Is Surrey’s highways department itself in need of a bit of maintenance?

The criticism being levelled at the County Council’s highway “experts” is becoming rather commonplace at Waverley Towers.

So much so that it is almost impossible to find councillors supportive of its comments...

no let’s rephrase that…lack of highway comment, with  no objections raised  to even the most ludicrous of developments in and around the borough.

The attitude these days appears to be one of “let it rip” and “to hell with the consequences” or “suck it and see” within Surrey County Council’s  corridors of power. WW, thought the role of highway “experts” was to ensure  the safety of road users was paramount and its pivotal role to monitor development plans that would provide sensible traffic movements, and parking in and around our towns and villages?

 In Farnham recent developments approved around the town are destined to make a dire traffic situation, even worse. A recent  development  proposed in Wrecclesham was deemed hazardous for cyclists and pedestrians. however,  there was no objection from the highway “experts.” Although councillors expressed their concerns – schemes are approved. Why?

Over in the East of the borough a scheme approved on a country lane (Amlets Lane,) is predicted by the locals to cause chaos on a narrow country lane which accesses three local schools – one of which is for special needs’ children. Another on Widwood and Knowle Lanes has the country roads heaving up, and a road maintenance programme of eye watering proportions being carried out on a daily basis. No objection from the highway “experts.”

But a recent scheme in Catteshall Lane, Godalming by Woodside Park properties hit the buffers big time as a mixed housing/commercial development near residential homes and in an area which has undergone years of housing development, brought an unanimous objection from Waverley Councillors despite strong support from officers.

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Despite an officers’ recommendation to approve and encouragement given to councillors by Liz-the-Biz Simms, concerning the scheme’s “desirability,” not one members of the Joint Planning Committee voted for it. They claimed it was totally unacceptable that a four storey development should be allowed on a cramped brown field site where there would be 56 parking spaces too few! Development that proposed 107 homes at a density of 66 per hectare, and commercial development and a nursery school – all in a highly congested area of Godalming – but yet again….

No objection from the highway authority or Waverley  planning officers. Thankfully our elected councillors stood up to their masters and said a unanimous …NO!

What is it with “Your Waverley” planning officers and the highway “experts” – are they hell bent on ruining our  environment.

Well done Waverley councillors for kicking this one into touch!

If you fancy a nice day out pop along to The Tate Gallery in London.

From the 10th floor viewing platform you can get a 360 degree panoramic view of 21st century London?

and…

what a mess they’ve made of the skyline!

It really is a measure of how times have changed that the artworks in Tate Modern that once caused such controversy now seem quite civilised and reasonable when compared to the speculative concrete outside that prompts feelings of conceptual bewilderment, you can hear people muttering around you – call that a city, most two year olds could build something better than that?

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Are architects vying with each other to make an ever stranger shaped building,  we are waiting for the Penis Tower – yet to come no doubt.

This isn’t one of the new buildings – this is The Tank – an interactive art and video installation, inside  Tate Modern but no doubt someone will soon copy it and it will provide some luxury flats?

Oh! and by the way. don’t try and rent or buy one of those outrageously priced flats. They are called, buy to leave. In other words foreign investors  buy them – then they go back to from whence  they came, leaving it empty,  hoping its value will rocket ever skyward.

Well – long may it last, in the meantime London’s homeless are being pushed out into the Home Counties and into “Your Waverley.” Those buyers who want to “nest” rather than invest don’t stand a chance – do they?

 

Frustrated of Farnham.

Frustrated of Farnham they are many, but did they vote, and for whom?

One of our followers is so fed up with being ignored by Waverley BC that he has written to neil.holdsworth@communities.gsi.gov.uk  saying it was his understanding  the Localism Act of 2011 includes the following:

  • Developers must consult communities before submitting certain planning applications, having regard to any advice that their local planning authority may provide.
  • They must consider any responses they receive before they finalise their proposals and submit applications,
  • When submitting applications they must account for how they have consulted the local community, what comments they have received, and how they have taken those comments into account.

He  tells us at WW that he has lived next to the Hop Fields in Farnham for decades and is very disappointed that WBC saw  fit to approve the building of 120 homes by Taylor Wimpey. Details are available on the following links:-

Read Post …Will thousands of homes be fit for purpose..

https://www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/proposed-developments/england/surrey/farnham/crondall-lane

http://waverweb.waverley.gov.uk/live/wbc/pwl.nsf/(RefNoLU)/WA20141565?OpenDocument

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the development called for comments by WBC closed on 31 March 2014, and we learnt the decision was made less than 24 hours later on 1st April. This in itself is an affront to the concept of localism. We do not recall the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 having been met and would like to ask your advice in this regard.

Needless to say  he hasn’t had a reply yet…watch this space, we will let you know when he does.

Knock, knock Is there anyone out there?

Can Waverley residents sleep soundly in their beds?

A stark report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary said overstretched officers are busy staffing front counters, processing prisoners and guarding crime scenes.

So lets hope David Munro – our new Police and Crime Commissioner can – bring our bobbies back on the streets of our towns and villages?

In the meantime across Waverley’s towns and village if you dial 999 to call an ambulance don’t be too surprised if a fire Engine turns up – complete with firemen…followed closely by…

…an ambulance and paramedics!

A group of Firemen told the Waverley Web they are now being called out to aid ambulance crews some of whom are out  picking up drunks!

Cops can  no longer  spend much time working in communities our faithful British bobbies now spend just half their working hours on the beat following years of brutal Tory cuts, a watchdog reveals.

A stark report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said our overstretched cops are no longer able to spend much time  preventing  crime  because  they are busy staffing front counters, processing prisoners and guarding crime scenes, HMIC said.

More than a 18,000 frontline cops have been axed since David Cameron came to power in 2010, along with a similar number of back office police staff and in Surrey there are plans to cut back office posts by another 150.

Many bobbies now say they spend just 50 per cent of their time out and about on the streets, HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoe Billingham revealed. ” they spend 50 per cent of time out and about on streets, the rest of the time they are tucked away.Doing worthy stuff no doubt – but not visible, not doing their core role.”

She said Britain risks “sleepwalking” back to the days of 1980s-style policing, before Labour introduced thousands of neighbourhood cops to work with local communities,claiming this could lead to rising crime and anti-social behaviour, and make it harder to spot potential terrorists. “I need to raise a warning flag,” she said.

“Frontline neighbourhood police officers have told us repeatedly that they are being pulled from their vitally important preventative work in communities to fulfil other duties, like guarding crime scenes, spending time in stations investigating crimes or staffing police station front counters.

“Losing our eyes and ears in the community is only likely to hamper good performance in preventing crime.” Police budgets were slashed by 25 per cent between 2010 and 2015, and  further cuts are planned.

Some forces budgets were sashed by 25% Labour’s shadow policing minister Jack Dromey said: “The police are now spread so thinly that they are struggling to act as ‘eyes and ears’ on our streets – undermining, just when national security is at risk, efforts to counter the threat we face from terrorism.“It is the worst possible time to slash bobbies on the beat.”

HMIC also identified “endemic” delays of up to a year in extracting and analysing evidence from mobile phones and tablets warning  many forces are poor at investigating crimes and supporting vulnerable victims.

“It’s extremely concerning that in so many areas the police are failing to identify, assess or support the most vulnerable victims of crime,” said Mark Castle, chief executive of the Victim Support charity.

Overall more than a third of the 43 police forces in England and Wales – 18 in total – were deemed to “require improvement” by HMIC.Another 24 were rated “good” and just one – Durham – was “outstanding.” Surrey Police is among the 18 requiring improvement.

It also recognises that is current workforce model is “unaffordable” so is reviewing how it provides neighbourhood and emergency response policing. Zoe Billingham said: “To prepare for this change the force’s existing operating model has to deliver the same level of services with significantly fewer staff.”

 

Here’s Waverley’s Data.

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That pernicious little Waverley birdie has been at it again!

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We have been tweeted by a Waverley bird (no, not a Blue Tit, but a big, black Crow if you’re interested!) advising us that Constable Chaos has been busy investigating a few complaints about some alleged dodgy-doings involving a couple of Waverley Borough councillors who, it is believed, may not have been entirely transparent about their personal dealings with developers.

Of course, the Waverley Web could not possibly comment, but rumour has it that all is not well in that little village over in the East of the borough – you know, the one that some councillors would like to see become Cranleigh New Town.Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 18.28.04.png Apparently awkward questions are being asked about “When is a pecuniary interest not a pecuniary interest” and “When should a pecuniary interest be declared,” etc…

Despite attempts by Chief Planning Officer “Liz-the-Biz” Simms to dampen down the notion that some council officers, borough and county councillors have been engaging in “secret meetings” with developers – hence all the highly successful planning permissions gained in England’s largest village – on the brink of becoming England’s smallest New Town – she has not been completely successful. Liz-the-Biz could not convince the Joint Planning Committee members that the same practice of “secret meetings” – which it has been claimed by the recently resigned (from the Parish Council but not Waverley Borough Council – Yeah, we’ve been thinking what you’re thinking: Just how does that work?) Councillor Brian Ellis were “not secret and to say they were is offensive,” – had not also been employed to deal with planning issues in Farnham.

Note to Councillor Ellis: If the meetings weren’t secret then why didn’t you tell your parish council colleagues about them? What’s really offensive is you clinging onto power at Waverley Borough Council despite throwing your toys out of the pram and resigning as a Parish Councillor, when you didn’t get your own way, but not having the decency to resign as a Borough Councillor. Your place on the Borough Council was created by your election onto the Parish Council. Ergo, if you resign as a Parish Councillor you should have the humility and common sense to resign as a Borough Councillor. Not use your position as a back-door to getting your own way by other means. Have you no shame Councillor Ellis??? Exactly the same goes for the Stennett duo who have also resigned their parish seats!
But we digress: Now, we are told, PC Plod has been called in to investigate with the Borough’s Monitoring Officer – one Robin Pellow – just as the latter is about to jump ship! Just in time we say Rob! Get your trainers on and start running…fast!

At least the Bobbies don’t have far to go to carry out an investigation into several complaints now they’re sharing offices with the Councillors at The Burys, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump up the corridor. No doubt all will be sorted out to everyone’s satisfaction soon …
We at Waverley Web are taking bets on whether anyone will mention this uncomfortable little issue. Because we all know, to our cost, that Waverley doesn’t like to wash its soiled linen in public – at least not until all the by-elections in the offing are safely out of the way! Nice to see all is well with “Your Waverley’s” pledge of honesty, transparency, openness … we could, of course, go on but the electorate gets the picture … they’re not daft … are they?

 

Tanking up Cranleigh style?

The Streets of Cranleigh are full of shoppers? motorists? No – Poo lorries!

just to put you in the mood listen here- it really is rain, honest and truly!

Just another daily run to deal with a little local problem known locally as SH*tgate as yet another tanker turns up to pump out the sewers and take it away to Outer Poo land? Definitely not Poland – all their is coming here!

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This little tanker, well actually quite a big tanker really, is pumping out the sewers in the Littlemead Industrial Estate, adjacent to the   75 homes granted recently by Your Waverley at Little Meadow adjacent to the proposed 425 Berkeley Homes,  Cranleigh supported by Councillors Stennetts’ and Brian Ellis (Mary, Mary fought like a tiger  to stop another green field biting the dust but failed, and was given a sharp rebuke by Brian Ellis  for `’insulting him.” Perish the thought that anyone would?

Whilst Waverley Planners – wholly supported by our four “powerful” their words not ours, borough councillors the Stennett duo and Brian Ellis, continue to support yet more development in Cranleigh along comes  Thames Water which has  just confirmed that it is not prepared to withdraw its objection to a condition  imposed on Cala Homes  125 at Amlets Park being removed. Oh dear!

Cala wants  to have a pre commencement Grampian style condition changed to – yes you guessed folks – a post development condition! And although “Your Waverley” are quite confident that it can just keep adding to Cranleigh’s  sh** pit – Thames Water is now …

not quite so sure?

So to keep itself out of the mucky brown stuff, it isn’t going to allow the condition to be removed.  Wonder what Liz the Biz, Waverley chief honcho will do now?

In other words for the uninitiated – Cala Homes cannot  build 125 homes at Amlets Park – unless Thames Water can  show that  it can deal with a couple of Olympic size swimming pools of effluent into a sewage works that cannot cope. It hoped that by the time the buyers arrived  Thames Water will have got its act together and upgraded the Elmbridge Road Poo Factory.  Obviously be objecting to the condition being removed TW is not quite so confident as it was when it told Waverley Officers it could manage Cranleigh’s little elephant in the room.

Read here:Don’t let poo get in the way of progress – eh Waverley?

 

Just listen to this…BIMBY or NIMBY?

Are you a Waverley NIMBY – Not in My Back Yard, or a Waverley BIMBY,- Beauty in My Back Yard?

Make yourself a cup of tea, sit back, relax and listen to this – How Should We Build?

Perhaps a few Waverley Borough and parish councillors should listen to this – particularly if they are members of the “powerful planning committees” which was how one councillor described his “powerful” role to a member of the public recently, particularly in view of some of their recent decisions.

As we have said on this blog before:“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

A By-election or two, or maybe three?

The ballot boxes will soon be coming out again in Farnham due to the resignation of Waverley Borough Councillor and former Mayor, “Paddy” Blagden who represents the Farnham Castle Ward.

No doubt Councillor David Munro – who pledged that he would resign immediately from both the borough and county councils if he was elected as Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner will  resign too.

This would enable just one poll for two Waverley councillors and one county councillor. No doubt immediate means when the SW Surrey Conservative Association decide th time is right. 

 Is it possible that these By-elections may produce more of a balance and some scrutiny of “Your Waverley?” WW doubt it!

16.06.09 – Councillor resigns on health grounds

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Bramley under attack from?

Traffic? – no Swans! – well that makes a change! 

The word has gone out through  the Bramley  Parish Council Newsletter saying that….

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SO WATCH OUT THERE ARE SWANS ABOUT!

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If you would like a little light relief…. listen to this, after all it is Sunday? 

Brewery puts spanner in Waverley’s works in Farnham!

Justice is being seen to be done in Farnham – Heineken – the Successor to Farnham United Breweries has put a stop to “Your Waverley’s” devious little scheme to make a few bob by building houses on a Memorial Ground founded in  Memory of brewery employees killed in the World Wars.

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And close a door to Waverley Borough Council.

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Read Chief Reporter Daniel Gee’s article in The Farnham Herald  here: 16-06-09-brewery-put-spoke-in-scheme copy
They are at it again… trying to pull the wool over residents’ eyes – and using Waverley taxpayers’ money to do it- Fifty thousands pounds! But, as one Tory Councillor said: It is only £50,000 its not millions!
Well we must all be thankful then – mustn’t we? Councillor Wacky Wyatt, because next time it may be millions?
 
In May Waverley COUNCILLORS signed off £50,000 for a feasibility study into the relocation of Farnham Town Football Club to a former landfill site in Weydon Lane and to use the  Memorial Ground in West Street,  yes, you guessed …for housing!
At the time, some  Farnham councillors, tried to stop the attempt by Waverley’s special interest group headed by Councillor Pat Frost. It wanted  to move Farnham Football Club onto a former landfill site, known locally as Brambleton Park.
Needless to say those councillors were the only Independent and two Farnham Residents’ members.
They argued that both the Memorial Hall –  shortly to be converted into a day centre for the elderly, and the sports grounds, were donated to the people of  Farnham after the  War as a Memorial to employees of a brewery who had lost their lives. They claimed Waverley was already breaking covenants on the Memorial Ground’s Deed of Gift, namely by proposing to use part of the sports ground to extend the hall.
Where have we all heard that one before – Cranleigh? Beryl Harvey Memorial Fields – getting to be a bit of a habit isn’t it?
Waverley estimates this option will cost £2.75 million – chiefly for the decontamination of the ex-rubbish tip as well as installing FA-regulation facilities for the football club – with the sum to be met by the release of Farnham Town FC’s present home at the Memorial Ground for housing.

Said Councillor Andy McLeod  “If we build these houses, we will be breaking another covenant which states ‘the council shall not build or allow to be built in any part of the said premises any building or erection other than in connection with…sporting purposes’.
“Covenants are not something that should be ignored, and can only be returned if it can be shown that the beneficiaries no longer exist. Well, the beneficiaries of this covenant are the people of Farnham and last time I looked there were quite a few inhabitants of Farnham and a lot of young people who want to use sports grounds.”

Leader of the council’s official Farnham Residents opposition group John Williamson added: “Let’s avoid wasting time and money – this proposal looks fraught with possible legal and financial challenges, such that nothing at all may come of it, or it may go on for years and years as it already has.
“The flooding issues of the current football ground [cited by Farnham Town FC as motivation for their desire to move] could probably be solved by spending that £50,000.”
Mr Williamson also queried why the same covenants restricting use of the Memorial Ground do not apply to the proposed extension to the Memorial Hall to accommodate the Brightwell’s Gostrey Centre.
He added: “When I asked a question related to the covenants at a previous council meeting I was shouted down and told they could be ignored.
“Surely if it held water for the Memorial Hall, the same should surely apply for the development of the Memorial Ground for housing, or was the previous decision on the Memorial Hall incorrect?”
Rowledge councillor, and Waverley’s portfolio holder for finance, Wyatt Ramsdale welcomed the feasibility study however and expressed “puzzlement” at the attitude of some fellow councillors.
He said: “To me, what’s potentially on offer is a much better facility for Farnham Town FC and a walking space for the dogs, and spaces for junior football to be played. That seems to me to be a terrific gain for the town, and I’d really like it to happen.
“Clearly, looking at the options has identified a number of problems – one of them is the covenants, and another will be the attitude of the people in the town whether or not they want a facility in that location compared to the centre of town.”
“So what the motion says is that we’re going to do this study, let’s crack on with it. It’s £50,000, not millions at risk.”

No of course it isn’t millions of pounds – it is only £50,000 of “OUR MONEY” you intend to waste isn’t it Councillor stupid Wacky Wyatt. But now the Heineken Brewery has put a stop to your little housing game – thank God someone, somewhere has some common decency left and respects those who lost their lives defending ours, and your, freedom.