An Open letter to The Chancellor from Waverley’s Leader.

Or – How Jeremy attempted to throw Waverley Borough Council under a bus – and failed!

Waverley’s leader Paul Follows’s flabber is ghasted.

The Chancellor Growing the Waverley economy as schools and businesses shut down and residents stay away from work for a week.
Is time running out for Jeremy Hunt in ‘Your Waverley’?
In response to a letter Jeremy Hunt sent to Thames Water, Paul Follows responds by saying:
I am frankly astounded I have to write this.
Dear Jeremy,
Good morning to you and your team.
I write this in regard to your letter to Thames Water today in response to the latest water outages that have impacted a large proportion of the borough over the last weeks.
In most respects, I share your outrage at the situation and will join you in calling for action.
However, I must take issue with a number of things you have said and a number of serious omissions.
1️⃣ As you know full well, Waverley Borough Council is NOT the lead in this sort of emergency; Surrey CC is.
2️⃣ You did not mention Surrey or the serious concern about why Surrey CC did not declare this a major incident earlier. Is this because they are Conservative council and Waverley is not?
3️⃣ In terms of getting water out to vulnerable people and the priority list in particular. That responsibility sits with Thames Water (again as you know). Waverley BC and Godalming TC – staff and its councillors addressed the vast gaps (both for individuals and care homes) that became evident quickly.
4️⃣ As to the Crown Court car park, Waverley BC did not lock it and issued no restrictions. Indeed, and as I know you also know, TW refused to go on longer out of safety concerns for their staff.
5️⃣ Waverley also asked for more bottled water stations earlier, as we correctly foresaw the traffic issues. It took three days for TW to set up the one we asked for in Milford. WBC staff and councillors identified sites that were also totally ignored.
6️⃣ Zero thanks to all of the people that did help over the week of this outage.
Finally, I turn to comms.
I completely agree with you regarding the severe lack of information coming out of Thames Water. But, I find it quite troubling and desperately disappointing that you take this opportunity to attack WBC – whose staff and councillors were some of the only people providing anyone with any information at all.
I find it incredible that you chose to attack those who tried to help during this crisis and have chosen to exempt those with your own political affiliation from responsibility.
You yourself have a responsibility, as an MP, to properly regulate the utilities sector and provide a robust legislative framework to ensure issues like this are rare and are managed better.
Residents expect you to be present in parliament and voting on matters like this and especially in regard to sewage.
Respectfully, I ask you to please do your job.
Cllr Paul Follows
Leader, Waverley Borough Council
Here’s JH’s Letter. Which is, quite simply, shocking!  He even has to have his face imprinted on the letter.
  • 👏 without your posts, I’d have no idea what was happening. Your team worked hard to fill the gaps which should have been sorted by others. Was shocked to see JH’s attack.
  • Michelle Bolden

    Thank you for raising these points and for your continued efforts, Paul.
  • Mike Wheeler

    Very well said; I don’t blame you for responding to that ridiculous letter in the way you have. Thank you to you and your team, who did everything you could to help, and shame on those who try to use this to score pathetic political points. Perhaps they…

    See more
  • Ian Blakeley

    I wish I were surprised about Tories being economical with the truth
  • Amy Dunkley

    Due to people being neighbourly, caring and supportive of those that need it, and the councillors, everyone got by
    Jeremy’s updates were useless, as were Thames water.
    The Thames water staff at the stations were lovely and helpful, but higher up Th…

7 thoughts on “An Open letter to The Chancellor from Waverley’s Leader.”

  1. Hunt has no interest and a member of staff sent it out.
    He has zero interest.
    The Govt is dragging the country to ruin with it.
    You all know what to do. Get off your backside make sure the eighteen year olds are registered to vote and everyone has ID and vote them out for power forever. Never again the word Tory shall appear.

  2. Many people do not think that there was adequate communication of the problem with water, why it happened, what was being done about it, and when residents could expect to get back their water supplies. Waverley and Town and Parish Councils are closest to the area affected and with hindsight should have been more active.
    It’s no good trying to defend WBC by attacking Mr Hunt from whom I heard more about the situation than from Waverley or Surrey or by pleading that Surrey CC should have done more.

  3. I heard nothing from anybody at WBC so not sure what comms they think they issued! I did get emails from Jeremy and read the info on the
    TW website.

  4. If the National Government and the Local Planning Authority did not persistently use their delegated authority to rule out the Environmental Statement requirement for developments of over 150 dwellings. Developers and “site sponsors” would have to provide the public with a non-technical explanation of their development’s significant effect upon the locality. This explanation is required to include the sustainability of the development’s additional water demand and sewage discharge when added to the demand of existing and/or approved developments. Lack of transparency is the root cause of overdevelopment and unsustainable utility demand.

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