19.

Guildford and most of Surrey moves into Tier 3, the very high Covid alert level, from (0001hrs) December 19, due to rapidly rising infection rates. 

Movement between Waverley (including Godalming, Cranleigh, Farnham and Haslemere) and the rest of the county, including Guildford borough, should now be restricted. The tiers are not due to be reviewed again until December 30 and another on 13 of January.

The decision is based on several indicators, not just the overall infection rate but the rate in the over-60s, and pressure on the NHS.

Tier 3 means:

  • You can mix households (in groups of up to six) only in outdoor spaces, such as parks and the countryside, not in private gardens;
  • All hospitality venues such as bars, pubs and cafés must shut, or stay open only for takeaway;
  • Indoor entertainment venues, such as theatres and cinemas, must close; and
  • Accommodation, such as hotels and B&Bs, must close.

These are in addition to existing guidelines that state you must not mix with anyone you don’t live with who aren’t in your support bubble, in any indoor setting.

Residents in Waverley should continue to follow Tier 2 rules. Those in Tier 3 should avoid travelling outside their area, including for overnight stays, other than where necessary, such as for work, education or medical treatment.

The Waverley web has received some worrying information from one of our followers saying these dangerous and irresponsible leaflets are dropping through doors in Waverley. Perhaps faster than their Christmas Cards? Ignore them, bin them, destroy them! 

DING-DONG-MERRILY-ON-HIGH

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Your Waverley says goodbye to 2020 with political rows and a lesson in grammar.

Because they know how to make the Season To Be Joyful – la, la, la, la, la! 

The cycle of Full Council Meetings of 2020 ended with some very testy – and testing – moments, including personal insults, a lesson in grammar,  a legal argument and one councillor describing the new administration as “An Unholy Alliance”, which was followed by a stinging rebuke from The Mayor! Hey, Ho, is that the sound of the monitoring officer we hear?

In fact, the council’s December meeting proved to be anything but It’s  ‘Looking A Lot Like Christmas’  and was more akin to ‘The Grinch Stole Christmas.’ Thankfully the meeting was held on Zoom otherwise there might have been fisticuffs in the Chamber or, as one Waverley-Web-Wag succinctly put it, no nipping into the Mayor’s Parlour for a post-meeting mince pie and a punch up!

The pantomime atmosphere began after Waverley’s very own  ‘Chancellor’ – Finance Director Cllr Mark Merryweather – completed his gloomy forecast of the council’s financial position, after grappling with challenges imposed by Government cuts and COVID-19. All of which he advised was leading to an imbalance in the budget of an estimated, £3m next year, falling to £2m from then until 2023/24. Despite identified efficiencies and savings! Some of this deficit could be addressed IF – and only IF (and yes, it’s a BIG IF), the Government allowed councils to retain more of the business rates they collect.

He said, “What with COVID and BREXIT, we are living in very uncertain times.”

Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend with her halo of gold having just joined the Liberal Democrats.

Cllr Liz Townsend asked how she was supposed to explain to Cranleigh traders on her high street, paying £8,300 pa business rates, that Waverley would only receive £415 of their hard-earned cash for the local economy?!?!

She was followed by Cllr Follows – who drove the knife into the Government a little further, saying,  it had not met its pledge that the pandemic would not leave local authorities out of pocket! He said promised government grants had covered under half its shortfall.

Twas ever thus, according to senior Tory  Cllr Peter Martin, despite the Government saying it would make changes to business rates.

It was the opinion of Farnham’s Jerry Hyman that the Government was deliberately forcing councils into bankruptcy in a bid to bring on more Unitary Authorities.

“It is absolutely disgraceful and is a direct attack on democracy and a financial attack on us all.”

It was then that Simon Dear, the Tory Cllr for Haslemere & Grayswood, came sweeping in, like the Wicked Witch of the North on his broomstick, to smack Waverley’s new boys and girls, and those moaning traders. He said he could easily explain the good news on business rates to Cllr Townsend’s Cranleigh traders. They had received a business rate holiday from the Government for a year, a free gift to overcome the difficulties faced by the high streets.”!

He said :

“Just like our own dear Waverley Council, Elmbridge Council was taken over by an unholy alliance of liberals – local residents’ associations and others, who had just increased parking charges to keep businesses afloat.”

Interrupted by a fuming Leader John Ward shouting “I don’t wish to be associated with an unholy alliance,” didn’t stop Cllr Dear who was now on a roll continuing with…

“While our own unholy alliance here this evening will not put up parking charges and to have that glorious moment recorded on U-tube for posterity.”

Hasn’t anyone told him that some of those businesses are already on the brink – because they haven’t actually been in ‘business’ for most of the year? Never mind – back to Planet Zonk Dear boy!

The Mayor – was not amused and neither was Cllr Anne-Marie Rosoman who demanded an apology for his reference to Waverley’s administration being called “an unholy alliance.”  However, the Mayor’s rebuke and Cllr Rosoman’s request fell on deaf ears – or maybe it was just the Northwind whistling up Councillor Dear’s broomstick!

Responding to Cllr Dear’s “pantomime question”, Cllr Merryweather said his colleague obviously hadn’t understood the changes to parking charges either.  The council didn’t have a blanket charging policy now.

After a vote of 50 for, with just two abstentions, the recommendation to approve the budget was adopted. Needless to say, Simple Simon abstained.

The second act of Waverley’s Pantomime Season began when the Council’s Corporate Strategy came up for discussion.

It was then, adopting her very best schoolmarm tone, that ‘Oh Carole’ – AKA Councillor Cockburn – switched on, with the alacrity of a set of faulty Christmas lights – and gave the Full Council – and the few dummies, like us who listen in – a lesson in punctuation from the Pantomime Dame who knows a thing or two about grammar and punctuation, don’t you know! Of course, she omitted to mention that reports/documents put before the council are produced by Waverley officers! Oh dear – now, living up to her nickname Oh Carole!  There won’t be too many Christmas cards from staff coming her way this year then?  Never mind, she can blame it on the Post Office’s poor performance during COVID – why not, everyone else is!

You can listen to the complete tirade on the link below, but, to give you a flavour, if you can’t be *ssed, this was one of her questions: “Have you eaten Cllr Follows?” Careful observers might have seen her claws unfurl as she stretched and arched her back and added, “If he had read that, he would have thought I had accused him of some heinous crime – even though he wears those awful ties from time to time?” MEOW!

Lack of space prevents us from giving you the whole-long diatribe – but it ended with an unforgivable dig at Waverley’s treasured Worshipful Mayor, Penny Marriott. Although we were not among those fortunate enough to receive a card with her good wishes. Obviously, not-so-dear ‘Oh Carole’ obviously had! 

“One rule that may come in handy Madam Mayor – next time you do your Christmas Cards don’t use a double negative.”

Ouch!  

Christmas

Ding dong but not so  ‘merrily on high?’

So, as you can tell folks, the Spirit of Christmas is alive but not very well on Planet Waverley!!

A post will follow on the debacle prompted by a Tory revolt on a decision, on the advice of the council’s legal eagles, to take an item in Confidence and behind closed doors. However, you can watch it for yourselves here:

https://youtu.be/ja8y7rjBa74

Apologies to Cllr Cockburn from the Waverley Web team  who had only hours earlier partaken of some amber nectar at our virtual Christmas get-together.  Our excuse for any grammatical or punctuation mistakes. Thank God she didn’t move on to chastise everyone for using split infinitives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CPRE takes a swingeing blow at an Alfold planning application.

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It is not just Alfold residents and village leaders that are opposed to the latest Thakeham Homes application.

The Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England is backing the local fight to protect yet another slice of the Surrey/Sussex border village of Alfold being swamped by wannabe housing developers. 

Here’s WW’s previous post –  Thakeham ’s battle to build in Alfold has begun. 

According to the countryside organisation – this Application goes against everything in both Local Plan Part 1 and the emerging Local Plan Part 2.

The CPRE have made their views known in no uncertain terms. 

WA/2020/1684
Thakeham Homes Application to build  99 dwellings (Including 30% Affordable Housing) associated highways and landscape works following the demolition of Hollyoak. On land THE  TO REAR COORDS 503762 135006 LOXWOOD ROAD ALFOLD.

CPRE Surrey has considered the above application and wishes to record its objection to the grant of permission for the following reasons.

Harm to the Character of Alfold and the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside.

Alfold, including Alfold Crossroads, is an attractive village which lies in the heart of the beautiful” fold” countryside on the Surrey / West Sussex border with its cluster of small villages and many period houses. This countryside is attractive and relatively remote: in some ways, it is a quintessential English rural landscape. The proposed development would significantly impact the rural settlement of Alfold Crossways increasing the existing 200 plus dwellings to in excess of 300 households.

The scale of the proposed housing development would cause substantial harm to the character of the village; it would not respect the scale or character of the village and would fail to respect the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside. It would therefore conflict with LPP1 and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF.)

Sustainable Transport

Development of the proposed scale would create a significant demand for movement on the local road network. The A281 has been recognised as one of the main transport congestion hotspots in Waverley and would be one of the main routes for new residents in Alfold Crossroads to access major shopping centres, rail hubs and places of work.

Residents in rural Waverley have above the national average car ownership and limited access to other more sustainable forms of transport. Local Plan Part 2 ( LPP2) (emerging) reinforces this in paragraph 2.55

“The spatial vision and strategic objectives of Local Plan Part 1 seek to encourage sustainable modes of transport and a reduction in the need to
travel wherever possible. Reducing people’s reliance on driving by directing new development to sustainable locations…..”

Even THAMES WATER Don’t seem happy with this application – But their hands are tied as they have to provide their services for New Builds and all they can do is put in Conditions which many Developers, later on, seek to have removed (as we have seen on previous Applications..)

Waste Comments

Following initial investigations, Thames Water has identified an inability of the existing FOUL WATER network infrastructure to accommodate the needs of this development proposal. Thames Water has contacted the developer in an attempt to agree on a position for foul water networks but has been unable to do so in the time available and as such Thames Water request that the following condition be added to any planning permission.

“The development shall not be occupied until confirmation has been provided that either:- 1. All wastewater network up grades required to accommodate the additional flows from the development have been completed; or-

2. A development and infrastructure phasing plan has been agreed with the Local Authority in consultation with Thames Water to allow development to be occupied. Where a development and infrastructure phasing plan is agreed, no occupation shall take place other than in accordance with the agreed development and infrastructure phasing plan.”
Reason – Network reinforcement works are likely to be required to accommodate the proposed development. Any reinforcement works identified will be necessary in order to avoid sewage flooding and/or potential pollution incidents…..”

Finally… at the Alfold Parish Council  Meeting Mr Robinson (Conservative Councillor for Basingstoke & Dean) was unable to confirm exactly what AFFORDABLE HOUSING meant – He waffled on about the various different options – But I believe the Government understanding of the Term according to the NPPF Glossary is……….Annexe 2: Glossary
Glossary of terms used in this manual.

Affordable housing
Housing for sale or rent, for those whose needs, are not met by the market (including housing that provides a subsidised route to homeownership and/or is for essential local workers); and which complies with one or more of the following definitions:

(a) Affordable housing for rent: meets all of the following conditions: (a) the rent is set in accordance with the Government’s rent policy for Social Rent or Affordable Rent, or is at least 20% below local market rents (including service charges where applicable); (b) the landlord is a registered provider, except where it is included as part of a Build to Rent scheme (in which case the landlord need not be a registered provider); and (c) it includes provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households, or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision. For Build, to Rent schemes, affordable housing for rent is expected to be the normal form of affordable housing provision (and, in this context, is known as Affordable Private Rent).

(b) Starter homes: is as specified in sections 2 and 3 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and any secondary legislation made under these sections. The definition of a starter home should reflect the meaning set out in statute and any such secondary legislation at the time of plan-preparation or decision-making. Where secondary legislation has the effect of limiting a household’s eligibility to purchase a starter home to those with a particular maximum level of household income, those restrictions should be used.

(c) Discounted market sales housing: is that sold at a discount of at least 20% below local market value. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Provisions should be in place to ensure housing remains at a discount for future eligible households.

So Only 20% BELOW MARKET VALUE… We wish they would make this information clearer to all those that think they will be able to afford these New Homes.

COLIN HALL VICE CHAIRMAN CPRE SURREY WAVERLEY DISTRICT COMMITTEE

Here’s the original letter and above is a follow-up .document-8076897

Paul Follows looks forward to 2021 with a new colleague by his side.

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No wonder Waverley’s Deputy leader Paul Follows is feeling more than a little chipper. He is welcoming a former Tory councillor into the Liberal Democrat fold.

Tucked away at the end of the Full Council’s very long ‘Agenda and Reports’ for tomorrow’s meeting there appears a little golden nugget – almost hidden from view.

The announcement that Cllr Liz Townsend – currently an independent member of the Executive Group has entered the Liberal Democrat fold. Cllr Townsend – Chairman of Cranleigh Parish Council and part of the powerful EXECUTIVE of Waverley is one of the most hardworking and highly respected members of Waverley Borough Council. Even among her former colleagues on the Conservative Group! She left the party citing differences of views with the National Conservative Party from which she resigned in 2019. Even the new Tory MP for Guildford paid tribute in Parliament to Cllr Townsend for her sterling work during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The report confirms…

… Due to the change to the political composition of the Council as a result of Cllr Townsend joining the Liberal Democrat Group, and the consequent impact on the allocation of committee seats on the principal committees it is recommended that Council agrees on the proportional allocation of seats on the Principal Committees and SCC Local Committee in accordance with the political proportionality of the Council as detailed in Annexe 1. 

The nominations of the Group Leaders are Licensing & Regulatory Committee – Cllr Peter Isherwood (Conservative Group) EASTERN Planning Committee – Cllr Liz Townsend (Liberal Democrat Group) and Cllr Maxine Gale (Independent) 

Thakeham’s battle to build in Alfold has begun.

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HGV’s thundering through – infrastructure under stress and developers diggers lining up to build, build.  – Alfold has had enough!

Thakeham Homes was given short shrift when its representatives rocked up at Alfold Parish Council’s Zoom meeting to unveil its latest cunning plans for the Care Ashore Land. Despite still smarting from the Government refusal of a scheme for up to 500 homes it received in December 2017 the Billingshurst developer isn’t giving up. It is now taking a softly, softly approach by seeking permission for 99 new homes.

Care Ashore and Thakeham Homes’ boat sunk by a Government Inspector!

The developer was emboldened by this one sentence in the Government Inspector’s decision letter: 

Waverley Borough Council does not have a five-year land supply!

In true pre-panto mood, Chairman Penni Mayne said, Oh yes it does. Waverley’s assures us it has a land supply of 5.3 years.

Oh No, it doesn’t say Thakeham.  Appeal decisions on the Wyevale Garden Centre said it only had 3.9 years supply and on land east of Loxwood Road – (Sweeters’ Copse) only 4 years. So Waverley cannot demonstrate a five-year land supply!

 So is Thakeham hell-bent on testing that assumption with Waverley planners and no doubt yet again with the Government too? Yet more cash rattling down Waverley’s drain!

Thakeham’s Tristan Robinson maintained the scheme behind Loxwood Road after demolishing a bungalow it owns, was necessary to meet Waverley’s housing shortage. It would meet the needs of the young, with 30% affordable homes – and downsizers.

But, Alfold councillors asked?-What’s in this for us?

  • money towards local education – presumably he was referring to primary education at Dunsfold’s new garden village. Plus contributions towards senior schools in Cranleigh.
  • A leisure area – and community recycling.
  • Bird and bat boxes
  • electric charging points
  • 178 new trees
  • Last but not least – A Hedgehog hotel!

Despite the fact that Alfold’s toilets regularly overflow and it has a frequent flooding problem after heavy rain, Mr Robison assured councillors that the lead flood authority had – no objection to building more homes in Alfold.

Well – that must come as a relief to the poor Alfold souls who regularly watch the water in their lavatories overflow. Not to mention the unmentionables floating in their gardens? Portaloos at the ready folks?

Waverley Borough Council would also be a winner in the Thakeham stakes they are promising 2.4m in Community Infrastructure Levy if they get permission.

But what about us – Alfold Parish councillors cried? “You will get £360,000 to spend on whatever you like, said a smiling Mr Robinson waving his good fairy wand and sprinkling stardust all over everyone.

After councillors reminded Mr Robinsons that a great deal more was offered to the village in the previous much larger application –  a school – shops – etc – he reminded them that the smaller scheme wouldn’t be quite so advantageous. However, it had already received support from young people.

Not according to our reckoning said Alasdair Denton-Miller: “Waverley’s planning portal shows 140 objections and four in support!”

It was villager Denise Wordsworth who put Thakeham representative under the spotlight. After her questioning session – he began to resemble the wicked witch of the North as she slowly disintegrates. 

After reeling off a list of the amenities that Alfold didn’t have, she reminded him of all the recent consents given, appeal decisions – and latest appeals in the pipeline.

“Why 99 homes opposed to 100 homes?” Quite simply because neither you – nor the other developers in this village have had to provide much infrastructure have they? No schools, no GP surgery. Giving us a bus shelter, bat boxes and a couple of other bits and pieces are of no benefit to this village. There is something fundamentally wrong with this.”

Ah! But if the village had accepted the larger scheme it would have had a school, said  Mr Robinson?

Does white man speak with forked tongue? At the public Inquiry, Thakeham admitted it was hitching its trucks to nearby Dunsfold’s major garden village scheme. A development of 1,800 homes – 2600 in the Local Plan which included major infrastructure – including GP surgery, a school and public transport.

On a roll, Mrs Wordsworth continued said: “You intend to knock down a bungalow to create one access from the busy Loxwood B Road impacting the homes of numerous local people.”

Was this current application Phase `One of a larger development to come later – perhaps 99 and then another 99 and then… she asked?

Startled by her continuing interrogation Mr Robinson said: “I will give you an honest answer every application has to be considered on its merits – and this is the only scheme Thakeham is considering …“At the moment.” or later – “At the present time.”

Gotcha! So Alfold people, who have now endured living on a building site with 250 of its 125 quota of Waverley’s housing allocation already under construction, can rest easy in their beds. Until the next planning notice pops through their letterboxes for yet another phase on the Springbok land?

Well – said Cllr Adrian Erricker – we are here to represent the public – and the public is saying No! This scheme is unsustainable and we have exceeded our limit for new housing. Cllr  Denton-Miller said the access would affect the lives of many villagers in adjoining homes – and the loss of countryside and agricultural land was unacceptable.

“Our countryside is being sacrificed for just another middle-of-the-road housing estate. That, following the previous refusal, is coming through the back door”

 

Cllr Chris Britton said the scheme was:

Everything that Alfold’s Neighbourhood Plan wanted to prevent. Developing countryside  – just two fields away from the proposed new Dunsfold Garden Village 

“This is just a speculative opportunistic building opportunity. We have so much development going on here – it’s coming out of our ears.

Ending on a fragrant note. Chairman Penni Mayne said nearby Loxwood wouldn’t be happy either when it had to deal with more of Alfold’s sewerage!

The council’s strong objection will now be forwarded to Waverley Council.

 

 

 

 

 

Santa’s arrived in Godalming.

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Santa gets a huge welcome from the Mayor of Godalming Cllr Penny Rivers

 

Councillor Penny Rivers – Mayor of Godalming said:
‘Thank you, Santa Claus, for making time in your very busy time of year to visit the children of Farncombe and Godalming. And, please thank all your Round Table helpers too.’
Happy Christmas one and all X
And a message from the Godalming Round Table too
Please do donate a little if you enjoyed seeing Santa and would like to help others in our local community who are struggling at the moment: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/GodalmingSanta2020
Godalming Santa Sleigh 2020
JUSTGIVING.COM
Godalming Santa Sleigh 2020

 

‘Your Waverley’ is urging everyone to shop local.

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Councillors from every corner of the borough including Farnham,  Haslemere – Godalming, Cranleigh and the villages are urging everyone to support their local traders over the coming weeks. The COVID pandemic has wreaked havoc on many of the borough’s small businesses. So they are urging everyone, where possible, to buy local this Christmas.

Lighting up Cranleigh-picture taken in 2019.

Councillors

WBC Labour Councillor and former Member of Parliament – responsible for Waverley car parks.

Labour Councillor Nick Palmer has been looking at the parking stats for the borough-owned car parks. And, they don’t make good reading for cash-strapped Waverley.

He regularly keeps in touch with residents – including the Waverley Web and regularly passes on some very helpful information.

 He told us.

Looking at the figures for parking in the borough car parks, usage is still less than half the normal, reflecting the caution that most people still feel. There’s no doubt that shops are suffering – when you do need to shop, please try to support local businesses, not least so to ensure that they’re still there when the pandemic ends.

As the council portfolio-holder for parking, I was asked if we could have one Saturday free parking, which I’ve had to decline, partly because of the council financial squeeze but mainly because we don’t want to encourage everyone to shop in crowds on one particular day. Instead, I hope that most of us will spread shopping visits during the week insofar as our circumstances make that possible so that the businesses get a steady stream of customers rather than alternating between a crush and an empty shop.

 

Face with medical mask

But don’t forget to wear your face mask.
It is all happening in Farnham

Discover what is happening in Farnham this Christmas and ways to support local retailers and businesses.

Remember, events and activities may have to change in line with government guidance.

Christmas Spirit Trail

1 December to 3 January

Get out and about with the kids this December and take part in Farnham’s Christmas trail. Special festive stickers are hiding in ten town centre shop windows. When you find the character, scan the QR code to be in with a chance of winning a free ebookLearn how to play.

Shopping

Spending some of your Christmas budget in local shops could make all the difference to the future of the town in 2021.

If you are looking for gifts that are special, take a virtual trip to Farnham or visit in person when you can – you won’t be disappointed.

Virtual Farnham 

Visit Virtual Farnham to browse a directory of Farnham’s shops.

We Are Farnham

We Are Farnham is a growing digital marketplace providing a one-stop-shop for people to buy online or by click and collect from Farnham’s shops and businesses.

Late night shopping

3, 10 and 17 December until 8 pm

Make the most of the town centre shops being open until 8 pm on Thursdays leading up to Christmas.

Win £1,000

Download our Christmas in Farnham leaflet to find out how you can win £1,000 in vouchers when you come late night shopping in Farnham.

Farmers’ Market

Sunday 13 December from 10 am to 1.20 pm in Central car park.

Bring some tasty festive cheer to your Christmas table with delicious treats from the Farnham Farmers’ Market.

See who is attending.

Civic Community Christmas Carol Service

Wednesday 23 December at 7 pm

The Mayor of Farnham invites you to attend the Civic Community Christmas Carol Service online from the safety and comfort of your own home.

The service will include five lessons and carols with the internationally acclaimed, award-winning Farnham Youth Choir.

See the order of service.

Christmas in Farnham Sponsors

Thank you to this year’s Christmas in Farnham sponsors.

white and green logo on grey background Kidd Rapinet Solicitors

Corporate Sponsor

Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society logo Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society

Gold Sponsor

Logo (Footer)

 

 

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Blue Sky Cinema on its way to Dunsfold Aerodrome.

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The home of Top Gear and the location for numerous blockbuster films will welcome Drive-in Cinema to the famous airfield site. It brings safe and secure cinema entertainment to Surrey in time to brighten up Christmas for just one month.
All the information you need is in the link below.  You can even buy a hamper for a family outing or order food and drink boxes to enjoy, including a cheese and wine board. While sitting in the comfort of your car watching the big screen.

The Waverley Web would like to thank the Cranleigh Community Board Facebook users for sending us this information.

 

Could a different style of care for older people be on its way to Godalming?

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For years the residents of Godalming have been wondering when someone- anyone would come up with a cunning plan for the former MOLE Country Store one-acre site on Brighton Road. Rumours that Lidl and Aldi want to move in – have come to nothing.
The valuable site –  once home to both SCATS and the popular and long-established Alan Paine Knitwear outlet has stood vacant since the country store closed its doors for the last time in 2017. 
The Waverley Web understands that a company called Birchgrove is holding a public consultation to build 53 flats with 24-hour care in a three, and part five-storey building, in extensive landscaped grounds. A planning application is expected to be lodged with the borough council within days.
Birchgrove operates a portfolio of extra-care developments offering contemporary self-contained apartments in new purpose-built facilities. There is already a Birchgrove home in nearby Woking.
The company claims to be different from most other extra care developments in the country, as it works on a rental model. It believes that renting a home instead of owning is the most liberating form of tenure for older people seeking extra care. This offers the benefits of independent living whilst removing the complication of homeownership? The proposed one and two-bedroom apartments are only available for weekly rent to people over the age of 65.
Typical rent for a two-bedroom property is in the region of £5,000 per month – but with only council tax to pay. All other utilities and services are included.
So this:
Could become this?:
The company claims in its consultation documents that as most residents would be expected to be mainly single people aged 85 and over, there would be little need for many car parking spaces although 11 would be provided. There would be no pressure on local schools or leisure facilities and would free up numerous houses. There would be communal facilities, including a roof garden.
A number of pre-application meetings have been held with Waverley Planners, and some revisions, including a smaller footprint and a re-design of the layout of the buildings, have already been made in an effort to overcome their concerns.
There are concerns in Godalming, and almost every other town and village in the borough, that Infrastructure – including GP surgeries and nursing capacity is not keeping up with demand.
Notice: Public Consultation on the former Moles Country Store Site, Brighton Road until 11 December for more information, please visit more information on the link below.

Well done Waverley – our COVID infection rate is dropping.

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Councillors

Cranleigh Parish Council Chair and Waverley Borough Council  Executive Liz Townsend. Who is proud of the part Cranleigh is playing in the fight to protect the public from COVID-19.

At one point during the Coronavirus crisis, the infection rate in ‘Your Waverley’ was higher than in Woking.  Now Waverley’s rate has substantially dropped and is now the lowest in the county. However, residents are urged to “keep up the good work – because the first vaccines have arrived at The Royal Surrey in Guildford.

Helicopters hovered over Cranleigh Village Hall last week taking footage of the building which is to become a local Vaccination Centre for the eastern villages. Cranleigh Parish Council has led the way in opening its community building to the Surrey Heartlands NHS Trust. 

Cranleigh hall earmarked for a mass COVID vaccination centre.

In a mobilisation evoking memories of wartime, Britain’s community facilities are being handed over so millions can quickly receive the life-saving vaccine over the coming days. Secret plans drawn up by NHS top brass have put the country on a war footing with venues like Cranleigh’s on the frontline.

As preparations for a mass inoculation programme ramp up, the extraordinary can-do spirit behind- the UK’s biggest peacetime logistical exercise has been likened to those who helped on the home front during the Second World War.  The vaccine will be administered around-the-clock in what has been dubbed “V-Day” [Vaccination Day].  Cranleigh Village Hall was offered to health chiefs to play its part and from now on will only be used to give lifesaving jabs could arrive as soon as next week.

It is not the first time the Cranleigh hall has been used as a public vaccination centre. It was last used during the 1959 flu epidemic.

Parish council chair and Waverley Borough Councillor Liz Townsend said:

“Waverley Borough Council received a request from NHS Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group asking whether we had any buildings available and ours is largely standing empty. We have a large hall, side rooms and plenty of parking so it’s perfect. The instruction was very clear and that was to be ready by today. (Last Thursday) It’s all agreed, we have signed on the dotted line and they will have exclusive use of it seven days a week between 8am-8pm. “

However, she has urged residents to stick to the rules, and stay safe, to ensure the Waverley infection rate continues to drop.

Well done Cranleigh Parish Council. The village which adopted the  motto  – ‘Cranleigh Cares.’


The Royal Surrey is among 50 hospitals to start vaccinating patients against coronavirus from Today Tuesday in the largest immunisation programme the country has ever experienced.

Frimley Park Hospital is believed to be the only other Surrey hospital to be included on the list.

A Royal Surrey spokesman stressed that patients will be contacted at the right time to come forward. People are asked not to contact or visit the hospital to seek a vaccine before then.

First to receive a vaccination will be those aged 80 and over, care home workers and NHS workers at higher risk.

Out-patients aged 80 and above and those being discharged from a hospital stay, will also be offered vaccination.

Additionally, hospitals will begin inviting over-80s with care home providers to book their staff for clinics. Any appointments not used for these groups will be used for healthcare workers who are at the highest risk of serious illness from Covid. Forty million doses are being delivered and all those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.

Royal Surrey’s Chief Nurse Jo Mountjoy

 

“This is a moment of real hope for our community. We look forward to working with our local partners on this and we thank our staff for their ongoing hard work and dedication throughout this pandemic.”

 

How to make a muppet out of yourself in readiness for the county council elections.

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Cynical we may be, but isn’t it strange that councillors you seldom see, and hardly ever hear from, suddenly pop up in the most unexpected places for a photo opportunity?

Surrey County Councillor Andrew Povey has pictured himself for his pre-election leaflet here at the Cranleigh Recycling Centre. Really! You couldn’t make it up! 
Apparently, the locals over there in the eastern villages have been having a bit of fun at the expense of the Guildford Conservative Association’s chosen one. All the local comedians have been out in force on FACEBOOK claiming all the miracles they have achieved.
Perhaps Cllr Povey could perform another miracle and get the Road Closed signs removed from the Run Common Road which has been closed for over a year due to wait for it … wait for it ….a Badger Set! Funny that? – Surrey County Council used that same excuse for the delays on the Albury Road works too. 
Watch out – there are a lot of badgers about!!!

Don’t write to the Hon Angie – ring Annie Milton?

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Ann Milton

Remember the good old days – back in former Guildford MP Anne Milton’s 14-year reign? Those were the days my friends when all you had to do was write to Anne Milton and before you could say the word ‘problem’ either she, or the wonderful Sarah Colby would respond. For some years she even whipped her colleagues into shape. in 2015, she was appointed Government Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Commons Treasurer of the Household.

We have been hearing from dozens of our followers how they have received short shrift from the local MP for Guildford and the eastern villages. Some of whom, have not even received the little off-putting missive printed below received from one of her disappointed constituents. 

Angela Richardson

Has Angela Richardson had the backs of Guildford and Cranleigh and villages residents since being elected as their MP? Or have they had her’s?

From: RICHARDSON, Angela <angela.richardson.mp@parliament.uk>

Dear Constituent,

Thank you very much for your e-mail. This is to confirm that my office has received it and that we are working to solve your query.

Did you include everything in your e-mail?

As Member of Parliament for Guildford, I can only make enquiries on behalf of constituents, so please make sure that you have provided your full name, address, and postcode.

You can check if I am your Member of Parliament by clicking here.

If you are writing to me after being in touch with local authorities or Government Departments, please attach your full correspondence with those institutions, including any relevant reference numbers.

If you have omitted to include any of the above in your message, please resend it, adding in the relevant information.

At last, the letter asks how can she help!

What can I help with?

I want to be able to help wherever I can and as quickly as possible, so please make sure that before writing to me you have exhausted all other avenues of action.

Ah! ha! But only write to me as a last resort?

If you are writing about a local issue, such as planning or local services, I would advise to write to your County or Borough councillors first, or the appropriate Council Department. You can find your County councillors here. To find your Guildford Borough councillors click here, or for your Waverley Borough councillors click here.

If you are writing with a complaint regarding a Government service, contacting the relevant Department, agency, or Ombudsman is the best and quickest route. I can take your case up with these institutions if you are not satisfied with how your complaint was dealt with.

Members of Parliament cannot offer legal advice, so please turn to the Citizens Advice Bureau for free independent advice. You can find their website here.

How do I deal with campaigns and policy-related e-mails?

I get hundreds of e-mails regarding Government policy every day, including campaigns. Some issues and campaigns often resurge. In order to read my position on longstanding issues, please check the ‘Policy Replies’ section on my website, by clicking here. This is where I upload comprehensive explanations on my positions.

How soon will you hear back from me?

I aim to respond to casework enquiries within 5 working days and to policy-related ones within 15 working days.

If your case requires me to forward correspondence to a Department, waiting times will be longer, depending on how busy that Department is and how quickly they come back to me.

How do I use your data?

I process all cases in strict accordance with GDPR. By e-mailing in, you give me permission to store your information and share relevant data about you and your circumstances with the relevant authorities, in order to get you the help you need.

You can read my full Privacy Policy here.

Please rest assured that my team and I are doing all that we can to ensure that you get a response in a timely manner.

With best wishes always,

Angela Richardson MP

Member of Parliament for Guildford

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Tel: 020 7219 5851

; My Website.

Anne Milton trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and worked for the NHS for 25 years. Anne has a wide range of experience in the NHS. She has nursed in hospitals, as a district nurse, worked in research and supporting GPs and nurses working in palliative care. She also pioneered a scheme to look after people who were sent home early from hospital. Her last job in the NHS was to give medical advice to councils and housing associations.

Anne was appointed Shadow Minister for Tourism in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport team. In July 2007, she was appointed as a Shadow Minister for Health. Between 2012-2014 she was Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury; between 2014 and 2015 she was appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household and, after the UK general election held in 2015, she was appointed Government Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Commons Treasurer of the Household.

But – Annie got her gun when she stopped Backing Boris on Brexit.

Spotlight shines on the life expectancy of ‘Waverley’s leisure centres.

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Both the value and life expectancy of Waverley’s Leisure Centres are going down. This includes Haslemere and Farnham – but in particular, CRANLEIGH is reaching its ‘SELL BY DATE!’

During the completion of ‘Your Waverley’s Annual Accounts – Auditors Grant Thornton – identified that adjustments were needed to properly recognise the condition and life expectancy of the council’s property holdings, and provision of services. This included its Leisure Centres. Resulting in an overall adjustment of minus £9.5m.

A report to an Extraordinary Meeting of the Audit Committee this week stated:

‘Our findings have identified a number of adjustments to the financial statements resulting in an overall adjustment of £9.5m to the Council’s surplus/deficit on the provision of services in the Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Statement. We have also raised recommendations for management, as a result of our audit work.’

The life expectancy of Farnham and Haslemere Centres is 54 years and 56 years respectively.

To which Cllr John Gray remarked“That’s an awfully long time. – The world will have changed a great deal in 56 years!” However, he wanted assurances from officers that they were satisfied that an increase in Cranleigh’s LC’s suggested life expectancy of EIGHT years could be justified.?

Probably because he had heard that poor old Cranleigh’s much-talked-about Leisure Centre that the council says now has a life expectancy of EIGHT years – comes after council experts said TWO years –  it only had another TWO years ago!

It also needs a £3.5m investment just to maintain its present condition!

A  decidedly worried-looking Cllr Richard Cole, wanted to know more? Bearing in mind that the redevelopment of Cranleigh’s facilities was on the cards once a feasibility study was completed?

For background purposes, the Tories promised Cranleigh a £12m centre shortly before the 2018 May elections – leaving the new administration with a pledge it is now finding difficult to honour – particularly in view of COVID.

What were the concerns about its condition which had been raised by engineers Cllr Cole asked?

 Officer Peter Vickers admitted Cranleigh’s centre had problems but confirmed it would remain operational for the “foreseeable future.”  He then gave a rather complicated explanation of why engineers had put a 2-year life on the centre in the 18/19 audit, which, he said, was based on,

“something historic that had not transpired for the past two years.”

 The WW wonders whether he was referring to the centre’s machinery/ boilers that were expected to pack up, but hadn’t due to other expensive measures that had been put in place to keep them going?

The committee was assured by officers that the condition of the Cranleigh centre had been thoroughly examined, leading to the revised figure of EIGHT years. But possibly, this was something the council’s management should comment on? Officers said much more work on assessing Cranleigh LC would be included in next year’s valuations.

“In reality, the fact is, we need to be developing Cranleigh immediately. Purely because of its age and condition. There are plans to do something MUCH BIGGER for the area – but for the foreseeable future it will remain operational – but a reducing asset.” 

He said:

“We need something much more from our assets other than it  just being a leisure centre. There is more we can do with the land value and the asset – hence the reason why the conversation has been rumbling on for a few years around what we can do with Cranleigh’s centre going forward. The council hasn’t made a decision on it at this point in time, that is why it is an operational asset until such time that a decision has been made on exactly what to do with it.”

Officer Mark Bartlett said the Cranleigh Leisure Centre was the council’s ‘main concern:’  “We would have expected plans to have been well-developed,  however, the remaining useful lives of both Haslemere and Farnham have also been significantly reduced.”

The value of Haslemere LC has been reduced by £331,000 but the WW couldn’t find a figure for Cranleigh and Farnham – though a combined figure of £995,000 does appear in the paperwork.

However, Cllr Gray remained dissatisfied by officers’ explanations. 

“I have been around for 4 or 5 years and we (The Tory administration) have had our issues but nothing like this! I remain very concerned.”  We have Cranleigh Leisure Centre with a life of SIX years (We think he meant Eight) left, and Farnham & Haslemere with 54 and 56 respectively. How have we suddenly come across this only this year when prompted by the Auditors? Why weren’t there management processes in place to pick up these changes before going into the Audit process?

 

This is what the Auditors said: And here’s a Find Wally game for Christmas

See if you can find the revised valuation figure in this paperwork for Cranleigh Recreation Centre? A bottle of Gin for the winner.

https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/documents/b12172/Reports%20to%20accompany%20Agenda%20Pack%20sent%20out.%2030th-Nov-2020%2018.00%20Audit%20Committee.pdf?T=9


 

Local Authorities swing into action on Wildwood Golf Club .

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So is it  Wildwood Golf Club’s former car park, and not an adjacent site, where a developer intends to start to building a new settlement where villagers claim they are being “intimidated” by workers.

It would appear developers are falling over one another in a pincer movement to turn little old Alfold into a new town. With another application lodged by Thakeham homes to build 99 homes off Loxwood Road, after it has demolished a bungalow to make access onto the greenfield site.

Another whopping great housing application lands on Alfold&#8217;s doorstep.

‘Your Waverley ‘ finally – issued a temporary STOP NOTICE  on the works at the Wildwood Golf Club. Though the diggers are still digging and the dumpers are still dumping!

 A Temporary Stop Notice (TSN) prohibits ‘development, groundwork preparation, earthworks, or demolition processes’. ‘Earthworks’ as described within the TSN would be any engineering works to create excavations and embankments of earth (as already occurred near ‘Pond 19’) on the site.

Complaints from villagers continue about the traffic, and an incident took place between a villager and a contractor leading to accusations of ‘threatening and intimidating’ behaviour. Villagers who have been walking the authorised footpath ( footpaths 403 and 403a)  for decades are now asking why the contractors are becoming confrontational if the work they are carrying out is allowed?

Despite the parish, borough, county councils and the MP being bombarded with complaints from villagers – including Alfold’s very own Mole,  the new owners of the club on the A281 at Alfold Crossways – just ‘Carry On Regardless!’

Despite the TSN being issued by Waverley Enforcement Last Wednesday –  the Diggers were still on-site and merrily Dig – dig – digging away yesterday.

At first, villagers were ecstatic because they believed they were going to get what it said on the tin when planning permission was granted. The Professional Golf Association (PGA) HQ, a 27-hole golf course, a hotel with a spar for the locals and 39 golf lodges as part of a planning consent given ten years ago. Villagers believed that development may be linked with an adjacent site called the Nutshell.  However, now the owner of that site has told villagers – the development has nothing to do with them! The Alfold mole has asked us here at the Waverley Web to make the Nutshell’s position quite clear. So it is now believed – the new ‘settlement’ proposed is on the golf club site off the A281 Horsham to Guildford Rd.

Opposite the former golf course, there are two other sites. – One of which has already received planning consent at the former Wyevale Garden Centre – and another for over 80 homes on land neighbouring the petrol station. A full list of the development in Alfold is contained in the link above. 

All this – and a Garden Village set to build 1,800 (2,300) new homes in Waverley’s Local Plan, at Dunsfold Aerodrome, just a hop, and a skip away! 

 

Now the new owners have swung into Alfold with some big VERY BIG plans. – Sedat Peker is a very interesting individual. Full of Eastern promise as part of Peker Holdings Ltd. based in Cobham  Do read his Wikipedia profile, we have provided a link.


So there we have it, folks. This is all about a NEW SELF-SUSTAINING NEW SETTLEMENT AT THE WILDWOOD GOLF CLUB.  You can learn more about how the owners see the future from the link below:

https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/wildwood-golf-club-swinging-back-in-action-as-new-owners-reveal-plans/

This Wikipedia profile makes very interesting reading. If any of our followers have ever wondered why the Waverley Web remains anonymous – then here’s your answer!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedat_Peker

Interesting! Very interesting!

But no worries.  According to Turkish businesswoman Mrs Aysegul Peker, there will be plenty of goodies for the locals in the NEW BIG WILDWOOD URBAN SETTLEMENT bag. Because she intends to donate some of the 230 acres back to the community, so will consult residents to find out what they would like to see that land used for.

A spokesman for Mrs Peker said: “She wants to give back some of the lands for a school, community centre, playground or something that the residents here currently need.

Now! Where have the locals in Alfold heard that one before?

“Whether that be 10, 20 or 30 acres. Whatever the residents want she will try to deliver,” she says.

Groundwork construction on the hotel has already begun on the site.

Surrey County Council has now issued a Temporary Closure notice on the Footpaths 403 and 403a. They are now rediverted through the ASNW of Pickenswood Copse. Now the well-trodden paths by villagers will be across   a site covered by restrictions as an (ASNW and Tree Preservation Order site)

 

Here’s what we have to do in Waverley to prevent overburdening the NHS.

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Here at the Waverley Web, we have had the absolute privilege of hearing from a member of the valiant 111 teams that have been answering many millions of calls during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The message we received certainly pulled our, sometimes not too COVID-vigilant team up by their bootlaces!
He said that during a recent shift he experienced such overwhelming exhaustion at the aggressive and sometimes abusive treatment he received from callers, that he was forced to step outside into the open air to recover enough to carry on. We have also heard from nurses who are reaching levels of exhaustion never experienced in their long careers.
We understand that in the Waverley area patients are becoming increasingly frustrated at being unable to receive GP appointments. Sitting on telephones for ages, and listening to a variety of messages, and then the line cuts out or they get a continually engaged tone. Some just have to be seen by the GP’s – yes actually seen in person, to be examined appropriately and discuss their issues Face-to-Face. The more well-off among the local population are, quite frankly, giving up and in desperation are schlepping off to private doctors.

So here’s what we have to do to prevent overburdening the NHS.

Please remember until tomorrow Wednesday, 2 December, national lockdown restrictions are still in place. Waverley will then move into Tier 2 (High Alert) from tomorrow Wednesday, 2 December, under the government’s local restriction tier system.
Find out what you need to know about national lockdown restrictions in England here http://orlo.uk/lIB70
Find out what you can and cannot do under Tier 2 (High Alert) restrictions herehttp://orlo.uk/2LAyr

Are Dumb & Dumber running Surrey County Council?

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If you really have to shop in Guildford – may be, you should think again?  WW is wondering if trialling a new one-way system blocking off Walnut Tree Close is good timing for the town’s 2020 Christmas Trade? And, have you seen the new parking charges!? 

Because this is what Guildford Borough Council is going to trial until February. Or – maybe for good?

There are fears it won’t be a trial – it will stay. If you cannot quite place Walnut Tree Close it is the road that goes past Guildford Station and cuts through to the Guildford Dual carriageway at Woodbridge Meadows. 

Mr Terry Habgood among many who is strongly against it, says it’s been fine for many many years as a two-way road, why mess with it? They must have money to burn, he says.

One-way trial – December 2020

We will be implementing a trial one-way system on the northern section of Walnut Tree Close between 29 November and 17 February 2021. During the two-and-a-half-month trial, vehicular traffic will only be allowed to travel in the northbound direction. The effect of the trial on surrounding roads will be monitored and a decision on a permanent solution will be made after the trial period.

Diversion route:

A signed diversion will be in place throughout the one-way trial period. The diversion route is as follows:

  • Woodbridge Meadows, Guildford (northbound)
  • A25 Woodbridge Road, Guildford (eastbound)
  • A25 Woodbridge Road, Guildford (southbound)
  • Onslow Street, Guildford
  • Walnut Tree Close, Guildford (northbound)

WHY you may ask?

Why are we doing this trial?

The trial is in response to a petition in 2016 by residents of Walnut Tree Close to Guildford Borough Council requesting the closure of the road to separate the commercial and residential ends of the road and prevent traffic using the road as a through route. The volumes of passing through traffic have increased significantly since then. Vehicles are currently using Walnut Tree Close as a through-road between the A25 and the gyratory, causing large amounts of congestion. We are aiming to make the road quieter and safer by putting this traffic restriction in place.

Where will the one-way trial be located?

The one-way system will be in place between Kernal Court and just south of the Royal Mail Delivery Office and Mail Centre on Walnut Tree Close.

Motorists will be able to travel both southbound and northbound on Walnut Tree Close up until Kernal Court, at which point the road will become one-way in the northbound direction. From Kernal Court, motorists can travel southbound to the station, however between the Royal Mail Delivery Office and Mail Centre and Kernal Court the road will be one-way only in the northbound direction. Motorists will not be able to travel southbound in this section of the road, so they will need to take the signed diversion route through Woodbridge Road to gain access to the train station.

What are the benefits of the trial?

  • To reduce the number of vehicles passing through along Walnut Tree Close as a shortcut route into Guildford town centre and vice-versa
  • To improve road safety for all users and reduce the risk of collisions

Car Parking charges the Guildford way.

 

When you are in a hole in Alfold – developer keeps digging!

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As developers fall over one another in a pincer movement to turn little old Alfold into a new town “Your Waverley ‘ finally – issues a STOP NOTICE on the works at the Wildwood Golf Club.

Despite the parish, borough, county councils and the MP being bombarded with complaints from villagers – including Alfold’s very own Mole,  the new owners of the club on the A281 at Alfold Crossways – just ‘Carry On Regardless!’

Despite a  Temporary Stop Notice being issued by Waverley Enforcement Last Wednesday –  the Diggers are still on-site and merrily Dig – dig – digging away.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR ALFOLD?

At first, villagers were ecstatic because they believed they were going to get the Professional Golf Association (PGA) HQ, a 27-hole golf course, a hotel with a spar for the locals and 39 golf lodges as part of a planning consent given ten years ago. Now they are not quite so sure? As the land being cleared – has nothing to do with the extant permission for the golf development it is closer to THE NUTSHELL – a site which is now either owned or on which the developers have an option,  for yes – you guessed folks – MORE HOUSING

Now the new owner’s flash Jag has swung into Alfold with some big VERY BIG plans. – Sedat Peker is a very interesting individual. Full of Eastern promise as part of Peker Holdings Ltd. based in Cobham – and recently quoted as saying: Do read his Wikipedia profile, we have provided a link.


 

       AH! HA! So there we have it, folks! This is all about A NEW SELF-SUSTAINING NEW SETTLEMENT – IS IT?

Or as an Alfold Mole would say:

“A 9 Hole Golf course!!! Looks like the Nutshell are in on this and will sell their Brownfield land for housing along with the 9 hole/Car parks etc and we will have an application for hundreds of new Homes. They can then carve up the rest of the Farmland for sale and we will have lost this wonderful asset – one of the few we had in this village.”

This Wikipedia profile makes very interesting reading. If any of our followers have ever wondered why the Waverley Web remains anonymous – then here’s your answer!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedat_Peker

Interesting! Very interesting!

But no worries.  According to Turkish businesswoman Mrs Aysegul Peker, there will be plenty of goodies for the locals in the NEW BIG WILDWOOD URBAN SETTLEMENT bag. Because she intends to donate some of the 230 acres back to the community, so will consult residents to find out what they would like to see that land used for.

A spokesman for Mrs Peker said: “She wants to give back some of the lands for a school, community centre, playground or something that the residents here currently need.

Now! Where have the locals in Alfold heard that one before?

“Whether that be 10, 20 or 30 acres. Whatever the residents want she will try to deliver,” she says.

Groundwork construction on the hotel has already begun on the site.

Surrey County Council was due to issue a Temporary Closure notice on the Footpath to yesterday THURSDAY. However, walkers tell us it is not yet in force. Once granted the well-trodden path by villagers will be across  Pickenswood Copse a site covered by restrictions as an (ASNW and Tree Preservation Order site)

 

Cranleigh charity’s request for ‘private meeting’ UNANIMOUSLY REFUSED.

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The Paddock field in Knowle Lane. The site which is currently proposed for a care home in the latest planning application

 

Village leaders considered this request from the Cranleigh Village Health Trust. The charity that is seeking planning consent to build a 64-bed care home an accommodation block and 16 community beds now wants to meet the parish council in private… again.

Here they go again&#8230; we hear the CVHT trumpets blow again&#8230;?

Here’s what it said on last week’s  Cranleigh Parish Council Agenda. The meeting was held on Zoom to enable the public to take part.

CRANLEIGH VILLAGE HEALTH TRUST (CVHT) CVHT Response to letter exchange (This item may be held in private and confidential session – reason: commercial in confidence) Recommendation: •

‘To consider the request from CVHT for a private meeting of two CVHT representatives with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council, and the Clerk, to discuss an outcome for the Paddock Field which is beneficial for the community and satisfies CVHT’s obligations as a charity, in line with the covenants placed on the land. There may be information that is commercially sensitive.’

Another chapter is about to open in a burgeoning book of a 20-year saga that has dogged – what has been dubbed by some as ‘the largest village in England”  

The Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s request was given short shrift by councillors who were united in their opposition to holding ANY further meetings in private with a developer seeking to build a commercial private care home for HC-One one of the nation’s largest care providers. 

Though it is now debatable whether HC-One is the operator?  The Chairman of the Trust, Dr Robin Fawkner-Corbett has confirmed publicly that the planning application in the name of HC-ONE and CVHT that has been with Waverley Planners for many months, has no signed-up operator! Saying an operator will be named once planning permission is granted.

Now that the Trust has effectively become – Billy No Mates – it wants a secret meeting with a handful of councillors to unveil its latest cunning plan. A plan for a site it owns – has the value of a playing field, land swapped 15 years ago sold by the parish council of-the-day for £ 1– in return for a piece of agricultural land for a playing field.

See the link here – ` It&#8217It’s official. The Cranleigh Village Health Trust has NO partner for its bid to build a new Private Care Home.

And here`; So what​ the​ hell is​ going on &#8211; with Cranleigh&#8217;s private​ nursing home and HC-ONE?

And here: Health Honchos pull the plug on a 20-year-old scheme to return Cranleigh&#8217;s Community Beds.

The first, and only, member of the public to speak was the man who heads the campaign group to stop the development going ahead.

Andy Webb – as we repeatedly say – who has no connection with the Waverley Web, asked if he could represent the Campaign Group on behalf of its supporters at any meeting to be held. He said as the Trust had received considerable amounts of public money.  ( believed to be circa £1.7m plus) – the public should be included in any debate. He said he couldn’t get any response to his requests from the Trust for a meeting, but firmly believed the public must be allowed to hear whatever its representatives had to say?

“We have an absolute right to know what is being said – it is our money they are spending!

Chairman Liz Townsend said the council would go into the council meeting and consider the request and the decision lay with her members.

First off the grid was Cllr Richard Cole who said he recalled the previous private meeting with the Trust was to listen but not comment. Cllr Townsend reminded everyone that the well-minuted private meeting was to hear nothing other than any ‘community benefits’ put forward by the Trust. 

“We made it very clear to them it would not be about process.”

Cllr Cole, who is also Chairman of a Waverley Planning Committee, said any meeting should not be discussing the planning application – an application that…

“it appeared wouldn’t  be coming to the borough council – any time soon.”

” You can offer them another meeting – but this time “I want to be there,” said a feisty Cllr Rowena Tyler – and I want that minuted!”

Cllr Jeacock said he wasn’t happy about holding any private meetings in the first place  – “I don’t like it.”

Neither did Cllr James Betts –

“I will strongly object and I want that minuted. I don’t agree with the Trust keep asking for private meetings with two representatives,  they should speak to the parish council, and anyone else who is interested as an elected group – and the meeting should be held in public.”

Cllr Nigel Sanctuary echoed his sentiments. “this is a community issue – and there a lot of emotions around this. Public emotions are running so high, that we should reject any request by the Trust to meet a few of us in private.” He said the council should reject any more private meetings and should have some clear objectives about what it wished for an outcome.

Cllr George Worthington:  “We said three months ago the last meeting was a “one-off” to hold another would not be sending the right message. We need to have everyone on the parish council – and the public involved.”

Both Cllr Hannah Nicholson and David Nicholas agreed. A conciliatory voice from Cllr Nicholas said the last meeting in private should be the final meeting.

We are a civilised lot here – an open meeting can be well-chaired, and well-managed and we will listen to the Trust.  There could be an opportunity here for something sensible to come out of it. However, we have to make it clear to the Trust, that if there are confidential commercial matters – they should give us that information in a report. We could at least offer them that.”

It was UNANIMOUSLY agreed that the council would write to the CVHT stressing that it agreed it would hold a parish council meeting to be held in public – which was not the same as a PUBLIC MEETING.

 

Could ‘Your Waverley’ be entering the Supermarket sweep?

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‘Your Waverley’s’ EXTRAORDINARY EXECUTIVE went behind closed doors this week to decide whether to invest up to £10m in an out of town supermarket.

The controversial investment opposed by some in the Tory Opposition – has been prompted by the catastrophic effects of COVID-19, combined with year-on-year Tory Government cuts. In common with other cash-strapped local authorities, ‘Your Waverley’ is struggling to keep its head above water and protect services.

Council Leader John Ward apologised profusely to the public for excluding them from part of the debate made necessary by both the seller and tenant of the property in question. Both of whom had demanded absolute CONFIDENTIALITY. However, he would allow any comments or questions from any councillors to be heard in public.

Title: Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services.

Portfolio holder for Finance Mark Merryweather said the administration was doing everything in its power to keep Waverley sound and protect services against a background of continuing “maligned threats” from the Government.  95% of Waverley’s business rates were now syphoned off by the Government and Surrey County Council. This combined with the financial menace of the coronavirus was robbing councils of their ability to cope.

The investment for discussion and hopefully approval could bring the council closer to its strategic objective of investing in its own, or others property, thereby improving its finances. After expert advice from officers and independent financial experts, and in line with its property investment objectives, he saw no reasonable grounds to object to the investment.

  • A Business Plan and Due Diligence was included in an Exempt Annex.

First off the grid was Cllr Steve Cosser who wanted his objections heard by the public, sacrificing his ability to speak in the EXEMPT session in the process. This was pre-ceded by a brief skirmish during which Cllr Ward told his colleagues they could either speak in open or exempt but not in both.

Cllr Cosser outlined his numerous concerns. He was surprised the Executive had considered spending £7m + £400,000 in fees to acquire a supermarket out of town? Even more, so that it came from internal borrowing. How could a council that was pleading poverty consider finding such a large sum of money – and how much more was buried in its accounts?

He argued the money could have been better spent on the investment in a new leisure centre, or perhaps a Community Hub for Cranleigh believing the residents of both Waverley and Cranleigh would think so too! **

He claimed the proposal was an abandonment of the council’s strategy to only invest in an “area of economic influence,”

However, this is the area of economic influence he referred too.

Dunsfold Cllr John Gray said the move shouldn’t be made unless it was a triple-A investment.

“This is more like the Icelandic Bank tale of the past” and claimed the investment finance would come from Waverley’s depleting coffers.

Cllr Peter Martin described the new Administration’s strategy as “risky.”He couldn’t understand why it was moving to investments outside the borough. But, was told suitable investments “did not grow on trees.”

** Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend exploded the myth that money used for investments could be used to provide “other services.”

 Does the Waverley Web presume this was a veiled reference to the previous remarks on – Cranleigh Leisure Centre?

She said, there was a BIG difference between the council’s use of Capital Funds or borrowing money today for the cost of providing ongoing services. 

It was left to Godalming’s Cllr Paul Follows to spell out a few home truths to the faint-hearted Tories.

“Let’s remember why we are here? Because of the escalation via COVID on the structural financial issues impacting on local government; that exist solely because of central Government policy towards local government.”

He reminded the opposing voices that a vacancy existed on the Property Advisory Board. A Board on which Cllr Peter Martin sat until he resigned to take over chairman of an O & S committee. A seat that has remained vacant, ever since, despite repeated requests made to the opposition,  because nobody wanted to fill it! 

“So perhaps rather than appear here, without any evidence to back it up or give any actual examples of the many other places we could have invested in the borough, perhaps I could suggest that they join the Board and bring all these opportunities, they say exist in Waverley for its consideration?

He said he couldn’t help wondering if so many opportunities for direct investment within Waverley existed WHY investment opportunities already taken up in the past by other councils including neighbouring Rushmoor Borough Council and a council in The Wirral – hadn’t been taken up by the previous administration?

“Perhaps this has shown that the previous administration had been asleep at the tiller with its acquisitions over the past decade?”

After almost an hours debate behind closed doors. The Executive agreed the following.

Recommendation The PIAB recommend the Executive approve the purchase of the property identified in Exempt Annexe 1 within its delegation limit of £10 million subject to: 2.1 A bid of up to £6,955, 000 to acquire the freehold, subject to satisfactory completion of the further evaluation work and due diligence referred to in this report. 2.2 To delegate to the Strategic Director (Sec 151) and the Chief Executive, and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services: i) The undertaking and signing off of the evaluation work and due diligence required as referred to in recommendation 2.1; ii) The decision not to submit a bid or to withdraw a bid if already submitted, in the event that the evaluation work and/or due diligence is not satisfactory; iii) The decision to accept a lower financial return (after internal borrowing costs) than required in Waverley’s investment criteria, if justified after evaluating the wider strategic and long term benefits of acquiring this site; iv) To finance the acquisition as set out in this report; v) To delegate the completion of legal matters and signing of appropriate contracts to the Strategic Director (Sec 151) and the Chief Executive, and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services.

The Full report and details of the investment are included in the link below.

https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/documents/g3730/Public%20reports%20pack%2020th-Nov-2020%2016.00%20Executive.pdf?T=10

 

 

 

 

 

https://youtu.be/GE3hoJ0UXco

Motorists fuming trying to get to Godawfulming.

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It’s enough to drive you round the bend – and certainly around in circles.

 One very helpful sign Lying on the grass?

Visitors to Godalming recently have been left bewildered and confused by diversion signs that direct them “around” the gas works in Brighton Road which began two weeks ago. Chaos rules.

Here is a little travel log from one of our followers … Chris from Cranleigh outlining her tortuous journey from Cranleigh to Milford where she had planned to have a potter around Squires Garden Centre. 

“Not strictly essential shopping I confess but frankly, I’m really bored.”

I got to Nanhust Crossroads and saw a sign on the Dunsfold Road corner saying Brighton Road, Godalming was closed, please follow the diversions.

The only diversion sign I could see was pointing towards Guildford along the A281. “That can’t be right,” I thought,” it’s totally the wrong way.  And as it happens I know that Tilthams Corner Road is closed due to bridge works – it has been closed for months and months which is the only way I can think they might be directing me. So I conclude that someone must have mischievously put the sign in the wrong place.

WW understands that the reasons all the bridge closures – Albury, Run Common, Cranleigh and Tilthams Corner- are due to Badgers! Pull the other one Surrey highways, it has bells on?

“So I head off along the Dunsfold Road, expecting to see a diversion sign somewhere. Sure enough, I notice a couple telling me again that the road is closed ahead “please follow the diversion.”

 Expecting to see a diversion directional sign – somewhere. I plough on and on and six odd miles later I’m approaching Godalming, still expecting to see a diversion sign.

I get as far as Home Farm Road junction and lying on the ground (really useful) is a sign telling me that I can’t go down Home Farm Road.  “Not suitable for Brighton Road diverted traffic please follow signed diversion route.”

OK, so where is that exactly? I go a bit further on and come to a “Road Closed” sign across the top of Brighton Road at the junction with The Drive. Damn. So what happens now?  Do I go down The Drive? It looks very narrow with cars parked all along it?

I turn my head to the right and lo and behold there is the diversion sign directing me back the way I have come – all the way back to the A281. No mischievous sign fiddler. They really wanted me to go all the way towards Guildford and Shalford!

Needless to say, along with everyone else, I ignore it. A few other confused drivers do U-turns. I want to go to Milford for heaven’s sake not back to Cranleigh crossroads and all-around Shalford!

Sat Nav advises me to turn around and go down Home Farm Road, on to Quartermile Road and down Shackstead Lane which takes me past Inn on the Lake and out to Milford.

Heading back from Squires into Godalming town and along Flambards way – there are no diversion signs at all until you get to Brighton Road junction itself.   Oh well, I had better do the right thing this time and head on down to the A281 then, after all, that’s not a busy road is it!!? Never mind there are only another four and a half weeks of it! And, who wants to go shopping anyway?

Roll up, roll up for the Big Surrey Giveaway.

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Come on Waverley residents lets all join The great Surrey £100 million giveaway, or should it be called bribe?

Perfect timing – in the run-up to the Surrey County Council elections next May – all of a sudden the cash-strapped council has decided to give away £100million to enhance the county’s communities. The same council that slashed its youth centre provision last year now wants to help communities to set up youth centres. Really? You couldn’t make it up?

County Councillor Mark Nulti wants to give away £20 million every year for the next five years to the public to give them back “ownership, of their communities. Despite SCC saying it has to make £200m savings over the next three years! Oh! and by the way – the scheme is being funded by ‘BORROWING.’

Surprise, surprise – just months after the county council’s head honchos launched their bid to the government to become THE largest Unitary Authority in the country. A bid that is opposed by all 11 borough and district councils in the county – along comes the BIG SURREY GIVEAWAY!

Surrey County Councillor Mark Nuti is playing Father Christmas as he asks the public to pitch projects to enhance Surrey’s communities. Nicely timed? 

The county council has launched its £100 million scheme, giving financial backing to ideas put forward by residents and community groups. He wants people to “think big” and come up with ideas to improve their areas – the minimum giveaway is £10,000 of the £20million up for grabs.

Deputy cabinet member Cllr Nuti, who is the leading the ‘Your Fund Surrey’ scheme, said:

“This is groundbreaking in the public sector. I’m not aware of anything else on this scale. We’re giving ownership back to the residents. There is no bad idea.”

“The council is constantly telling people what they want and what they need. The classic example is the youth centre that goes to rack and ruin within two years because no one was asked if they wanted one. We’re saying, tell us what you want, and we’ll try to make it happen.”

He must be pulling our legs with bells on?  Wasn’t it the very same Surrey County Council that slashed its budget for youth leaders not so long ago? 

Remember these headline?

Youth worker hours to be cut by Surrey County Council in bid to save £2m

The proposed cuts mean boroughs will lose a combined total of 250 hours each week

Cutting back on youth workers will have a knock-on effect for Surrey’s children later on in life, a councillor warned.

Surrey County Council is slashing youth worker hours in a bid to save more than £2m of the £9.7m savings needed in the council’s Early Help provision budget.

Cllr Clare Curran, the cabinet member for children, revealed at a cabinet meeting last week that the numbers of hours of youth service provision each week in boroughs and districts across Surrey are planned to be reduced.

Responding to a question submitted by Cllr Jonathan Essex she said a restructure would reduce delivery from 794 hours across Surrey each week to 618 and that £2.46million had been saved from freezing vacancies and integrating functions.

However, Cllr Essex said at the time:  

 “cuts to early years help would have a long-lasting effect on children growing up in Surrey today and stressed concern that fewer youth services and workers helping children now would have a knock-on effect later on in life.

He said: “Early engagement is about doing the right things early to save problems later. Whether it’s running youth centres or providing youth workers. This is what holds our communities together. That’s invaluable. You cannot put a value on a strong community. “Investing in our young people in Surrey is absolutely crucial to help keep them safe and to give them the opportunities and life experiences to grow up into well-rounded adults.

Anyone proposing an idea will have to have a Business plan for how it will operate once it’s up and running.

 

 

 

 

Will the Wey and Arun Canal be permitted to cross the Downs Link footpath?

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Waverley Tories were decidedly unimpressed with references to the Wey and Arun Canal Trust’s inclusion in the council’s Climate Change Action Plan which is expected to receive the go-ahead shortly. Though they want some minor alterations, the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee has approved the ambitious plan.

Waverley councillor unveils Climate Strategy.

Some members of the Conservative Group questioned the inclusion of The Wey and Arun Canal as part of the plan, saying this should not be on the to-do list, as this was already being done. Conservative Councillors claimed they had been supporting the popular Trust for years. Nah, Nah, N, Nah, Nah!

However, The Trust efforts to forge ahead with its plans to open up the canal from Sussex across the border into Surrey and beyond is moving on apace. It has submitted planning applications to Waverley & Guildford Planners to create a further 1,000-yard extension to the canal between Bramley and neighbouring Shalford. Those who masterminded the Plan – believe the Wey & Arun Canal is an integral part of its plan to cut carbon emissions.

The Downs Link path running alongside the A281 Horsham/Guildford Rd at Shalford, looking towards the village of Bramley.

The Trust, backed by a vast team of dedicated volunteers from Sussex has been a high priority for the owners of Dunsfold Airfield soon to become a new Garden Village. It has supported the Trust’s work from the outset. But the latest phase of the project along a section of the popular Downs Link path may prove more problematical. It runs along the former Horsham to Guildford railway line through Ellens Green/Cranleigh/and Bramley. A line which Guildford MP Angela Richardson told the Commons she wants to see “re-purposed.”

Guildford MP pitches to open Guildford &#8211; Cranleigh train line.

The planning application will be considered by both neighbouring authorities and objections are already surfacing. Some fear the new section of canal will cause a risk of flooding to nearby properties and damage the environment with the removal of trees and wildlife habitat.  The Trust refutes this and it boasts a well-proven track record for improving the environment rather than damaging it. But another concern is that extension could scupper reopening of the railway line.

According to the application (Ref: 20/P/01752) lodged with Guildford Borough Council is for land between Gun’s Mouth Island at Shalford to Gosden Meadow, Tannery Lane in Bramley. The application seeks to include a new lock and bridges.

While the application lodged with Waverley Borough Council (Ref: WA/2020/0004) concerns land at Rushett Common in Bramley, for the “erection of new bridges, the construction of new canal cut, new footpaths and landscaping”.

Some residents of the eastern villages say the would welcome the re-opening of the railway line. However, former MP Anne Milton was vehemently opposed. She believed it would lead to a huge explosion of housing in Cranleigh and the eastern part of the borough. An area which has little or no protection from development. Part of the Downs Link footpath through Cranleigh now runs close to the boundaries and walls of houses on the Berkeley Homes development. Cranleigh Parish Council has yet to consider whether it will back the application – according to the Waverley website.

The Wey & Arun Junction Canal, from the River Wey at Shalford to the River Arun at Pallingham in West Sussex was opened in 1816. It was 23 miles in length and was formally closed in 1871. Its most impressive stretch is through Loxwood.

Never hugely profitable, a large factor in its demise was undoubtedly the opening of the railway line from Guildford to Horsham via Cranleigh in 1865. A line closed under the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.

 

How dare they call Farnham “snooty!”

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On another online media channel, our beloved town has been dubbed – by some – as “The snootiest town in Surrey.” Apparently due to overheard conversations in the likes of Waitrose and Waterstones.

There’s a link to the article in the sixth paragraph below.

Whilst we accept that everyone is entitled to their opinion – and as they say in our native Yorkshire – there’s nowt so queer as folk – to ridicule our adopted home turf on a satirical website needs a tongue-in-cheek response.

Members of our team here at the Waverley Web love our “occasional” shops in Waitrose – but enjoy our bargain hunting trips around our favourite store – Lidl in Dogflud Way. Nothing too snobby about that?  Even though it sells, and we buy a particularly tasty goats cheese!

Yes, our bloggers could be ridiculed as being among a bunch of middle-class snobs on the satirical website review on  I live here.

Read it for yourself – but it comes with a Waverley Web health warning. – Try to look away from the ear wax adverts – UGH!

LINK: The withering review pokes fun at the way people talk, the shops they use – and don’t use – and the way they park their cars. Well, we have to agree with the parking cars bit – unless of course, it’s in the Lidl car park, which is well-monitored and restricted to shoppers. Shoppers that seem to understand what the white lines are designed for!

While the bit of fun is written to provoke debate and retaliation, no punches are pulled. Apparently, the way we speak irritates. Well from our home village on the outskirts of Harrogate, we pretty much all boast the North country lilt and are still admitted and welcomed by Waitrose, or Sainsbury’s for the Wensleydale cheese. We also go to Lidle for those delicious herrings in cream sauce.

There are some posh people in Farnham – in Guildford – and in Godalming. In Haslemere too and we suspect in Cranleigh/Bramley and most certainly in Dunsfold. A place made famous for its worried wealthy who don’t want planes – fast cars on the Top Gear circuit – but don’t mind as long as they are in the driving seat on the country roads. They certainly don’t want lots of new homes, and even went to the trouble of setting up an organisation called Protect Our Waverley (POW) to defend it. Didn’t rock up to defend Farnham and our environs though!

However, warts and all – our band of brothers and sisters love living in Farnham – going to The Maltings, visiting the shops and cafe’s – when they re-open. Treasure our Farnham Park,  love the friendly atmosphere and courteous service in the town shops. We to a man, hate the social distancing bollards all over the place – but love the friendly atmosphere and believe Farnham Town Council does a damn good job. It has certainly looked after us all during the COVID pandemic. ‘Thank you FTC and thank you Waverley BC – you did well.

We even boast a castle, and in a poll carried out in 2018 – guess what? Farnham was crowned one of the happiest places to live in Great Britain. That is according to Rightmove’s annual Happy at Home Index that was based on a survey which asked more than 21,000 people how happy they are where they live.

So perhaps moving to Farnham should be given a go – even to find out just how ‘snobby’ we all are? You may be in for a bit of a surprise.

 

Cranleigh’s premier department store goes into liquidation

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THE END OF AN ERA?

David Mann … in 1910

Was it COVID or developers that finally killed off David Mann and Sons in Cranleigh? The high street store which symbolised the face of Cranleigh for 133 years has gone into voluntary liquidation. Rumours, we are told by the locals over there, have been rife for over a year that the store was heading for closure.

There is no doubt that the retail sector has been badly punished by the Coronavirus epidemic but is the latest victim, a store that has a county-wide reputation built up over 133 years, another victim of the vicious virus? Or was the store always gleam in the eyes of the developer partnership of Nick Vrijland and Andy Leahy? Mr Vrijland’s burgeoning property portfolio also includes the adjacent properties – of Oliver House. He was also the owner of the Knowle Park Initiative site at West Cranleigh Nurseries. Sold to housing association A2 Dominion shortly after planning consent was granted to build “homes for village people?” Although consent was given in 2017 – so far not a home built on the former nursery and a detailed scheme, yet to be approved.

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce sought major development in Cranleigh. In fact, it was instrumental in campaigning for and supporting the huge number of new homes being built in the village – dubbed as the largest village in England.” The village that the Chamber of Commerce publicly called for the house-building explosion, saying what the ‘new town’ needed was  …

“More footfall for local shops.”

Now, with many empty shops lining its high street, despite the valiant efforts of many local entrepreneurs setting up their stall only to fail, the developers are moving in.

It is no secret that the majority owner of the store Dutch nurseryman turned Developer Nick Vrijland – wants to build 90 flats on the David Manns site. The Waverley Web understands this scheme found no favour with Waverley Planners during their initial discussions – but a slimmed-down scheme will presumably soon be considered.

David ~Mann Today.

So gone are the days when the premier store was a magnet for local people, many of whom furnished their homes from top to bottom with its wares.

 One of its past amazing Christmas Window displays is featured here. Displays which we understand from the locals over there won many awards. 

Will a  shop remain to front the high street called ?? You’ve heard of Pound land how about VRI’LAND? Because Vri in Dutch means Free!

Waverley councillor unveils Climate Strategy.

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But the Tories are not entirely happy with it – and want actions prioritised and more robust data. They have also called for further investment in officers to carry out the huge volume of work that the plan will generate. 

But the major criticism came from Elstead councillor Jenny Else, who claimed the Public Consultation exercise was flawed and had been “beefed up.”

She said it was “rather disingenuous to claim that residents supported the council’s efforts to combat climate change when only 73 residents out of 120,000 had responded.

The consultation exercise was conducted on-line during the Covid lockdown – the results of which are included in the papers.

Neither could Cllr Else see how Waverley’s itself could realistically achieve the objective outlined in the “long-winded document” to reduce its carbon emissions for travel. However, it took only moments for Strategic Director Annie Righton to point out that this was already underway – with the proposal to use pool cars, reduce travel by introducing some ZOOM meetings, looking at mileage allowances and using public transport.

“We have a robust way forward,” she said.

As you will see from the link below Cllr Else knows how a Council Strategy should be produced!

Do we have a Cultural Strategy or do we have 230 pages weighing over &#8211; 600 grams &#8211; of expensive tripe?

A message to the residents of Waverley on how it intends to tackle Climate Change.

After consulting the public, and councillors Steve Williams Waverley’s Green Party Member and Portfolio Holder for the Environment & Sustainability has published the council’s Climate Change Action Plan.

 On Wednesday 18th September 2019, Waverley Borough Council passed a motion which I moved on behalf of the Executive, declaring a climate emergency and committing the council to become a carbon-neutral council by 2030. This action plan is a response to that declaration of a climate emergency.

Waverley Borough Council had never before declared a state of emergency of any kind, and this is significant. For this is not merely another policy initiative; it is an attempt to ensure we do everything we can as a council as part of a worldwide movement to reduce carbon emissions to a level which will keep global temperatures in check. In essence, we are doing our bit to avoid the utterly catastrophic events that will ensue should global temperatures rise by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

We are committed to lead by example in our response to the challenge of climate change and, in doing so, we shall do everything we possibly can to make Waverley a carbon-neutral borough by 2030. Whilst the main focus of this plan is that of enabling Waverley Borough Council to become a carbon-neutral council by 2030, we shall be bringing forward more detailed proposals for a zero-carbon borough by 2030 once these have been developed and agreed by the shortly-to-be-established Climate Assembly. Being on an emergency footing means that everyone who works for or works with Waverley Borough Council should be aware of the carbon footprint for which they are responsible – and should be doing everything they can to reduce this carbon footprint to zero.

Being on an emergency footing means that everyone who works for or with Waverley Borough Council should be doing everything in their power to influence others to reduce their carbon footprint and to influence other councils and private, public and third sector organisations to support us in our ambition. Some of the actions we propose in this plan are easy to take and cost little to implement. Other actions are more difficult and more costly. Some will only be achieved through the national government and Surrey County Council action and we shall work in partnership as appropriate to secure our goal.

“Whatever the challenges we face over the coming decade, it has never been more important for our council to respond and play its part in the face of an impending climate catastrophe. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations.”

A total of 965 people responded to the consultation. Some of the key findings are in a detailed summary in (Annexe 2) of the report which is included in the link below.

  • 78% of participants felt it was “very important” and an additional 16.5% felt that climate change was “quite important” 
  • 94% would welcome more opportunities for recycling and upcycling to help them reduce their own carbon footprint 
  • 90% felt that the council and its contractors should switch to low carbon transport
  • 90% felt that new council properties should be built to carbon-neutral standards.  Lack of infrastructure and facilities were seen as the greatest barrier to being environmentally friendly. 
  • 88% felt it is “extremely or very important” for the Council to lead by example and take action and 89% felt that the Council should prioritise reducing their own emissions first.

 Financing the delivery of the CNAP will be a major hurdle to overcome. 

https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/documents/g3461/Public%20reports%20pack%2011th-Nov-2020%2019.00%20Overview%20Scrutiny%20Committee%20-%20Environment.pdf?T=10

There were, however, some very useful and constructive criticisms and suggestions from Cllrs Richard Seaborne and Cllr Stephen Mulliner on how the complex document could be improved. Cllr Mulliner’s main concern focused on energy emissions from the borough’s housing and leisure centres. Cllr Mulliner wanted more realistic costings on actions, which he claimed were “eye-watering” – though he admitted this was a difficult call. He urged the Executive to bring in extra staff to implement the plan and  which he argued would pay dividends in the long run.

Both agreed, Waverley Council must lead by example, and get its own house in order and in the hope that residents would follow.

Everyone on the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee agreed – We are in this together to fight against climate change.

The R number for Surrey and the South East remains the joint-highest in England

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As the second lockdown continues the R number for Surrey and the South East remains the joint-highest in England. 

According to the latest Government figures, published on Friday (November 13), the R number in the South East has remained at between 1.2 and 1.4.

That figure is higher than the rate in both the North West, the North East and Yorkshire regions, the data shows, with only the South West having as high an R number.

The R number represents the number of people an infected person passes the virus on to, and anything above 1 means the epidemic is growing.

If the value is below 1, the spread of the virus will eventually decline as not enough new people are being infected to sustain the outbreak.

nick palmer

WBC Labour Councillor and former Member of Parliament.

The latest missive from Cllr Nick.

Pandemic update – and the meaning of 90% vaccination effectiveness

I studied statistics and used to work in the pharmaceutical industry, so I’d like to comment on what we should expect from the vaccines. First, though, please do be careful right now. The warning by senior health officials that people are relaxing too much because they can see the vaccine coming is important.

We currently have a death rate equivalent to a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing in Britain every day.

Roughly one person in 85 in England has the virus, and it’s increasing here in the Southeast. The current lockdown has only slowed the rise so far, though it’s not accelerating as it was just a couple of weeks ago. Yes, the vaccine is great news, but all the more reason not to contract the sickness before it comes. If that means having a distanced Christmas and getting the family together sometime later instead, that’s better than taking risks with each other.

We need to see more results to confirm the vaccine effectiveness, as well as the other vaccines in a late stage of development. But assuming it’s 90%, it’s important to realise what that means. It signifies that the great majority of people will be much less likely to die of the disease, but it doesn’t in itself mean that we should immediately relax and return to normal because it doesn’t necessarily mean that 90% of people will be100% safe. Rather, it means that people who are vaccinated will be 90% less likely to catch the illness each time they’re exposed to it. This means, initially, that we’ll still be at risk. If we mingle with 100 people who are infectious, we’ll quite likely still catch it.

If that’s the case, does it mean that we have to go on socially distancing forever? No, because of infection becomes much rarer due to vaccination, we will start to encounter it much less often. The R number will drop steadily, so fewer and fewer new infections occur, and after some months of mass vaccination, it should reach the point that it’s rare to encounter it – in which case the 90% protection is really very good.

When will mass vaccination start? Probably around the end of the year, initially for the most vulnerable and then for health and social care staff. The objective should be to cover both groups by the spring and then spread out to others. If it goes smoothly, I’d hope to see some real relaxation by the summer. But I wouldn’t assume it will be safe to mingle in a crowd much sooner.

Enough soap opera!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a Government that was focusing on this and on the end of the Brexit transition, now just 6 weeks away? Instead, the papers are full of gossip from rival factions in Downing Street. Are they divided on what policies to pursue? Apparently not – the debate is entirely on who likes whom and how best to present the personality of the Prime Minister. I actually know some of the people involved and I wish them all well in their private lives, but we need a spell of serious, focused government. Professional people should be able to get over themselves and work together for the common purpose of getting the country out of the mess.

There are still people who say that this style of “colourful” government is what most people like and that Keir Starmer offers a boring alternative. We’ll start to find out in in the local elections next May if that’s really the case – but as we’ve just seen in the USA, people do eventually tire of government by soap opera. Donald Trump is always newsworthy, and yes, much more colourful than Joe Biden. But Americans have decided they want someone serious running the country. It’s a message that the Conservative Party might wish to keep in mind.

 

Demand rises from UK house hunters – not here, but overseas.

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 Demand for overseas property is on the rise – and some of our followers say they are among those seeking pastures new.

Demand for overseas property from UK house hunters has reached record levels according to Rightmove Overseas.

 Data shows that searches on Rightmove Overseas in June reached their highest point for the year, and were up 28% year-on-year. They have been rising since then as Brexit draws ever closer.

Searches for property in Spain were up 25% compared to June last year, the Canary Islands where the infection rate has been low throughout the pandemic and remains low is a popular destination.  France recorded a 32% year-on-year rise. In Portugal, the uplift was 24%, and in Italy, it was 17% higher according to Rightmove Overseas.

Rachel Beaton, the overseas insights expert at Rightmove, said: “We’ve seen a gradual resurgence of interest from home-hunters looking for properties abroad since April, but after the government confirmed there will be easing of travel restrictions to certain countries we saw demand for overseas homes rise even further to record-breaking levels.

 

Yesterday Croydon went BUST – Tomorrow…??

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Yesterday Government Ministers called Croydon ‘dysfunctional’ after the Labour-controlled council went bust.

Wonder what those same ministers think about  Surrey Tory’s little game of Monopoly?

Council bought Malvern Shopping Park for £74m in 2017

Almost 150 miles and a three-hour drive separate Malvern Shopping Park, Worcestershire and Surrey County Council’s offices in Kingston…

Surrey County Council has 444 million invested in commercial property.  Estimated losses in March – before the Pandemic took hold revealed that it had lost 44.65million – and counting!

It is believed that 96 per cent of its portfolio is held in office space in Crawley, Ashstead and Guildford, a sector which has been badly hit-particularly in Crawley the home of Gatwick Airport. One of the biggest reductions in the portfolio is the Malvern Retail Park. Its value has dropped by a staggering £15m and counting, due to the downturn in the retail sector. It has also invested in leisure and cinemas and the Debenhams store in Winchester. The portfolio was generating 11million annually.

It has also invested a rumoured 56m in the Blightwells Yard housing retail and restaurant development in Farnham. The two Tory-controlled councils (Surrey & Waverley) joined up with Crest Nicholson to build the project due for completion next year!

Will Blightwells in Farnham enter the brave new retail world post COVID?

Surrey has come in for a good drubbing from the Taxpayers’ Alliance. An organisation that has been warning councils for years about the dangers posed by their huge reliance on property speculation. Its chief executive John O’Connell called the situation “deeply worrying.”Surrey claimed it had no other option, whilst during the austerity years, Government funding of local authorities countrywide had been well and truly hammered. 

Waverley Borough Council took a far more cautious approach to its investment portfolio – instigated by the former Tory-controlled council keeping it close to home – and well-regulated. Though, in Farnham, there has been much criticism of its involvement in the Blightwells scheme.

Since the Rainbow Coalition has held power – it has followed a very cautious line on investments, which at times has been heavily criticised by Waverley’s Tory group which is now in opposition.

In Croydon, a Section 114 order was put in place. This means al council spending is blocked, apart from cash for safeguarding the vulnerable and other legal commitments.

 

 

Surrey’s chief constable congratulations residents.

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Gavin Stephens has given a huge pat on the back to Surrey residents for sticking to the rules.

The Chief Constable has congratulated residents for their low level of pandemic breaches during the latest lock-down. Despite many of us feeling gloomy about yet another reduction of freedom in our lives due to the coronavirus. The freedom we had begun to take for granted after the long Summer lockdown.

Surrey&#8217;s first COVID data dashboard released.

Since the latest lockdown which began on March 23, the Surrey force has issued 520 fixed penalty notices for breaking the COVID-19 regulations.

Surrey’s Chief Constable Gavin Stephens

Three of those were for breaching the self-isolation rules. One for a parent whose child did not quarantine and someone who had arrived from abroad.

There have been no large parties or events so, as yet, no  £10,000 fines have been issued.

Six £200 tickets were issued over the weekend after the second lockdown started.

One breach was to someone travelling from outside the county and others to men all aged between 22 to 35, with “no reasonable excuse for being out and about”. 

 

Let’s all keep it up?

 

Another whopping great housing application lands on Alfold’s doorstep.

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Here they go again…

Developers descending on the small rural village of Alfold… again, and again. 

The beleaguered village on the Surrey/Sussex border is about to face another application from Thakeham Homes. The site in question is on land owned by cash-strapped charity Care Ashore – The Merchant Seamans’ War Memorial Society based in nearby Springbok. The site was earmarked for 450 homes in 2017 but was thrown out by a Government Inspector at appeal.

Last time the Sussex developer wanted to triple the size of a village, which residents called in their Neighbourhood Plan – for ‘limited development on small sites in character with the village.’

Here’s the link to the previous decision:

Care Ashore and Thakeham Homes&#8217; boat sunk by a Government Inspector!

Now bolstered by Government plans to meet a gargantuan housing target of 300,000- new homes a year for the next four years, Thakeham has taken the opportunity to lob in another attempt to build on the open countryside it has coveted for years.

As Alfold Parish Council was only informed of the application yesterday, it was unable to discuss it at its meeting last night (Tuesday.) However, it has already sought extra time from Waverley to consider the huge number of plans for 99 homes, plus the demolition of a Thakeham owned bungalow called Hollyoaks on the busy Loxwood Road.

It also wants to give villagers an opportunity to comment on the controversial scheme. So it will be considered at a meeting planned for December 10.

 The village has already met its required housing allocation and has numerous other schemes either already allowed or in the appeal system. As with many other towns and villages,  sites are being mothballed, and although the hoardings are up – ‘Billy No Mates the Builder’ is nowhere to be seen!

Does the fact that Waverley now has a Local Plan in place, Part 2 of which will soon be out for public consultation, put Alfold in a safer place? 

Not if Boris The Bulldozer and Bob the Builder Jenrick have their way. Although Tory MP’s are in an uproar over the Government proposals to shake up planning rules which will force rural communities like Alfold to take more homes than they can cope with, there is no guarantee they will be heard.  If they get their way, Waverley’s Local Plan will be out-of-date before the ink has dried. MP Angela Richardson has already warned Guildford residents – “to be careful what they wish for,” or they could end up with high rise development in their town.

Here’s what Alfold resident Denise Wordsworth said a few weeks ago.

A wake-up call to MP Angela Richardson and all who sail with her.

The plans, reported to be the invention of the Prime Minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings, will deliver an additional five million homes across England over the next 15 years, with one-third of those in rural counties like Waverley.

Here’s Alfold’s Tally so far kindly provided by Denise Wordsworth.

The consultation on the overhaul of the planning system closed earlier this month.

Here’s the link to the Waverley Planning Portal. The application No is WA/2020/1684.

http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk

 

Surrey’s first COVID data dashboard released.

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WHAT TOOK IT SO LONG?

Nine long months – and now we get the data to help us all understand and regulate our behaviour. 

Surrey County Council has issued its first data dashboard highlighting the latest figures for cases of COVID-19 in the county.

The figures show both the number of new cases and the rate of infection for the last 7 days in each borough and district.


Perhaps if the county council hadn’t spent so much of its time and large sums of taxpayers’ money on an unannounced policy to launch its bid to become a behemoth unitary authority, it could have provided this information earlier?

 Does it make sense to abolish local government at borough level at exactly the time when boroughs are being asked to prepare to be the front line of tracing COVID contacts through the winter and are generally supporting their residents?

 The Government, County Council and many of the borough councillors are Conservative. We, the voting fodder are paying for them all to squabble among themselves. Wouldn’t it be good if they concentrated on the real problems – notably COVID and the impending impact of Brexit – facing us? 

Thankfully the county council elections will now go ahead in May 2021.

Why Waverley’s car parks aren’t free.

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The only place with free parking is on a Monopoly Board’.

Nothing seems to generate such angst as paying to park a car.

It seems to be begrudgingly accepted that it’s OK for drivers to pay for fuel, car tax, repairs and servicing, insurance and car washing. But heaven forbid that people are expected to pay for the cost of parking!

Perhaps now be the right time for ‘Your Waverley’ to spell out once again the dire financial straits the Government is putting local councils into?
It appears from the mutter in the borough’s gutters that some people believe paying to park a car in the council’s car parks are a NO/NO.
Pre and post-Covid, councils across the country are struggling to balance the books. Despite numerous promises from Government – remember this? 
Hre’s a message on the subject from Waverley’s Deputy Leader.
🚗 WAVERLEY BC CAR PARKS OVER LOCKDOWN ⚠️
Good morning everyone. I have had a lot of queries about this but I want to be upfront with everyone.
‼️The WBC car parks will NOT be free during this second lockdown. We simply cannot afford it.
➡️ However, we will be recognising the Surrey volunteer pass scheme as we did before.
We discussed this at the Waverley Executive and we determined that we simply couldn’t afford it at this time. Other than the fact that car parks are not free to run, and that the revenue they bring in helps fund other essential services two things need to be made clear.
📌 Funding pre-covid from the government had been reduced to zero.
📌 Funding promised/announced by the government to help councils through this period has been much less than promised.
We have to maintain essential services and so we have had to take this decision at this time. I know many will not like this, but I hope the reasons why are understood.
For anyone who would like further info on this, please do shout. 
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
Leader, Godalming Town Council

Villagers in Alfold going Wild about Wildwood.

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Prompted by numerous communications from angry villagers – ‘Your Waverley’s planning officers are investigating unauthorised development on the former Wildwood Golf course on the Surrey/Sussex border.

Development they claim is resulting in the “wilful destruction of the countryside.”

The site within the village of Alfold and within spitting distance of Dunsfold’s new proposed garden village is creating a bit of a stir. Residents are now calling for the council to issue a ‘STOP NOTICE’ and issue is now!

Followers of the Waverley Web may remember the golf-course has been mired in controversy since it received planning permission for a multi-million-pound hotel, HQ for part of the Professional Golf Association – and 39 Golf Lodges. 

A new era for Wildwood. The development first granted consent in  2010  was heralded to become …

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 17.33.32.png

 Wildwood Golf Club one of the principle golfing destinations in England.

Since then it has gone into the rough – changed hands several times – and become an overgrown mess. Is Wildwood in the bunker?

One villager who has been on Wildwood’s case raised the alarm earlier this month about some strange goings-on at the site. Alfold’s resident mole, Denise Wordsworth who walks the public footpaths often – spotted more than the usual wildlife – as trees and hedges were being destroyed at an alarming rate.

Thank goodness that someone out there actually keeps their eyes and their mouths open. Our team her sometimes think that COVID has had a major effect on everyone’s minds, as they prepare to reach the planet ZONK! Life as we knew it and observance sometimes appear to have gone into hibernation?

Denise told Alfold’s councillor Kevin Deanus and planning officers:

” I do read Applications that are pertinent to our Village and this one that was approved before we even moved here, seemed like something that would be good for  Alfold’s economy. 

I knew the previous owners who really believed in this – but when it went into liquidation and was taken over, all I can see is the current owners have taken out a Third-Party Mortgage for Development.

The new Developers have no regard for the Conditions imposed to protect the arboreal, ecology or architectural merits of the site. There will be other Conditions they have not adhered to – But I am more concerned about the living creatures than the dead bones despite their importance.

We have seen an increase of Bits of Carcasses (Mainly Deer/Rabbits) on the Golf course – which of course our Dog thinks is Great – I Don’t”

My main issues are:

  1. CEMP
  2. Ecology – Newts and Bats
  3. Archaeology
  4. Trees TPO
  5. Public footpaths
  6. Public safety

I don’t believe and cannot prove that they are doing this work to provide the Academy Lodges that have NO designation for Housing – as per the original Application –   But they will use the hardstanding as a means to apply for housing in order to afford any works that may or may not be carried out for the PGA – worth asking them if they are still planning on moving their HQ to Wildwood – may answer my question. – But I do think that is what they are planning to do and can find nothing on the PGA  website.

I know that most of these applications have Pre-Meetings with WBC so perhaps worth checking with the Planning Offers to see if that is the case. – If it is Just the PGA golf course as per the original Application – I will shut up – If there is something else -then with these works so far it needs to be made public so at least Alfold know what is going on. But This wilful destruction of land that obviously contains Wildlife that should be protected is appalling.

SO WHAT EXACTLY IS GOING ON AT WILDWOOD?

Officers investigating have already identified a number of potential issues that indicate non-compliance with the approved condition details associated with the permission. This principally relates to the conditions associated with tree protection and ecology (as identified and highlighted in Ms Wordsworth’s emails in respect of the matter). Due to the scale of the development and a significant number of conditions associated with the proposal officers have not yet had an opportunity to review all the relevant application documentation yet so there may potentially other issues for separate conditions as well. However, tree protection and ecology issues appear to be the most pressing at this time. I saw no evidence of tree protection measures or ecological mitigation (as stipulated within the relevant approved condition documentation) in place at the time of my visit.

A recent site established that significant earthworks were being undertaken around the ‘9 Hole’ (where the woodland lodges are proposed) in order to remove contaminated earth from the site, with the proposal to replace the soil prior to construction within this area taking place. Additionally, works to and removal of vegetation has also occurred and site hoarding has been erected around a large area north of the ‘9 holes’.

SO HAS WORK STOPPED? Or will this be yet another developer getting away with damaging our environment? A case of too little – too late?

COVID-19 Lockdown Phases 1 and 2 will severely impact on ‘Your Waverley’s finances.

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With a demeanour resembling someone who has just received a court summons the man who balances the boroughs books has painted a grim picture for Waverley’s medium and long-term financial plans post COVID.

 Cllr Mark Merryweather, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services. Pictured looking far more cheerful in those heady days before he took over the role.

 Cllr Merryweather told his Executive colleagues on Tuesday that although there would not be an immediate concern from the proposed second lockdown, due to begin to-day Thursday, there would undoubtedly be consequences.

He said the council would incur an additional loss of income and was unsure of the benefits it would receive from the Governments Lost Income Grant.

Although the second lock-down was expected to be shorter, there would be consequences as a result. He hoped they would stay within the boundaries of the contingency in the draft revised budget that the council had set in August.

He hoped this would still be the case when the Medium Term Financial Plan went to full council in December. He explained as most of the work had been completed before the announcement of the second lockdown… 

… “you wont be surprised to hear that further analysis will be required following the second phase. The consequences of COVID will impact on us severely next year, and in subsequent years.” Only one thing less reliable than the virus is the Government’s response to it and what we will get in line with the promises it made at the outset of the pandemic.  Its performance against promises.”

Cllr Ann-Marie Rosoman Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety confirmed plans were already in place to support the community during the COVID emergency and deal with any incidents of homelessness in the borough during the coming months.

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/news/article/662/waverley_residents_reminded_of_support_available_during_covid-19

 

Let’s ensure the mapping of our public rights of way in Waverley.

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During the previous lockdown and no doubt in the lockdown that begins tomorrow Thursday we will want to use our public footpaths to keep the oxygen in our lungs and our spirits high.

But are they all on official maps? Because if not – we could lose some of them!

The borough of Waverley boasts many well-used and treasured rights of way. The footpaths and bridlepaths around our towns and villages have provided routes for walkers and riders for centuries. However, parish councils, whose members once walked and monitored the footpaths in their areas are now finding it more and more difficult to ensure they remain open and accessible.

The WW understands that soon, thousands of footpaths could be lost forever!

There are now 50,000 miles of rights of way not marked on any maps – some of which date back to Roman times.

The Government has now set a deadline of 2026 for submissions to make established footpaths official and included on Ordnance Survey maps. Routes submitted will then be considered by councils and civil servants for inclusion. However, landowners will be able to contest claims.

Once the exercise is completed, it will no longer be possible to use historical evidence, or local knowledge, to guarantee public rights of way – and some will be lost forever.

The Ramblers Association is fearful that it will not be able to get all the lost routes on the map. Some of which are thousands of years old. The Association is currently amassing evidence of the at-risk paths and volunteers have been scouring 154,000 one-kilometre squares of England and Wales using an online mapping tool to find them. They have discovered uncovered paths left off maps by councils when they drew up their footpath lists in the 1950s.

 

To date 49,138 missing paths have been discovered – some now unusable – others still in use.

Contact The Don’t Lose Your Way project at The Ramblers Association if you believe you know of paths which may not be mapped. At a time when public rights of way are more important than ever – speak up now – or forever  hold your peace?http://www.ramblers.org.uk/DLYW

 

Covid Marshalls in Waverley? What do you think?

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Paul Follows ‘Your Waverley’s Deputy Leader says he’s OPPOSING the use of Marshalls on our streets but wants to hear from residents what they think?
He says this potentially controversial issue needs an airing, but the provision of Marshalls has arisen again from a  few councillors now a new lockdown has been announced. He now wants to see what views the community holds on this subject in regards to lockdown which arrives on Thursday.
Although the WW wouldn’t oppose the concept of a few people around to ensure social distancing, as some people just don’t get it! – wouldn’t our old bobbies on the beat have done the job in days gone by? Sadly those who ignore the rules – will continue doing so. However, in Australia – Melbourne, in particular, you did as you were told or else! Infections there yesterday NIL. Hey! and who is going to pay for Marshalls Cllr Follows – dream on if you think money will be coming from Government.
IF only common sense would prevail? Wear a mask – wear it properly – keep your distance.
Cllr Follows says: ‘I opposed these in both Waverley generally and Godalming specifically last time (and I am still minded to oppose them now too) for the following reasons:’
➡️ Waverley isn’t one place, whereas Guildford could have a few realistically covering its High Street and North Street, the borough would likely need dozens;
➡️ The cost would be significant and it has never been clear where that money comes from;
➡️ Their legal powers are not abundantly clear which I think would lead to other issues; Who marshals the Marshalls?
➡️ If they aren’t clear, people who ignore the guidance anyway will just ignore the Marshalls;
➡️ What are the police doing with the actual legal powers they have to enforce?
➡️ Boroughs get 4p in every £ on business rates. The Town council gets 0 p. The County gets a bit less than 20p and the central government gets the rest. So where does the duty to provide these sit?
BUT:
➡️ In theory, they could help enforce the rules and keep the spread of the virus down and help businesses at the same time. They, therefore, might help reduce the restrictions locally in the long run.
I would be very interested in the thoughts of the community on this as I am sure it’s going to come up again at Waverley in the next few days.
Thank You!
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough

Could Government put a stop to vexatious Judicial Reviews… like Dunsfold?

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The government has taken the first step in meeting a Conservative election promise to consider changes around the operation of judicial reviews(JR’s). Some claim the move intends to restrict the use of judicial review, which could lead to poorer planning decision-making. Others think the opposite.

Waverley residents could cast their minds back to the series of Judicial Reviews on ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan – which delayed development for years on the Dunsfold Aerodrome site. The largest brownfield site in the borough – leaving the countryside under threat – and now under concrete. Protect Our Waverley (POW) and The Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE) lost the argument, funded by their supporters – but cost the developer and the cash-strapped council a small fortune.

Does &#8216; Your Waverley&#8217; have to manage a crisis now the High Court has allowed challenges to the Local Plan to be heard at a Judicial Review?

Just in time for Guy Fawkes Night, the High Court has thrown out CPRE and PoW&#8217;s appeal over Waverley Borough Council&#8217;s Local Plan​.

In October, a panel of senior lawyers and academics convened by the Ministry of Justice called for evidence about the operation of the system of (JR). The call for evidence document made clear that significant changes to how the system operates are being considered. This first stage of this review enacts a Conservative Party general election manifesto promise to look at JR review in the wake of the successful legal challenge to prorogue parliament last year. 

The panel is tasked with ensuring that the JR  system, by which the public can legally challenge decisions by public bodies – is not “abused to conduct politics by another means or create needless delays”, and has no specific remit to look at the planning system. Nevertheless, planning lawyers have expressed concerns the review could ultimately result in the right to challenge planning decisions and policies being curtailed.

In the planning system, judicial review is used to challenge both policy decisions and, crucially, individual planning approvals in the absence of any other right of appeal for third parties. Planning solicitor Nicola Gooch, a partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said:

“It’s a very necessary check in the system because it’s the only check in the system. There does need to be a route to challenge flawed decision-making.”

The recent Westferry Printworks case, where the secretary of state’s consent to a £1 billion scheme promoted by a Conservative Party donor he had been to dinner with was quashed, and the February judgment that stopped the construction of a third runway at Heathrow, both demonstrate that judicial review decisions can be hugely significant and can cause major difficulties for the government.

Richard Blyth, head of policy at the Royal Town Planning Institute, agreed that judicial review is

“an issue of grave importance in the arena of planning”.

Some lawyers and campaign groups said the terms of reference of the review, the make-up of the “independent” panel – chaired by former Conservative minister, Lord Faulks QC, who has previously said judicial review should be curtailed – and the questions asked in the call for evidence all implied it had been set up to limit its use.

Carol Day, legal consultant at environmental charity the RSPB, said it was “clear” the review was heading “in the direction of reduced accountability and reduced scrutiny. The wording really seeks to gather evidence to reduce the scope of JR.”

Duncan Field, partner at planning law firm Town Legal, said the call for evidence questions suggested the government wanted to legislate for judicial review, rather than allowing its continuing reliance on a set of common law principles. “The aim of any legislation is likely to be to control and restrict the use of judicial review,” he said. This could, he added, include restricting the list of grounds for judicial review, “shielding” certain types of decisions from challenge, limiting remedies available and restricting who may bring challenges.

It is not clear that there is a big problem of judicial review misuse in the area of planning, since the setting up of a dedicated Planning Court in 2014. Field said only 375 cases have been heard by the court, which he said was a small number compared to the total number of planning decisions taken in the past six years. Meanwhile, Day said the RSPB’s evidence on environmental challenges showed they had been reducing in recent years.

Mike Kiely, chairman of local authority body the Planning Officers’ Society, said the Planning Court had overseen a “significant improvement” in the administration of JRs. “The court has a strong culture of not interfering in planning decisions where it’s a reasonable judgment,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, Day said the RSPB was “very concerned” about the consultation, while Richard Buxton, senior partner at law firm Richard Buxton Associates, which is known for acting on behalf of campaign groups, said:

“The wholescale restriction on accountability” would be “disastrous”, not just in terms of planning “but to the whole concept of the rule of law.”

The QC behind the successful Westferry legal challenge, Landmark Chambers’ Sasha White, said he too was “greatly concerned” over the move, particularly in the context of the Planning For The Future White Paper. “In a world where getting permission is easier, such an important check on consent is even more important,” he said.

Gooch also described the timing of the review as “provocative”, particularly given that judicial review is also used to challenge policy decisions. “Here we’ve got a government doing radical things, and at the same time looking to reduce the scope and ability of people to challenge it,” she said.

For some developers and local authorities, however, a reduction in the scope of JR could be welcome, reducing legal risk and cost. White said curtailing JR could “make developers’ and planning authorities’ lives easier”. Meanwhile, Kiely said he would support reforms designed to make it easier to award costs against claimants bringing “reckless” claims, which he said typically cost planning authorities £5,000 to £10,000 each time even when they were weeded out by judges early on.

However, Field warned that the threat of JR acted as an incentive for better decision-making, which he said: “benefits local authorities and developers as much as objectors and campaign groups”. White added: “To know decisions are subject to proper scrutiny is a really powerful mechanism for preventing illegality of decision-making at the outset”.

In addition, developers themselves are among the biggest users of JR, often using them to challenge awards to rivals. According to the Planning Court Case Explorer set up by Town Legal and Landmark Chambers, land promoter Gladman is the “private” organisation which has been involved in the most Planning Court challenges, with 12 cases, compared to just five involving Friends of the Earth. Gooch said: “A lot of developers won’t necessarily be pleased. It is after all the last resort for balancing competing interests.”

 

 

 

What the hell is the matter with our tone deaf MP’s?

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Both of our MP’s voted against providing disadvantaged youngsters with a free-meal during the half-term holidays. No worries, loads of other local restaurants and organisations have stepped into their miserable Tods and Louboutin’s. So fear not, Waverley youngsters are not going hungry, despite your actions and Surrey County Council’s which shamefully received another healthy shedload of money, but refused to use it to feed them!

But this latest tweet from Jeremy Hunt and the response from Paul Follows says it all!

And here’s his boss – putting in a good word for the Self-servatives. Do these people have any idea of how they are perceived by the public?

Paul Follows Deputy Leader of ‘Your Waverley’

 

Here’s the man who should have won the SW Surrey election last year. Frankly, it doesn’t matter what you think of the Lib Dems, Labour or Conservatives. Paul has more honesty, more integrity and more drive to improve and engage with his local community than we have ever witnessed from the incumbent.

November date fixed for re-run on Dunsfold drilling decision

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Will the previous decision to REFUSE the UK Oil & Gas application (UCOG) – remain the same?

Proposed rig at Dunsfold drilling site. 

Five months ago Surrey County Council ruled that the original decision to refuse consent was invalid. It said there were technical problems with the online meeting of the planning committee on 29 June 2020. Another meeting has been fixed for Friday 27th November – COVID permitting. However, this time the meeting will not be held virtually – councillors will be in the same room.

Committee members voted in June by six to five against the recommendation of planning officers to approve the application by UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG).

The company has applied to construct a site, on land owned by Alfold man Ashley Ward, to be called Loxley, on Dunsfold Road to drill and test vertical and sidetrack wells. The location is located on the map below.

In a statement  UKOG’s chief executive, Stephen Sanderson said:

“Despite the further delay to the PCM [planning committee meeting] rerun, UKOG welcomes the opportunity to restate why its low footprint Loxley gas project is of material local and national economic importance, representing an opportunity to power around 200,000 Surrey homes from Net Zero compliant UK gas.

“The submitted development presents minimal visual, local business and highway impacts and already has a full environmental permit from the Environment Agency.”

The June meeting heard that local councils and 84% of responses to the public consultation objected to the application. This included a strong objection from Waverley Borough Council. Concerns included the impact of the scheme on the landscape, climate change, local businesses, air quality, light pollution, highway safety, noise and local ecology and heritage.

UK Oil &#038; Gas application in Dunsfold &#8211; Refused&#8230;for now?

COVID CASES ARE RISING IN WAVERLEY!

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 I will start with one clear statement: Waverley remains at Tier 1 (Medium) as of 27/10/20.
However, many of you will now be aware of the recent data (by borough) for Surrey and following this Waverley BC is asking all residents, as it is more important than ever, to follow all the government guidelines in order to protect our community.
A frequent question from residents is what the tier thresholds are. We know that they are based on a basket of different indicators but the government does not tell us what they are (despite how many times we have asked).
❗️For me, the most important question will become: once we cross into the next tier, what’s the game plan to get out of it again?
⛔️ But for now, we are really trying to AVOID going up to that higher level and so the basic guidance remains and we urge residents to follow it.
➡️ Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
➡️ Wear face covering when required
➡️ Keep a 2-metre distance from those outside your household
➡️ Do not meet up in groups of more than 6
➡️ if you are required to self-isolate, please make sure that you do so for the time required
For anyone interested in the full Surrey data pack (for the period up to Oct 23rd) the link is below and I have copied in some of the Waverley relevant elements here as images
Any questions, please do let us know.
Best Regards,
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
paul.follows@waverley.gov.uk