Father of Daniel speaks out for the new Cranleigh Village Health Trust.

Now presumably it’s all  Cranleigh Parish Council’s fault – that this was …


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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Former parish councillor, and Cranleigh Village Health Trust Trustee, John Bainbridge was spitting feathers when he read out the following speech at An Extraordinary meeting of Cranleigh Parish Council  recently..

So angry was he that the council – had refused to break every rule in the local government rulebook – by refusing to meet him and his charity friends behind closed doors – that he didn’t even wait for a response, before he flounced out



 The statement read out in council meeting last month went as follows:

The Waverley Web has not changed any or the wording – including any errors or the names of organisations that do not, and have never existed!

Mr Bainbridge said: Our input with Parish Council while we consider our response from the planning decision from Waverley in November would have helped us to shape our strategies for the benefit of the local people. Unfortunately our request for a meeting was rejected.  CPC met behind closed doors and then requested a public meeting, which we declined, as it would be inappropriate before we decided our response to the planning decision. We explained to CPC that we would hold a public meeting once our response had been agreed so we could then present this to member of the public and answer their questions.

Without prior warning CPC issued an agenda for today’s meeting claiming it would feature a presentation from CVHT. We did not agree to this presentation and only became aware of this agenda after it was published. I am here this evening to read this statement and describe the steps leading up to this meeting.

Councillors, we are volunteers who live in Cranleigh, we are passionate about the provision of local health care services and like you, want only the best for Cranleigh. CVHT Trustees have worked tirelessly for 20 years to facilitate the return of community beds in Cranleigh, beds that precisely like those previously provided in Cranleigh village hospital would prioritise the needs of local residents.

When it was announced in 2006 that the 14 beds in CVH would close, this was against the wishes of the community at large. Key local stake holders including the then Surrey Hills Scrutiny Committee TRSCH and the then clinical advisor of the group were all critical of the decision made by the Primary Care Trust. At the time local MP Sue Doherty said ‘this is a sad day for local people’ subsequently Anne Milton MP gave us her full and continuous support.

CVHT has persevered in its efforts to secure the return of community beds to Cranleigh. These efforts were thwarted by a property crisis, a financial crisis then a change in NHS strategy for providing beds for the community and the inability to find the necessary financial support to enable a building to be constructed which would incorporate community beds. It is only in the last 3 years that a new way forward has been found with the support of this established care home operator supported by the NHS now the ICP integrity integrated care partnership, which includes the Royal Surrey Hospital trust and the SCC Health & Adult Social Care. 

We tried repeatedly to work with CPC positively during the past 3 years previously our relationship had been good and really very good, In Dec 2016 we were asked by the PC whether a councillor might attend our meetings to provide a link and keep the council updated and we agreed to this, a councillor was nominated but sadly did not attend any meetings and the council subsequently withdrew this point of contact. In 2018 the council set up a CVHT working group, subsequently the CVHT chairman wrote to the clerk on 27thJuly 2018 stating that CVHT would be obviously happy to assist the group in any way we can. There was no response. On the 4thof January 2019 because of the continuing negative stance CPC was taking the chairman wrote to the clerk requesting urgent meeting within 7 days. This approach was similarly unsuccessful. We don’t fully understand how the relationship with CPC has so badly broken down but we want to move forward from here.

Ladies and gentlemen we shall organise a public presentation once we have our response to the recent planning decision and at that time it is right and proper to have this public meeting of course members of CPC will be invited to attend our regret that anyone attending the meeting this evening was under the false impression that CVHT had agreed to deliver a presentation about it to revised plans. This was never discussed or agreed between CPC and CVHT.  A copy of this statement will be available on our website shortly. Thank you very much for listening.

We understand,  from residents over there in Cranleigh, who witnessed the debacle  that at that point the CVHT representatives  stood up, and left the building giving no  opportunity for anyone, including councillors, to comment or ask questions.

The chairman of CPC Liz Townsend said a polite ‘Thank you’  to  the delegation  as they left.

A member of the public, Kathy Gould speaking from the public gallery, said ‘As a member of the public I would like to thank Cranleigh Parish Council (CPC) for making funds available  to look further into the land transfer and the land swop between CPC and the Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust, between 2009/2010.’

In the meantime – CVHT Trustees Nick Vrijland and Andy Leahy have resigned to spend more time with their major development projects in Cranleigh. Now everyone over there in the eastern villages is wondering when will that public meeting take place?

Oh! another one bites the dust!


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