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 …



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!