Tis the season to be merry as a bit of a spat takes place at ‘Your Waverley?’

There we were thinking that the last Full Council meeting before Christmas would be full of bonhomie and Christmas spirit – before everyone slopes off for a Christmas drink in the Mayor’s digs – than wham bang and off go the fireworks!


image002-1Cllr Carole Cockburn had obviously been sucking lemons before bowling down the A31 to Waverley Towers. She grabbed the opportunity of commenting on the Council’s new Communications Strategy to settle old scores with two of her colleagues.

No sooner had the new administration presented its new strategy for communicating with councillors and the public, than out came Carole with all guns blazing.

“The irony of this is that Cllr Paul Follows is telling us how to communicate when it was his wild accusations when he first took office that `Local Plan Part 1 would basically be torn up, which almost scuppered the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan (2) before it had a chance….. to …

At which point Cllr Follows interjected – but was stopped in his tracks with… “I am speaking – and I am allowed to speak without interruption.” And she did, by now firing on all four cylinders and with a face resembling a patient after root canal treatment turned on Farnham Residents’ Cllr Jerry Hyman.”

Who she claimed, – “came along to preliminary hearing to communicate directly to a Government inspector – correct me if I am wrong – and repeated what Cllr Follows had said  ‘thankfully’ the Comms Team had issued a press release on the eve of the public examination refuting this.

This was a good example of uncontrolled communications. We need more control of media and communications.

Cranleigh’s Ruth Reed swung in behind to congratulate the Portfolio holder for providing the new strategy and  lightened the mood with something along the lines of “it’s not what we do it’s the way that we do it – it’s not what we say but the way that we say it”

Then upshot Tory Michael Goodridge still smarting from having to earn his council seat at the May polls – full of the same festive goodwill stoked  CC’s flames – in his own pompous inimitable way by saying the new Strategy was “similar to ours.” He argued that communication was a two-way matter and there were 57 members of the council, with whom the new administration should be communicating.

Then used the same document as an excuse to fire another missile into the new Administration for not going out yet to consult on Local Plan Part 2. Which was a bit rich bearing in mind it was the TT’s who postponed it due to the damage it may do them in the May elections? An outrageous use of political advantage to serve political ends. 

Cllr Hyman ended the debate by saying he had had no communication with the Lib Dems – Paul Follows -before the Farnham NP hearing – and he was happy to provide Cllr Cockburn with a full recording of the hearing which would confirm exactly what he did say.

So ended the last council meeting of the year in the true spirit of Christmas. A year during which there was more togetherness in Eastenders than between the Tories and the new Coalition of Greens, Labour, Independent and Farnham Residents.’



5 thoughts on “Tis the season to be merry as a bit of a spat takes place at ‘Your Waverley?’”

  1. Well now the elections are over – we can live in Hope that WBC can start focusing on Waverley Business and stop bickering amongst themselves!

    1. Well some of us were just trying to talk about the new comms strategy. Standing for election though did put a large target on my back for unrelated nonsense like this (and as there were no white goods near by for me to leap into to avoid questions I had to just listen).

      Suffice to say my view is this: reasonable questions, scrutiny of what we are doing, legitimate concerns will be met with proactive and amiable response from me and from my colleagues.

      Petty, off topic and actually unsubstantiated point scoring that wastes everyone’s time will be met with the reaction it deserves.

  2. I’ve heard that the leaders of the Conservatives attend the Executive’s cabinet meetings (which they are entitled to do of course) gathering ammunition in the hope they can trip up the new administration. And they still gather in their meeting room before Council meetings whipping themselves into a frenzy. Carol Cockburn’s fuse was clearly light before entering the chamber! But it does seem that the new Administration are eager to get on with business in hand rather that scoring points.

  3. Yes, it would appear the Conservative’s raison d’etre is to trip up the new brooms wherever, and whenever possible, even going to the extreme of timing how long it takes the Executive to make a decision e.g. on the Communications Strategy! Daft or what, everyone knows the discussions are all made in private meetings. Sure as hell that’s what the Tories always did.

    Of course the Tories all gather in their meeting room, plotting and spitting, that’s what keeps their adrenolin going. After all what else do they have to do?

    As for Carol Cockburn, she has been gearing up for a fight for months. Perhaps now she has spewed it all up, she can rest easy and enjoy Christmas?

    We suspect that in the New Year 2020 everyone will see the new Rainbow coalition come into its own.

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