Mistress Milton brings to heel all the local authorities to face up to the East’s burgeoning water, sewerage and flooding problems.

Whipping all the decision-makers, featured below, into shape was no mean feat. In fact some of them – admitted they had never before sat around the same table.

WW – wonders – WHY?


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 The spectre of threats to the drinking water supplies following  the discovery that some of Cranleigh’s  ageing water pipes are lined with blue asbestos, are now hanging over the borough.

Despite  assurances from Thames Water that the drinking water is safe, others are not so sure and are demanding that pipes are renewed before any further housing development takes place. The Cranleigh Civic Society (CCS) believe development should behalted  until vital infrastructure is in place.

“Our concerns over flooding, sewerage, and water quality, have been ignored” said one – others claimed they wanted “the truth and transparency” from officials who bear responsibility for the decisions they make and the consequences of those decisions.

It has been revealed by the CCS the instigators of the meeting, that Cranleigh has the highest incidence of blue asbestos in the  eastern area with 26.9% of its pipes affected. To a lesser extent, pipes in Alfold, Haslemere and Godalming are also affected. There is no data currently available of how seriously the rest of the borough is affected.

Whilst all those authorities mentioned above appeared  not to be unduly concerned about the existence of a substance 500 times more dangerous than white asbestos, the meeting heard that Governments across the other side of the pond …  are.

The Government of Australia has set aside 80 billion Australian Dollars to deal with the problem and in New Zealand, 2.2 billion.

So someone – somewhere is taking the issue seriously!

On Monday a packed Cranleigh  village hall heard Mistress  Milton  describe the meeting  as a ‘flood forum’ but it resulted in more,  much more. Waverley planners, Thames Water, the Environment Agency, the Drinking Water Inspectorate, Public Health England, Surrey County Council, the National Flood Forum, Cranleigh Parish Council and Cranleigh Civic Society heard villagers concerns about water quality; sewage  and flooding.  

Over 60 villagers, parish councillors and several parish  borough councillors, who have consistently approved development on Cranleigh’s flood plains heard Adrian Clarke (CCS) ram the serious nature of the message home. He is featured here; speaking a recent Waverley Joint Planning Committee: Blue asbestos in the water supply pipes in the East of Waverley? Could it be further afield too?

There was much talk of National and World health Organisation data; but suffice to say, there is little or no firm evidence of if, or what, damage is caused to our health by   the sharp blue shards of blue asbestos that it is believed, can pierce our stomach linings.

Thames Water officials assured residents Cranleigh’s large number of burst pipes – 100 or more over the past three years was ‘not unusual’ and were in line with that experienced in other areas.

When one villager said he had been told by a Thames Water official – that “it (TW) had sufficient plastic pipes to go around the world three times but without the personnel to fit  them,” a TW spokesman said he could not justify a business case for replacing Cranleigh’s pipework.


  •  Surrey County Council as the lead flood authority raises no objection to planning applications on flood plains.
  • Waverley  borough Council officers continue recommending councillors to approve planning applications for housing  and councillors will almost certainly following thief recommendations!  
  • Thames Water and the Environment Agency raise no objection to applications.
  • The Environment Agency fails to test the Cranleigh Waters to estimate its toxicity from having two Olympic size swimming pools of treated effluent poured into it, killing any living thing.
  • And Waverley planning officers claim lack of manpower prevents them from taking necessary enforcement actions against developers, if they fail to meet planning conditions. Conditions that many believe are not worth the paper they are written on.

StTriniansanneThe Waverley Web’s verdict on Mistress Milton’s end of term assembly of recalcitrant sixth formers: Could do better. Ms Milton made a grand display of taking command of the, at times, unruly assembly, instructing those pesky people – in strident, school-marmish tones – to ‘Stand-up!’, ‘Speak-up’ and ‘Shut-up’, as and when it suited her but the truth was, she wasn’t interested in discussing the past and how Cranleigh had got to where it is now and she made it very clear this is only a talking shop – or do we mean a talking sop? – aimed at containing residents’ justifiable anger and giving the impression that she’s actually listening and doing something. Truth to tell, she’s doing very little, for class was dismissed after just over and hour and was ordered to report back to Mistress Milton with their homework at the end of the Autumn term! No change there then!!! It’s same old, same old, same old from our local MP: We all recognise these problems will  not be resolved immediately but when school returns in the Autumn  Waverley residents deserve some answers.  Their health and welfare, and even hers, could depend on it! 


One thought on “Mistress Milton brings to heel all the local authorities to face up to the East’s burgeoning water, sewerage and flooding problems.”

  1. No surprise here, but when these homes have been built and then inevitably flood they will become unsellable as insurance will be extortionate.
    There is nothing more unedifying than seeing the greed of the developers and the desperation of the Council to fulfill the demands of a Government that will brook no interference of it’s policy to build in unsuitable areas.
    Everyone knows homes are needed but in this Country, of which only 9% is built on, there are many places new towns could be built and infrastructure supplied. What is needed is the will to do what was done after the war; a major house building project properly thought through.

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