Where has all the money gone, long time passing?
Where has all the money gone, long time ago?
Where has all the money gone?
CVHT has robbed us all, every one
Oh, when will the Parish Council ever learn, when will WE ever learn?
WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE?
That’s what the majority of Cranleigh residents, who queued up on a cold, dank Wednesday evening waiting to enter the Village Hall, wanted to know.
The Parish Council was responsible for the hold-up. One dressed as a Leprechaun was busy flipping backwards and forwards through the Electoral Roll handing out yellow slips to Cranleigh residents who were obliged to give name, rank and house number to confirm their eligibility to speak at the meeting. Damn – we left our arachnoid dental records behind…again!
‘Next!’ said the Leprechaun briskly. ‘Not a Cranleigh resident? Well, you can come in but you’re not permitted to speak. Next …’
Who do these people think they are?
They kept the public – most of whom were the wrong side of 60 – waiting for up to half an hour, in the drizzle, to enter a public building for a meeting called by THE PUBLIC and then told them who could speak, how often and for how long!
Did we miss something?
We thought these people were elected by the people of Cranleigh to represent the people of Cranleigh, not to dictate to them. As for the Leprechaun …. well, what can we say? We, at the Waverley Web, have always maintained that put a blue rosette on a donkey and the people of Waverley would vote for it but a Leprechaun … ‘What the *uck’s that all about?’ as the youngest, newest (and most uncouth) recruit to the Waverley Web’s growing network of correspondents said!
Once the audience finally gained their seats and the meeting commenced it was running half an hour late thanks to the Leprechaun’s antics with the yellow slips. Did she not realise that most people were on a tight schedule, hoping to be home in time to watch BBC2’s much-trailered Mother, Father, Son?
Chairman of the Parish Council, Liz Townsend, informed the meeting that – and we hasten to add we paraphrase – that the Parish Council didn’t really want to be there but they’d been forced to call the meeting by six parishioners who’d demanded one. Plebs!
We won’t bore you with the bylaws that were invoked, suffice to say the Parish Council were there under duress. Oh, and by the way, no one from Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust (CVHT) had been prepared to attend and ‘face the music’. Nor, for that matter, was anyone from HC-One there either – the private care home provider that is benefiting from the largess of Cranleigh residents who fund-raised for a new village hospital and day hospital but are being palmed off with a private care home, in case you’re wondering. There’s an expression for it:
It was left to Adrian Clark, on behalf of Cranleigh Lions, to point out that the Lions had given CVHT a whopping £45,000, the largest single donation Cranleigh Lions had ever made – apparently, the biggest donation they usually make is circa £500, just to put their munificence into perspective. And Jim McAllister, on behalf of Dunsfold Park, who pointed out that his company had provided, both in kind and in cash, the equivalent of circa £140,000 to CVHT.
Both donors made it abundantly clear that whilst they had been enthusiastic supporters of CVHT when they had understood the trustees to be raising money to provde a new hospital to replace the existing cottage hospital, they would not have been remotely supportive had they been aware that CVHT was going to fritter their donations on a highly successful, privately owned, for-profit care home which could well afford to finance its own money-making enterprise.
Both gentlemen said they wanted their money back so that it could be redistributed to other, more needy and worthwhile local charities. Good point well made Messrs Adrian Clarke and Jim McAllister. Cranleigh residents were heartily behind them and demonstrated their support with ringing applause.
There were, of course, a few stooges in the audience who sang the praises of the proposal to build a new, privately owned, for-profit care home – Parish Councillor Rosemary Burrbridge being one of them – but the majority of the audience wanted to know why the Parish Council had sold Parish owned land to CVHT for £1 and why it had, later, not enforced the covenant attached to the sale of the land and taken the land back when it had the opportunity to do so?
Another important question that no one asked is why there was a ransom strip around the land which was exchanged, who put it there and who benefits from it? But we’ll come to that later.
Unfortunately, none of those Parish Councillors who were present were Parish Councillors at the time that the land swap was effected and although the Clerk had done a sterling job trawling through the paperwork and past Minutes in order to provide a chronology of where we are and how we got here more might have been achieved if the architects of the scheme – namely Needless to say Patricia wife of the late Brian – former parish council chairman and herself a parish councillor at the time kept shtumn.
Nick Vrijland (President of CVHT and, we believe after some trawling of our own, the beneficiary of the aforementioned Ransom Strip)
Robin Fawkner-Corbett (Chairman of CVHT)
John Bainbridge (Trustee)
David Graham-Smith (Trustee)
Andy Leahy (Trustee)
Brian Cheesman (Trustee)
David Barry (Trustee)
Nigel Roberts (Trustee)
Christina Pearce (between 2002 and June 2018 Christina was the administrator, volunteer coordinator, gift shop manager, fundraiser, secretary to the Trustees and general factotum of CVHT – a position for which she was paid handsomely – some claim far too handsomely and that was where a lot of CVHT’s funds went!) –
had been present to answer questions from the public.
If only these Trustees (who are, predominantly, pale, male and stale and, in some cases, former members of Cranleigh Parish Council) had had the courtesy and the courage to attend the meeting and give an account of themselves and their actions, Cranleigh residents might have felt it was worth their while turning out. As it was, they might just as well have stayed home and tuned into Coronation Street for all the good it did them. There are already calls for another PUBLIC meeting to be chaired by THE PUBLIC at which CVHT will be, TOLD, NOT ASKED – to turn up!
In the past, Mr Vrijland has enjoyed strutting around the village making a great deal of his status as a so-called benefactor to the people of Cranleigh but where was he last night? Neither he nor Mr Leafy – who have both made a shed-load of dosh out of Cranleigh by developing the former West Cranleigh Nurseries, AKA the Knowle Park Initiative, were anywhere to be seen. And not a peep out of either of them about their extra-curricular development activities in Cranleigh in their profiles on the CVHT website. Coy or just deliberately hiding their bushels of cash out of the light?
Now here’s a thought: maybe, just maybe, Messrs Vrijland and Leafy would like to give back to the people of Cranleigh the £2 million local businesses, charities and residents raised and donated to CVHT so it can be redistributed to other more deserving local good causes. And, at the same time, perhaps Mr Vrijland would like to return to Cranleigh Parish Council the ransom strip he purloined along the way in the hope they will now take better care of it than Messrs Bainbridge and Cheesman did during their stewardship as Cranleigh Parish Councillors! Just a thought …
On its website CVHT tell us ‘Discussions with stakeholders highlighted the shortfall in affordable rental accommodation in the Cranleigh area for healthcare workers, leading to possible difficulties in both the recruitment and retention of staff. To overcome this, an accommodation block on the Knowle Lane site with 26 affordable units is proposed. This accommodation will be made available to anyone working in healthcare locally.’
Er, call us naive but why didn’t Messrs Vrijland and Leafy set aside 26 affordable units at their Knowle Park Initiative development for healthcare workers? Could it be something to do with them being very happy to dig deep into the pockets of Cranleigh residents but not their own …?
Some bright spark asked for a vote of those in favour of the privately owned care home. 27, yellow slip waving hands, were in favour and 12 against. We can only presume that the abstaining majority of over 150 couldn’t see the point in voting because they realised they’d been stitched up by CVHT … and we’re not talking surgical stitches here. Does it hurt? You bet it does … but only when they laugh!
And, Cranleigh people are not laughing. Particularly Andy (Flash) Photographer Webb who left before the meeting started because the man born in Cranleigh now lives in Alfold, and who contributed money like many thousands of others, from the nearby villages was told he couldn’t speak!
Wanna bet! – You sign up and log on to the Cranleigh Community Group and see for yourselves whether he can speak or not?