There were no holds barred when Cllr Michael Goodridge gave an update on his view of Waverley Borough Council, which he serves on behalf of the residents of Wonersh & Blackheath.
The oh-so-loyal member of the Tory Group of councillors, who occasionally has a nap during meetings, waded in to point out, sometimes inaccurately, the failings of the Council he was elected to serve. All is revealed in the parish newsletter.
HERE’S WHAT HE SAID:
- Waverley Borough Councillor Michael Goodridge advised that The Department for Housing and Levelling Up has confirmed Waverley is no longer under threat of being placed in Special Measures (removal of powers) as its planning performance for applications has improved just above the threshold.
WW. Not quite accurate. The Council’s planning department has improved way beyond the threshold.
Councillor Goodridge highlighted that problems at Waverley Borough Council continue – the planning department is the UK’s 3rd highest Council for planning staff turnover at 47% this year, with Guildford not far behind in 5th place at 40%. Issues with staff morale stemming from the ongoing merger/collaboration with Guildford BC continue – as the joint governance risk register demonstrates. Councillor Goodridge also highlighted concerns that senior staff are spending more time with GBC than WBC.
WW. Not quite accurate.
Waverley is not alone, together with many councils in affluent areas of the country experiencing difficulties retaining and recruiting staff due to higher-than-average house prices. Since collaborating with Guildford, Waverley has shared officers and resources to save money and fend off the threat of 11 borough councils in Surrey becoming a Unitary Authority.
- The ongoing issues at Guildford Borough Council were discussed. Guildford, BC, is the subject of an investigation following revelations of £ millions lost/overspent in the housing department, allegations of fraud and Officers being suspended. Separately, Guildford had a £10m accounting error. Together, these issues combined meant that Guildford, BC, is currently trying to avert the threat of bankruptcy.
Guildford Borough Council did have an accounting error. An error which was discovered by: Yes, you guessed! Revealed by one of Waverley Borough Council’s highly experienced finance officers and Waverley’s Chief Executive Officer.