HOW LOUD DO YOU HAVE TO SHOUT TO BE HEARD BY ‘YOUR WAVERLEY’?
Haslemere Town Council fired off a hard-hitting letter of objection to Waverley leader Julia “Gone to ‘ Potts last month, protesting Haslemere had been used as a “soft target” to help plug the borough’s £1.5 million budget deficit. Recently Councillor Robert Know-less – claimed the town would be better off as part of either Hampshire or West Sussex County Council!
But other towns and villages in the borough are also joining the growing band of protestors.
Over in the Eastern villages they claim the views of residents and their elected representatives are being “totally ignored” and there are calls for Protest Marches and Public Meetings.
Large numbers are threatening to turn up at the Cranleigh parish council meeting on Thursday. Villagers are angry that the 99 year-lease on Rowleys has been forfeited by the present board Chairman who comes from… Midhurst! The valuable lease with a peppercorn rent will be handed back to ‘Your Waverley’ in return for a 25 year lease with five year break clauses and a £6,000 rent reguarly reviewed and increased in line with the Retail Price Index!
Haslemere recently lost its borough council’s free weekly green waste collection at Wey Hill car park. The town also stands to lose its public toilets in the High Street car park as soon as an alternative provider can be found, and The Edge Leisure Centre’s future is in doubt.
The town The council is considering how it can take over axed services if financially possible.
Deputy town mayor Malcolm Carter said:
“We are trying to get hold of Waverley to discuss the potential closure of The Edge. It’s a major sports facility and those people using it are extremely concerned. I understand Waverley thinks The Edge is not efficient because it’s not used more – but are they prepared to let someone else manage it and invest in it.”
Mayor Sharan Abeysundara added: “The Edge is also the counting centre for elections because it’s the largest centre in Waverley. There is no alternative venue offering the necessary parking and security.
“I am also extremely concerned about Haslemere losing its public toilets. Last year, we applied for an official tourist sign to say it’s a historic town and were told the criteria for that requires having public toilets.
“They are well used for all the town events we host. Waverley needs to open negotiations with us.”
Other members agreed a market town must have public toilets. Jim Edwards who sits on the town and borough councils, said: “The decision has been made and agreed. The town council needs to say it will take them over and that it wants to be the same as Cranleigh.”
Members also discussed the possibility of the town council taking on the weekly green waste collection and believe a fortnightly, rather than a weekly service, would make it financially viable.
“Haslemere is the gateway to South Downs National Park and is surrounded by National Trust land,” councillor William King said. “Fly tipping is going to start, we will get people dumping stuff.”
Members agreed to get quotes from two other contractors to see if the service could be restored more cheaply and to request the town council restore it.