A scandal over blue asbestos in drinking water in the village dubbed ‘Poor Old Cranleigh’ has now hit the headlines of a National newspaper​.

Only look at this article taken from the Financial Times if you have a strong stomach, never drink water, or don’t live or work in Cranleigh.

Do read it Thames Water and Wannabe Waverley Councillors.


Click on the link below to read the article.


Within hours of a full-broadsheet page FT article hitting the streets, the castigation of a Cranleigh engineer had begun.  Don’t rush down to the Cranleigh newsagents, as over here in Farnham we heard that “a mystery gentleman’ bought up every copy of the prestigious FT – probably because he wanted to check his investments on the FTSE??!! Or maybe it was a developer?

However, fear not – we snaffled a copy over here, and offer our sincere sympathies to the residents of Cranleigh & the eastern villages who have suffered hundreds of burst pipes. Pipes that are leaking blue asbestos into their drinking water!

The WW first wrote about this phenomenon a year or so back. Not that anyone takes any notice of anything we say! However,  due to the dogged determination of  Cranleigh Society engineer Adrian Clarke the health implications were brought to the attention of MP Anne Milton and the statutory agencies.

The Society subsequently set up a Flood Forum which called to account Thames Water; The Environment Agency, Waverley & Surrey County Councils and the Health & Safety Executive. Who has simply done, little or nothing, except talk a lot we are told. Because pipes all over Cranleigh keep bursting, some have leaked for months if not years, putting fibres into drinking water!

Ignored by ‘Your Waverley’ but Thames Water is forced to recognise there IS a problem with blue asbestos in the East’s water supply!

 Cranleigh’s very own Erin Brokavich in trousers, namely  Adrian Clarke has taken his sorry story to the FT after watching workers wearing protective white masks as they removed burst pipes. Pipes made of asbestos cement. The former factory inspector has failed to persuade anyone- including the MP – to have pieces of pipework examined under laboratory conditions.  Nobody is suggesting that Cranleigh is the only place in the country with asbestos pipes, however, it is undergoing an explosion of housing development, just as we are in Farnham. But all progressing without proper attention to overburdened infrastructure – including water and sewerage treatment.

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Adrian Clarke  pictured here believes: Screen Shot 2019-04-01 at 14.44.48.png

If it is dangerous to inhale asbestos- then it is dangerous to drink.”

Whilst the World Health Organisation (WHO) has no concerns, and neither do Thames Water, SCC or ‘Your Waverley’ councils. However, scientists are not so sure, pointing to the asbestos industry’s questionable research carried out on hamsters and rats.

“The WHO study was based on limited research and was incorrect,” Arthur Frank professor of Public Health and professor of medicine at Drexel University in Philadelphia told the FT. A man who knows his stuff and who has helped asbestos victims in court cases.

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“There is plenty of evidence that water rushing through asbestos cement water pipes leaches out asbestos fibres and there is no question in my mind that ingestion of asbestos causes gastrointestinal tract and kidney cancers.”

Cranleigh’s campaigner agrees.

“People are still dying of asbestos-related diseases. Everyone assumes they inhaled asbestos at some point in their lives. But what if people are dying from drinking asbestos fibres in water?”

Note: Thames Water told Cranleigh residents it would be renewing a considerable amount of the 1950’s and 60’s pipework. It hasn’t. Despite the fact that increased water pressure to thousands of new homes is progressing, and blowing mains and pipework to older homes. For Sale signs litter Cranleigh’s Streets and new homes are languishing on the market despite huge incentives including price cuts. 


7 thoughts on “A scandal over blue asbestos in drinking water in the village dubbed ‘Poor Old Cranleigh’ has now hit the headlines of a National newspaper​.

  1. Luckily the Financial Times’ thorough investigation is less inflammatory! http://www.ft.com/content/98e80238-4feb-11e9-b401-8d9ef1626294

    Living is a risk – like living beside a road or a mobile phone mast, or consuming food and water full of hormones – risks we all get on with all the time. One respondent of the FT’s article claims the following “facts” – just saying …..

    upon death….. “Up to 30,000 fibres of asbestos per gram of dried lung is considered normal but where asbestosis disease is thought to be present, a minimum of 100,000 fibres at least needs to be found”

    We fervently hope that TW will now put in place a reasonable replacement scheme to deal with the leaks, bursts, inconvenience and yes – any worries about asbestos fibres!

    • Oops! Did you have a drop too much to drink before you wrote this? Water we mean. You may not have noticed but the full article from the Financial Times was included with our post. A post prompted by e-mails from residents expressing their concerns.

      Of course we all live with risks, air pollution, phone masts, crop spraying with dangerous chemicals, pesticides etc. However, do we just ignore them, shut up and put up? Obviously you believe we should.

      Over here in Farnham we have serious air pollution problems. A problem which went unrecognised because a Waverley officer and her line-manager incorrectly reorded the data. YW called in the police and thiis is now sub judice because following a police investigation charges have been made against the individuals concerned. YW, could have ignored this situation. It didn’t it acted responsibly.

      The Cranleigh Society has highlighted the water, sewerage and blue asbestos problem for years. Possibly because it believed, as did Mr Clarke, that there was a possible risk to health. We understand he wants proper laboratory tests to be carried out to reassure some very worried Cranleigh people.

  2. Water issues abound though throughout planning in Waverley and we almost never properly discuss it in planning committees.

    Another example – Ockford Park in my ward. Serious water infrastructure constraints. Committee spends less than 10mins on that subject – nobody asks any questions. We then spend 35 mins talking about chimneys for houses that have no fireplaces (which the committee manages to do EVEN after we had had another meeting internally for councillors where that subject dominated).

    We need to make sure we actually discuss the genuinely important matters – or things like this happen. This is one of those areas where Party matters not a jot – there needs to be more councillors that ask questions.

    Speaking totally without party hat on for a moment – how many issues in Waverley are issues because it’s a ‘Cranleigh’ issue or a ‘Godalming’ issue.

    They are Waverley issues and this constant tension between the towns and villages seems to hinder change.

  3. We have heard you on the webcast, when it works, Cllr Follows. However we watch your colleagues/planning officer’s eyes glaze over, every time you speak about highway; sewerage; water and environmental and space standard concerns.

    Why do they attempt to ignore you? Because the shove and shunt brigade among your colleagues want to pile them in (houses we mean) and sell them as quickly as possible. Bring the housing delivery numbers up and sod the onsequences.

    What does it matter if babies ingest car fumes and suffer from asthma. Or badgers are drowned; bats sent to oblivion, or accidents caused by inferior accesses onto major roads?

    There has to be change for us here in Farnham, Godalming and all the towns and villages or, if we get four more years of the same, we are all well and truly stuffed.

  4. I think calling them my colleagues might be a bit strong. The people I (currently) share the chamber with.

    But yes – almost nobody ever wants to discuss those things. There are a couple that do – and I will give them their due (people like Cllr Townsend) but broadly these things aren’t taken seriously.

    Air quality and environmental matters are one of the top issues in our coming election campaign and it’s something I know my Party colleagues, Green Party colleagues and others very much share. Also a good few independents I could name too.

    Those are the people I consider my colleagues – because I know they care enough about these things to actually want to talk about them in public and do something about it.

    The fact is I’m sitting here trying to think of even 5 out of the 50 currently in the chamber who I think take this seriously on a regular basis and I’m struggling to hit 3.

    • Oh dear! Then things over at Waverley Towers are even worse than we thought. We have watched the webcasts regulary, and have drawn our own conclusions on ‘Your Waverley’s’ councillors – its Executive and officers.

      There are those who attend, just enogh to claim they represent the voting fodder.
      There are those who hardly turn up at all.

      Those who are there to serve their developer friends,their own personal ends and their ego’s.

      Some to fill gaps, to prevent others from reaching towards and changing the toxic environment.

      Others who just slide in unopposed and proudly boast about it.

      Then there are the few who genuinely care, read their committee papers, and serve their own patch and parts of the borough that others would not even dream of reaching.

      Such as Elizabth Townsend, Paul Follows; Kevin Deanus; Jerry Hyman and the Farnham Residents’ plus Richard Seaborne, and Andy MacLeod.

      And then… there are those from Farnham and Hindhead who insult and treat villagers – like those in Cranleigh & Ewhurst – with utter contempt, and get away with it.

      Then of course there are some dedicated officers, and the other sort who cut ans run…

  5. Pingback: Has the Cranleigh Society taken over the role of the parish council? - Waverley WebWaverley Web

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