Our pedipalps – (spider’s legs for the uninitiated) travel far and wide -and our Waverley Web followers are based around the world. Here’s a letter from our friend Darryl Darwent – which we have attempted to answer. But which has taken a little time as it required a trip over to the wilds of Baynards – an area of Waverley on the Surrey/Sussex border.
Good afternoon from Calgary. It has been a while since we last corresponded.
COVID-19 & politics.
I can report our province has struggled to find a balance between keeping its economy going and protecting the population from COVID-19 variants. Not everyone is keen on wearing masks or getting a vaccine. These people are on the fringe. My wife and I have our first jab of Astra-Zeneca. We recently became grandparents. Our little one lives in Vancouver. We are eager for normalcy so the day arrives when we can see her.
Our 3-term mayor, Naheed Nenshi, is stepping down this fall when municipal elections occur. He has been a good leader. In his time he led us through the once-in-a-century flood in 2013. However, the present offers an opportunity for this city’s first woman mayor. This excites me. Calgary needs a good vision as the oil business has fallen through the basement. We are seeing good interest in green energy and technology setting up shop here.
Waverley /Longhurst Lodge
I see by your reporting that the mysteries and nefariousness in planning around Waverley continues. Wherever there’s an opportunity to make money in turbulent times it will be accompanied by someone getting shafted.
Are you familiar with Longhurst Lodge? We recently watched an episode of Restoration Man (2011) concerning the remodelling of a Victorian gatehouse in Baynard’s Park. I realised later that it resided near Cranleigh.
The problem with watching ten-year-old shows is you never know, especially in this case, how these projects turn out. According to the episode, the owners, Vanessa Ford-Robbins and Nik Huddy had plans to add an approved addition. They were also going to restore the massive gates.
Could I ask a favour? Can you please find out whether they followed through? According to a Wikipedia article on the property, Vanessa and Nik are still the owners. But, there’s no other information. Maybe there’s an article from a local source or some photos that offer a review.
There certainly is no rush for this to be done.
Sincerely, Darryl Darwen,
Doing our best.
Well, Darryl, we have certainly tracked down a photo of the property you watched on the TV. And Vanessa & Nick are still the owners. As you will see the gates have been restored. The couple are real eco-warriors in fact they now own a shop in nearby Cranleigh called “For Earth’s Sake.’ It is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company that informs and enables people and business to put the planet first and helps to show how we, as individuals ,can make a real difference!
Good to hear from you. Stay safe.
At the heart of For Earth’s Sake, CIC is Vanessa Ford-Robbins who, alongside partners Nik Huddy and Charlie Edwards, has launched the inaugural For Earth’s Sakeshopwith the ethos of shoppers being more aware of their actions, and the choices that they can make in mitigating their carbon footprint on the planet.The For Earth’s Sake shop on Cranleigh High Street, which opened its doors in April 2019, has become a hub for eco-conscious shoppers, and also to those who want to take their own steps in cutting down on plastic usage and their carbon footprint.Since announcing the launch of For Earth’s Sake CIC and the Cranleigh shop in January 2019, Vanessa and her team have created a brand that is trusted and appreciated, as well as one that is known for ‘doing what it says on the tin’.
Then we have this in the Farnham Herald which highlights the threat to Farnham and all the other towns and villages in Waverley. Both Farnham and the eastern villages in and around Cranleigh are particularly vulnerable.
What more could anyone want right in the middle of a pandemic and difficulties with BREXIT than a Boundary Commission intent on re-organising our local government institutions and our electoral boundaries?
However, it is not the Commission itself that has abandoned common-sense by instigating the vastly complex and time-consuming review. It is a Government that is hell-bent on reviewing anything and everything. Education – planning; health; local government; promoting unitary authorities and more!
You name it – they want to change it – in the middle of the most catastrophic disease that we have faced in modern times. At a time when our cash- strapped local authorities are struggling to make ends meet
Whilst the rest of us are adding blubber, if the Commission has its way, our borough council will be losing weight. By that, we mean losing councillors – down from the existing 57 in 29 wards – to 50 and fewer and larger wards. So presumably in 2023, there will be a slimmer Waverley – or possibly NO Waverley – as it is still Surrey County Council’s intention for the whole county to become a Unitary Authority. It is hanging onto its fervent desire to get rid of the county’s 11 boroughs & district councils. This despite being told by Government to shelve its ambitions for the time being.
Waverley Borough Council has 57 seats, representing local people in 29 wards that make up the Borough.
Councillors are elected by the community to decide how the council should carry out its various activities. They represent the wider public interest as well as individuals living within the ward in which he or she has been elected to serve.
Each councillor is elected for a four-year term. The most recent elections took place on 2 May 2019. The next Waverley Borough Council elections will take place in 2023.
Councillors have regular contact with the general public through council meetings, telephone calls or surgeries.
According to the council’s website, Fifty-six borough councillors are members of a political party registered with the Electoral Commission; one is Independent. They are currently divided as follows:
Councillors are not paid a salary for their work, but they do receive allowances. By law, all members of the Council are required to complete a declaration of interest form, the details of which are published annually.
In 2018/2019 the council paid out £395,000 in Basic Allowances, Special Responsibility Allowances, Travelling and Subsistence Allowances. it also included just £3,000 on internet charges.
in 2019/20 the figure was £397,000 – which WW believes is amazing value for money. This is low, compared with many other councils across the country that pay considerably more.
Tonight – Monday – Village leaders will once again sit down to consider yet another reboot of the Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s ambitions to build on land it sold to the charity for £1.
Cranleigh Parish Council will decide whether it will back yet another incarnation of a scheme that has driven a stake through the heart of Cranleigh and the eastern villages.
Over the years hundreds of letters and a petition containing 4,000 signatures have been posted AGAINST. There have also been hundreds of letters in SUPPORT. Many of which have been for a HOSPITAL!
NOTICE OF AN EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
Councillors are respectfully summoned to attend an online extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council to be held at 7.00 pm on MONDAY 01 FEBRUARY 2021 To join the meeting: Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting Mon, Feb 1, 2021, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM (GMT)
You can also dial in using your phone. (For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.) United Kingdom: +44 20 3713 5028 – One-touch: tel:+442037135028,,829134269# Access Code: 829-134-269 New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:
Over the past 21 years – successive parish and borough councils have ruminated and cogitated over a scheme that was perhaps once, a long, long time ago – referred to as a ‘beacon for healthcare.’ At least that is how it was referred in the archive pages of the “Sorry Advertiser. back in the ’90s.
As the decades have rolled on – the scheme has morphed from a Hospital/Day Hospital/GP Surgery into a Private Nursing home, with so many different numbers of private, and or, community beds, that forgive us please if we don’t refer to them because we have lost count. Now, like most of the population of the eastern villages – we and they have joined CONFUSED DOT COM!
In the life of the present scheme, we believe it has now changed from 64 beds in the private nursing home – and 14 community beds to 60 private and 16 for the community. First, they were FREE then they weren’t, first it was a HOSPITAL, and then it wasn’t. Then it was for a named care-home provider – HC-ONE and then it wasn’t or maybe it will be?
Will, they won’t they join the club? Here’s what the Chairman says:
So there you have it, folks. The Cranleigh Village Health Trust is confident it will have an operator for a damned great private nursing home slap-bang in the middle of your village. It is also confident that everyone will want to go into the new nursing home – because, after all, we all lust after going into a nursing home don’t we? And the half dozen or so already in the Cranleigh environs aren’t enough. Are they?
And – the fact that your health authority says it wants to provide you with a different type of care in future – in your own home, must mean that another Care Home is required – doesn’t it?
No doubt the poor old parish councillors will have burned the midnight oil trawling over this document from Tetlow King – the Charity’s Agent. A letter which gives all sorts of assurances about the future use of said beds, and the residential flats! Even, chortles on about it is a plus that the Surrey Heartlands Trust and all the other health and social care honchos have now pulled out! Kindly leaving the community beds for the very people who contributed circa £2m and a chunk of public land to provide them with the proposed – private care home!
It is incomprehensible to me that any group, the community at large or planning officers would not see the benefits of this development on a piece of land that sits in a sustainable location between extensive built development on either side where this Council has given permission on several occasions in the past.
And just for the record. Planning permission has not been given for this scheme on several occasions in the past!
The Waverley Web cannot help wondering how much this – and all the other applications have cost ‘Your Waverley.” We calculated that if it wrote to everyone on the planning portal that has made a comment it has cost many more thousands of pounds of OUR money!
Village leaders considered this request from the Cranleigh Village Health Trust. The charity that is seeking planning consent to build a 64-bed care home an accommodation block and 16 community beds now wants to meet the parish council in private… again.
Here’s what it said on last week’s Cranleigh Parish Council Agenda. The meeting was held on Zoom to enable the public to take part.
CRANLEIGH VILLAGE HEALTH TRUST (CVHT) CVHT Response to letter exchange (This item may be held in private and confidential session – reason: commercial in confidence) Recommendation: •
‘To consider the request from CVHT for a private meeting of two CVHT representatives with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council, and the Clerk, to discuss an outcome for the Paddock Field which is beneficial for the community and satisfies CVHT’s obligations as a charity, in line with the covenants placed on the land. There may be information that is commercially sensitive.’
Another chapter is about to open in a burgeoning book of a 20-year saga that has dogged – what has been dubbed by some as ‘the largest village in England”
The Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s request was given short shrift by councillors who were united in their opposition to holding ANY further meetings in private with a developer seeking to build a commercial private care home for HC-One one of the nation’s largest care providers.
Though it is now debatable whether HC-One is the operator? The Chairman of the Trust, Dr Robin Fawkner-Corbett has confirmed publicly that the planning application in the name of HC-ONE and CVHT that has been with Waverley Planners for many months, has no signed-up operator! Saying an operator will be named once planning permission is granted.
Now that the Trust has effectively become – Billy No Mates – it wants a secret meeting with a handful of councillors to unveil its latest cunning plan. A plan for a site it owns – has the value of a playing field, land swapped 15 years ago sold by the parish council of-the-day for £ 1– in return for a piece of agricultural land for a playing field.
The first, and only, member of the public to speak was the man who heads the campaign group to stop the development going ahead.
Andy Webb – as we repeatedly say – who has no connection with the Waverley Web, asked if he could represent the Campaign Group on behalf of its supporters at any meeting to be held. He said as the Trust had received considerable amounts of public money. ( believed to be circa £1.7m plus) – the public should be included in any debate. He said he couldn’t get any response to his requests from the Trust for a meeting, but firmly believed the public must be allowed to hear whatever its representatives had to say?
“We have an absolute right to know what is being said – it is our money they are spending!“
Chairman Liz Townsend said the council would go into the council meeting and consider the request and the decision lay with her members.
First off the grid was Cllr Richard Cole who said he recalled the previous private meeting with the Trust was to listen but not comment. Cllr Townsend reminded everyone that the well-minuted private meeting was to hear nothing other than any ‘community benefits’ put forward by the Trust.
“We made it very clear to them it would not be about process.”
Cllr Cole, who is also Chairman of a Waverley Planning Committee, said any meeting should not be discussing the planning application – an application that…
“it appeared wouldn’t be coming to the borough council – any time soon.”
” You can offer them another meeting – but this time “I want to be there,” said a feisty Cllr Rowena Tyler – and I want that minuted!”
Cllr Jeacock said he wasn’t happy about holding any private meetings in the first place – “I don’t like it.”
Neither did Cllr James Betts –
“I will strongly object and I want that minuted. I don’t agree with the Trust keep asking for private meetings with two representatives, they should speak to the parish council, and anyone else who is interested as an elected group – and the meeting should be held in public.”
Cllr Nigel Sanctuary echoed his sentiments. “this is a community issue – and there a lot of emotions around this. Public emotions are running so high, that we should reject any request by the Trust to meet a few of us in private.” He said the council should reject any more private meetings and should have some clear objectives about what it wished for an outcome.
Cllr George Worthington: “We said three months ago the last meeting was a “one-off” to hold another would not be sending the right message. We need to have everyone on the parish council – and the public involved.”
Both Cllr Hannah Nicholson and David Nicholas agreed. A conciliatory voice from Cllr Nicholas said the last meeting in private should be the final meeting.
“We are a civilised lot here – an open meeting can be well-chaired, and well-managed and we will listen to the Trust. There could be an opportunity here for something sensible to come out of it. However, we have to make it clear to the Trust, that if there are confidential commercial matters – they should give us that information in a report. We could at least offer them that.”
It was UNANIMOUSLY agreed that the council would write to the CVHT stressing that it agreed it would hold a parish council meeting to be held in public – which was not the same as a PUBLIC MEETING.