However, not everyone on the council’s committee’s which were set up to scrutinise and question council business, appear entirely happy with Waverley’s new boy on the block!
There are still a few diehard Tories who would happily see him strung up and given 50 lashes.
Farnham Residents’ COmOS (Community Overview & Scrutiny) Chairman, Councillor Jerry Hyman appears to be “digging in” to ensure that the checks and balances that ensure open Government at Waverley Towers actually happens. Wow! and… for a bloke that has never chaired a council committee until a month or so ago. It is quite a daunting experience for even the most experienced councillor. However, he is succeeding in encouraging, even the more timid members, to seek answers and get the information they need to make informed decisions after proper debate.
Now Waverley’s bete noir whose questions from the public gallery were regularly shunned actually chairs the very Overview & Scrutiny Committees that residents across the borough have derided for years for being simply nodding folder for the Executive donkeys. The biggest critic of the scrutiny function in the past came from Farnham Bourne’s Carole Cochburn. Watch her rant here: TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING?
Much of the Daft Cultural Strategy which has now been ‘properly’ scrutinised – has found its way into the recycling bins where it belonged – and some has been “underpinned” by a first stab at an Action Plan. Now instead of focusing on the impossible – under Councillor Hyman’s guidance the future strategy, designed to underpin The Local Plan – actually looks like being something the public and councillors could understand and endorse.
However, the Waverley Web, whilst recognising it certainly isn’t a Culture Buff or a Dormitory Dependable and may even be labelled “deprived” as indicated in the previous 276 pages of gobbledygook cannot help wondering how much the whole exercise including the “Consultants” actually cost?
Will someone, somewhere tell us on how much time and money was wasted on producing such a daft cultural strategy document? Here goes another Freedom of Information request that it “will not be in the public interest” to answer!
and … whilst on a recycling roll … it was obvious to all that JH has established a decent working relationship with Richard Homewood the senior officer responsible for preparing a new Refuse Contract due in 2019. Same contract that gobbles up a whopping great chunk -£5. 04m – of the council’s rapidly diminishing finances!
In fact it was revealed if we all composted our garden and food waste properly we probably wouldn’t have to shell out so much in extra council tax.
Maybe, just maybe – Farnham’s new boy’s efforts – might make ‘Your Waverley” more open, more transparent and dare we say it – more responsive to the views of its own backbenchers. It may even break the habit of a long time and let councillors do the job they were elected to do rather than letting the Executive tail wag the member’s dog.