Mary had a little lamb…


Guess whose sooty foot has become embroiled in the row over the Beryl Harvey field in Cranleigh…yup you guessed ..THE Flying Dutchman.

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It certainly was a  night  to remember at the December Parish Council meeting  in Cranleigh. A part of the borough  currently   immersed in controversy.

According to a follower of WW, the acting chairman gave apologies of absence for most of the council either sick, or absent, and two who had resigned that night! Trouble at mill or what!

But more important. She made a heartfelt apology to the people of Cranleigh on behalf of the council. Wow …must be a first!

Nearly a hundred people turned out to hear Mary Foryweski  explain why the controversial issue of the Beryl Harvey Memorial field was on the agenda.  Before the public had their say, she wanted them to hear from councillors.

Every  one said  they would never, no never, contemplate allow land given by Gordon Harvey as a memorial to his wife, for use as allotments and a nature reserve – to be handed to Waverley, or anyone, for housing.

Chairman David Gill wisely stayed away, along with some of his colleagues, as their colleagues listed all the reasons why the land was valuable green space, and with the aid of a soon to be prepared Deed of Trust, would ensure the land remained safe for the purpose intended by the donor.

The visually moved, acting chairman,  said she could not understand how or why the suggestion had ever been made by the outgoing chairman prior to the May election. She promised it had never been debated, and paid tribute to former councillors Ken and Ruth Reed for preventing a recommendation from the chairman to sell the land  for housing,from being agreed at the April meeting.

New councillor Liz Townsend, of Cranleigh Civic Society, which pledges to guard the village’s green space, paid tribute to the Conservation Volunteers and the Allotment Society for their community spirit, and care of such a valuable asset. Cllr Dominic McCall said in 1972 a previous parish council  had failed to ensure the land was put into a Charitable Trust, thus protecting its future and it had passed to WBC by default in 1974. This was now being rectified.

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Mary Foryszewski Cranleigh East

Councillor Mary said:  “This should never have happened and we owe the public an apology for the anxiety, uncertainty and concern this has caused you all.  On my behalf, and on behalf of Cranleigh Parish Council, I would like to say SORRY to the people of Cranleigh and to the Harvey family.”

Residents applauded her for her humility in apologising. Saying such a ludicrous scheme, should never have been suggested. A  villager asked why in the recommendation put before the April PC meeting it had been suggested the allotments be moved onto the Bruce McKenzie Memorial Field which was part of the Cranleigh Village Hospital’s  land swap with the council? She said this was  an” outrageous suggestion.” The land was exchanged specifically for sports use to replace a sports field formerly owned by the parish.

Afterwards a Knowle Lane resident said she had been told by a former parish councillor that the  suggestion to build on the BHF had come from? Answers on a postcard to …

This was the recommendation for the new parish council prepared by the former. Perhaps someone should be saying a very big Thank you” to the former Councillor Ruth and Ken Reed or might WW suggest, asking them to come back? They served Cranleigh well.

What is the derivation of the word community  – the latin word. Cum meaning (together) – munus meaning (gift).

There we were thinking community is something more  about place and a line on a map when what it really means is togetherness.

What better gift can anyone give the community than that which is rightfully theirs. WW doubts villagers will ever forget the last meeting of CPC 2016!

WW believes it is unlikely any wannabe developers will try to pull a fast one like this in the future!

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