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.
A poll of 100 people undertaken by the Guildford Dragon revealed the state of play.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
What was that sound we heard from ‘Your Waverley’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.