Because – he’s mad…
very mad or as Blackadder would say, “He’s madder than Mad Jack McMad – the winner of last year’s Mr Madman competition!
Cllr Kevin Deanus – one of the few councillors to be returned to Waverley unopposed wants answers.
WHY? Because he represents the people of Alfold – slap bang next to the proposed new Dunsfold Garden Village which is in his ward. However, he claims he has been shunned, ignored and sat upon, from a great height – by Waverley’s new boys on the block.
The Tories once did it to one of their own when they were in power. They refused to allow Cllr Liz Townsend to join the influential planning committee to prevent her fighting against the huge growth of Cranleigh New Town. Now she’s an Independent with a role on the Executive.
At Wednesday’s Full Council Cllr Deanus wants answers: Here are his comments and questions.
Dunsfold Park is situated within the Ward of Alfold, whom I am proud to represent. The planning permission granted to build 1800 homes, and ultimately, 2600 homes, is the most significant approval in Waverley’s history, both in terms of size, and the disruption to local residents over many years.
On the 8th June 2019, some 13 months ago, I emailed the Leader, Councillor Ward, and copied all Councillors, about my concern how the executive planned to oversee the development at Dunsfold Park. On the 16th July 2019, when raised at Full Council, the leader stated,
“Regular meetings will continue, and we are in the late stages of the process of establishing a Dunsfold Park Garden Village Board”.
On 18th September 2019, at Full Council, the Leader presented the new Corporate Strategy. He will recall that I spoke on the matter with both dismay and astonishment when I read from the Corporate Strategy,
“We shall develop a more open, inclusive approach to communications and decision making”, and “we will be an open, democratic and participative Governance, valuing the worth of all residents”.
I reminded Councillor Ward that he had failed on all of these Corporate Priorities as I was still waiting for the decency of a discussion about how the Dunsfold Park Governance would work.
On the 8th October 2019, a Dunsfold Governance Structure was finally presented at Council. I had not been consulted, and my extensive knowledge of the site and surrounding area was clearly not valued, or simply ignored. I pointed out the glaring and obvious omissions. The structure had failed to include the ward member (and members from surrounding wards), the Parish Council, who represent the community at ground level, and members of the public. I reminded Councillor Ward of the Corporate Strategy and how it had failed at every hurdle. Members of the Executive looked extremely embarrassed, and the leader did offer a form of apology, stating it would be sorted. An informal discussion took place after the meeting, and later I followed this with a further email requesting a resolution.
Councillor Ward did respond and promised to send some dates to arrange a meeting. Some 9 months later I am still waiting for this to happen. I also spoke to a member of the Executive, who I will not name, who was embarrassed and apologised.
Q To summarise my questions are:
1. Since the 16th July 2019 to the current date, can the Leader detail the formal meetings with Dunsfold Park senior management he has held regarding the development, and provide me with copies of these minutes?
2. Can the leader detail meetings held within the formal Governance Structure, approved by full Council on the 8th October 2019 to the current date, with copies of the minutes and dates, and additionally, those from the Dunsfold Park Village Board meetings identified and raised by the Leader at Council on the 16th July 2019?
3 . Having highlighted the blatant omissions regarding participative governance, local engagement and valuing residents, does the Leader believe this is a good example of his Corporate Plan aspirations?
4. As we are now 13 months on, will the Leader confirm he actually will discuss the issue with me and produce an amended Governance structure that includes Alfold Parish Council and Local residents at the appropriate level?
5. Would the leader agree that the community have been dealt with in an unprofessional manner or will he say he is proud of this reoccurring reluctance to engage. After 13 months the issue of local Governance has not been progressed, promises of meetings have been ignored, and the Governance structure from the 8th October 2019 still remains unchanged?
Watch this space when the leader John Ward has to answer on Wednesday at Full Council – on Zoom.