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Is the “Nasty Party’ on form in Godalming?

You couldn’t Adam and Eve It could you?

 

Bang slap in the heart of a pandemic, with families struggling to make ends meet, while family members suffer or die of COVID than the Terrible Tory Twins ride again!
May be an image of text that says 'GODALMING CONSERVATIVES ABSTAIN ON VOTE TO CONTINUE COUNCIL'S SUPPORT OF COMMUNITY STORE SUPPORT TO CONTINUE THANKS TO LIB DEMS & PARTNERS AT GODALMING TOWN COUNCIL godalming-t.gov.uk/communitystore'
Here at the Waverley Web, we couldn’t believe that if only for the reason that we are within months of the county council elections,  the Tory Group on Godalming Town Council would have supported extending the life of the Community Store. But no – not even for political reasons, let alone compassionate reasons, would they support the continuing use of the Wilfred Noyce Centre of this valuable life-line until May.

Ah! lest we forget – Cllr Peter Martin, who also abstained from the vote, isn’t standing for the county seat – so no probs there then?

Tory Steve Cosser, was apparently concerned about committing the centre for the foreseeable future as it was used by ‘hundreds and hundreds of members of the community’ and the valuable community asset should be made available to them.

Wakey, wakey Cllr Cosser – hasn’t anyone told you that for the foreseeable future the community at large won’t be meeting up anywhere soon. Most of us are too damned scared.

WHY?
Because now we all know someone who has either died, is languishing in a hospital bed or is suffering symptoms of post-COVID. We also have family members working around the clock until they drop – caring for the afflicted or rocking up to their doors following emergency calls! Although Tory’s worried wealthy may have to miss a Pilates class, spare a thought for all those who are experiencing job losses, reduced hours, or have been furloughed or made redundant.

The Nasty Party Rides again?

Cllr Cosser said the Wilfred Noyce Centre was important to the mental health of residents by way of the activities it provided. Absolutely – right! Very Important! But not right here and not right now.  You know what Cllr Cosser, the mental-health of residents’ unable to feed and care for their families is a very real mental health issue too. Going without Zumba – isn’t in the big scheme of things – a huge sacrifice. Neither is it vital for mental health. All are available online and elsewhere.

Crystal ball gazing?

By committing the centre for its present use until two months after furlough ends, is “unwise” says he, the owner of a crystal ball.   Does he actually know when furlough will end?  With the horrifying infection rates and deaths presently being suffered it is unlikely that normal service will not be resumed any time soon. Does his crystal ball tell him what the effect will be on Godalming people when furlough ends?

Another point of view.

 

Cllr Alex Adam feared the worst was yet to come in terms of redundancies and people would need support once the furlough system ends.

“I predict that this time next year the rubber is going to hit the road,” he said. “When all the [Government] support has been taken away, that’s when it’s really going to be bad.”

He asked whether Godalming Town Council had any longer-term plans for supporting people once the furlough scheme finishes?

“This isn’t going to go away,” he said. “This time next year, I think, is going to be a lot worse than this year.”

Cllr Follows said that he would like to see the council provide a “successor entity” to deal with not only the economic consequences of the pandemic but also deal with the latent need for a Godalming food bank that had existed before the pandemic.”

Although Cllr Cosser and Cllr Martin abstained from the vote to extend the period – they did vote to engage with other community groups to ascertain the level of need.

Cllr Cosser said, “What I am really trying to push for is a tightening up of our processes going forward, to try and ensure that what’s not really a responsibility of this council is transferred to another group, so that we don’t run the risk of losing the benefit of the Wilfrid Noyce Centre.”

“Let’s make absolutely sure that we don’t have people going hungry. Let’s make sure we don’t prejudice that, by making sure we provide this in another way,” he said.

 

Cllr Paul Follows. 

So what did Council Chairman Paul Follows have to say after the meeting?
“Rarely am I speechless at the end of a town council meeting – but watching the Godalming Conservatives ABSTAIN on a vote to continue the Town Council support for the Godalming and Villages Community store, during the height of a pandemic and its economic consequences is one of those times.
Fortunately, they are in the minority and so that support continues.
The community in its generosity in food, donations and time (with support from the town council in terms of a building, staff and organisation) has helped so many over this pandemic. It is needed more than ever.
Thank you to all the volunteers who work in the store and those who donate.”
Cllr Paul Follows
Leader, Godalming Town Council

A Cranleigh development dubbed as ‘awful and objectionable’ has been thrown out by Waverley planners.

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Councillors from Elstead, Cranleigh and Bramley joined together to deliver a swingeing attack on the design of a controversial development on the former West Cranleigh Nurseries site in Alfold Road.

The outline planning application – vehemently opposed by Cranleigh people and many local councillors was passed in 2017 on the casting vote of Tory chairman Peter Isherwood. Now four years later – after being sold by Dutch lettuce grower Nick Vrijland it has finally reached the design and landscaping stage for 118 homes by new owners A2 Dominion.  However,  building won’t start until later this year with the completion of some properties in 2022.

West Cranleigh Nurseries bounces back like a rubber ball and councillor Peter Isherwood scores a goal!

Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend administered the first blow – after an introduction by ‘mystery planning officer’ Patrick Arthurs – who, surprise, surprise, left the council last year – but returned in voice only, to present the scheme. 

She was promptly followed by Bramley, Busbridge & Hascombe Cllr Martin D’Arcy who expressed  “dismay” that there was no landscaping or management plan and that on an utterly treeless site, 16 types of specimen trees were proposed of which only three were native species.

On the subject of energy sustainability, it was in his opinion “quite bizarre” that all 118  proposed dwellings were to be fitted with gas boilers. Boilers to be phased out by 2030 and with solar panels fitted to only three large apartment blocks.

 

But it was Elstead  Cllr David Else who described the scheme as –

“probably the worst we have ever seen.”

But it didn’t get any better – with the exception of  Chairman, Cranleigh Cllr Richard Coles, who said he was perfectly satisfied with the design, saying – 

“I find it rather attractive”

Not a problem then for a man, who it is rumored,  is leaving the borough for a new home in the West Country?

Which prompted officer Arthurs to openly criticise councillors for not raising their concerns earlier, saying they should have told him before the meeting if they didn’t like the design!

Ah! So now a Waverley planning officer/developer is asking councillors to pre-determine planning applications before they are heard in public are we? Now – there’s something for the monitoring officer to chew over?

At which point we thought Cllr Liz was going to explode – and literally take off on Zoom to box the ears of officer Arthurs. Saying-

“don’t blame us, that’s what this committee is here for – to make a decision and I really object to being told we should have made this decision earlier”

She said she had made her concerns known in the past, but this was the first time members had seen these (warehouse) apartment blocks, due to the high degree of affordable housing.

They are not in keeping with Cranleigh and are akin to an industrial unit, not a home! The character of the area will be deeply affected by these blocks.

According to Godalming Cllr Paul Follows – once again the council had been bitten by an approved outline scheme when it came to the detail – and…

I agree with every word Cllr Townsend has said:

“This is a design I cannot stand.”

Before deferring the application by 14 votes to one (presumably the chairman) with a strong message to the developer to go back to the drawing board and come up with something more appropriate it was Cranleigh Cllr Ruth Reed’s turn to hammer the last nail home.

You can listen to the whole meeting here.

https://youtu.be/1OQygjVRy3U

Does another threat hang over our Surrey Hills?

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Having kicked into touch the bid by UK OIL & Gas to drill in Dunsfold – near Hascombe Hills in Waverley – the battle by exploration companies could continue elsewhere.

County planners refused the scheme to drill at High Loxley Road near Dunsfold aerodrome. twice.  Once in June 2020 – a decision ruled invalid due to technical problems during the online meeting. It was refused again in November last year.

Link to the first decision: UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now?

Local campaign group Protect Dunsfold said: “Protect Dunsfold and all involved in fighting that application from UKOG was extremely relieved that the application has been refused on certain planning grounds.

“We feel this is a very fair and realistic judgement in today’s world of climate change.”

 Image courtesy Ackroyd & Harvey/ Surrey Hills Arts / Photo From The Air

However, The licence to drill for oil and gas, not so very far away from Dunsfold, in the area pictured above covering Leith Hill in Surrey, will still be offered to exploration companies, even though successive companies have failed to drill there.

Leith Hill, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, was the site of controversial plans to drill for oil by successive companies over a 12 year period. Europa Oil and Gas pulled out of the site in 2018 after a lengthy legal battle to get planning permission to drill at the site. 

UK Oil & Gas Plc (UKOG), Angus Energy and Egdon Resources Ltd took over the licence from Europa and said they were considering plans for a horizontal drill under Leith Hill from the A24. They gave it up after concluding:

“the required long-reach/shallow target-depth wells are neither technically viable or economically feasible”

James Knapp, on behalf of A Voice For Leith Hill, contacted the Oil and Gas Authority to request an update on the licence now no oil company seems likely to be able to use it. They replied: “We can confirm that PEDL143 was relinquished on 26th September 2020.  The OGA cannot speculate on future out-of-round licence applications that may encompass this area or the outcome of any future licence rounds”.

James Knapp said.

“The licensing system is broken. The Oil and Gas Authority should remove unworkable areas from the licensing rounds.”

“The rules say that companies have to drill, or the licences must be relinquished. This licence area has proved unviable and the blight on the local community and the environment should be lifted by drawing a line under PEDL 143. The Oil and Gas Authority should review its broken licensing system and free wide swathes of the country from the threat of oil and gas drilling.

“In the year of COP26, when we are supposed to be working towards net-zero, it should be routine to withdraw unlicensed areas because there is no requirement for an operator to be compensated. Other countries have stopped fossil fuel exploration altogether. Where is the ambition of this Government?”

For further information about drilling at Leith Hill visit http://www.wealdactiongroup.org.uk/leith-hill/

Contact: info@voiceforleithhill.co.uk

 

Hospital’s in Surrey & Sussex reach ‘tipping point.’

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So ensure when you are called – don’t hesitate – go for it. Stay Safe and Save the NHS.

The Surrey & Sussex Healthcare Trust has warned it may reach a ‘tipping point’ where it is ‘impossible’ to separate COVID positive and negative patients.

The (S&SH ) includes Surrey Heartlands Trust – the organisation that covers the borough of Waverley.

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust also revealed in papers published ahead of its Thursday board meeting that it planned to distribute a “duty of candour” leaflet for patients, warning them of the risk of contracting covid in hospital.

The papers noted covid patients at the trust increased from 80 pre-Christmas to 230 by January, filling half its beds.  figures suggest covid patients at the trust continued to rise until around 14 January before dropping back slightly

The report from the trust’s safety and quality committee said:

“It is becoming more difficult to separate the covid+ and covid- patients. In an increasing number of instances, patients are admitted to cold areas for non-covid treatment and without symptoms but then test positive. These patients then need to be admitted to hot areas and any contacts (including patients from the same bay) isolated.”

“At some point, a tipping point could be reached where it may be impossible to retain hot and cold areas.”

The paper added the criteria for admission to hospital is higher than normal, with patients only being admitted if the risks of not doing so outweigh the risk of contracting covid during their stay. On the other hand, it added criteria for discharge was lower.

The document noted the trust has added intensive care unit beds in converted wards but one patient still had to be transferred to Torbay, where the nearest available ICU bed was sited. Cancer operations are continuing at an independent sector site but much elective work has been cancelled, with only urgent procedures being carried out.

The trust has already reported a number of serious incidents involving hospital-acquired COVID. In one case, three patients died following an outbreak of probable or definite hospital-acquired COVID on two wards. In another, a patient who had shared a bay with someone who developed COVID then died from the disease.

As of 25 January, an estimated 37 per cent of SASH’s adult general and acute beds were occupied by COVID positive patients, a figure which appeared to be stabilising in recent days.

Michael Wilson, chief executive of SASH, and a former director of The Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford said:

“We have seen unprecedented numbers of patients with COVID being admitted and requiring critical care. Staff continue to pull together to provide safe care and it remains important to inform patients about the risk of infection, the things we are doing to prevent spread and how they can help while in hospital.”

 

The temperature may be dropping in ‘Your Waverley’ but its rising in Haslemere.

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The residents of the much-loved town are flooding Waverley’s planning portal and social media sites with calls to ditch a controversial development site in Haslemere.

Waverley Officer laden down with applications or objections

With only a matter of days to go before the consultation ends on Waverley’s blueprint for development – Local Plan Part 2, officers are set to deal with shedloads of objections.

The consultation ends on Friday, January 29.

You will see from the comments below, and on the planning, portal objections are not from the worried wealthy or the Nimby’s – (Not in My Back Yard’ or even the Nimfy’s Not In My Front Yard) they are from correspondents genuinely concerned about a developer who wants to build in an Area of Great Landscape Value – An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and adjacent the South Downs National Park. In fact, if Red Court Ltd get away with this one – nowhere’s safe in Surrey, is it? The developer intends to build a phased development of around 180 homes on a site which is also a wildlife corridor and home to precious flora, fauna and endangered species called – Red Court.

So will ‘Your Waverley’ say as the Tories did with Blightwells in Farnham – ‘bu**er the bats and the wildlife, to hell with heritage buildings and green space, let’s build 28 new shops! Or, as they did in Cranleigh and in Milford ask? ‘flood plains’ what flood plains?”

Or will the new Rainbow Administration that now controls Waverley Borough Council do what it said on the tin when elected?  LISTEN to the people who care about development that will lead to huge biodiversity loss.

 

All the contact details for having your voice heard are in the link below:

So use it or lose it?

Only 7 days to pitch in to help Haslemere protect its green spaces.

The Cranleigh Health Hydra – rears up with yet another head.

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Cranleigh Village Heath trustees, – who now call themselves  ‘Directors,’ – are boasting a new registered office address in the home of an Investment Company, called Omnium Wealth.  All sounds a bit too ominous to us!!!

They are also pressing ahead with their latest planning application – an application that has been languishing among the dusty files at Waverley Towers since last Spring.

So What’s new pussycat?

Same old, same old, as far as we can see: a 60-bed Private Nursing Home, but this time around we know not for whom!  But the ‘Directors’ of CVHT are supremely confident that some care operator will be interested in taking it on once they’ve secured a planning consent to tuck beneath their bloated corporate bellies!

A residential accommodation block is still included but – quelle surprise – this time around it’s not for Surrey’s health-care workers because, so toxic has the Trust’s brand become, even the, grandly named, Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Partnership and all the Health Honchos – not to mention Surrey County Council – have withdrawn their support for the commercial enterprise that has wrapped itself in a so-called  ‘charitable’ blanket!

Cranleigh residents need no reminding that this toxic endeavour has all come on the back of former parish-owned land sold for a measly £1, together with circa £2 million of public money that was earmarked for a hospital – with outpatient facilities, an X-Ray department, a day hospital with all its other facilities, and hospital beds.

So here hangs the eternal question? What and where is the community benefit? And, what are the people of Cranleigh and the eastern villages – all of whom dug deep into their pockets during this 20-year hike haul – getting in return for their buck?  Precious little bang, that’s for sure!

In fact, we’d go so far as to say, SOD ALL! when you read the letter from the Cranleigh Village Health trustees’ agents which we have included here:

document-8117841

The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noted the company address has not yet been changed to reflect the new information at Companies House. You also may have noticed that the residential accommodation – dressed up as health workers accommodation – is available to anyone at a market rent generating income of £90,000 per annum – providing an income stream for the -so-called ‘charity’ to fund ‘local health care priorities.’ Pull the other one it’s got bells on, is the phrase that comes to mind!  Wake up CVHT – the public doesn’t trust you.

Is there anyone left in the borough of Waverley that believes one single pledge this outfit makes?

Once again the trustees/directors are telling bare-faced lies and don’t even have the grace to blink or blush!  Even stooping so low as to blame village leaders for not allowing them to consult them.  The very same public body that 20 years ago was the major stakeholder in the project – handing over public land and which has repeatedly been fed on a diet of duff information.

Local residents may be surprised to learn that COVID-19 didn’t stop the Trust meeting the parish council. It was the Trust’s demands that scuppered any meeting.

Q: WHY?

A: Because the Trust wanted a meeting “in secret”, claiming ‘commercial confidentiality’ – and the now wide-awake parish councillors said they were happy to meet IN PUBLIC – so everyone, including donors, could hear what the Trust had to say! But were unanimously opposed to any meetings on “a supposed ‘community project’ behind closed doors… again!

You can read all about it here:

Cranleigh charity’s request for ‘ private meeting’ UNANIMOUSLY REFUSED.

So now – the Trust wants to put 16 community beds in a 60-bed private care home for fee-paying residents – which will be “means-tested” – their words, not ours – for recipients, who MAY find their fees subsidised by a commercial residential housing venture.

 

 

 

All we can say is this. If Waverley Planners consider that this is a ‘Community Benefit’ for the people who willingly dug deep into their pockets some providing as much as £25,000 a pop – when the old Cottage Hospital,  just up the road, is providing a wealth of new facilities – including X-Ray, ultrasound, maternity services, physio, et al to outpatients and could soon have an Urgent Treatment Centre – then they need to dig out their hard-hats and Kevlar jackets because local residents may well have rather a lot to say about it!

If ever there was an outrageous waste and misappropriation of public money and public land, this is it!  Where’s Panorama when you need it?!

About Us at Omnium Wealth.

Established in 2002 and employing a team of highly qualified and experienced consultants, Omnium Wealth is a wholly independent and privately owned financial planning business providing a structured investment strategy for individuals and their families.

We take the time to fully understand your needs and wishes, to help formulate a long term investment strategy, with the aim of maximising the opportunity to achieve your goals, without exposing you to unnecessary risk.

We take the stress out of your financial planning, but with real-time online access to your investments, ensure you know what is happening as often as you choose. Our approach allows you to focus on your career, family and future, while we take care of the details; minimising tax liabilities, protecting those closest to you but, most importantly, giving you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy what you have now.

The Waverley Web would like to thank Andy Webb (no association with the Waverley Web) of the Cranleigh Community Group for providing and helping us with much of this information.

**The Hydra monster has many heads. If you cut off one hydra head, two more would grow back in its place.

Only 7 days to pitch in to help Haslemere protect its green spaces.

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There is massive opposition in the town of Haslemere to the inclusion of parts of its treasured green spaces being sacrificed on the alters of developers. Whilst sadly, other cherished green spaces have already gone under concrete all over our borough including Farnham and vast swathes of the land in the eastern villages around Cranleigh, Haslemere is calling for everyone’s help.

The Waverley Web has received the following information: But will ‘Your Waverley’ listen? Here’s what Waverley’s Deputy Leader thinks.

A Message from Kirsten Ellis – Independent Cllr for Haslemere.


Kirsten believes it is possible to combine pragmatic, necessary development and housing expansion with planning that does not sacrifice AONB in the town centre.

Dear Friends of our Green Spaces,

We only have 7 days to complete our responses to Waverley BC’s Local Plan Part 2. Some of us will already have got to it; others not. There’s still time…!

We in Haslemere who care as a community about protecting green spaces and biodiversity appeal for your support of Haslemere Town Council’s recommendations to Waverley Borough Council, especially in relation to our settlement boundary and in asking for the removal of the site allocation DS06 (Red Court) from LPP2.

Please submit your views to the LPP2 public consultation before the deadline of 29 January. Lack of response to this crucial LPP2 consultation at Reg 19 stage will be taken as consent and approval by WBC.

The overwhelming majority of Haslemere residents, as reflected in our Neighbourhood Plan and supported by last night’s vote at the Haslemere Town Council, object that WBC seeks to impose on us the site allocation of Red Court, a biodiverse-rich Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which is also a wildlife corridor and home to precious wildlife and endangered species. 

A little background: Robert Hunter, the co-founder of the National Trust, was first Chairman of our parish council of Haslemere. This is the town he chose for his lifelong home, and from here, led his fight to protect open green spaces from development, beavering over policy to turn his dream of preserving nature for humanity into hard legal reality.  When, in non-Covid times, we sit on our now town council, we are between the same walls where he made many passionate arguments about the vital importance of protecting from development common land (later classed as Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Area of Greater Landscape Beauty) for future generations. Last year, with our new influx of Green, Lib-Dem and Independent Cllrs, we declared a biodiversity emergency as well as a climate change emergency.

The settlement boundary that HTC has approved (as opposed to the boundary which WBC seeks to impose) respects the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Haslemere residents who voted to protect and conserve the countryside encircling us in a ring of green and within the town centre. Only 8% were supportive of development in the category of the Red Court site, and 89% were against. 65% voted against allowing even small- scale developments building outside the settlement boundary. In the last elections, due to public anger over the perception by the community that their views on wishing to protect their environment were not being taken into proper consideration by the then-Tory majority, half the HTC Conservative Cllrs lost their seats, to be replaced by Lib Dems, Independents and Greens.

As well as HTC and Haslemere Vision, Haslemere Society, Natural England, Surrey Hills AONB, CRPE, Surrey Wildlife Trusts and Black Down and Hindhead Supporters of the National Trust, there were over 530 objections to Red Court from all over Haslemere and beyond when its planning application (WA 2020/1213) was submitted to WBC late last year (outcome pending).

Please find attached the statement made to WBC last October about this site’s regional importance by Tom Oliver, Professor of Applied Ecology at the University of Reading, Senior fellow on Defra Systems Research programme and member of European Environment Agency Scientific Committee.

Professor Oliver’s expert view is that WBC’s allocation of Red Court in its draft LPP2 is “not commensurate with the recent national pledge to safeguard biodiversity and WBC’s own policy declaration on the Climate Emergency which commits the Council to regard climate change as a serious threat that requires urgent action to reduce carbon emissions and conserve biodiversity. His assessment concluded: “In summary, there will be a substantial net biodiversity loss from this development on AONB and AONB-candidate AGLV land, which conflicts with both local and national policy targets.” When I asked Professor Oliver about why he felt it was important to speak out for protecting Red Court after he had studied all its characteristics and context, he said that he saw this site as an important AONB case study and that “the more precedent there is for developing on high biodiversity value AONB land, the easier it becomes for other cases.” 

Natural England has said developing on this site will have an adverse effect on the Wealden Heath and significant impact on the setting of the Surrey Hills. By its own assessment, Redwood has stated they intend to fell at least a further 40% of the mature trees on this land to develop the estate. 

WBC have a legislative duty of care to conserve biodiversity and ecology on their watch, and LPP2 is a generational blueprint affecting future development in Waverley for a decade that coincides with a major shift in awareness about how crucial it is to stabilise our climate and protect against biodiversity loss and stabilise our climate.

Haslemere

Can you help Haslemere folk?

WBC’s planners have said that having listened to Haslemere, they have committed to saving 95% of its AONB, AGLV and Greenbelt. But the AONB and AGLV sites they have removed from the proposed LPP2 in order to justify Red Court’s inclusion do not have the same high-biodiversity as Red Court and are listed (DS 11& 13 in LPP2 2018) as “without a significant landscape impact”. They have made it clear they want the Red Court allocation to be retained and say that they are not able to make up the required housing numbers without it, an assertion which is being challenged by HTC and Haslemere Vision. Research shows that our housing numbers can be met without needing to build on greenfield outside our Council-approved settlement boundary, and this is reflected in our Neighbourhood Plan.

If WBC gives a green light to this allocation, it will reward and enable a property speculator who knowingly purchased AONB/AGLV designated for protection — a rich ecological and biodiverse habitat — with the intention of destroying it for profit. WBC would not only be acting against national policy guidelines and their own Corporate Strategy but also acting against Haslemere’s Neighbourhood Plan, ignoring the democratically expressed wishes of the Haslemere community and its Council, a blow for Localism. Haslemere is currently the only town whose Neighbourhood Plan is not reflected in alignment with the proposed LPP2! It is important to note that LPP2 has achieved alignment with all other Waverley localities, a significant achievement. Come on Waverley, you are almost there, go the extra mile!

Haslemere’s Mayor John Robini, Surrey County Councillor Nikki Barton and the majority of HTC Councillors voted to reflect the views and aspirations of our community in a vote last night supporting the following response to WBC:

https://www.haslemeretc.org/uploads/1/1/5/9/115942197/appendix_8_-_lpp2_consultation.pdf

Our Neighbourhood Plan understands that Haslemere’s collective wealth lies in protecting its natural environment and biodiversity; much of the area is among some of the earliest National Trust land acquisitions and we are the gateway to the South Downs National Park. We value our treasured ‘Dark Sky’ status which would be eroded if we do not develop wisely. We also prize our town’s connections to the National Trust, and as the chosen home for writers and artists who sought inspiration in its natural beauty: Tennyson, George Eliot (who wrote Middlemarch here), Arthur Conan Doyle (who used Hindhead heath as his inspiration for The Hound of the Baskervilles) and the artist John Tyndall, and additionally we are proud of history for community-building dating back to the time of the Arts and Crafts movement. We are willing to accept higher density in our town centre and want to give preference to the allocation of brownfield sites first.

Personally, as someone who lives in close proximity to the Red Court site, I — like many who live in the heart of Haslemereappreciate the beauty and richness of its nature, birdlife and biodiversity, which Tennyson walked past on his daily walks. But for anyone concerned about the preservation of AONB at a national as well as a local level, it’s not difficult to see the allocation of this site as a proverbial canary in the coal mine.

If you care about protecting the Surrey countryside for future generations, please state that DS06 (Red Court) is not a suitable site allocation. People, not just locally, but nationally, will look at how WBC behave in relation to the duty of care of such high biodiversity land. 

Respond here:

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/Services/Planning-and-building/Planning-strategies-and-policies/Local-plan/Local-Plan-Part-2

Kirsten Ellis (PhD)

Independent Councillor, Haslemere South

Please find these additional links to Haslemere community and residents’ association websites for further information:

https://haslemerevision.org.uk/response-to-scotland-park-planning-application/

http://www.haslemeresouth.com

http://www.haslemeresociety.org/uploads/1/0/3/8/10380361/ths_redcourt_wbc__wa2020_1213_f.pdf

WBC has a legislative duty of care to conserve biodiversity and ecology on their watch, and LPP2 is a generational blueprint affecting future development in Waverley for a decade that coincides with a major shift in awareness about how crucial it is to stabilise our climate and protect against biodiversity loss.

Did Surrey County Council celebrate National Pothole Day?

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The residents of Waverley need no prompting to vilify Surrey County Council for the state of many of our borough’s roads. In fact, it is driving many of us around the bend!

However, with election fever now building in the county, now might be the right time to remind our sitting councillors of just how bad some of our roads are? Or perhaps ask some of the wannabe councillors to take action on this highway curse – that is getting worse!

Pothole pic Hold on Jack

Gather around your nearest road crater and make a wish.

Here’s one pothole filled in by workmen in Cranleigh High Street!

The UK’s road quality ranks 37th in the world, closely followed by Rwanda in 39th place. Our potholed roads are now becoming a national obsession and a national disgrace.

Potholes have become a blight, and even worse, a very real danger – as playing dodgems is the latest sport of many a motorist. Lorry, car drivers, cycle and motorcyclists regularly weave their way around huge potholes, putting both their lives and the safety of oncoming traffic at risk. 

During the pandemic, we were encouraged to get on our bikes and 1.3million of us did just that. However, some cyclists are dying in the attempt to get fit on our potholed roads – not just the bumps, broken limbs, scrapes and life-changing injuries but in the past five years, 250 of us have died as a direct result of potholes!

We have heard from many of our followers that the A281 Horsham to Guildford Road in the east of the borough is an absolute disgrace. it says something about the state of Britain’s roads that we now have a special day dedicated just for potholes on the Nation’s calendar every year!

Are you aware in the Budget last year Rishi Sunak pledge £1.6 billion to fix potholes?

With the pandemic forcing people to stay at home and fewer cars on the roads, Surrey has the perfect opportunity to crack on with repairs.

While we’re all paying our taxes, taxes set to increase and now we are staying indoors as much possible, councils must do everything they can to annihilate these pothole atrocities and save our lives and our money?

So what can be done? As well as scheduled inspections, local authorities accept reports of defects from the public. If there’s a particular pothole you have a gripe with, we thoroughly recommend logging on to Surrey County Council’s website and report it. However, we did – having lost yet another tyre, but received no compensation whatsoever, as the pothole had not been previously reported. 

 

 

 

A message from Mark at ‘Your Waverley’

A £5 Council Tax increase but a freeze on parking charges are some of the Waverley Executive’s 2021/22 budget proposals to be considered by the Value for Money and Customer Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday 25 January.

 

Councillors

Mark Merryweather  Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services. 

Councillor Mark Merryweather, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services at Waverley Borough Council, said:

“This has been a period like no other, both for the council and for our residents​, and it’s not over yet. The pandemic has had devastating consequences for many in our community and placed extreme strain on council finances, which were already under pressure from government funding cuts.

“We have proposed raising Council Tax by ​£5 which, at 2.7%, is equivalent to 10p a week for an average Band D property. ​I know that many residents are struggling financially and ​of course we would prefer not to have to do this if at all possible: but we ​have not received enough of the support we need and were promised by Central Government and so we have no alternative in order to maintain our community facilities and protect service levels for our residents.”

While the council’s proposals include ​a further £1.3m of identified efficiency savings, the draft budget still shows a projected deficit of almost £1.2m, due to the additional costs and loss of revenue resulting from the COVID pandemic. This will need to be met by ​exceptional ​one-off drawdown​s on the council’s reserves.

Despite the cost pressures, funding for the voluntary sector will be maintained, in view of the vital work they are doing to protect local communities during the pandemic. There are no proposed increases to parking charges, however, fees for many of the council’s chargeable services will rise, for example, in the areas of planning services and building control.

The committee may choose to make suggestions to the proposed budget before it is sent to the Executive Committee and Full Council to review and agree.

“We have produced a budget that we believe is fair, with no increase in parking tariffs, which maintains our grants to voluntary sector partners, and which focuses on protecting vital services and the most vulnerable in our communities.

“We look forward to receiving feedback from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.”

To view, the Overview and Scrutiny papers visit: https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=327&MId=3489

Following the Overview and Scrutiny Committee review, the proposed budget, in its current form, may change subject to any suggestions that are put forward by the committee.

The final budget is due to be agreed at the Full Council meeting on Tuesday 23 February.

Dr Povey prepares for Surrey elections by sprinkling stardust.

Featured

When times are hard – a little faith, trust and pixie dust are always welcome – and the county councillor for Cranleigh & Ewhurst has just discovered his wand.

The councillor – who has neither been seen nor heard for most of the past four years has suddenly emerged. Just in time to slide back into the seat, he intends to reclaim at the May county council elections?
He recently positioned himself outside the Cranleigh recycling centre. A centre that has been closed most of the year, and which now opens only a couple of days each week. A move that has sent residents of the eastern villages schlepping over to the Witley Recycling Centre.

Then he began trumpeting the Surrey county council community fund.  A  £100 million Surrey County Council giveaway, or should it be called bribe? 

You can read all about it here:

He then did a run – presumably his usual morning run, along the Downslink checking the fallen trees. 
“As a result of recent high winds, a number of trees were blown down and blocking the Downslink. I ran down the section from Cranleigh to Baynards Station this morning and pleased to see the Surrey County Council Countryside Access Team have cleared this section. It was a beautiful sunny morning for a run but it is very muddy in places.”

Here’s what Cranleigh’s Little Povey says:

The Surrey County Council community fund (your money) is now live on the SCC website. This is a large capital fund for community projects that residents can suggest. You can comment on the suggestions that are put up. There are two that have been suggested so far for Cranleigh, a Biodiversity and Sustainability Education Centre and a Mentoring Programme. Please take a look. Suggestions can be made in outline first and a full business case can follow later.

So what’s his next giveaway? Don’t hold your breath… 

In the caption below County Cllr Andrew Povey reveals the electric charging points that villagers won’t be plugging in to – and asks to hear residents’ views?

Views? Nil Point – comes to mind. Is it time to move over Dr Povey?

The electric charging points that Cranleigh & Villages – won’t be plugging in to!

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