WHEN IS A HOSPITAL NOT A HOSPITAL? THE NEXT INSTALMENT OF THE MEDICAL MYSTERY THAT IS GRIPPING CRANLEIGH

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Cranleigh townsfolk have awarded NIL POINT to their so-called leaders for lending their support to a ginormous Nursing Home on land the Parish once owned!

But 10/10 goes to parish councillors ANGELA RICHARDSON and JAMES BETTS (Cranleigh’s very own Angela Merkel and All-Betts-Are-Off) for speaking out vociferously against a scheme to build a £30-40 million private nursing home and then … wait for it … wait for it … drum roll: ABSTAINING FROM THE VOTE!

What a cop out!

SHAME ON THEM! Weren’t they elected to do their best for the residents and businesses of the Cranleigh Parish? Or perhaps they weren’t actually elected?  However, – like the rest of the Tory Tossers at this particular point in time – the Cranleigh and Ewhurst duo are only interested in doing what’s best for themselves.

They’re sitting on the fence because they want the local voting fodder to support their bid to represent them when they stand as Conservative candidates for the hotly-contested Waverley Borough Council seats in May’s elections. But, on this performance, they’ve as much chance of that happening as turkeys voting for Christmas!

For those who haven’t been following the Cranleigh Village (don’t mention the Hospital-word!) debacle over there in the East of the borough, it’s the one where local residents, schools, businesses and other organisations worked their socks off fundraising for a new village hospital only to discover that the millions they raised weren’t going towards providing the promised VILLAGE HOSPITAL/Day Hospital but had been diverted to fund a PRIVATELY OWNED NURSING HOME with a mere 20 out 80 beds being made available for local and not so local people!

In other words, the residents of Cranleigh and the surrounding villages did all the heavy-lifting in terms of fundraising and then the Trustees of the – in name only – Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust, did the dirty on them by selling out to HC-One, a multi-million pound PRIVATE CARE HOME FACILITY!

KERCHING!

And it that wasn’t bad enough, it’s now been revealed that Cranleigh Village (don’t mention the H-word!) Trust duped the Parish Council into parting with parish-owned land for a measly £1! Yep, that’s right, a valuable site that belonged to the residents of Cranleigh was sold for a mere £1 plus a land swap!!!

Almost 20 years ago – Parish Councillors were led to believe it was a good deal, in the public interest, because in return, they were told the land would become the home of a new all-singing-all-dancing Cranleigh Village Hospital + a Day Hospital!

The land swap in question is surrounded by a ransom strip and included planning conditions stipulating that essential road improvement and traffic calming measures must be employed.  These measures were considered absolutely essential because Knowle Lane – like it says on the can – is a narrow country lane with no footpaths and a business called Kerbside operates a hop, skip and a car away from the junction onto Cranleigh High Street, changing tyres at the kerbside. Something that frequently causes utter chaos at busy times of the day!

As is so often the case – and, no doubt many were counting on – Waverley’s planning numpties didn’t bother to enforce any of the above mentioned essential planning conditions and now the residents and businesses of Cranleigh have the worst of all possible worlds:

However, in his infinite wisdom, Chairman of the Parish Council, the late unlamented Brian Ellis, took it upon himself with help from Richard Cole and a CVHTrustee to grant access over Parish owned land to Snoxhall fields to provide a very VALUABLE-TO-DEVELOPER access to 28 rabbit hutches for NHS workers! For – yes you guessed ZILCH!

Q: Why

Does a private nursing home need to provide homes for NHS workers?  When right next door the Berkeley Bunnies are building 425-homes which includes a percentage of affordable homes just a hop, skip and a jump away from the private nursing home?

 Why can’t 28 of the Berkeley Bunnies’ affordable hutches be earmarked for NHS workers?

SO..!

• No new Village Hospital
• A privately owned nursing home in its place on a site that was acquired from the village for the princely sum of £1! And and a Right of Way for zilch.
• No essential road improvements
• 425 houses accessing onto the very narrow and pavement-less Knowle Lane
• 28 more homes adjacent to and associated with the privately owned nursing home

You couldn’t make it up! Seriously you couldn’t!

Meanwhile, the Trustees of Cranleigh Village (don’t mention the H-word!) Trust is spinning a web of ever-increasing bunkum to Cranleigh’s planning committee about all the so-called benefits to so-called “local” people” about HC-One’s amazing new 60-bed private hotel-in-all-but-name!

To add insult to injury, not to mention rubbing salt into the wound (no pun intended), they’ve omitted to mention the cherry on the icing on HC-One’s cake: their multi-millionaire owner has just sold out to Australian Pension giant AMP!

AMP swooped in and snapped up the Care Management Group, a chain of 90 care homes with 2,000 patients, from turnaround specialist Court Cavendish which also owns – you guessed it! – HC-ONE, for a stonking £200 MILLION!

Owner of HC-ONE, multi-millionaire, Mr Chai Patel says investing in the care home sector can still be a winner, despite social care providers continuing to suffer from uncertainty over funding following a decade of austerity.

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Swapping your tea for Moet Mr Patel?

“You can have an investment in this sector and continue to do well both for residents and colleagues as well as investors.”

Well, of course you can, Mr Patel, when you have land that was sold for £1 handed to you on a plate – complete with a garnish of rabbit-hutches, otherwise known as residential development – by the townsfolk of Cranleigh, and then you sell it on – without even breaking a sweat, let alone ground! – to another provider for a stonking great profit!

So, Cranleigh voting fodder, remember that it was the abstentions by ANGELA RICHARDSON AND JAMES BETTS – two politically ambitious Cranleigh councillors – who allowed planning committee stand-in chairman Richard Cole to use his casting vote to permit Cranleigh Village (don’t mention the H-word) Trust to use money raised under false pretences by the people of the parish to wave through a privately owned nursing home by a wealthy Australian Pensions giant!

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Angela((I want to go to WestminsterRichardson)

 

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James Betts.

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Richard Cole. 

When you go to the ballot box in May you need to remember that it was ANGELA  and MICHAEL who didn’t put their votes where their mouths were. Which begs the  BIG questions about whether or not they can be trusted to do the right thing by Cranleigh residents or, as they demonstrated last night, will they only ever think about doing the right thing for themselves and their political ambitions?

In these difficult times, Cranleigh needs true statesmen-like leaders, not these politically-minded pygmies!

Will a move from County Towers help deal​ with Waverley’s rubbish?

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Is County Towers transferring its recycling problems onto Waverley Towers?

The new leader of Surrey County Council has announced plans to leave County Hall in Kingston-Upon-Thames.

Perhaps Tim Oliver could use the money he is saving to keep our recycling facilities going in Farnham?

 When Waverley Council recently considered the county council’s proposed closure of two recycling centres – in Farnham and  Cranleigh, they argued they could get stuck with the county’s problems. Because residents already faced with shorter opening hours have started dumping their stuff into Waverley’s “Bring Bins,” in the boroughs car parks! Resulting in shifting the cash-strapped county’s problems onto cash-strapped Waverley!

Tim Oliver, a Conservative councillor for Weybridge, was elected recently to lead the county council, taking over from David Hodge who stepped down from the role after seven years.

During his acceptance speech, Mr Oliver said:For too long the emotional connection to a community has been taken for granted. He was referring to Kingston-Upon-Thames which is an outer London borough.

“For 50 years we have not been close enough to the residents we serve, and we all represent. I have therefore asked the officers to start the detailed planning for the relocation of the people in this building back into the county of Surrey.”

He hopes the authority will leave the Kingston HQ by 2020.

 WW predicts this will produce a shedload of money for the authority when the site is sold for housing? So why not use some of that money to properly fund Waverley’s existing recycling centres? Its children’s centres and more?

If Farnham loses its recycling centre, and the land is sold for housing, where will Biffa, Waverley’s newly appointed contractor, go? Neighbouring Authorities including – Hampshire and West Sussex are already putting measures in place to stop Surrey residents crossing the borders. Number-plate recognition has been installed in Hampshire and WSCC is asking for people to produce a driving licence.

The Farnham Herald’s ‘Don’t Dump the Dump’ campaign now has cross-party support – have you signed the petition?http://www.farnhamherald.com/article.cfm?id=131619&headline=Councillors%20join%20fight%20to%20keep%20tip%20open&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2018

Natalie Bramhall, the county councillor for Redhill West and Meadvale, has been appointed a deputy cabinet member tasked with finding the council a new home. 

Perhaps, if the decision is made to close Farnham’s Recycling centre – it could provide a new home for County Towers?

 

“Has Milford Golf Course sold developers a Bogey?”

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Now all hell’s breaking out in Milford – as claims over a covenant gather pace.

 A battle royal between residents, Waverley Planners and developers – over a scheme to build 200 homes on Milford Golf Course is about to tee off.

Is yet another development accessing off a narrow country road about to happen? But, then there’s a lot of that about – ask the people of Cranleigh the eastern villages of Alfold, and Ewhurst? Because they are currently playing dodgems with HGV’s and increased traffic,  just as they are in Milford. 

. Quite startling allegations that the developers Crown Golf and then Stretton Milford Ltd lied to Waverley to remove the Golf Club from the Green Belt in 2016. They strenuously argued the site was ‘deliverable’ when clearly there was a covenant on it. And then subsequently took out insurance against not removing the covenant!


Neighbours, Mr & Mrs House have clearly paid for a lorry load of consultants to draw together this huge list of objections. Quite an impressive document, you can download here.

 Mr & Mrs House’s consultants have highlighted the effect of the floodplain on the developers’ mitigation SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace) area.  As usual, Natural England is obviously quite happy to see dog walkers up to their necks in floodwater from the River Ock as they negotiate the SANG? – That’s the area carved out of the site to mitigate for building near the rare Wealden Heaths. That space is also split into two by the busy Station Road – access to Milford Station, the constantly expanding Tuesley Fruit Farm – let alone a shedload of a new housing at Milford Hospital. So public safety goes by the board… yet again! WW asks? Is Natural England actually reviewing anything properly?

When are the Planners going to take into account the quality of life of its residents? When will Surrey County Council highway engineers start doing their job?

Here are just a few of the local objections.

  • the development will lead to serious congestion on Station Lane/Church Lane and Church Lane/A3100 Portsmouth Road and will pose a danger to pedestrians and cyclists;
  • the development will be overcrowded because the land available for building is severely constrained by flood risk and the need for SANG;
  • the Site, the River Ock, and Station Lane are all liable to flooding. Stretton Milford Limited has not adequately evaluated the run-off and flood risk resulting in the Surrey County Council (the Lead FloodAuthority) recommending refusal of the application;
  • the Site cannot provide SANG that complies with relevant guidance;
  • the development will invade natural countryside and unnecessarily break the natural boundary to the village of Milford that the River Ock has always provided;
  • the development does not comply with the conditions set out in LPP1 when the Site was allocated as a strategic site suitable for large-scale development;
  • the proposed development will overlook and overshadow our own property;
  • since there is a legal right to prevent this development, which we intend to enforce, it is a costly and flawed strategy for Waverley Borough Council to depend on this development on the Site to fulfil a material part of its unmet housing need;
  • it is premature for Waverley Borough Council to grant planning permission for a large-scale development on the Site since it has not completed the preparation of Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2) which will provide a proper opportunity (if carried out objectively) to reflect on the availability of other more suitable and better-supported sites for large-scale development; and
  • the scale of the requirement for housing in Waverley Borough Council is in a state of flux and it would be inappropriate to permit large-scale development now on an unsuitable site when doing so will breach the historic natural boundary of the village at the River Ock and permanently destroy former Green Belt land.

This isn’t the River Ock it’s a road.

By the way – that’s the road – not the river!

Breath in! Don’t worry the pedestrians will jump into the hedges – or get killed?

LESS STAND BY YOUR BEDS AND MORE STAND BY YOUR TRUNCHEONS?

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Just when you thought the Cranleigh Village (Don’t mention the H-word) Trust debacle couldn’t get any worse, enter stage left Batty Bamford. Again!!

Batty – has latent ambitions, we’re told, to step into the shoes of the late, unlamented Life of Brian, former Chairman of Cranleigh Parish Council.

Bully-Boy-Brian didn’t believe in democracy and whilst, give him his due, he chaired parish council meetings, all the important decisions were made behind closed doors, with a chosen few, including wife of Brian. They were duped into accepting a land swap for a football field with a Ransome strip surrounding it? Embarked upon some extremely dubious shenanigans to provide an access along the Snoxhall Fields access road – and supported use of former parish land to allow A2Dominion to build residential flats there. But even they didn’t know that an A2D director was a CVHT Trustee? From the information spewing into us from a host of people, including former councillors, we could go on, and on…

But then we will leave it to (Don’t mention the H word) who are busy running ragged trying to convince everyone in and around Cranleigh New Town there really is something in it for them. There are two meetings tonight! One at the Civic Society another at Snox Hall where the parish council consider the scheme – on land it once owned and swapped for a replacement HOSPITAL.

 

Apparently, according to the Mutter on the street new bully-on-the-block Bamford is incandescent with the Waverley Web because we have … wait for it, …wait for it … Drum roll because It’s a biggy:

We have dared to TELL THE TRUTH!!!

Because if you don’t – someone will tell it for you.

 

Yes, there you have it, folks, the Waverley Web has dared to reveal the little secret that the Cranleigh Village (Don’t mention the H-word) Trust is desperate to conceal: that it isn’t what it says on the can!

Instead, the promised new village hospital that Cranleigh residents, businesses, schools and other organisations fund-raised so hard for is DEAD and, in its place, the Trustees have cobbled together a deal with a multibillionaire  owned private sector company HC-ONE to build a private nursing home, with none of the usual services associated with a cottage hospital and a mere 20 out of a total of 80 beds provided free for residents of the borough rather than the Cranleigh residents who did all the heavy-lifting in relation to the fundraising.

According to embattled and berated Cranleigh residents and businesses – who wish to remain nameless for fear of reprisals – new BOTB Bamford considers himself to be the public face of Cranleigh. Never mind the views of the democratically elected Parish Council, in his capacity as Vice-Chair of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, new BOTB   wants to speak for all of Cranleigh – or at least all those that he thinks matters! 

What is it about some people that the minute they assume a semi-public role – even in a tiny pond like Cranleigh – that makes them think they morph overnight into sagacious men of business and statesmen of the village? And why do they think they can completely disregard and sweep into the gutter the aspirations and views of the many thousands of residents who believed in and fund-raised for a new village hospital – not only in name but in deed?

The answer, in part, is that power corrupts – even in tiny doses, which is all new BOTB  currently has. But can you imagine what a jumped-up popinjay he’s set to become if ever he reaches the giddy heights of Chairman of the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce? May God preserve us if the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce doesn’t!

Sadly,  he has convinced himself that he’s the only person with the wit and ingenuity to decide when a village hospital is a village hospital – or not as is the case here – and if anyone disagrees with him woe betide them – or so we’re told – more of which below.

We at the Waverley Web are shaking in our bunker because, we’re told, despite a 14.4% rise in crime in Surrey for the period 2017/18, with an astonishing 72,800 incidents reported during the period, Peanut wants the police to investigate us!

Yep, folks, you did read that right. According to our Cranleigh followers, BB is running around Cranleigh streets telling anyone who will listen that he wants the police to waste their very limited and valuable resources investigating and exposing the contributors to the Waverley Web, instead of concentrating on the more pressing issues of an 8.4% rise in burglaries in the county, incidents of domestic violence, rape and vehicle-related crimes.

Our crime? Apparently, we’re guilty of upsetting him and his village-wide view. Now, of course, we understand that the police are required to protect and support minorities, but, seriously, does he  really think being one of the few people in Cranleigh to support the debacle that the Cranleigh Village (don’t mention the H-word) Trust has become is really what being a member of a minority group is all about?!

Whilst BB ponders that complex problem, we await the dawn raid and have a working title of Truncheons at Dawn for the ensuing article 

 

Bamford rides again?

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Our followers over there in the New Town are filling our inboxes with stuff about crime, vandalism, flooding, overdevelopment on its countryside, HGV’s thundering through their High Street and more… including, loss of recycling… In fact, we could write a book, not a blog!

 We here at the Waverley Web are being constantly bombarded with all things Cranleigh and the Eastern villages – and we wonder why?

 Over here in Farnham we are, about to lose our recycling facilities too – and our post office! Yours may be next?

Now another Charity Shop is moving into Cranleigh – this time its the Cats Protection League and according to our followers over there, it has had a nice new shiny newly-built shop tailor-made for them! 

The Deputy – no doubt soon to be Chairman, of the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, is asking the townsfolk what they think about the newcomer. Well, it’s been raining cats and dogs for weeks, but perhaps he doesn’t like cats? Perhaps the locals are becaming too vocal, because by the time the WW logged on the post had been removed by The Controller.

Cats Protection League - is the latest retailer to join Cranleigh Street.


Martin Bamford
Admin · Yesterday at 10:35
Brand new shop unit built and we get…another charity shop. Thoughts?

Beckie Weeks Someone asked what the people of Cranleigh would like to see in the village rather than another charity shop. Although I agree Cranleigh is a village which compliments shops such as Manns and Cromwell’s there are people in the village who sometimes can’t afford to shop there regularly. Maybe giving the option of a small version of pound land, savers, Wilkinsons perhaps would be good to extend the shopping range to all of Cranleigh and keeping people shopping in the village rather than travelling to nearby towns…and what they save in bus fare could then be spent on a cuppa at Cromwell or treat in Manns!!! Cranleigh is now diversifying in the range of people living here so maybe the shops could reflect that??? 😊


Peter Stanford Beckie Weeks I agree, affordability is the key both for the shop owners and the customers, but how to attract the shops is a big question.
I would add to your list Aldi, shopping that is affordable but still retains quality.
The people of Burpham didn’…

Beckie Weeks Peter Stanford also would be good but would they put it in Cranleigh with 3 supermarkets already!!! It would be awesome though!!! But yes if the shops were there to please all sorts of customers we could retain village life. People have said maybe it’s rent of shop units being so high..so maybe bring the rent down per month but write a longer lease in the contract so the shops pay less but are here to stay for longer periods of time????


Hannah Nicholson Martin Bamford is this really necessary on this page when you actually posted about this already?


Hannah Nicholson Grow up eh, you are like a child behaving like the class clown to attention seek and thinking you’re funny. It’s pathetic. Anyone looking at this ‘community board’ and thinking of moving here for a nice community would drive the other way.

Presumably written by BB?

You know what! There are some residents who wanted more homes to provide more footfall for the shops. And, do you know which towns are benefitting from the townsfolk of Cranleigh?  Godalming and Horsham! So much so, that its High Street is thriving – and a new Lidl is about to be built near its station. So perhaps you have to be careful what you wish for?

What is going wrong with our Ambulance Services?

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Our ambulance service has been placed into special measures by the health inspectorate after receiving the lowest-possible rating of ‘inadequate.’

The CQC inspected SSG UK Specialist Ambulance Service South – which provides emergency and urgent care and patient transport in the south-east. these are commissioned by local NHS trusts. The inspection took place after  – in response to concerns raised over its medicines, staffing, and overall management.

The service was rated ‘inadequate’ in all aspects – including safety, effectiveness, and being well-led – apart from responsiveness and quality of care, the former rated as ‘requires improvement’ while the latter did not have sufficient evidence to provide a rating.

The health inspectorate identified a number of issues. These included, the unsafe management of medicines; incidents in which patients health or well-being were not properly reported; and national practice guidelines were not followed when transferring mental health patients, where risk assessments were not carried out.

 No evidence was shown that paramedics and technicians had completed the appropriate training and competency to administer medicines safely. Neither had all staff completed the relevant training to competently fulfil their role.

There were also issues with the service’s recruitment process as records and check of staff fitness were either unavailable or incomplete.

CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals, Dr Nigel Acheson, said: “We are all well aware that our ambulance services are under a tremendous amount of pressure and scrutiny. However, when we inspected the SSG UK Specialist Ambulance Service South recently, we were extremely concerned at the disconnect we identified between the senior team and the staff working on the frontline. We saw no sign of a clear vision and strategy and a lack of response to the concerns we had previously raised.

“The vision for the trust was not clearly articulated by the senior team and staff. The local managers provided us with different visions for the future but not how these plans would come into action, which did not assure us that the teams were working cohesively.”

The southeast ambulance service will be inspected again in six months’ time.

Chocs away for the Wings Museum – unless it joins Dunsfold Park’s tribute to the past?

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An application to build Dunsfold Airfield Mark 2 – on land adjacent to Dunsfold Airfield Mark 1 – was flatly REFUSED – by Waverley Planners – who deemed it too big, in fact, claiming it was better suited to either Heathrow or Gatwick!

It beggars belief why Waverley’s head honcho led her planning numpties into recommending approval of a scheme to build an aviation museum councillors described as “bizarre;” “massive;” “huge;” “enormous” hangars more fitting for Heathrow or Gatwick.

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The land adjacent to Dunsfold Park has been purchased by the West-Sussex based Wing Museum Trust from a local landowner, who no doubt, wanted to put two fingers up to the Flying Scot because the laddie has permission to build a Museum and 1,800 new homes on the airfield site adjacent? That land is marked in blue on the map above.

One councillor after another – even an absent Alfold Borough councillor Kevin Deanus, slammed the plan to build on land east of Benbow Lane off Dunsfold Road. A rural road Alfold Parish Council Chairman Nick Pigeon described as – in a bad state of repair.
However, a Wings Spokesman said the Museum, attracting 28,000 visitors to view the planes in a proposed 10,000 sqm hangar would be good for the borough’s economy, -with classrooms and library for education, a shop, library; coach and car parks, and a dedicated section dealing with Dunsfold Aerodrome’s history would be a huge asset.

It was financially sound with money to forge ahead with the exciting scheme on land it owned and to include an adjacent nature reserve, where the remains of WW2 buildings still stand.
The scheme was “unique” and would be a successful asset to the area.
Objector Chris Britton – or (Little Britton as he is known locally) said the scheme raised some serious issues – as the applicant had no relationship with Dunsfold Park. What if this multi-million-pound Museum failed in this rural area on agricultural land, which, he claimed, had never been within the airfield boundary and if allowed it would set a dangerous precedent for other similar areas around the new settlement.
“This proposed hangar could accommodate 342 double-decker buses or even Concorde and is eight times bigger than the existing Wings Museum.”
Several councillors claimed the access would be far too close to an existing DP access, and why hadn’t SCC highways objected?

The WW asks  – is this outfit (SCC highways) any longer fit for purpose?

Why wasn’t it part of the Dunsfold Masterplan councillors asked? Why wasn’t the applicant talking to Dunsfold Park? Why? were officers recommending approval when the whole idea of the DP Masterplan was to plan – future development – and which included a new Aviation Museum?
“This is bizarre,” claimed Mary Foryszewski – “we could end up with two Museums.”
In a letter read out by Councillor John Gray, Kevin Deanus claimed the size of the building – was so large “it will make Gatwick and Heathrow jealous. And to claim it was part of the airfield, and within touching distance of proposed new homes was stretching credibility too far.”
Any access to any future Museum should be off the A281.
For once, Betty Boot rolled back from her usual stance of kicking councillors into submission? She actually became more accommodating – perhaps now she is retiring, she is beginning to feel some remorse for the mess she has helped get the East of the borough into?
Has anyone told BB about the Dunsfold Masterplan? That a Museum already exists and described by Bramley’s By-Pass Byham as – ramshackle, dilapidated buildings manned by a few volunteers – is to be replaced? It’s in the Masterplan ducky!

Calling out to the public gallery BBPB said to another Betty Sorry Betty (we know not who Betty is – but I shall be supporting this application.”
No doubt quite forgetting his usual concern for the heavy traffic which he would like to By-Pass Bramley? But then what’s another 28,000 visitors’ cars between friends?
Councillor Mike band described the scheme – as an “extraordinary place to consider putting an enormous Museum. “Wrong place, wrong size, without the right partners!”
Although some councillors suggested deferral, others wanted an outright rejection and it was REFUSED by 11 votes to By-Pass’s One.

 

Farnham’s Redgrave to bite the dust.

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Tis the Season to be Jolly? Isn’t it?

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Third time lucky ‘Your Waverley” seeks and it finds listed building consent to reduce Farnham’s last link with the Redgrave dynasty to a pile of rubble. And – what better time to do the dreaded deed  – during the Christmas Pantomime Season! 

This is a rallying call to the residents of the borough of Waverley. Never let it be said that we here at the WW are only concerned with all things Farnham.

But this plea goes out to everyone in Waverley who cares about their heritage. To-day Farnham – tomorrow Godalming – Haslemere – or over there in the Eastern villages. One day it could be you?

Nothing anyone now says or does will change the sad fact that Farnham is about to lose its treasured Redgrave Theatre. Sir Michael Redgrave- for many years, a teacher at a Waverley fee-paying school would surely have been heartbroken to watch the bulldozers trashing a theatre bearing his famous family name. But the deed is done and the Philistines at ‘Your Waverley’ would rather see a load more empty shops, restaurants, and “so-called affordable homes” on the Blightwells site. And – who knows it may prove to be a huge asset to the Farnham coffee-culture scene drawing in the Wombles of Wimbledon and the Wandsworth wanderers. Who are we to judge?

But here’s an open letter to those of us who treasured Farnham’s past and fear for its future. So, if you care about our theatre – at least let the decision-makers know how you regret its demise and make some reparation for ensuring its loss. Because as sure as hell – one day someone will ask WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?

Dear Farnham Theatre Association Colleagues,

The Redgrave Theatre is due to be knocked down over a number of days between December 10th and March 4th next year, having served as a beacon and a rallying call since it closed in 1998.

To a group of keen theatre supporters, it seems fitting that those who gained so much from it should have the chance to mark its passing publicly and appropriately.

By agreement with the Farnham Herald, a number of letters are planned from different groups each carrying multiple signatures.

The plan is to send these into the Herald, to be published over 2/3 weeks as soon as the Redgrave goes down. Life is too short to alter or amend the shared letter from FTA on individual request, so if you would prefer to send in your own personal response, that would be more than welcome, particularly if it follows the opening salvo. It would help to convey the sense of public outrage if correspondence continued for some weeks and the debate opened up. Chances of publication will be greater with group letters.

If you would like your name added to the FTA letter (see below), could you email your consent to Anne Cooper on anne.cooper@farnhamtheatre.org.uk The Herald accepts it is impracticable to collect so many signatures individually, so asks that each typed name it receives is accompanied by a contact email address to confirm authenticity; however these latter details will not be published.

Thank you 

Anne Cooper

(Letter to Farnham Herald from FTA Members and friends)

Dear Sir,

The demolition of the Redgrave Theatre causes immense distress to those who regarded Farnham’s two theatres as beacons of culture for over fifty years. However, the demolition will give some satisfaction to those who rate commerce to be more important than the arts. Paradoxically, Waverley has spent millions on pursuing a development scheme which promises little return, while the condemned theatre was built economically and sustainably for the long-term. Because the theatre was designed for low-cost maintenance, it was never praised for its external appearance, but rather for the work that went on inside that simple, functional auditorium.
Destroying part of Farnham’s heritage is a divisive act, particularly when uneconomic shops and restaurants are to replace the theatre which was once the cultural heart of the town. This destruction has, at the same time, damaged part of what made Farnham special: a cohesive spirit of community creativity. After the Second World War, the people of Farnham supported and encouraged the fledgeling Castle Theatre, to such an extent that the larger Redgrave Theatre was built with money raised largely by public subscription. This became a theatre renowned and respected nationally for the quality of its productions. At the same time, Farnham people had rescued and developed the derelict Malting buildings and this is now a flourishing Arts Centre. The town had created and supported both venues. However, when times grew hard, our local authority took the controversial decision to support only one and it was Farnham Maltings that was to survive. It was believed that theatre at the Maltings would replace The Redgrave, but this proved to be a naive and unrealistic expectation.

Our local authorities have a responsibility now to mend the cultural damage they have inflicted on the town. We respectfully ask Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council for reparation for the loss of The Redgrave Theatre. We ask for a commitment to demand contributions from developers towards providing a well-equipped replacement theatre/concert hall to serve future expanding populations. This should be a priority for the well-being, not only of Farnham but the whole community of Waverley and beyond.
Yours faithfully,

Anne Cooper, Farnham Theatre Association Chairman

Background: A conditional contract to create a major retail and residential district was awarded to developers Crest Nicholson and Sainsbury’s in 2003. It has now begun. The theatre building is attached to the grade II-listed Brightwell House. 

The plans come 20 years after the Redgrave Theatre was closed by Waverley Borough Council. It will be knocked down and the adjacent Brightwell House will be converted to form two restaurants.

 When the council approved an application for listed building consent to demolish the building it attracted  260 objections and five votes of support from neighbours and consultees.

Among the objectors was the Theatres Trust. It opposed on the grounds the plans do not offer a replacement cultural facility or a financial contribution to support an existing facility.

 

Mea Culpa -wrong spokesman?

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We are reliably informed by a Cranleigh follower that Mother of Bamford has called for a correction on the Cranleigh Community Board claiming that her son is not the spokesman for the Cranleigh Village Nursing Home Trust. 

Grovel, grovel, and apologies to Mrs Bamford for inadvertently referring to her son as such. But we were reliably informed that he is considered to be the spokesman as he is all over the eastern villages like a rash of spots, speaking up for said Cranleigh’s new nursing home – never to be referred to as… a HOSPITAL.

We also understand he is stomping around Cranleigh New Town complaining about anyone that posts anything he doesn’t agree with on the Cranleigh Community Board.

So we are issuing a health warning to anyone over there in the Eastern villages remotely inclined to share our posts – please DON’T – without asking Mr or Mrs Bamford for permission first.

CRANLEIGH-HOSPITAL2

 

 

Don’t mention the word. ‘HOSPITAL!’