Is the tail starting to wag the Executive dog at WBC?


Whose put backbone into the backbenchers at Waverley? It can’t be this blog because WBC councillors and staff have been banned from visiting it. Is it the press? Or the Sword of Damocles (aka the Government) that is swinging ominously over councillors’ heads? Listening to, (certainly not watching as the webcast video was, once again, broken). However, you could almost hear the fear.

The important thing is,  that at last, Waverley’s rank and file are waking up to the fact that time is running out for its daft Local Plan (aka Draft Local Plan).

It was down to a member of the public, Jerry Hyman from Farnham, a man who it would appear is a bit of a thorn in Waverley’s side, to send a hand grenade of a question into the powerful Executive when it met on Monday. They may have laughed at him, but may soon be laughing on the other side of their faces. The Inspector who gave you a good hiding, when he threw your last effort out WBC has his beady eyes on you!

Mr Hyman said it was clear from the recent Community OS meeting, that the decision to exclude Dunsfold Park from the Local Plan for another decade, had already been made informally. But queried the Executive’s authority to approve it. He said:

“The simple facts are that firstly, Habitats Regulations  require that the Council has regard for the Directive in the exercise of all its functions.  Secondly, this Spatial Strategy seeks to set a ‘direction of travel’ which is intended to control future decisions which would impact endangered species. And thirdly, the Habitats Directive requires that an Appropriate Assessment is conducted prior to any such decision.

Those are the facts, and so logically, in the absence of an Appropriate Assessment, to approve this Spatial Strategy as a ‘direction of travel’ would be unlawful.   That is the reason that Waverley’s first attempt failed in 2006.

It seems this Executive is setting the Council up for a third failure, so will you please give us your assurance now, that if this attempt fails, the Executive Members who are making this decision tonight will resign en bloc? “

To which Council leader, Cllr Robert Knowless replied, that the decision taken, did not tie the council to anything. That it was not a Strategy but a Direction of Travel towards a Strategy. What the hell does that mean?

More secrets, more lies, and the continuing charade that is WBC, continues unabated… but it could be, that the troops are turning on their leadership? One brave councillor representing Farnham Residents has dared to ask, if the third Local Plan fails,- will the Executive and everyone connected with its failure resign?




3 thoughts on “Is the tail starting to wag the Executive dog at WBC?”

    1. To be fair, the nervous laughter from the troops was in response to the hilarious manner in which Council Leader Knowles palmed the question onto Cllr Brian Adams, the Portfolio Holder for Planning. He is a card.

      Perhaps if we level the house of cards and shuffle them enough, we might come up with a decent hand to play.

      A third Local Plan failure isn’t an option, so we must have an Executive that invites scrutiny and intends to succeed, by being open and accountable.

      The alternative is to prolong the current planning shambles and leave the borough exposed for years.

      If the New Year doesn’t bring some shuffling of the 52 Conservatives, to produce an Executive which will take responsibility for putting a lawful and robust Local Plan in place fast (with achievable housing numbers), then wide exposure and intervention may be necessary.

      That could be fun. Put a note in your 2016 diaries.

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