The Liberal Democrat Group has arrived, and although things are quiet at present, there is much work going on behind the scenes. Coalitions created, roles defined for new councillors, inductions held, and plans for the future are being drawn up as we write.
However, there are some huge challenges ahead for ‘Your Waverley’ not least of which is the matter of £1m worth of savings to be made, a Judicial Review on the Local Plan pending in the courts, dealing with the Farnham Blightwells development debacle and numerous controversial planning applications in Haslemere, Godalming and Farnham town and villages.
There is also the huge job of dealing with the Dunsfold Masterplan which includes 1,800 of the first phase of the new settlement.
Cranleigh too faces a number of highly controversial schemes – A New Bypass, the start of which is already being created by stealth, siting of new schools in a highly congested area, plus a new leisure centre.
So, there is much to do about everything. Let us all hope the new Rainbow Alliance is up to the job?
MANIFESTO AT A GLANCE
CHANGING THE JOB DESCRIPTION OF LOCAL COUNCILLORS
COUNCILLORS THAT LISTEN,
A number of Tory councillors have attendance rates below 30% Response and general participation from some councillors is at an all-time low
SHOW UP & WORK HARD
- Publish the attendance of all our councillors. 2. Hold public surgeries on a regular basis to engage with residents. 3. Fully and actively participate in council sessions and represent the views of our residents. 4. Appoint one of our councillors as an internal monitoring officer to ensure the above commitments are met.
A FAIRER, BALANCED & MORE TRANSPARENT COUNCIL
NO ONE GROUP SHOULD MAKE ALL THE DECISIONS
Before the election 50 of 57 Waverley seats were held by the Conservatives. Near-total control by one party leads to an absence of debate and scrutiny.
- Reform the standards panel to make it easier for residents to take a question and take action against councillors. 2. Change the procurement rules for big contracts to protect public money. 3. Ensure that all scrutiny functions, including audit, include members of the opposition. 4. Facilitate public and full debate at all levels of the council.
SENSIBLE PLANNING & INFRASTRUCTURE
SUSTAINABLE DECISION MAKING
Conservative promises on the green belt have been repeatedly breached. Hundreds of houses are being built without the infrastructure to support them.
THAT ENGAGES RESIDENTS
- Set up a committee to investigate available land for social housing, bring it forward to council and set up a public consultation for each site to deliver more social (council) housing. 2. Create a committee (held in public) to properly monitor all Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds.
- Reopen the local plan at the earliest opportunity to change the housing mix and increase affordable and social housing provision for every application to at least 40%. 4. Set up open, public forums to discuss large (above 100 dwellings) planning applications prior to it going to a formal planning committee so that residents can have a proper say.
DEFENDING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND AIR QUALITY
Air quality in Waverley is under threat and monitoring is inadequate. Sustainable environmental policies are needed if the borough is to develop.
- Increase the number of air quality monitors. Currently, there are just 2 in the entire borough. 2. Create a permanent air-quality monitoring group that reports to the full council and publishes its reports independently.
- 3. Work to reduce car usage and increase the number of electric car charging points and to promote sustainability in planning applications and development by encouraging sustainable travel options 4. Seek to eliminate single-use plastics wherever possible and help towns and parishes to do the same.
Published and promoted by Heather Hullah at 95 Green Lane. Godalming on behalf of the Waverley Liberal Democrats.
Here’s the link to the document. https://tinyurl.com/Manifesto2019
The WW asked for the Conservative Manifesto but we never received it. The WW has been blocked from the Waverley Borough Council e-mail system – so new councillors will have to either log on to follow us – or log on from their personal e-mail accounts.