Who do our councillors represent? Their constituents or the council?

The Executive of Waverley Borough Council decided recently that the rank and file members of the various planning committee’s – mainly the Joint Planning Committee – need to be taken in hand.

Why? Because they are not following officers’ advice to shove through as many major planning applications on green field sites to satisfy Government bidding!

There is far too much independent spirit being demonstrated by councillors, who are listening to their constituents, rather than doing the bidding of planning officers in the shove and shunt brigade!  

As you will gather from the letter below, written by A Farnham Residents’ councillor, which appeared in the Farnham Herald, he asks a simple question?

Do councillors represent the views of their constituents at Waverley or do they represent the views of ‘Your Waverley’ to their wards?

What do our readers think?

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Oh dear… is Cranleigh’s Stocklund Square next on the developer’s hit list?

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Tenants renting properties in Cranleigh’s Stocklund Square – have told us here at the Waverley Web…

…  That when the  leases on their shops and flats  end in 2021, they will not be re-newed!

Why? Because the owners of the square that was built in the 1970’s by the Prudential Insurance Company –  and once owned by Baring’s Bank and following its collapse was sold to a Dutch Bank for a peppercorn £1 is now, in the opinion  of its owners, ripe for development.  WW understands they are eager to redevelop the land in the village centre – with more shops and an underground car park. WW hopes the cars have sails!

Tenants say they are “gutted” at the prospect of their homes on the former Cranleigh Railway Station site – possibly being demolished along with the attractive village square to make way for more shops, more homes and car parking to serve Cranleigh new town!

Said one tenant, who does not wish to be identified, but whose details are known to the Waverley Web, said: to lose the attractive square would be the last nail in Cranleigh’s coffin. Immediately behind Stocklund Square there are supposed to be over 400 new Berkeley Homes – 55 of the most expensive (reputed to be over £1m will back onto Sainsbury’s Supermarket loading bay)  or will that be lost too! This could lead to an even more congested town centre – (at last someone actually admits it is a new town) – and yet another attractive part of Cranleigh lost?

You may not be able to read this  section of Wikipedia’s description of Cranleigh. But it is defined as a place where there is:- 

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Well that sounds about right then – because earlier this year  it took a Vote of ‘No Confidence” in the leaders of Waverley Borough Council and some are now calling for ‘Your Waverley’  to be swallowed up by Guildford Borough Council, or perhaps even East Hants!

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An open message to Police and Crime Commissioner and former SCC and ‘YW’ councillor David Munro.

Apparently, Surrey County Council is canvassing opinion as to whether local residents are willing to pay increased council tax in order to provide more funding for the police.

We at the Waverley Web discussed the matter over mulled wine and mince pies at this year’s Christmas Party and we thought Surrey CC might be interested in our views as we are a good cross-section of the community in terms of age and political leanings.

We were, overwhelmingly, not in favour of providing more money for the police as we came to the conclusion that the police are not under-funded, simply that those directing police operations do not manage their resources in the best and most cost-effective manner.

Recent reports in the press of police wrong-doing – three young men who narrowly escaped being wrongly convicted of rape because evidence which would have proved their innocence was withheld and the leaking of confidential information relating to Damian Green, which was deliberately made public in a blatant attempt to discredit him, the government and ruin Mr Green’s career – have all been interpreted as shocking and outrageous abuses of power by the police and have negatively influenced our views.

That said two of our correspondents regaled us with tales of their own first-hand experiences of police abuse of power. One was awarded a substantial five-figure sum in costs for a case that amounted to wrongful prosecution by a vindictive officer and another was contacted on the eve of a court case and asked to confirm evidence she had given voluntarily when reporting a crime which had been deliberately withheld from the defendant’s legal team by the police. Apparently her evidence, when the defence barrister became aware of it, led to the case being dropped.

Our Chiddingfold correspondent mentioned a friend who had received a NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution from Surrey Police) for travelling at six miles per hour above the speed limit, clocked courtesy of a handheld speed gun. Meanwhile, less than a mile away on the same day and at a similar time, another friend’s house was ransacked by burglars. Despite the burglary being reported, the police expressed little interest in the crime and admitted they had no expectation of catching the criminal. As our Chiddingfold correspondent pointed out, had the police officer who was wielding the hand-held speed gun been on the beat, instead of toting a speed gun on a stretch of road that already hosted an active speed camera, that officer, by their very presence, might have been able to prevent or, better yet, thwart a burglary!

There is already considerable angst amongst Surrey residents that the police are only too happy to focus on soft targets, such as motorists, in order to revenue-raise instead of patrolling the streets and responding to emergencies. This latest tax-raising initiative simply compounds that view.

Of course, there are thousands of police officers who are committed to doing a good job and to keeping the public safe – PC Keith Palmer who was killed by a Jihadist whilst bravely defending the Houses of Parliament being just one example – but what the government, Surrey CC and the people in charge of directing police operations need to understand is that the public want and deserve a similar level of care and regard. They do not want to discover, over their breakfast cornflakes, courtesy of Richard Littlejohn, that Avon & Somerset Police decided to disband their burglary squad after solving only 10% of over 70,000 burglaries which resulted in the loss of £40 million worth of possessions whilst, at the same time, the same force announced a new crack down on gender based crime. Headlines such as this make people feel the government and the police are completely out of touch with the concerns of the average Surrey tax payer.

As our Cranleigh Correspondent explained, as she sipped her fourth macchiato (yeah, we’re rocket-fuelled here at the Waverley Web!): ‘I thought I was voting for a Tory government but what I’ve got is a Labour-lite government. I want the police to be tough on the type of crime that affects me, my family and friends; the things we worry about over our Dainty English in 140. Not the crimes that Guardian-reading Islingtonites are worrying about over their muesli! I want tax cuts to boost the economy, not tax increases to fund so-called public services aimed at minority interests. If the government carries on in this vein I’ll be voting UKIP at the next election!’

In the past year – 75% of crimes dealt with by police in Cranleigh resulted in no further action. Statistics from police.uk reveal the shocking fact that 313 of the 413 crimes, including violence, sexual offences, and theft in the Cranleigh/Ewhurst and Rowly areas resulted in no further action!

Our Christmas gift to David Munro is a little bit of free advice: don’t take the electorate for a soft touch. They’re only too well aware that public services are well-funded – better than ever, in many instances. It’s not the funding that’s the problem, it’s the people who dictate how those funds are directed and spent that are the problem. And there’s a very simple solution to that problem – as our Cranleigh Correspondent said: vote with your feet. Just as the good folk of Godalming did a few days ago …

Screen Shot 2017-12-17 at 20.47.58And a very merry Christmas to one and all!

Tis the season to be merry and thanks to ‘Your Waverley’ we cannot stop laughing!

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In this instance we are not laughing at ‘Your Waverley” we are laughing with ‘Your Waverley’.

And here’s why!

Our Waverley Web correspondents get invited to all sorts o frivolities and jollities over the Christmas period and at many of them we find ourselves mingling with our Waverley Borough Council friends and even, in some cases – whisper it who dares – our foes.

Now stop giggling because this is deadly serious – ok?

Over a glass of Prosecco -, Lidl’s of course, this is, after all, Your parsimonious Waverley we’re talking about – we heard that a new dictat has gone out to everyone, and we mean everyone in Waverley’s hallowed halls.

So incensed is Waverley’s Chief Planning Officer, Elizabeth Sims with people dropping papers on her desk with the throw away line: ‘Liz, do the Biz!’ and councillors referring to her during public meetings as ‘Liz’ that she has now decreed that unless they refer to her as ELIZABETH – YOU KNOW THE SAME AS HRH – they will be ignored – well, it could be worse, at least she’s not threatening to chew them up and spit them out all over the Bury’s car park!

So in the traditional spirit of Good Will that Christmas ushers in, the Waverley Web correspondents have been mulling over what to call Liz the Biz – ooops! Elizabeth Sims – going forward.

Our Cranleigh Correspondent, who is still deeply *issed-orf by Elizabeth Sims’ failure to object to the concreting over of green fields in Cranleigh suggested Betty Boop!

Our Farnham Correspondent whom, it has to be admitted, had seriously over indulged on the mulled wine at this point – suggest Lilibet – as in Her Majesty – or, as she hiccuped and – hush, whisper it who dares – just ever-so-slightly slurred her words, it sounded more like, ‘a little – or back to supermarkets, lidle – bet! Moving swiftly on, after all, local residents and developers may be taking bets on the outcome of a planning application but we don’t want Liz the Biz – ooops! Elizabeth – actually running the book!!!

Our Chiddingfold correspondent – who, it has to be admitted, had reached the rolliking stage as he’d been on the Christmas cocktails – suggested Dolly! Surely, surely not as in Parton? enquired our Ewhurst Correspendent, stuggling to find the comparison. ‘No! As in Dolly the Sheep. Durrrhhh!’ Don’t you know Planning Officers are all clones …’

If any of our readers have any better suggestions, answers on an email, please, because the jury’s still out; it is, after all, the season of goodwill, tra-la-la, tra-la-la …

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 15.54.25SO, FROM NOW ON THIS DISRESPECTFUL SCURRILOUS BLOG THAT TAKES THE MICKEY BLISS OUT OF OUR HARD WORKING, PUBLIC SPIRITED COUNCIL – WILL FOREVER MORE BE SILENT ON THE CHIEF PLANNING OFFICER…

 NOW AND FOREVER MORE ‘LIZ THE BIZ’  SHALL BE CALLED…

ELIZABETH THE BUSINESS! Unless you have a better idea?

AND THIS YEAR’S Waverley Web  AWARD FOR 2017 goes to… The Waverley  officer who has no sense of community, no sense of what the word ‘planning’ means – and absolutely no sense of humour!

What do you think ‘Your Waverley’ would like for Christmas?

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In this season of goodwill should our gift to Waverley Borough Council be one, OR PERHAPS all, of the following:

On the first day of Christmas. Could there be a new Chief Executive Officer who could help that partridge in a pear tree by dealing with Farnham’s AIR QUALITY!  

On the second day of Christmas. Perhaps not exactly two turtle doves – but definitely two old Farnham birds that could seriously consider whether the time had arrived to step down in favour of some fresh, new Independent or Farnham Residents’ members in readiness for the next election?

On the third day of Christmas: The three French/Elstead and Cranleigh Hens – all past their SBD, could follow their Farnham colleagues example?

On the fourth day of Christmas: The Four calling birds … Calling? Calling? Calling for what? Change? That’s what the borough needs CHANGE! Change for the good, after all, no point keeping change for parking, it’s all automated … unless, of course, you’re wheelchair bound … so how about changing the parking meters as it’s the season of good will and all that …

Screen Shot 2017-12-17 at 19.45.54.pngOn the fifth day of Christmas: Five Gold Rings now wouldn’t it be nice if Waverley answered their phones within five rings instead of 50? OK, we admit it, that was cruel to the Waverley receptionists but we are working to a tight script here!

On the sixth day of Christmas: Six geese a laying  refers to the gang of six members of the Joint Planning Committee who persistently stick their mits in the air, regardless of good planning reasons to refuse applications which will  harm many communities in the years ahead.

On the seventh day of Christmas: The six above – are joined by the seventh swan who chairs the JPC, and will have half the borough’s swans a-swimming before the end of the decade!

On the eighth day of Christmas: Eight maids a milking the council for everything they can get in members’ allowances, without actually turning up, most of the time!

On the ninth and tenth days of Christmas: Its ladies dancing and its lords a- leaping at the possible news that the Daft local Plan – has been adopted?

On the Eleventh day of Christmas: Eleven Pipers piping when The Flying Scotsman finally gets the go-ahead to build a new village on the borough’s largest brownfield site at Dunsfold aerodrome. Or was that flying pigs we just saw flapping past the Waverley window ?

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas: …

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 21.43.52TWELVE DRUMMERS COULD BE A’ DRUMMING. WHEN THE SELLER AT E-BAY FINALLY GIVES A COMPLETE REFUND FOR THE DUFF WEBCASTING SYSTEM THAT HAS ENSURED ‘YW’S CORPORATE MESSAGE FOR OPENNESS, TRANSPARENCY … ACTUALLY MEANS WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN! Odd how the breaks in transmission occur at the most controversial moments!

Ho-Ho-Ho. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, tra-la-la-la-la

Yes that was hysterical laughter you heard emanating from the Waverley Web’s editor as yet another wonderful year in the life of Waverley waivers to a close.

Pity there isn’t a13th Day of Christmas which would be called – 13 heads’a’rolling, when the planning department is taken over by the men in grey suits!!

 

Vote for Waverley’s greenspace to be protected – here’s one woman who won’t!

Is ‘Your Waverley’ having a laugh at Cranleigh’s expense  – or does the right hand in communications know what the left hand is doing in the planning department?

This Cranleigh resident knows just how it feels to have the once green and pleasant land which provided a much loved green space around her covered in bricks and concrete!

And… if residents vote for their favourite – what guarantees are there that it won’t be built on?

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…?

…FOR INTERIM MANAGING DIRECTOR,  TOM HORWOOD, AS HE BECOMES ‘YOUR WAVERLEY’S’ NEW  CHIEF EXECUTIVE. 

At a meeting tonight (Tuesday), if the webcast is working, visitors will be able to watch  the council consider the appointment of a new head honcho at Waverley Towers.

We read with interest that the title of Chief Executive, which for some reason lapsed following the departure of Mrs Mopp, and during the ‘Wen-am-I-leaving ‘ period, is now to be reinstated for the new appointee so he becomes Chief Executive. 

We await with bated breath as to whether  the new appointee will be able to take ‘Your Waverley’ out of its current malaise. To do so will require considerable expertise and skill and we do not envy the task he has ahead of him. So all of us wish you a very Happy Christmas Mr Horwood – and we are sure – A Very Prosperous New Year.

Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 21.01.05 Mr Horwood, who  will be leaving Hampshire Council shortly, will be joined by two new Strategic Directors, 

SOOOOO…

THEN THERE WERE THREE

 

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  1. Following the departure of the previous Head of Paid Service, the Council appointed Tom Horwood as interim Managing Director and Head of Paid Service. The appointment took effect on 1 August 2017 for an initial period of up to 6 months on a part-time arrangement involving two to four days per week, as necessary to meet the demands of the job. These arrangements were extended by the Council on the 5 December to continue until Waverley appoints a permanent Chief Executive.

  2. The Council also agreed the permanent senior management structure, comprising of a full-time Chief Executive and two full time Strategic Directors with effect from 1 January 2018. It was agreed that the Chief Executive position would include the statutory functions of Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer.
  3. The Council agreed to commence the recruitment process to appoint to both the vacant Chief Executive role and Strategic Director role, with external advice and support provided by Solace in Business, a leading recruitment specialist in local government with a strong track record in appointments to Chief Executive roles.

 

Appointment of Chief Executive

  1. Given that the Council will have two interim arrangements at the top of its staffing structure from January, it is important that the Council is able to secure permanent appointments as quickly as possible, starting with the Chief Executive role.
  2. The Job Description and Person Specification for the Chief Executive role was prepared by Solace in Business, drawing on established best practice across local government. This is attached in Annexe 1.
  3. Following an executive search and soft market testing conducted by Solace in Business and following their independent advice, Tom Horwood, Waverley’s Interim Managing Director, was invited to submit a detailed application. Following initial appraisal by Solace in Business, a full and rigorous assessment process was undertaken which included:

 a technical interview by a highly experienced local government Chief Executive who also had a leading role in the Council’s recent Strategic Review;

 Assessment by a strategic stakeholder panel comprising Chief Executive/Chief Officer level representation from Local Government, Health, the Police, and the Voluntary Sector.

The results from a range of psychometric tests; a final interview by a selection panel comprising the Leader of the Council,

members drawn from the Executive and the Leader of the Minority Group.

  1. Officers discussed the process with the Council’s external auditors as part of developing this approach. The above also reflects the proposed selection process reported to the Council on 5 December 2017 and has been supported by professional HR advice.
  2. Following the above selection process, it is the unanimous decision of the Member selection panel that Tom Horwood be recommended for appointment to the role of Chief Executive of Waverley Borough Council.

Next Steps

  1. Subject to confirmation of the appointment by the Council, the newly-appointed Chief Executive will then have the opportunity to lead the recruitment process for the Strategic Director role, even if they have not yet commenced their employment with Waverley Borough Council in this role.
  2. The intention will then be for Mr Horwood to commence in this role as quickly as possible, subject to a mutually agreed notice period with his current employers.
  3. The recruitment process will then commence for the soon to be vacant Strategic Director role, with the Council’s new Chief Executive having an active part in the process, concluding with a Member Interview Panel.

 

12. The Council will consider a report in due course recommending appointment to the Strategic Director role.

Recommendation

It is recommended that Tom Horwood be appointed to the permanent post of Chief Executive, including the statutory roles of Head of Paid Service, Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer.

Oh Dear! Poor old Potts!

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It isn’t very often the Waverley Web stands up for the Leader of Waverley Borough Council, but every now and again we are forced into doing so, and it is the season of goodwill to all men, and women!

Over the past few weeks the local press letters pages have been full of venom against ‘Your Waverley’ and in particular against Council Leader Julia Potts. So perhaps we should employ a little perspective in the interest of fairness!

Julia Potts picked up a poisoned chalice when she sat in Bobby Knowles’ hot seat, and ever since her seat has, quite literally, been getting warmer! Why, because her predecessor, Council Leader ‘Bobby’ Knowles, aided and abetted by Bramley’s Richard Gates and YW’s former Chief Planning Officer Matthew Evans failed to get the Daft Local Plan off the ground! In fact, they didn’t even manage to get it skidding along the runway! Perhaps even out of the hangar! The council’s failure during Bobby’s days, to adopt even a modicum of  vision for the borough has put us where we are to-day.

BUT, and it’s as huge BUT – the real culprits in Waverley, responsible for the imminent failure of Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan and the allocation of another 450 homes are:

SW Surrey’s MP Jeremy Shunt – and Guildford and Waverley MP Anne Milton who jointly persuaded Secretary of State Savid Javid to call in the Dunsfold Aerodrome scheme putting the skids under an approved application for 1,800 homes on the largest brownfield site in the borough! And, into the bargain, have also put a huge question mark over the 2,600 homes included on this site in the Draft Local Plan, the very same Local Plan a Government Inspector believes could take even more!

This  scheme could one day could see the re-opening of the Horsham to Guildford railway line – but we bet not if Bramley’s By-Pass Byham can stop it!

So – let’s give the woman a break – because it’s Christmas – and Jesus wants us all for sunbeams, or is it, angels?

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O.M.G now Bramleys a Domesday Village!

Well, Miss Dadak – you just wait and see what your MP Anne Milton has up her sleeve for the redevelopment of Dunsfold aerodrome, if, or when, the Secretary of State kicks 1,800 homes into touch!

Then Bramley really will be a  Domesday village! 

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Perhaps the Flying Scotsman would also be interested to know what Mistress Milton’s plans are for his airfield?

He can contact us, any time, anywhere, any how on contact@waverleyweb.org