Could a nasty shock be on the horizon for Waverley’s grant-funded organisations?

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Here’s how a section of the council tax payers’ believe are the priorities for our cash-strapped borough. This was taken from a sample of residents opinions who’re asked to rank services in order of importance. Which from the table below, appears that road verges and grants to voluntary organisations and art centres come bottom. How the survey was conduced is on the bottom of this page. 

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This is what the council is considering to – Mind The Gap.

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When this working group heard that only officers would interview voluntary groups to gauge their views, Cllr Steve Cosser wanted to do it directly ‘man to man’. He wanted to talk to groups, saying he needed to understand from their perspective how they benefitted from the grants they currently receive?

However he was advised by officer Katie Webb – that groups needed to be approached ‘sensitively at the moment’, as currently there were challenges with two of the organisations, saying:

‘Relations between the council and two organisations are fragile at the moment.’

 ‘Health checks’ were being carried out on those two – by Voluntary Action SW Surrey.  So no doubt on Tuesday we will hear what those checks reveal.

The WW understands from the locals  that the Rowlys Centre in Cranleigh has been on its knees for several years, mainly due to a Waverley redevelopment which badly affected its premises, and a loss of revenue brought about by the closure of Age UK Waverley – and a £26,000 p.a. grant being handed over to Age UK Surrey. Apparently we hear that most people from Cranleigh and the eastern villages receive their help from Horsham Age UK!

However, in recent years Waverley has poured in considerable funds to parts of the Rowlys building to provide new services. The exact amount does not appear anywhere.

Due to the Cranleigh Centre’s insolvency the Board of Trustees – all of whom resigned en masse at a recent AGM – when  the instigator of most of its troubles over the years – the one and only Waverley Cllr Patricia Ellis, took over as its chairman.

Reports from the locals claim no annual accounts have been posted, and a new manager has been appointed, funded by the Friends of Rowly’s with money fund-raised over  many years intended for trips and entertainment and little extras for the old folk! The money was handed over under duress! The former Chairman was asked to leave – and not to darken its doors again!

WW also understands an offer of a £1.6m new Community Centre to serve the Day Centre and all other organisations – including the CAB – by the Berkeley Group on its  new development in Cranleigh was turned down by Waverley Officers when prompted to do so by the former Chairman of Cranleigh Parish Council, the late Brian Ellis, backed by Cllr Patricia Ellis!

Here’s how Waverley Spends the Community grant monies.

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WW can’t help wondering why such a large proportion comes over here to Farnham? A Total of : £113,000 plus a share of Hoppa Community Transport?

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We would have shared the paperwork of the meeting tomorrow Wednesday at 4.30. But by this morning the paperwork and Agenda had been removed from the council’s website.

4 thoughts on “Could a nasty shock be on the horizon for Waverley’s grant-funded organisations?

  1. Talk to people “man to man” – no women to be involved then. Sounds very wise not to allow a certain Councillor to talk to people – use an oral sledgehammer to make sure they say what he wants them to say more like.

  2. Ten minute doorstep interviews do not give the respondents enough background information to make any sort of valued response. The interviewer often ends up collecting well-worn “stock replies” which are often based upon misinformation and myths spread by the tabloids and social media (Yes Ladies and Gentlemen: Fake News!)
    Instead of paying £thousands of tax payer’s money to employ an expensive Market Research consultancy (with the officers just going through a tick box exercise) WBC would be better employed hiring a decent freelance market researcher to run a number of focus groups for some in depth analysis. Ten groups of 20 people ought to be adequate.

  3. There was another graph on the group’s paper that revealed the different age groups that were interviewed – and it certainly appears that it was an across the board exercise taking in a good sample of residents in all age groups.

    We await hearing how the interviews went with the various voluntary groups. Though cannot help wondering why the borough council is supporting Art Centres? Great venues providing all types of classes/entertainment, but should they be funded by ratepayers?

  4. Perhaps we should also mention the curious incident of the removed agenda and reports? Why were the removed from the website? After all, the meeting is tomorrow afternoon at 4.30 pm. Has the meeting been cancelled, if so, why isn’t this mentioned.

    Open transparent Government with better communication? However, we note that the chair is a Tory, who is well-known for her very poor record for communication.

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