Yes, Mr Wylde of Farnham – how WILL ‘Your Waverley’ meet its challenges?

Probably by continuing to ignore you, us here at the Waverley Web, and every other bit of voting fodder?

But at least the WW has been mentioned in your despatches!

 Someone has unmasked you as being -THE Waverley Web.

Claimaints-at-the-High-Court1-bew

David Wylde (left, of the Farnham Five at the High Court) is not the only one to question the honesty, transparency and its claim to ‘use its resources wisely.’   in Waverley Borough Council’s Mission Statement.

This is his recent letter to The Farnham Herald letters page…

Sir,
– In the last year or so, every national press article I can find and every media interview I have heard about the High Street has put across the same message – restaurants and retail are in crisis and the best solution is to offer leisure and entertainment attractions to draw in the punters – shopping and eating are no longer enough.

The relentless onward advance of internet shopping is the white-elephant-in-the-room for East Street, with the added problem that the Woolmead development, with 11 outlets lying along Farnham’s main street, is due on stream before its rival on the other side of the road, a scheme that lies down a straggling narrow alley off the beaten track and which has struggled unavailingly for five years to fill more than two of its 24 retail and eight restaurant outlets. A six-screen cinema with seats for 750 doesn’t help. The Woolmead getting in first will make it even harder than before to attract retailers.

May I invite the leader of Waverley, courtesy of the letters page of The Herald, to tell us how the council plans to confront this challenge? Does it have creative ideas for providing replacement community assets, if and when, as seems ever more likely, restaurants and retail falter? Or does it believe that, uniquely across the country, it can buck this trend? If so, what is the hard evidence, as opposed to the wishful thinking?
If you ring Waverley and ask what the weather is like in Godalming, the answer is likely to be based on the assumption that it is a secret (unfair to the excellent reception staff at the council, but I hope you get the drift) so it is hardly likely Waverley will tell the likes of me, or the likes of you for that matter, who owns the leases. I find out what I can where I can, often from a wonderful blog called

Waverley Web (see below).

In this instance, I have gathered CNS has ducked out and has left the headache of unproductive leases to Waverley and/or Surrey.
If I was the portfolio holder for Surrey, I would be seriously worried about putting big dollops of money into what is little more than a bunch of shops with flats on top and dubious prospects. The scheme was old fashioned and outdated then. It is antediluvian now. Are not we, whose taxes will pick up the tab, at the very least entitled to know Waverley is taking proper precautions to protect our interests and our pockets in challenging times, by doing good contingency planning? It would be worrying indeed if the council was burying its head in the sand.
If Waverley is tempted to argue that it would undermine its sales pitch to potential retailers to publicly prepare for the opposite outcome to the one it is hoping for, have a look for a moment at the national scene, where the government is in the process of producing public contingency plans for an outcome – no deal – which is the opposite of its official policy, the Chequers proposals. Its contingency planning seems to have been generally accepted as good sense and good practice; were Waverley to do the equivalent, I suggest the reaction would be the same.

The world of retail is changing radically and forever, so we need a council that will change and adapt to meet its challenges and we need to know, too, the people who govern us can do so in a far-seeing and proactive way.
What do you see ahead, Miss Potts, and what do you plan?
What is your Plan B? If we are wondering whether or not to elect you, we will also need to know if you will measure up?

The by-line of Waverley Web is:
“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
when first we practice to deceive”.
Its aim is to expose deceit and concealment and celebrate honesty and transparency. It does so vigorously, scurrilously, colourfully and with glee and is hugely entertaining. To sign up, http://waverleyweb.org

David Wylde, St James Terrace, Farnham

They seek him here… they seek him there?

 

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