Is Following Follows getting nasty?

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Cool it boys and girls and play nicely?

 

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This is a message that Waverley Borough Council Deputy leader Paul Follows posted on his Facebook page earlier this week.

Here at the Waverley Web, we too have had a few very unpleasant remarks made about the Parliamentary Candidate standing in the South West Surrey constituency against Jeremy Hunt. Thankfully, we can remove them before they go into the comments box, and sometimes, after. However, some keyboard warriors appear to think they can insult at will.

Some people seem to believe that the Conservatives have some sort of given right to hold both the SW Surrey and the Guildford & Cranleigh seats in Parliament – and that the voting fodder is just that, fodder. Residents to be wooed every few years and then dropped once they start to concentrate on the bigger picture and secure a seat at Westminster. 

What the residents of Waverley would like to see is a little more emphasis on local issues.

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Oh dear! Before the refusal letter has been posted boys toys are flying out of Cranleigh prams?

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Waverley Planners dared to upset the supporters of a Cranleigh Charity that had its planning application thrown out on Wednesday. You can read why here:

Power to the people of the eastern villages as they joined Waverley Planners to give a controversial Care Home development the order of the boot.

Cranleigh’s  Community Board has been fizzing ever since Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee refused Cranleigh Village Hospital and HC-1’s scheme to build an 80-bed care home and a staff hostel on a site once owned by villagers in Knowle Lane.

Judging by the e-mail messages we have received – and the on-line squabbling, it appears now the dust is settling the blame game has begun. Perhaps even an appeal against the decision has begun too?

So, perhaps our readers and our many correspondents over there in the eastern villages, could enlighten us – on who comes top of the poll in the pin the tail on the p/rat game?

Cranleigh’s very own Batty Bamford, purported to be a local businessman,  has blamed the parish council spokesperson, the editor of the Cranleigh Community Board and a young villager who was presumably asked to present the petition and speak up for objectors.

Waverley has been blamed by another supporter who fired off e-mails all over the country, for “dragging its feet.” Others are claiming it was the planning officers, the councillors and presumably the office cat? Oh, yes we almost forgot. The Trust’s planning consultants – Tetlow King blames Facebook and The Waverley Web. As if any seriously minded planner or officer would take one jot of notice of anything we say, dream on!

Others claim it was the Trust’s fault – for not providing villagers what it said on the tin. They dug deep into their pockets and bank accounts for a hospital and day hospital, for their use, and were offered a Private Care Home and accommodation block, to be shared by, what appeared to them,  for anyone, any-time, anywhere.

We would like to hear from anyone else out there who would like to name anyone else they would like to blame for what has become a toxic chapter in Cranleigh’s history? contact@waverleyweb.com

 

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Power to the people of the eastern villages as they joined Waverley Planners to give a controversial Care Home development the order of the boot.

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A 20-year slog to replace beds lost in Cranleigh Village Hospital ended in defeat for a charity hell-bent on joining forces with a commercial partner to build an 80-bed private care home in the heart of Cranleigh. The application was refused by 15 votes to 5 with 1 abstention.

After a short hiatus, when members of the Joint Planning Committee were told the applicant had sought a deferment, which was promptly refused by majority vote –  Due to Chairman  Richard Cole’s role, on Cranleigh Parish Council’s planning committee he felt unable to consider the application with “an open mind,” and left.  His deputy David Beaman took the chair.

 Cranleigh councillors were not alone in their opposition to a development which has been eagerly awaited for a year. During which time public meetings have been held by objectors, petitions containing over 5,000 signatures raised by Alfold resident Andy Webb. Due to Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust refusal to meet the public who backed them, the mood of objectors grew darker by the day. Three Cranleigh councillors have been verbally attacked in the street by one of its Trustees, a former parish councillor, as a result – the public mood worsened.

Outlining the scheme officer Patrick Arthurs explained why officers concluded that the development in an ASVI – an Area of Strategic Visual Importance – was unacceptable and should be REFUSED. The development would damage the intrinsic character and beauty of countryside beyond the Green Belt, and the impact of the scale and mass of large buildings – a care home/20 community beds and a 26-unit health worker building- must be proportionate to the impact for the principle to be considered acceptable. Harm must be balanced against benefit.

He said previous consents obtained by the charity had lapsed ...

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.. the scheme before members was significantly larger and, despite the benefit of community beds did not outweigh the harm the whole development would cause. There was no formal agreement with stakeholders, including Surrey County Council that the community beds would remain in perpetuity. Neither was there any definite evidence of the catchment area it would serve.

This was confirmed in person later by a  representative of the Surrey Integrated Care Partnership. 

Cllr Patricia Ellis, who called in the application, claimed Cranleigh residents would be “prioritised” She argued the health sector had changed since the original concept of a hospital and day hospital was mooted. She then applauded the superb outpatient, X-Ray, physiotherapy and podiatry and other services now being offered in the old cottage hospital. 

There were many excellent nursing homes in and around Cranleigh, but most were “very expensive,”  Her claim that the site was accessible to car parks and good public transport was later contradicted by Cllr Paul Follows, who said he relied on public transport every time he visited Cranleigh, and public transport was anything but accessible!

Cllr Gerry Hyman questioned why no Community Infrastructure Levy was charged and why couldn’t he find all the viability statements? He objected to such a huge building, and, against a background of laughter from councillors and the public gallery, said couldn’t understand why there was no highway objection in such a  congested road?

Speaking for  Cranleigh Parish Council Rowena Tyler said the council had supported the delivery of a Hospital and Day Hospital. The Charity had witnessed the council’s unanimous refusal of this commercial scheme for a profit-making organisation and its reasons for doing so were based on strong planning grounds. The land transfer had included a covenant, and the council had believed the beds would be for the Cranleigh communities use,  not for the whole of Surrey. It could not support the hostel, which combined with the 80-bed care home was totally inappropriate overdevelopment in an ASVI.  A 1.8metre fence, she argued, would be of no benefit to the community.

Villager Kathy Plank spoke for the 5,000 people who had written in and signed the petition she held. She described the huge fundraising efforts to build a replacement  hospital and day hospital;  There wasn’t a man, woman or child a business, school or organisation who hadn’t proudly displayed the CVHT logo as they swam, sang, cycled played cricket, football; held tea and bridge parties, and enjoyed the 60th Anniversary D-Day Concert; all of which produced over £1.4m in 10 years. Many bankers orders were made out and money jars filled – and the coffers of the Charity coffers had grown. Legacies were left in Wills.

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Alfold Cllr Kevin Deanus lambasted the scheme, saying there were eight good policy reasons for refusing it. First, it came in with a scheme for 2,400 sqm then 4,000 sqm (lapsed) and then 6,180 sqm, a 48% increase – if they had wanted to squeeze any more onto this site they would have needed a crowbar.  I will object.

Farnham’s Carole Cockburn said she would be opposing it on its sheer mass and scale.

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By the time Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend flipped on her microphone, the fate of the scheme was signed and sealed. She registered her concern that SCC only made block bookings of beds for one-year, and the CCG for five years, and reiterated others concerns on the impact on the ASVI.

Not a problem said Cllr Anna James. The borough needed – lots of old people’s homes, and if there were lots of beds in the private care home that weren’t required, then the county council could have even more. Cllr Ellis agreed, if Cranleigh people didn’t want the beds they could be filled by others from elsewhere. However, Cllr Brain Edmonds said:  “Well, I certainly wouldn’t want a bed in that home!”

Cllr Jackie Keen believed, although the county council may get the beds it needs, Cranleigh would get all the traffic and yet more development.

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 Deputy Leader Cllr  Paul Follows: wondered what would happen to the community beds if  Surrey County Council’s money ran out? What happens when they cannot afford them – will they go into private use? And, I have a real issue with student dormitories, being described as “affordable homes.’

After the vote 15 against, five for and one abstention. The committee went on to consider an application by Surrey County Council to build 91 homes on two school sites in Parsonage Road and off Church lane, Cranleigh was also refused. The subject of another post.

A link to the webcast.

https://youtu.be/dnjIVxHdkyQ

Background notes.

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The benefits by way of 20 community beds, 60 private nursing beds and affordable health worker accommodation are not sufficient to outweigh the (visual) harm and adverse (landscape) impacts. It is therefore recommended that permission is refused.

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Access opposite Berkeley Homes. 

OBJECTIONS

  •   This proposal is not for a hospital. It primarily seeks to create a large profit-making private care-home. Residents have been grossly misled with regards to community funding;
  •   Short-sighted and commercially-driven project;
  •   This is not the right development to meet the needs of the community;
  •   The land is allocated for a new hospital, not a nursing home;
  •   A new hospital is required in the village to serve the needs of not only existing residents but all the new residents who will live in Cranleigh in the new residential developments being added to the village;
  •   Not against the proposals in principle but not on this site;
  •   Unsatisfactory layout and excessively dense form of development, amounting to an over-development of a small site, adding to the urbanisation of Cranleigh;
  •   Previous proposals for the site’s development were much smaller in scale;
  •   The buildings are too big and should be single-storey only;
  •   Unsatisfactory road access
  •   Cranleigh cannot accommodate any more new buildings, to protect its integrity as a village and its peaceful character;
  •   Rowland House, a purpose-built elderly person care-home, was demolished in favour of that site’s redevelopment for affordable housing yet the proposal here is for another care-home;
  •   The proposal will harm the village in practical, environmental and aesthetic terms;
  •   Additional traffic in Knowle Lane and greater congestion at the junction of Knowle Lane with Cranleigh High Street, adding to the hazard for both pedestrians and drivers and increasing journey-times;
  •   The staff accommodation is another way of adding another 26 households to Cranleigh, over and above the large number already permitted;
  •   The 66 car parking spaces to be provided for the development is insufficient;
  •   Disturbance, especially due to the 24-hour operation;
  •   Over-looking and loss of privacy;
  •   Smells;
  •   Noise;
  •   Pollution;
  •   Storage of hazardous materials;
  •   Loss of trees and wildlife.

The 2005 outline planning permission for a replacement community hospital and health-centre (WA/2003/1778) permitted a building with a footprint of approximately 2,400 sqm (18% of the site area), total floor area of development 4174.65 sqm, with parking for 48 cars, accessed by means of a new access from Knowle Lane (indicative site layout and elevation shown below). A key feature of this proposal is that development would only have occupied the southern half of the site, with the remainder being left undeveloped to provide a spacious landscaped setting for the development. The permission was not implemented.

This was followed by an application in 2006 (WA/2006/0095) for reserved matters, this time in the form of a 3 storey building, with a footprint of 2,180 sqm, but again spaciously situated within the site (16% of site area), and occupying roughly two-thirds of the southern part of the site, with the balance being left as open-space and parking.

There are significant differences between what has previously been proposed and permitted and what is now proposed under the current proposals in terms of the content of the development proposed.

Firstly, previous proposals for the site envisaged the provision of a health- centre, alongside the community hospital. This was not supported by the NHS and led to the development of an alternative health-care strategy, which involved the development of the new health centre in Cranleigh High Street and the upgrade of the former community hospital, to provide an enhanced diagnostic service.

The health centre is, therefore, no longer part of the current proposals because it has already been provided elsewhere.

The question to be addressed, therefore, is whether the large amount of “other” development that is also proposed alongside the community beds would be excessive, unjustified and beyond what is necessary or desirable to deliver the community beds.

It is also necessary to be clear as to the nature of the benefit to the community that will accrue by the provision of these beds.

The provision of the private nursing-beds could also, arguably, be a benefit to the community but whether 60-bed spaces are justified is another matter. A view, therefore, needs to be taken on this important issue too.

Likewise, it needs to be considered whether the provision of health-worker accommodation sought has a benefit to the community and, even if it does, in

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the principle, whether the amount of development sought is justified, in terms of it being necessary to ensure the deliverability of the scheme.

The qualifying criteria that patients must meet to be a priority for occupancy of one of the community beds have not been set. The applicant has confirmed that the criteria will be developed with the ICP and this could include a matrix of medical need combined with distance home address is from the new facility.

Residents of the new nursing home will have a range of medical conditions from dementia to end of life care. A patient could start off in need of medical treatment, provided at one of the local hospitals, which then develops into a need for nursing care or end of life care, which might be provided by the occupancy of one of the community beds. The community bed allocation criteria will reflect this range of need and health considerations.

The commitment of the CCG cannot be guaranteed beyond 5 years. This raises the important issue of what might happen to the community beds after 5 years; whether they will still be available to the community, for what purpose and through what mechanism

the nature of the benefit to the community and the extent to which it can be relied upon for the future remains unclear.

Surrey County Council, as social care provider, needs a supply of affordable nursing home provision, within its guide price range, to meet the needs of SCC funded nursing-home residents on a long term basis and, therefore, welcomes the provision of the nursing-home beds proposed, which it sees as helping to meet local needs through the Integrated Care Partnership.

It is proposed to provide two links from the site to the Downs Link bridleway; one to the north of the site and one to the southeast. These will facilitate trips to and from the surrounding area via the Downs Link, including to Cranleigh Village Community Hospital and Cranleigh Medical Centre.

 

 

Is it a triple whammy for – “poor old Cranleigh?”

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We just might be in for a real bun fight?

First Up – is the 80 bed-Private Care Home including 20-community beds – that 270 people have been eagerly awaiting and over 5,000 people have objected to. Villagers have Cllr Patricia Ellis to thank for calling it in after officers decided to refuse the scheme under powers delegated to them. She will no doubt claim that she has been prompted into doing so due to the huge local support for the scheme? Let us all hope that a few declarations of interest are registered? Perhaps even the odd financial detail missing from the report? Ah, well we can live in hopes for some transparency on this toxic development which, thanks to a charity’s duplicity, has divided a once, happy and cohesive community.

Now in an e-mail sent to us by one of its supposed supporters,  guess who the Charity is blaming for the delay of an application which has been languishing at Waverley Towers for a year? Yes, you guessed… YOUR WAVERLEY – which has been dragging its feet!

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Is this Cranleigh’s Brightwells? Because it has a fair few things in common with the shenanigans going on in our town. Using public land; public buildings; public money; the council claims were all being used for the benefit of the community, a community whose 10,000 residents opposed the redevelopment of East Street? Going as far as petitioning HM The Queen to allow our town to declare its Independence from ‘Your Waverley.’  Let us hope Cranleigh gets a better outcome?

Is Wife​ of Brian being supported by Son of Bainbridge?

Following: Along comes a shedload of new homes proposed by Surrey County Council, (91 – probably more when it comes to the details) because unless they can sell the land in order to generate £9m for the site which presently houses a Church of England Middle School and an Infants School just a hop, skip and a jump away – they cannot build replacement new schools on Glebelands School’s playing fields in Parsonage Road. Who needs playing fields anyway when the development gets an all-weather pitch, partially paid for by Berkeley Homes and originally intended for “community use? Why don’t SCC  have enough money, we hear you cry?

Because of its reckless investments in retail development in places such as here in Farnham’s Blightwells Development.

Will ‘Your Waverley’ be shaken and stirred by the shocking revelations on Blightwells?

The Treasury has clamped down on local authority borrowing amidst fears that reckless investments could bankrupt local councils. Borrowing which was hiked up by one percentage point last week. It is now at its highest level for four years. Some claim the move will put many capital projects at risk.

Surrey County Council says the school expansion is necessary and places are badly-needed for the 2,800 homes proposed at Dunsfold Garden village, the existing and expanding populations of Rudgwick, Cranleigh, Ewhurst, Alfold, Dunsfold, Shamley Green and Wonersh for the further two thousand homes consented, some of which are now under construction.

Then follows the new Knowle Park Initiative Country Park.

This will provide leisure space for all the new homes. Almost three hundred of which are being provided for the “people of Cranleigh” by developers and park owners- Nick and Rowena Vrijland – better known as the “Flying Dutchman” because most of the time he flies by the seat of his well-worn developer pants.

The man who says he “wants to give back to the people of Cranleigh” whilst trousering a very nice little windfall for himself, has already built homes on part of the parklands he wants to conserve. WW hopes the planners at Waverley ensure they tie him up in knots on his 106 legal agreements. Including the use of his very-wide bridleway which joins up with his “emergency access” at the other end? Having pulled the wool over the very blind eyes of Waverley Planners in the past many wonders If Knowle Park will become KPI – Phase 3.

So watch this space – it could all be happening for ‘Cranleigh New Town Tonight.’

The meeting starts at 6.30pm.

 

It cannot be true? Is the public following Follows?

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If I’m not careful that young upstart who is leading Waverley Borough Council may be stepping into my well-worn shoes. Shoes that are far too big for him to fill? After all, I am a sitting tenant in the SW Surrey seat. I am an entrepreneur, former Secretary of State for Health, Foreign Secretary, local Landlord,  etc… 

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Ok, so I am 33, I studied at the University of Surrey live in Godalming and lead the Town Council and deputy leader of Waverley Council.  I commute to Guildford to work for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence on Surrey research park (covering Standards, legal compliance and ethical conduct).  I enjoy travelling, cricket and ice hockey and I am a Tenor in the Guildford Choral Society.
As an aside, another motivation for my getting into politics has been my parents. My father is a retired soldier and my mother is an HLTA at a Guildford School. Both have had cancer in the last 5 years and survived – largely due to fantastic NHS staff –  and so access to these services and providing for health services locally is a big deal for me personally. Equally an affinity for the teaching and defence professions is something built into me.

As the Hustings in Farnham follow-on from Charterhouse – is the South West Surrey seat is beginning to look just a little shaky?

Unfortunately, the Waverley Web couldn’t attend the event at The Farnham Maltings, because football and football practice got in the way! Oh, well – boys will be boys.

However, suffice to say our inbox has been groaning under the weight of congratulatory messages from some of those who attended. It cannot have been attended by only members of The Green Party and the Liberal Democrats, can it? Surely not. We would love to hear from the local Tories to give their spin on all things General Election SWS 2019? Don’t be shy.

Claire Mathes wrote saying – Dear Waverley Web.
The warmth in the room towards Paul Follows was palpable. What helps though is that he has a recent proven track record at Waverley Borough and Godalming Town Council of doing what he says he’s going to do, obviously you’d think, but a thing that has been sorely lacking in previous administrations. He is well-informed at ground level and clearly cares deeply about the people who live and work in the area.
Jeremy, I’m afraid, just looked a little clueless.
Teresa Burton-Brown
I went to my first election hustings yesterday, in Farnham. It was very well attended.
Our sitting MP (Jeremy Hunt) looked surprised and uncomfortable to be attacked on his record on the environment, the NHS, education and Brexit. He seemed completely out of touch. For example, when asked what he would do about the climate emergency in this constituency, he replied that he had just put in an order for his own electric car (!)
 Paul David Follows as the Lib Dem/Remain Alliance candidate talked about food banks, affordable housing, proper pay for proper jobs, public transport and his efforts on the council to improve air quality.
He was very impressive and certainly has my vote.
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Has ‘Party loyalty’ flown out of the window in Guildford and villages?

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It was fairly obvious to all – that Anne Milton is definitely not a Boris Babe. And, it is also fairly obvious to all that “the chosen one” Angela Richardson is. 

Want to learn more about the Tory’s chosen one – Angela Richardson?

Anne Milton The former MP for Guildford, Cranleigh and eastern villages, who is now standing as an Independent was almost swallowed up by the Speakers’ chair in her efforts to avoid making even eye contact with Boris Johnson – during one of the last session of Parliament.

Yes, here at the Waverley Web we watched the parliamentary broadcast as Burly Boris on his way back from the voting lobby almost elbowed her out of the way, and she was forced to sit down, perhaps lie down, we know not. All we know is that for 5 mins she completely disappeared from view, and then appeared with a face like a slapped arse!

Her outburst over recent days underlines her true feelings for the man who may have ended her 15-year career in politics. Unless of course, the people she has tirelessly served decide that her dedication as a constituency MP, and experience of holding top ministerial jobs, and her professional achievements within the health service, can put her back in parliament.  We ask, why aren’t there more Independent voices in Parliament – working for US and not “THEM”unfettered by party whips?

Certainly, there is no contest between Anne Milton and “the chosen one” Tory PPP Angela Richardson. A Cranleigh parish councillor, who failed to be elected to Waverley Borough Council and with less experience of local Government than the village delivery man. A woman who even those canvassing for her in Guildford and the villages say they would have much preferred to be shlepping around the streets for a woman they trust – Anne Milton. 

 

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A poll of 100 people undertaken by the Guildford Dragon revealed the state of play.

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Charterhouse hustings welcome two candidates – sadly the Labour bloke was working.

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The school enjoys a lively debate with Jeremy Hunt and Paul Follows

Charterhouse was delighted to welcome South West Surrey’s incumbent MP, Jeremy Hunt (Conservative) and Paul Follows (Liberal Democrats) for the School’s first hustings event.

Both candidates took time out of their busy campaign schedules to attend the hustings and present their policies to our pupils. Sadly, the Labour candidate for South West Surrey was unable to attend, but we look forward to welcoming him for future events. The event was well-attended by pupils and teachers alike who commented that it had been a highlight of their year so far.

Deputy Head Boy and A Level Politics pupil, Oba Agboola welcomed the candidates to the school to enormous cheers from the crowd. The event was chaired by A-Level Politics pupils, Gabriel Brown and Anthony Gosnell, and Year 10 pupil, Shiv Pillai. They all did a fantastic job, asking the candidates questions which had been submitted in advance by pupils and staff and then leading audience questions in response. What an incredible accomplishment!

Hard-hitting questions put to the candidates ranged from the UK’s approach to Brexit and whether trust in UK politics was irreparably eroded in light of recent events. Both candidates answered the questions in an informative, professional and dynamic way, and the audience left with many issues to reflect upon.

Charterhouse wishes the candidates the best of luck as they continue their election campaigns.

 

 

 

 

 

Is Wife​ of Brian being supported by Son of Bainbridge?

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Is it any wonder that when the Waverley Web was founded we chose the well-known saying…

‘Oh what a tangled web they weave when once they practise to deceive?’

An Ellis rides again to the rescue of a Cranleigh Charity who villagers claim has duped them of their cash.

Will ‘Wife of Brian’ succeed in scuppering a decision by Waverley Planners to ditch a controversial care home scheme?

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Will ‘Wife of Brian’ succeed in scuppering a decision by Waverley Officers to ditch a controversial care home scheme?

The answer to that little conundrum – will the Cranleigh Private Care Home application be determined by Waverley Members next Wednesday? Yes, of course, it will.

 The planners’ report states that the scheme, which was to be refused under delegated powers, will now go to the council’s main committee due to the large public response. Although it mentions 241 letters of support and 253 – letters of objection – no mention is made of the 4,500 residents who signed a petition.

But of course, we know, that they know, that everyone knows, that it has been called in by Cllr Patricia Ellis? Residents and councillors have wondered for weeks, if not months, why there has been an unprecedented deviation from the normal procedure for call-ins for this particular application? An application which has languished inside Waverley Towers since  November 2018?

So villagers are asking us?

Is wife of Brian is being assisted by non-other than ‘Son of Bainbridge!’

WW hears from residents over there – that the question on everyone’s lips in Cranleigh is – ‘Whether or not Daniel Bainbridge, the Borough Solicitor and Deputy Monitoring officer, for Waverley, has declared an interest in the Cranleigh Care Home application?  If he hasn’t maybe he should have done because his father, John, is a Trustee of Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust.  

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Angry villagers, more than 4,500 of whom are opposed to the privately owned care home being granted planning consent, have bombarded the council with petitions and letters of objection in their attempts to prevent it. After being told officers were recommending refusal under powers delegated to them, they wonder why the Monitoring Officer was so determined to allow Cllr Ellis to call it in – and support it.

We have received dozens of messages from donors, asking if Daniel Bainbridge, the deputy monitoring officer,  had a hand in ensuring that the “infamous late-call-in saga request, despite being out of time, was acceded to?”

Have John Bainbridge and his fellow trustees been aided and abetted – wittingly or unwittingly by…

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Bainbridge-Jnr.

 Bainbridge Junior could be in a position to give them the inside track on what is and isn’t happening in the Planning Department at Waverley.

 

Opposition from local residents – who begrudge every penny of their £1.5m hard-earned cash going into a privately owned business  – and opposition by Cranleigh Parish Councillors has done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the few – VERY FEW – hardcore supporters of the privately owned care home trying to get it over the line.  

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Just to recap for those just back from the Moon a Cranleigh Charity – Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust (CVHT)- was formed 20 years ago to build, yes you guessed, a hospital and a day hospital for Cranleigh and the nearby villages. The Charity has been dogged by difficulties, including numerous changes in NHS structures. Another of which is now on the way with the creation of Surrey Heartlands into which Guildford & Waverley will be incorporated.

However, a planning application to build a 60-bed  Private Care Home, which was recently changed to a “Nursing Home” and 20 community beds, has been languishing in Waverley Towers since November 2018. Why?

The Waverley Web understands that, as we type, a complaint about Daniel Bainbridge is now winging its way to the Ombudsman in order to establish exactly how and when Bainbridge Junior registered his conflict of interest in relation to the proposed Cranleigh Care Home.   Another is on its way to the Charities Commission enquiring how and why the trustees of CVHT can resolutely refuse to return donations to those who ask when the Trust is clearly guilty of operating what one disgruntled former supporter described as ‘a cloak and mirrors deception.’

A Charity that took money from local men, women and young children, under false pretences. Pledged a hospital and a day hospital, on land sold by villagers for £1 and is now building an £18m commercial care home, on land covered by a covenant. A covenant changed in 2013 by an exchange of e-mails! 

Now, Cranleigh faces the depressing prospect of the planning application for the privately owned care home being waved through by members with little or no connection to the village.  Meanwhile, Cranleigh residents are not only out of pocket personally, but they’re also out of pocket at a parochial level as the late unlamented husband of Councillor Ellis sold off their land valued at £250,000 upon which the privately owned care home is to be built. All without so much as a by your leave, or a mandate from the community –  for a measly £1! They are describing it as a dastardly act of daylight robbery!

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Sad news for the residents of Milford and Waverley with the announcement of the death of Jack Lee.

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The Waverley Web sends its sincere condolences to Jack Lee’s family, friends, colleagues and the people of Milford and Witley. We will miss this bright smiling avuncular character.

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This picture was sent to the Waverley Web by Jack earlier this year. 

The sudden death was announced today that Jack Lee, who until earlier this week, due to the resignation of Elizabeth Townsend, was the only Independent Councillor at Waverley Borough Council.
Jack was the lead Armed forces champion for Waverley, a good and active councillor for residents of Milford and will, undoubtedly be a great loss to the new coalition group of which he was an important part. 

Jack and his family have lived in Milford and Witley for over thirty years. 

Jack was educated at Queen Victoria School, Dunblane and Edinburgh University. Following a successful career in international scientific and medical publishing, and Internet project management he retired and concentrated on his work in Milford & Witley.

Having served as a Parish Councillor representing Milford for over seven years, Jack had a good understanding of how local government works and how to make things happen. And he was doing just that right up until his death.

He was Vice-Chairman of Witley Parish Council and Vice-Chairman of the Planning and Finance Committees.

This made him well acquainted with the issues facing Milford and Waverley residents.

His wife Stella was an infant teacher in Surrey. Their two grown-up daughters attended Rodborough School, now have university degrees and are doing well in their professional careers.

John Ward, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “Councillor Lee was elected as an Independent councillor for Milford in May this year and has played an incredibly active part in the work of the council since then.

“He was on a number of committees, including the Central Planning Committee, Licensing and Regulatory Committee, two Licensing Sub-Committees and the Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee. As Waverley’s Armed Forces Champion, he played a leading role in raising awareness of the dedication and sacrifices made by current and ex-armed service personnel in the borough. He was also very passionate,  committed and active in finding new ways for the council and wider community to support servicemen, women and veterans.

“Councillor Lee was a very hard-working member and was committed to making both the village of Milford and the entire borough, a great place to live. He was a well-respected, kind and good-humoured gentleman who will be missed by all who knew him.

“Our deep condolences go out to his family and friends.”

As a mark of respect, the flag at The Burys will be flying at half-mast on Thursday.

Will ‘Your Waverley’ be shaken and stirred by the shocking revelations on Blightwells?

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HAS AN ATTACK OF BLIGHT HIT BLIGHTWELLS?

What was that sound we heard from ‘Your Waverley’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee?

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This is not any food, but it may not be  M & S food? 

A development rumoured to have now lost its “flagship tenant” M&S Foods.

A toxic development supported by Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council with squillions of  – OUR MONEY!

Cllr Merryweather, a newly elected Lib Dem, and an accountant by profession, had obviously been burning the midnight oil for months delving into the underbelly of the finances of a development opposed by many thousands of Farnham residents. A scheme which was subject of a Judicial Review, saw the demolition of the treasured Redgrave theatre, the loss of the beloved Marlborough Head Pub, The Gostrey Old People’s Centre, open spaces and much more and which has brought traffic chaos to the beleaguered town. It has been a running sore for over 20 years.

Cllr Merryweather calmly fired one salvo after another into the hushed meeting – whilst finance officers gaped like Nemo at the revelations that the development would not, as had been predicted by the Tory administration, produce a £900,000 a year bonus for the council, but a possible, £415,000 or less. 

He said the last financial appraisal was in 2016. But now he would update them on the base-case numbers, reeling off a stream of figures in quick-fire succession.

Perhaps we should say here, we are not Accountants – just your average Jo public – listening to a small room stuffed with people, without the benefit to seeing the screen, the following can be confirmed by the clip of the meeting below.

  • By the time Brightwells – (only WW and residents call it”Blightwells)  is completed, both now and in future years; the scheme will owe the General Fund £4.5m  and cash of £3.1m . and would have non-recurring revenue of £400,000. The payback time for the former is 2031/32 and the latter 2028/29.

 

  • WBC had contributed  £400,000 worth of property into the development – which had included the tennis club; The Gostrey Centre and more. It had received £800,00 towards the Memorial Hall, now a dual-use venue. What was the true cost of this development asks the WW?

 

  • In 2 years time, ‘Your Waverley’ is committed to a £500,000/£650,000 bill for resurfacing the Sainsburys’ Car Park. Which is “unfunded,” and would have to come from the General Fund and if borrowed – over 50 years, would cost the council – £25,000 per year.

 

  • MM said The ‘Jury was our’ in the prospect of the development producing 450 jobs. 

 

  • The Dogflud Car Park – had received  £514,000 in compensation from the from developer Crest Nicholson. But the costs to the council would be equivalent.

 

  • It was predicted that the South Street car park would have to close, resulting in a large loss of revenue from Farnham Leisure Centre, a centre already suffering due to the lack of car parking. 

 

  • Waverley had agreed to maintain in perpetuity the whole  Brightwells Yard site. A maintenance contract which would, most likely, have to be undertaken by private contractors at an estimated cost of – wait for it – £50,000 p.a.

Surely not for the 50-year life of the project?!? 

But it gets worse:

Waverley received £300,000 from SCC to off-set its car parking charges. However, WBC agreed to pay SCC £50,000 per year for the next 150 years of the contract.

An item which was –  LISTED BY THE TORY ADMINISTRATION AS INCOME! SURELY NOT – IT CANNOT BE TRUE – CAN IT?

  • The capital received from Surrey County Council over 3 years of £2.7m to be used for improvements to leisure centres in Farnham, Haslemere and Godalming.

Ominous or what? Not a single mention of the £14m which the Tories announced weeks before the May elections to fund a spiffing new Leisure Centre for Cranleigh and the eastern villages?

To a hushed audience, one of whom was the former council leader – was she hiding – because the WW could only see something resembling steam coming from the corner where Julia Potts cowered; he continued saying nobody needed any reminders about the dismal state of the retail sector!

 “We all live in the same world and know what the High Steet environment is like. So – will we hit the commercial rent base? We predict, certainly not in the first 2 years.”  

By the time, Cllr Merryweather began talking about possible lets of the residential properties everyone looked punchdrunk, and the atmosphere in the room was anything but merry Cllr Merryweather!

As for the debate – a deafening silence fell over Committee Room. Even Cllr Hyman a long opponent of the scheme said he needed time to digest the presentation, before commenting. Rendered Speechless? Cllr Hyman – never? 

In fairness to the Tory Group, and Cllr Potts, in particular, wasn’t it Former Leader Robert ~Know-less and Portfolio Holder Adam Taylor-Smith Knowless who masterminded the project? The latter who regularly flagellates the new coalition administration every morning when he gets on the train?

 However, councillors, in general, are laymen/women  – did they read their papers? –

But,  the Waverley Web asks? What part did the council’s financial experts – the plumply salaried Chief Executive and Financial officers like Graham Clarke- play in this possible fiscal fiasco.  Answers please on a postcard to contact@waverleyweb.com

WW asks? Should there be an independent inquiry?

You can listen to the meeting here- but it comes with a health warning. Pour yourself a good measure of gin and tonic/whisky or wine first. You may need it.

https://youtu.be/LS4fpHVT4MA