Zooming in on Farnham Town Council.

Was Farnham Residents’  Farnham Town Councillor John Ward all at sea at its recent ZOOM meeting?

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 Farnham councillor and Waverley’s leader told the ‘virtual’ town council meeting he should have been in Barbados. Saying he was prevented from going on his planned trip by “the disease.”

However, he failed to vote on the important issue of the night – when his colleagues proposed and unanimously agreed to six important principals the Farnham Town Council wanted the new Farnham Project Board to take on board. As well as some minor amendments to its Terms of Reference.
But what’s this bloke’s game? Despite a working group being formed that night – John Ward sends his full-on plan to Tim Oliver(SCC), Hunt, Kemp and co within hours of the council meeting!

Let us all hope that the politicisation of this important topic stops so that perhaps this vehicle can make some progress in achieving something for our residents here in FarnhamfFor the first time in 20yrs!

The Liberal Democrats, Farnham Residents, Green and Labour groups have all managed to put past differences aside to work together for Waverley’s residents. Surely Jeremy’s Tories wouldn’t want to be the odd ones out on this? Perhaps a little less game-playing and a bit more working constructively is called for?

For the uninitiated, it is the opinion of many of the town’s residents that the Project Board has been formed to kick the can down the road so it can see Surrey County Council’s deliberate foolish gridlock of the town come to fruition. Together the Hon Jeremy Hunt and SCC are desperate to cover up the roles they have played in supporting and perpetuating  developer Crest Nicholson’s 2007/8 Transport Assessment fraud ~ (The Royal Deer charade.) The Board has now been formed to signal  £250m of  ‘road improvements.’ And the Town Council is suporting SCC’s bid for electric buses.

‘Improvements’ that will signal further major development including The AQAP, Waverley’s Local Plan, The Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, Blightwells, Woolmead and all the impending major developments coming Farnham’s way – e.g. 320 dwellings proposed at Coxbridge Farm – all reliant on major road changes.

Many believe  – The Farnham Project Board is just a political distraction. Farnham, Waverley and SCC Cllr Andy MacLeod (AMcL) is peeved that the Board has chosen county Cllr Wyatt Ramsdale (WR), to represent Waverley despite him being thrown out at last May’s borough elections! WW wonders why Cllr MacLeod is bothered? Isn’t the entire charade an insult to Farnham? However, we live in hope, even if we die in despair.
Here’s the make-up of The Board:
Cllr Tim Oliver Leader Surrey County Council Chair; Cllr Colin Kemp Deputy Leader Surrey County Council; Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP MP for South West Surrey; Cllr John Ward Leader Waverley Borough Council; Cllr Paul Follows Deputy Leader for Waverley Borough Council; Cllr John Neale Leader Farnham Town Council
Cllr Wyatt Ramsdale SCC Farnham South; Supported by Katie Stewart SCC Executive Director – Environment, Transport and Infrastructure; Tom Horwood Chief Executive – Waverley Borough Council; Chris Tunstall SCC Infrastructure Planning and Major Projects; Iain Lynch Farnham Town Clerk; Tamara Stone SCC Leadership Office Secretariat.  
Some believe this Board is an insult to the people of Farnham – as only Colin Kemp has the skills required. 
They ask, does John Ward or Wyatt Ramsdale have any engineering knowledge?  However, they will boost the ego’s around the table of which there are plenty around this particular table.
The WW doesn’t believe Cllr Paul Follows has much knowledge of Farnham’s traffic problems or its roads. ~ In fact, as far as we are aware he doesn’t drive a car! But no doubt our Jeremy didn’t dare exclude him, after refusing to meet the new Administration’s chiefs most of the year, making it obvious to all that he really didn’t want to work with them!
Some in Farnham hold the view that most of the Board members couldn’t change a light bulb, let alone have any bright ideas for solving the town’s problems. But we reserve judgement until the Fat Lady sings.
If the Farnham Project Board, which meets this week for the first time, had any intention of producing a solution, it wouldn’t be excluding local expertise – like highly qualified retired traffic engineers – Mike Langdon and Robert Mansfield, both of whom actually live in Farnham and know the town inside and out.
But as, Farnham Cllr Carol Cockburn so succinctly put it at the Town Council’s meeting last week.

“I am absolutely horrified that Waverley and the county council are getting together to decide what THEY are going to do in Farnham! Surrey (CC) is not a planning authority, it deals with cars and roads. We have worked for years on the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan WE know what Farnham’s problems are. I do hope consultants aren’t being paid large amounts of money? This is the wrong vehicle that will come up with the wrong decisions – and we will not be able to influence anything until it is too far on.”

Annexe 1 to Appendix D of the Agenda Papers for Thursday’s (14th May) Farnham Town Council Zoom meeting is the Project Board Terms of Reference (attached, at the link below, pp6-9) 
The Appendix is at

7 thoughts on “Zooming in on Farnham Town Council.

  1. What about Stephen Spence and Andy Macleod? (Cllr Macleod just happens to be the SCC Councillor for Central Farnham for goodness sake) Their inclusion might enable the teams to even up before kick-off.

  2. An interesting assessment of the situation certainly.

    I could look at my inclusion into this two ways:

    Political version – sure, we would all be naive to think otherwise.

    Other version: if at some point I’m sitting in the big chair at WBC it’s probably better I have some clue what this board is doing.

    And actually I have got to know Farnham quite well over the last few years, just I tend to follow my usual ethos of trying to use public transport, walk or cycle whenever I can. Considering a stated aim of this board actually encourage all of these things, having someone on the board who actually does that (and, as you will see from next week is making some strides in pushing that in Godalming) – probably isn’t a bad thing either.

    In recognition of my not being a resident of Farnham, I have also immersed myself in this as much as possible. I requested pretty much the entire document history of this mess from Andy McLeod and he supplied that. I even attended the FTC session last week to understand their views and of course Cllr Mark Merryweather joined that working group and updates me regularly also.

    Finally – You need look no further than John Ward and I when I comes to pushing for the inclusion of Andy and Stephen to this board as they should have been all along.

  3. Yes, who better than a non car driver to speak from experience on just how difficult public transport can be.

    WW wonder when Jeremy Hunt last stood and waited for a bus and had diesel fumes pumping down his throat. ‘Notalot ‘ do we hear you cry? The WW was pulling your leg when we mentioned you were a non car driver, and appreciate that you have a better idea of the needs of the needs of the ambulatory/cycling public than most.

    As for having a clue what this board is doing, from the big chair’s point of view? VITAL. Who knows what they would cook up behind the scene if you weren’t there!

    Someone needs to ensure the final membership of the Board is the right one, otherwise it will fall at the first fence.

    As for not being a resident of Farnham, that has to be good. Sometimes standing back and looking at a problem from a distance, can be a huge advantage.

  4. Our apologies to John Ward of course too many John’s – it was John Neale who sent off his cunning plan. Grovel, grovel! Waverley Web

  5. Since posting on this subject – both Councillor Andy McLeod and Stephen Spence have both been invited to take their place at the inaugral meeting of the Borad which takes place tomorrow Friday.

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