Here at the Waverley Web, we have been an admirer of Paul Follows since he first arrived on the scene at Waverley Towers. And the answer is NO – if you believe it is because he is a Liberal Democrat. the truth is far simpler.
It is because he tells it as it is, warts and all.
He communicates directly with the public. Not through a laboriously long-winded and slow communications machine – where the language is couched in ‘council speak’ and where misuse of words blunts the edge of the message.
Paul Follows is not on a “direction of travel’ or ‘engaged in a piece of work.’ He is making a plan and doing the job – and telling everyone in the process – including the Waverley Web. The same Waverley Web that is loathed by the Conservative Group who believed in doing things behind our backs – making decisions in Group Meetings – which we understand is still in Committee Room 1 – a domain normally reserved for the ruling group, not the largest group? The same group that failed consistently to deliver a robust Local Plan, and which for years ignored the largest brownfield site in the borough! Which has now dumped us in a developers hole!
On 6 May the party’s stranglehold at Surrey could end, as it has in Waverley and other councils across the county. Tories currently hold 61 of the 81 seats.
That the dream team the Lib Dems have come up with will make a massive difference at County Towers – we are in no doubt. Particularly when Cllr Mark Merryweather joins the county fray. We Bet Fred, or anyone else, that once in the hot seat ‘MM’ will be trawling through Surrey’s accounts and going through them with a fine-tooth comb. He might not only discover WHY Surrey wants to take over the 11 boroughs & district councils but actually tell us what fine mess it is really in?
Here’s his message from a brave man who made it before the hairdressers opened
Despite everything that has gone on over the past year, we are having County Council elections in Surrey on 6th May.
So this has given a new boy on the block Toby, a Digital Assessment Officer at the University of Surrey, an opportunity to throw his hat into the ring for the Godalming North seat on behalf of the Labour Party.
Here’s Toby Westcott-White’s message:
I’m proud to be running as the Labour candidate in Godalming North, which encompasses Godalming town centre, Farncombe, Binscombe and Charterhouse.
I moved to the Godalming town centre almost four years ago just after graduating from university. I grew up in Haslemere and currently work in Guildford and tend to spend most of my free time exploring our wonderful countryside on foot and on a bicycle.
Why am I running for Surrey County Council?
I do not believe the people of Godalming are getting the investment they deserve from the Conservative-dominated council.
The Tories have controlled the County Council for nearly all my life and they have been ruthless in their cuts to our public services. We can clearly see that roads are poorly maintained, cycle paths are rare and our fire services, which keep us all safe, are being cut.
We need a county that has excellent transport links, world-standard education and outstanding public services – from which we all benefit.
If elected, I will be a radical voice to stand up for genuine investment in our public services.
This May, you can send a message that Surrey can and should be better. Let’s send this message by voting Labour.
Labour Party Candidate for Godalming North
The County Council elections are on May 6, and I’d urge you to get a postal vote if you haven’t already. See here for how to do it: https://www.waverley.gov.uk/Services/Council-information/Registering-to-vote-and-elections/Absent-voting-postal-or-proxy.
But of course, you’re free to vote in person if you’d prefer it!
A further message from Waverley’s Labour Councillor and former Labour MP Nick Palmer.
Surrey is dominated by the Conservatives, who hold 61 of the 81 seats. But – and here I’m being party political, of course – Labour is putting up a serious challenge this time, with candidates in every division and an impressive range of energetic young talent to take on the tired and complacent Council leadership.
I’d urge you to vote for whichever party and candidates actually impress you most when you compare their literature. Labour’s Godalming candidates are Toby Westcott-White in the North and Zahoor Zahida in the South.
Voting Labour also sends a signal to the Government not to be too complacent – when even their Surrey bastion starts to swing, they WILL take notice.
The LibDems always use each election to ask for tactical votes from Labour voters “just this once” and then at the next election cynically use that as an argument to do it again (“see how weak Labour was last time, so vote for us”).
Labour is in practice the only credible alternative to the Conservatives nationally – nobody really thinks that Ed Davey might be the next Prime Minister, but Keir Starmer might well be.
It’s important to show that Britain isn’t as divided as people say and Surrey voters are interested in a credible alternative as well. I hope I contribute usefully to local politics – if you vote Labour, you’re voting for a fresh wind at the County level too!
Is Kirsty playing dirty to snaffle a seat on the county council?
A Tory leaflet, which others claim could be a deliberate attempt to mislead the public is being bandied around Godalming and on Social Media.. (photo below).
Let’s do a FACT- OR FICTION -finding exercise, Megan Markle style?
FICTION OR FACT?
- FICTION The claim that Waverley is a ‘Liberal Democrat Dominated |Council?’
- FACT. The largest Group on Waverley Borough Council is … THE CONSERVATIVE GROUP.
GONE TO POTTS?
N.B. THIS CHANGED SLIGHTLY OVERNIGHT AS CONSERVATIVE LEADER JULIA POTTS ANNOUNCED THAT CLLR BRIAN ADAMS HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FROM WAVERLEY’S CONSERVATIVE GROUP AT ‘YOUR WAVERLEY’ AND SUSPENDED FROM THE S.W.SURREY CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION!
- FICTION Perhaps it wants to close Broadwater Golf Club for “an unpopular housing development?”
- FACT. A housing development has never been mentioned. Why not use the word perhaps it could be ‘a refuse tip’ or perhaps ‘a multi-storey office block?’
- FICTION. It made decisions behind closed doors.
- FACT. It discussed the issue in public – but on the direction of officers, including the borough solicitor, made the decision privately from the public, but not the council, for sound commercially sensitive and legal reasons.
Should Ms Waldron win the Godalming South county council seat, she will, of course, want to adhere to officers’ advice in her new role, particularly when sensitive legal issues are involved?
FACT. Kirsty Waldron says if she is elected she promises, yes “promises,” the people of Godalming that she will fight to keep the club and protect recreational spaces which she uses regularly with her young (4 years old) daughter.
Here’s what Cllr Paul Follows her Liberal Democrat opponent for the county seat has to say on the issue.