The first meeting of ‘Your new Waverley​.’ Let the battles begin?

Five minutes into the first Full Meeting of ‘Your Waverley’  and the gloves were on and the spats began.

Oh dear – Alfold’s former policeman turned politician isn’t happy now he doesn’t have his posterior pinned to a seat on Waverley’s Executive.   He fears as a back-bencher he won’t get enough of a say – or is it perhaps money, out of Dunsfold proposed new 1,800/2,600  garden village? Coming to an airfield near him soon?



So up popped the weasel from Bramley to provide the first slap of the evening, to ask on the Alfold Councillors behalf – how the NEW EXECUTIVE planned to oversee the Dunsfold development?   O.M.G. and didn’t those two words “New Executive” stick in the gullet of Tory Richard Seaborne. The very same councillor who, along with Cllr DeAnus opposed ANY development on the largest Brownfield site in the borough. Perish the thought that they should now be so concerned about how it is to be managed.  Without the benefit of their spanners in the works, perhaps? By the way, why wasn’t  Alfold’s Bobby delivering the question he posed? Or was he at Dunsfold Park with his begging bowl?

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Want to know why?

Numerous members of the public have been debating this little matter on our scurrilous Blog for some time. Now there’s your answer Bunty and Aunty Doris.

View the clip above: – Listen very carefully – as both the Leader John Ward and his Deputy Paul Follows deliver the slap, bang, wallop on behalf of ‘Your New Waverley.’


As he says on the clip – this is the third time you (The Tory Group) have asked this question? Why? Or is this for the benefit of the public? 

So we are doing our civic duty by bringing it to your breakfast table this morning.


25 thoughts on “The first meeting of ‘Your new Waverley​.’ Let the battles begin?”

  1. I think the views of the Councillors for Alfold, Dunsfold, Cranleigh and Bramley do deserve to have some sort of representation on the Executive that will be negotiating the Dunsfold Park development, regardless of whether they supported it or not and to say that those with the required skills have been selected is a complete nonsense. The impact on Farnham and the West of the Borough will be minimal – the impact on the villages (Large & small) in the East WILL and therefore they should be on the Exec.

    I know Cllr Follows said that all members of the Exec. will have their “Waverley Heads” on – but It was obvious during the Consultation for the DP Development that the residents in the South and West and to be quite honest Godalming too wanted MORE housing to be put on Dunsfold Park so that THEY would not be dumped upon by developers, regardless of the fact that we here in the East have the most limited Infrastructure of the Whole Borough. The “N” word springs to mind.

    We all have to accept that this new “Garden Village” is going to happen but Councillors here in the East should be on it and I am frankly Very disappointed that the New administration do not understand that. Cllr Deanus was on the Dunsfold Liason Group so surely he has a greater knowledge of what has been discussed in the past with DP than any of the New Councillors in Farnham and Godalming.

    Perhaps they will be able to explain to an ignoramous like me …How many Approved “Garden Villages” have no Train station within 10 miles of the site.

    1. Perhaps it is worth reminding everyone that Cllr Deanus had his say on Dunsfold for a very long time as he WAS a member of the Executive. Was there a Cranleigh member on that same Executive – NO.

      1. I don’t think the “Dunsfold Liaison Group” has anything to do with the new settlement and it is all about whether the aerodrome was observing the various conditions relating particularly to noise coming from its activities. The minutes I’ve seen on a couple of occasions bear that out.

      2. I have seen the scanty Minutes from the meetings..Which I questioned some years ago – I think I received some wishy washy reply that they were not Minutes as such just advisory and complaints of noise etc… My point was that he had sat in on the meetings with the Officers and DP and I am sure that details of the proposed expansion of the Industrial units & new access route were discussed. I guess my point was that Cllr Deanus had a greater understanding of the workings of DP than any of the Farnham Cllrs. But that is not to say that Cllr Follows’ point that it doesn’t preclude anyone else picking up the intricacies of the Development isn’t valid. My issue still is the lack of representation from the East of the Borough on the Executive and whether all Councillors will always have their “Waverley Heads” on.

    2. Don’t get this Denise, what is there to ‘negotiate’. Isn’t it a bit late. They have their planning permission.

  2. Hi, I entirely appreciate where you are coming from and I want to seek to both explain our position and to reassure.

    I think the issue is that any given person or group could make a case that any one topic, area, matter in Waverley is important or the most important thing and therefore *should* have a member on the exec for those moments on the wider agenda that matter comes up.

    So with that importance being subjective, and with us not just practically but financially being able to represent all 20+ parishes of Waverley at once on the exec – we have to go with (as the leader put it) the meritocratic direction and put those who are best suited to the broader job onto the exec. Those who may not know the detail to the tenth degree on one specific matter but that we trust to get to grips with the detail on many matters and to represent the borough to the best of their abilities (hence an accountant in the economic portfolio position for example).

    We also said last night, and I’ll say it again now (and this will be the case for many other things) that the governance bodies for such strategic sites WILL involve those ward councillors. This one absolutely will. So when it comes to the detail they will of course be there and involved.

    One final thought – Being on something before or for a long time is also not necessarily a qualification or justification for something to stay the same either. I value experience, and you know most of the time at Waverley for me the ‘true’ difference between councillors is not party but between those that work hard and those that don’t – but there is a limit to that and it is not at the expense of all other factors.

    So long story short – they will be involved.

    Happy to discuss of course 🙂

  3. Hi Paul
    I appreciate your feedback and I agree with some of your comments, What I don’t agree with is that this is not a single Issue point or matter. The Dunsfold Park Application is the Biggest Single Planning application in the Whole Borough and I feel that at least One Councillor from the East of the Borough should be on it. I am sure as Ward Councillors they will be involved with DP – but it isn’t just that development; it is shaping the whole of the Borough and surely there SHOULD be some representation from the East and there simply isn’t which ever way you look at it. It is primarily Farnham Councillors and Godalming. Each of the 4 Main settlement have their own issues and we all know the issues in Cranleigh and yet they have No Voice on the Executive – Why is that? surely out of all the Cranleigh Councillors there should be one who has the requisite skills needed?

    Unlike Farnham and Godalming we have no AONB ,Green Belt, SPAs, SACs, RAMSAR etc… all we have is Countryside beyond the Greenbelt which seems to carry very little weight in Planning

    The issues we face here are Very different to those in the West and South, with Cranleigh you have 1800 odd New homes under construction as well as DP and various others in the villages and yet we are woefully lacking in Schools, Hospitals, Trains and decent access to the A3 – So I am afraid despite your concerns… the whole Executive looks skewed to me… and I was hoping for so much more after the Elections. Some of the Conservatives may be a bunch of Old Grumps and throwing their toys around… and deserved to be so roundly defeated, but this wasn’t what many of us here in the East were hoping for.

    I took the afternoon off and went into Cranleigh – Just speak to some of the locals, retailers etc…They will tell you how disenfranchised they feel about what is going on here.

    Enough ranting for the day – off to get ready for Puppy-Classes so I need to get back to a “Happy-Place”

    1. Sadly, Cranleigh residents have not been very vocal. Over here in Farnham they have voted with their feet – elected Farnham Residents who will stand up for the town, and hope to shape it the way they/we want rather than having everythign foisted upon them.

      The one thing all the towns and villages agreed upon – except of course those around Dunsfold Park, was that the site was the largest brownfield site in the borough. End of.

      Many Cranleigh residents who write to us believe that if Dunsfold had been consented much earlier, many of the green fields and countryside may have been saved.

  4. Didn’t Mike Band & Stewart Stennett from Cranleigh serve on the Waverley executive within the last 11 years ? I hope the Deputy Leader will have the good grace investigate and retract if his stated facts prove to be incorrect.

      1. Cllr S Stennett -Cranleigh East and Cllr Band-Shamley Green & Cranleigh North. We know that here in the East of Waverley. I’m sure if you had asked the Mayor or Cllr P Ellis they would have informed you.

    1. Stewart Stennett was definitely not on the Executive, however Mike Band was for a while – but he was the ouncillor for Shamley Green and part of Cranleigh, but voted for almost all development in the eastern villages that came in front of him. We cannot ever remember him standing up for anything in Cranleigh? Except a new leisure centre which is a Waverley Borough Council cash cow.

      1. I think Cllr Stennett was on the Executive for a time. Housing portfolios I recall.

  5. Thank you for sharing WW, this was painful to watch. Cllr Seaborne asked a fair question. Cllr Townsend looked stoney-faced during the question, but cheered up when the leader and deputy leader spoke.

    Most disappointing was Cllr Follows sniggering and smirking when Cllr Ward gave his answer. Watch it back and say that wasn’t the case.

    Cllr Ward’s answer was bland and a bit theatrical.
    The executive team was chosen on their abilities and it would have been difficult to represent all parishes – forgetting he and his deputy could have chosen from two Cranleigh Lib Dems. But what could HE do?? He then complains about his lack of “size” preventing such a possibility.

    There was a thinly veiled reference about offering a Conservative seat which was turned down. This must be the reason why Cllr Follows apologised to Cllr Townsend – why apologise?

    Cllr Follows notes that nobody from Cranleigh has served on the Executive in the last 11 years – not true as ‘Watching Waverley’ has pointed out. Maybe he needs to check his facts, but even if that was correct it’s no reason for him to continue to promote the non- representation of Cranleigh when it was within his gift to correct the wrong.

    He still hasn’t answered they question of why he believes a successful challenge to the local plan would result in the numbers of houses allocated for Waverley would increase btw.


    1. Bunty hi – what I am waiting for (and it’s a request made to officers last week) is a the formal waverley version of the numbers and the risk assessment. Which we have asked be in a form that we can put out in the public domain.

      1. Hi Paul, can you confirm that the numbers you have requested from the officers will show that a challenge to the plan would increase the housing number as you said would be the case in an earlier post when you responded to POW? If that’s the case residents should probably see the numbers quickly so thanks for looking into it. Do you expect them soon?

    2. We did answer Bunty’s point earlier. And, as the Leader John Ward said: The new administration did offer the Tories a place on the Executive.

      We believe that place was offered to Cranleigh’s pocket rocket – Cllr Liz Townsend. But she wouldn’t dare ignore the Tory whip – or would she?

      Perhaps Ms Townsend should become an Independent – take up a role on the Executive and start batting for the eastern villages as she has done so valiantly for the past four years?

      1. I would second that! But maybe she has other reasons??? She has always fought so well for Cranleigh and I hope that she will continue to do so what ever she decides, But that still does NOT answer the question as to why other Eastern Councillors were not suitable, or did it have to be Tory?

  6. I am not sure you should refer to Cllr Townsend as a “Pocket Rocket”. A quick google should suffice.

    1. Ooh, I’ve just googled that term. I think you are right Watching Waverley! Not the best choice of nick-name at all! 😱

      1. Whoops – I am sure Cllr Townsend will know what you meant !!!

  7. I served on the Waverley Executive until 2015 and I know that
    Councillor Mike Band – Cranleigh North & Shamley Green served as finance portfolio holder & deputy leader
    Councillor Stewart Stennett- Cranleigh East served as portfolio holder for Leisure, Culture, Parks & Countryside during that time.

    When is Paul Follows going to publically correct this serious mis information?
    Very surprised John Ward went along with misleading our residents on this matter as he was part of the Conservative administration at that time.

  8. We do not believe Councillor Paul Follows has to apologise for anything. That he did not know every single portfolio holder from years back is not surprising – in fact it was to be expected, he wasn’t there.

    Shameful point scoring Mr Smith.

    Although we were covering Waverley we didn’t remember Cllr Stennett holding an Executive role. Maybe just because he did not make much of an impression in the role perhaps? And he obviously did not hold the role for very long. He was far too busy holding secret meetings with developers carving up the eastern villages on behalf of his mates most of the time, wasn’t he? Or seeking election onto the parish council – then resigning – then seeking re-election then resigning.

    Not a bit surprised that John Ward didn’t know either – he was far too busy upsetting the Tory Group of which he was a member at that time!

    From someone who misled the residents of Farnham consistantly during your term as the Portfolio holder for Blightwells – kettle and back come to mind.

    1. Cllrs Follows should really apologise- otherwise he is misleading residents. Surely he is big enough to do that. Mr Taylor Smith was simply pointing out the error, as did I (but I think Cllr Stennett had a short stint in housing before leisure) but I’ll apologise if I’m wrong. Still waiting for Cllr Follows to give the promised evidence behind his statement that the housing numbers will go up if there is a successful challenge to the local plan. This is an important piece of information that the residents need to know. Have the officers provided it yet?

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