You seek us here, you seek us there,
Those damned Councillors seek us everywhere!
Are we in heaven? Are we in hell?
Where are those damned elusive Waverley swells,
Who cause us all such utter frustration
Posting every day of the week!
Spoiling every lovely vacation
with our bloody cheek!
(With apologies to Baroness Orczy)
Like the Scarlet Pimpernel, who worked in the dark, his identity known only to his immediate followers, so, too, the Waverley Webbers are forced to hide our identities so that we may succeed in accomplishing the task we set ourselves.
Awareness is rising and tempers are flying as more and more fields are being concreted over and local residents wake up to the fact that neither Green Belt nor agricultural fields are sacrosanct, and SSSIs are barely hanging on by their fingertips. Hits on the Waverley Web are now at an all-time high as local residents – not to mention local Councillors – log in, desperate to know what’s going on – not only across the Borough but in the field at the end of their road! We hear that some councillors spend more time worrying about us, then getting on with the job they were elected for!
So, who are the Waverley Webbers and where do we meet is a question that is repeatedly and increasingly being posed by our readers … not to mention Julia Potts and Bob Lies, neither of whom would dream of admitting they read the Waverley Web … as if!
Sadly, we can’t name names because, if we did, the public, officers and councillors would all stop confiding in us.
Suffice to say,
- we’re the slightly plump, harassed-looking mother of two who slings her Barbour and Du Barrys on over her PJs, for the school run, and hopes no one notices!
- We’re the chap in the bright red corduroys, purchased in Allans of Petworth, propping up the bar at The Sun Inn in Dunsfold.
- We’re the silver-surfer, with the perma-tan, courtesy of regular trips to our villa in Umbria – so much cheaper and more upmarket than Tuscany, don’t ya know!
- The slick, young lawyer who’s just moved down from London, into the big house up the road, because the kids got into Cranleigh School. Yay!
- We’re the postman …, the plumber and the electrician … the people you chat to, oh so casually, and sound off to, over a cup of tea, after a job well done. We’re the hairdresser – who hasn’t told a soul about your facelift (honest!) – and the manicurist you prattle on to …
Like all caped-crusaders – Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, et al – we have to disguise our identities, otherwise, we risk getting L’Air du Novichok through the post or the poisoned umbrella treatment in the village shop from the Dunsfold KGB!
We are a broad church, we have no political allegiances – if anything we believe local politics should be A-political and entirely independent of any political party. We believe the make-up of councils should be balanced and not dominated by one particular party they should be open, honest and transparent. Not hold pre-meetings about pre-meetings about meetings that by the time they are held are so sanitised they are hardly worth listening to.
Our methods may be a tad unconventional – you might have noticed, we don’t care about diversity or political correctness – but we’re all the more readable for it.
The Waverley Web was the brainchild of a Farnham resident who sat down one morning, with a cup of La Torcaza – that’s coffee to you and me – and tried to log on to Waverley Matters, a website he’d become addicted to because it not only told him everything Waverley Borough Council didn’t want him to know, it also made him chuckle with its irreverent prose. But, no matter how hard he tried – and, boy, did he try – he couldn’t find Waverley Matters. It had disappeared into the ether. After days of searching and weeks of despondency, deprived of his regular ‘fix’ of the mutter in the Waverley gutter, our Hero decided if Waverley Matters had crashed and burned – did someone die or did the author simply leave the Borough? – if no one else was going to dig-the-dirt in Waverley, he’d have to stop being an amused bystander and become the Borough’s new Caped-Crusader or arachnoid on the web.
We’d like to claim our Hero’s daily posts were an overnight sensation but, truth be told, it was more like waiting for a kettle to boil when the Aga’s in slumber mode! But with an explosion of development on their doorstep – the people of Cranleigh can’t step outside their porches without tripping over a concrete mixer – it wasn’t too long before our Hero’s in-box was groaning with posts from disgruntled and disaffected residents and that’s when the Waverley Web really took off.
In the early days no one used their real names – they were just anonymous fingers sending local news over the internet but slowly, gradually as trust built and outrage grew over what was going on behind ‘YW’s’ closed doors – never mind David Cameron’s Kitchen-Cabinet, Cranleigh Parish Councillors, Brian & Patricia Ellis and Stuart & Jeanette Stennett, were holding secret meetings with the Lettuce King and Andy Leafy, around their dining room tables! a coffee morning was arranged.
When Ford Prefect met Rita Skeeter and they were joined by Bridget Jones and Mattie Storin, coffee morphed into brunch, which slid into afternoon tea and before you know it they ended up in a lock-in at … That would be telling but, suffice to say, the rest is history. Those few brave souls, who’d had enough of developers appropriating their green and pleasant fields and dumper trucks ruining their quiet country lanes, they set about cultivating informants and using undercover agents to infiltrate the Council and, whisper it quietly officers too. And now that Charterhouse and Cranleigh schools are planning to sell off some of their playing fields the people of both towns say ‘enough’s enough!’ and they, too, want to join the growing band of Waverley Webbers because if Waverley Officers, POW and the Campaign for some parts of Rural England (CPRE) get their way development is coming to a field near you!
Clever Nigel Pilling has already found us in Broadwater Park. Full marks Nigel.