Part 4 of Ding, Dong the By-Election is on!

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Or…why are we waiting?

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In our efforts to cover the Godalming By-Election, which takes place on Wednesday, we have waited patiently for a response to our request for information from the Conservative Party.  

And we are not the only ones! Here’s a few comments from the Godalming Noticeboard.

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The Conservatives are  fielding one candidate for the Waverley Borough Council seat and one for the Town Council.

Maybe Councillor Stella Andersen Payne’s Stellar performance as a former Waverley Councillor for Farnham, has convinced voters in  Godalming that she needs no introduction. So  there is no need for her to respond to our requests? But, maybe Graham Bennewith will get in touch – there’s still time.

So far, the only comments we can find from Godalming folk on Ms Anderson Payne’s go along these lines…

  • – By not appearing on the Godalming Community Board Facebook she is either  out of touch, or not interested, in her ward?
    – concerned that when she was Waverley Councillor for Dockenfield she almost caused a by-election due to non-attendance.
    – a Tory paper candidate that will do nothing for the town

But they may feel differently if she lets everyone know, other than on the doorstep, how she hopes to represent them?

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According to some of our Farnham followers when Ms Andersen-Payne represented the Dockenfield Ward at ‘YW,’ she ‘rarely bothered to turn up,’  Still, we are sure she will do better this time – won’t she? 

Here are posts on the other candidates.

Part 3 of… Ding,Dong the fight’s begun!

Ding,Dong the fight’s begun!Part 2 of Ding Dong the battle has begun to win the Godalming By-Election.

Ding, Dong the fight’s begun to win Godalming’s By-Election. Part 1.Lib Dems.

This letter says it all – about ‘Your Waverley’s very own ‘Omen.’

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Regular readers of the Waverley Web will be well acquainted with the antics of Damian Roberts – nicknamed ‘The Omen’ by us and the ‘silent assassin’ by many of Waverley’s own workforce. What we, and many others, would like to know is did he jump, or was he pushed, before he sent that effusive message of his impending departure to councillors?

Like the writer of this letter in the Farnham Herald featured below, we wonder whether those who jump ship, and who may have made serious, VERY SERIOUS, mistakes, can be held accountable when they slip neatly into another, more senior role at Epsom & Ewell Council?

We also wonder why everyone is keeping schtum, marking time, or perhaps, even hiding the results of the Farnham  air quality  investigation that has been going on for months? We had believed councillors were   to receive regular up-dates on such an important matter?   But then we suppose those might have been given behind closed doors?  Since that Press Release on 26th September – zilch – perhaps its time the local bobbies were brought in?

We understand that a neighbouring council may be doing a limited audit, with a limited remit, to investigate Your Waverley’s quality management systems, wonder which one?

Perhaps ‘Your Waverley’ would prefer not to wash all its dirty linen in public until the Local  Plan is adopted and the re-development of Blightwells begins?

Oh what a tangled web they weave – when once they practise to deceive?

The Omen is… roamin’!

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Dare 
we dare issue word of warning to Th Omen’s  new employers, from his existing and former employers at Croydon Council?

Watch Your Backs at all times! And, if you value your voluntary services – give the responsibility to someone else! And to the head honcho, – be warned – he wants your job  too, and soon!

 The salary agreed at the Executive Meeting a week ago for a new  CEO that is being  advertised at  £124K just isn’t big enough … is it? This is the rate for the job according to an Employment consultancy called Solace.

Waverley’s housing targets in doubt? And… where you can’t build in Farnham.

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What does SANG mean:

Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace | SURREY HEATH

Map of where you can’t build in Farnham – Build Nothing 0-400m
Provide mitigation and SANG 400 – 5K with 2KM circular dog walks.
(The idea is to prevent dog walkers from trampling the nests of rare ground nesting birds in the 4 months they are breeding)

Or…SPOT THE SANG!24879844_10155918360541613_2940788916913330835_o.jpg

The Farnham Herald, Thursday 7th December 2017 – Vol. 128 No. 22

WAVERLEY planning officers have apparently flouted the advice of Natural England by continuing to press for an immediate increase in Farnham’s housing target despite concerns over the possible impact on the rare heathland surrounding the town.

Responding to a consultation on proposed modifications to part one of Waverley’s draft Local Plan in October, Natural England slated the amendments as “not legally compliant” and in particular criticised Waverley’s proposal to add a further 450 houses to the 2,780 already allocated for Farnham over the plan’s lifespan.

According to the government’s environment watchdog, adequate Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) has not been identified in the Waverley Local Plan to deter new homeowners from the Thames Basin and Wealden heaths Special Protection Areas (SPAs), and Waverley’s planning blueprint therefore “does not meet all of the tests of soundness”.

This was raised by inspector Jonathan Bore in a series of questions to Waverley last month, asking how Waverley can ensure the 450 extra houses allocated for Farnham can be built in light of Natural England’s objection ?

However, in a 45-page response to the inspector this week, Waverley stuck to its original position that “sufficient suitable SANG sites will come forward”, without offering any evidence of possible SANG sites in the pipeline, and concluded dismissively that “the housing requirement in Farnham will not be delayed by a lack of SANG”.

SPAs are an international planning designation requiring EU member states to safeguard the habitats of migratory birds and certain particularly threatened birds. Farnham and its surrounding countryside is protected by two SPAs – the Thames Basins Heaths and Wealdon Heath SPAs.

The most significant of these, the Thames Basin Heaths SPA, covers an area of more than 8,000 hectares, connecting heathlands across Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey supporting important breeding bird populations such as the Dartford warbler, nightjar and woodlark.

W W comment: Do you remember when a Cranleigh councillor suggested the Dartford Warbler might soon be moving north due to climate change!

About 80 hectares of the Thames Basin Heaths SPA is within Waverley to the north of Farnham. However, a buffer zone restricting development within 5km of the SPA affects most of Farnham.

Waverley’s SPA avoidance strategy, as approved by Natural England, aims to offset the impact of new development on the SPAs by providing Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace – in Waverley’s case by improving access to Farnham Park.

However, as the only SANG currently identified in the borough, Farnham Park’s capacity to offset new housing is rapidly diminishing and unless Waverley can find new SANG in the area, the council has admitted that Farnham’s housing target is unachievable.

Out of a total housing requirement of 2,780 in Farnham, 1,366 homes are yet to come forward over the remainder of the plan period (2013 to 2032). But the latest calculations show that there is SANG capacity for just 890 to 1,069 dwellings at Farnham Park, leaving a large potential shortfall.

Waverley has made approaches to several landowners in a bid to source new SANG and meet local housing demand, including owners of the former Farnham Quarry, now known locally as the Tice’s Meadow nature reserve, Hanson.

However, none are yet guaranteed and Natural England has dismissed the quarry as a possible SANG, commenting that it is already under a Section 106 agreement for Hanson to manage this area until 2030 for nature conservation and cannot meet all of the ‘must have’ SANG criteria.

The latest row concerning Waverley’s ill-fated attempts to update its Local Plan comes just a week after it was revealed the borough council faces an imminent threat of being placed in ‘special measures’ by Whitehall civil servants for losing too many major planning appeals.

Waverley has left itself vulnerable to appeals after proposing an early review of the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, the borough’s only up-to-date planning blueprint, just weeks after its adoption in August.

And council officers now fear the number of major planning applications refused but allowed at appeal could soon exceed the 10 per cent threshold allowed by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

To combat this, Waverley’s executive last week agreed to more training workshops for councillors and officers to avoid “unnecessary” refusals.

But addressing the state of affairs at Tuesday’s meeting of the full council, opposition Farnham Residents councillor Andy MacLeod, blamed the broken planning system – not a lack of training – for the latest threat to the borough.

He said: “I’ve attended many appeals concerning Farnham, and you’d think you were attending a criminal trial with Waverley Borough Council and Farnham Town Council in the dock, and the developers as the prosecutors.

“Members of the public who have come along have been totally astonished. They thought they were coming along to hear about the merits or demerits of the application, but it turns out they were there to hear about all the deficiencies of Waverley Borough Council.

“The Government keeps talking about the broken housing system, but in my opinion they are the ones who have broken it. They’ve created an imbalance in the system very much in favour of developers, and until they redress that balance we will always be in danger of losing appeals.”

Farnham Town Council is meeting with its Waverley colleagues on a monthly basis to discuss the proposed Local Plan modifications, but is yet to announce any significant concessions. The examination of Waverley’s Local Plan continues.

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Part 3 of… Ding,Dong the fight’s begun!

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Ding, Dong the fight’s begun to win Godalming’s By-Election. Part 1.Lib Dems.

Part 2 of Ding Dong the battle has begun to win the Godalming By-Election.

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This election was prompted by the sudden resignation of Godalming Town Council Mayor, and Tory Waverley Borough Councillor Simon Thornton for undisclosed ‘personal reasons.’ Reasons, that the whole town is talking about!

In our efforts to ensure you know who you are voting for … some, despite our  repeated attempts, haven’t so far provided information… we are featuring here Lewis Curtis  the Labour man standing for the Godalming Town Council seat.

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Lewis,  who has  lived in the Godalming area his whole life, says:

‘I am committed to doing everything in my power to making sure everyone has a voice in our community. 

I have lived in a council house for most of my life, so I understand the importance of social housing, and investing in it. I will make sure the people have someone to fight for them on this issue.

I am a blue badge holder as I was born with a physical disability, and I understand the importance of this scheme. Blue badges allow people to live independent, active lives and to access the community and its facilities. Having a disability has a financial impact on day to day life which can be costly, and free parking is an essential, not a luxury. 

It will be an honour to be elected as your local councillor.’

Mr Lewis might be interested in reading our blogs on the disabled parking charges that have been imposed and  the problems faced by the disabled in flashing their cash in the borough’s car parks!

 

 

lewis@swsurreylabour.org.uk

 

 

Want to know how much it cost ‘Your Waverley’ to dig into the pockets of the disabled, Mr Beaman?

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Read our recent post here: Diddling the Disabled?

Since our earlier little missive  on the current state of disabled  parking in Waverley, a letter, criticising the Waverley Web, has appeared in the Farnham and Herald Newspapers.

Here at the Waverley Web we take criticism on the chin, or in our case on the pharynx – after all that’s the name of the game.

We have included a pdf file at the bottom of this post so you can read it for yourselves!  Whilst we apologise to Mr Beaman of the SW Surrey Disabled Alliance Network for not raising the issue earlier, we must  point out that the Waverley Web does not have the benefit of teams of journalists ringing around local organisations. we just do our best. Highlighting the issues around the introduction of charges in Waverley – at The Royal Surrey and Frimley Park Hospitals have all been featured over many months on the Waverley Web – so our latest posts were not, as Mr Beaman  claims, “political opportunism’. In our book,  issues that profoundly  affect the lives of the most vulnerable should never be a political issue? 

 For the record our team sports a number of political leanings. Tory/Labour/Lib Dem and one who is a bit further right than Genghis Khan. We also have one contributor that would have to be dragged kicking and screaming towards any ballot box! He believes that politics should play no part in local government, saying it would be better for us all if everyone was Independent. 

So, Mr Beaman, once again we are sorry that we did not come up to scratch with your organisation – and we promise to  do better. With your help, we will  continue to fight for the rights of the disabled, because the fight is certainly not over yet!  Please feel free to contact us at any time where you will find us eager to listen to any issues your organisation may have, now or in the future. and thank you for bringing this to our attention and please use this e-mail address in confidence …  contact@waverleyweb.org  

 

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Yes £16,000 to adapt the pay and display machines and the poor devils still cannot reach the machines from their wheelchairs! We at the Waverley Web hope, that if, while the disabled are rummaging for their pound coins, their brakes are well and truly on. Or they could roll backwards!

 

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Part 2 of Ding Dong the battle has begun to win the Godalming By-Election.

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The election  was prompted by the sudden resignation of Godalming Town Council Mayor, and Tory Waverley Borough Councillor Simon Thornton for, undisclosed ‘personal reasons’. Reasons, that the whole town is talking about!

The Waverley Web is  keen to inform Godalming residents of  the reasons why the men and women  featured want to represent them in the Central & Ockford seat for the remaining two years left in the life of both councils.  Although we have managed to contact some prospective candidates – who  replied moments after receiving our requests – others have not been quite so forthcoming! 

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Richard Ashworth  is standing as the Labour candidate for the Waverley Borough Council seat. Richard has lived in the Ockford ward for seven years and in Godalming for 30 years.  Both his children and now his grandchildren have attended local schools including Green Lane where he was a representative on the Parent Teachers’ Association.  Most weeks he says he can be found early in the morning swimming at Broadwater Leisure Centre.

‘I am passionate about fairness, especially for young people saddled with debt and little chance of climbing the mortgage ladder. More social and affordable housing is urgently needed, especially for the young, as well as better rent control and more help for those with mental health issues’.

It is time that Waverley Council represented all of its constituents and I will do my best to make sure this happens’.

richardashworth.labour@gmail.com

 

Ding, Dong the fight’s begun to win Godalming’s By-Election. Part 1.Lib Dems.

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The emergency, emergency at Godawfulming is over? Isn’t it?

If you have been on holiday – or have been busy rummaging in the loft looking for the Christmas decorations, you may have missed the fact that a By-Election is about to take place in Godalming during the busiest week of the year. 

This was prompted by the sudden resignation of Godalming Town Council Mayor, and Tory Waverley Borough Councillor Simon Thornton for/ undisclosed ‘personal reasons’. Reasons, that the whole town is talking about!

As you will see from this link:  The emergency, emergency at Godawfulming is over? Isn’t it? Godalming Town Councillor Anne Bott has taken over the Mayoral role, but it would appear that despite wishing to join the chain-gang she’s not quite so eager to jump into the local butcher’s boots at ‘Your Waverley’! Wonder why?

Here at the Waverley Web we are  keen to inform Godalming residents of  the reasons why the men and women  want to represent them in the Central & Ockford seat for the remaining two years left of the life of both councils. Although we have managed to contact some prospective candidates – who replied moments after receiving our requests – others have not been quite so forthcoming! No prizes for guessing who!

So over the coming days we will give you a brief run down of those who have thrown their hats into the Waverley/Godalming  rings.
Waverleyweb_election.jpgIn no particular order – as they say on Strictly Come Dancing – we have  Paul Follows the Liberal Democrat candidate who is standing for both the Godalming Town council and Waverley Borough Council seats.image1.jpeg This Godalming man’s   main motivation for standing is quite simple:

 ‘The utter lack of opposition to the Tories in Godalming’.

The 31  year-old former university of Surrey student  now works for BAe Systems Applied Intelligence. He and his Lib Dem colleagues have wasted no time in speaking to as many people as they possibly can before the election on  December 13. They say they want to fully understand residents’ concerns. 

Paul has lived in Godalming for several years and  commutes to Guildford for work at the Surrey Research Park where his work covers standards, legal compliance and ethical conduct. He enjoys cricket and ice hockey and is a tenor in the Guildford Choral Society.

He says, ‘another motivation for my getting into politics has been my parents. My father is a retired soldier and my mother is an HLTA at a school in Guildford. Both have had cancer in the last 5 years and survived – largely due to fantastic staff – and so access to these services and providing for health services locally is a big deal for me personally. Equally an affinity for the teaching and defence professions is something built into me.’

‘Over the past few weeks we have been all over the ward canvassing, handing out leaflets and talking people. I just wanted to use this opportunity to feedback on some of the issues people have raised with me time and again on the doorstep’.

  •  Affordable housing which is balanced with the needs of the people living within their communities. People are really concerned that new houses without new infrastructure to support  them will cause big problems;
  • The speed and weight of traffic through residential areas (particularly near schools);
  • The total absence of any other voice at Waverley borough council, other than that of Farnham residents and the Tories. The impact of austerity measures and the frustration with  an unchallenged council  that  repeatedly fails to deliver.

Asked by the Waverley Web, what he seeks to achieve between now and 2019?

 ‘To me that is clear. Local residents have given me a list of issues they would like  investigated,  and, if electors give me the mandate,  I  hope to make progress on those. In addition I want to be that voice of opposition and scrutiny (hopefully the first of many) and essentially be the conscience that our Tory dominated councils desperately need when it comes to further austerity measures.

I want everyone to know I will be accessible during the campaign –  on a stall next Saturday (9th) in the heart of the town if anyone wants to come and have a chat.

Many thanks and I hope to see many of you on polling day. Paul.

https://m.facebook.com/paulfollowsGodalming/

Are the Berkeley Bunnies now upsetting us as they prepare to burrow into Farnham?

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Rabbit-Eating-Lettuce

Does Berkeley Homes really want to match its developer colleagues Crest Nicholson by building something in Farnham that matches – Blightwells?

They cannot be serious?

They’re having a laugh, aren’t they?

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Letters from the Farnham Herald – our weekly newspaper.24132071_10155896695516613_3908282039500894585_o.jpg

 

There are old bankers and bold bankers – but in parts of Waverley – quite soon there could be no bankers!

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Small businesses in the borough are already up in arms at the rolling closures and the ever depleting services of local banks. Reduced hours and services in some others have caused confusion, particularly for old people in the rural areas. Now the closures announced by  the National Westminster/RBS Bank have angered businesses in Waverley including those in Haslemere and Cranleigh, which only recently lost its HSBC bank, and which, we understand, is to be replaced by – ‘Specsavers’.

A total of twelve  branches are closing in Surrey – including Cranleigh; Guildford (Woodbridge Hill); Banstead; Cobham; Haslemere; Horley; Morden; East Sheen; West Byfleet; Reigate; West Byfleet and Wimbledon; There are a number of others on the Surrey/Sussex and Surrey/Hampshire borders that effect Waverley residents.

RBS is closing a total of 259 branches – one in four of its outlets – and cutting 680 Jobs. The closure involves 62 Royal Bank of Scotland and 197 NatWest branches. The Bank says it will ensure compulsory redundancies are kept to an absolute minimum. The use of its branches, which is 71% owned by the taxpayer, says use of its branches has fallen by 40% since 2014, but the Unite union, which represents bank staff, has called the cuts “savage’.

The move comes after Lloyds announced on Wednesday it would close 49 branches and the Yorkshire Building Society – 13.

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Cashing in on sickness is on the UP and UP!

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GUESS WHO WILL BE HELPING PAY FOR A NEW £10M MULTI STOREY CAR PARK?… PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES!

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 16.49.23.pngMore than 400 people have signed a petition calling for parking charges at Royal Surrey County Hospital in to be scrapped.

The petition says the charges are “a tax on serious illnesses” and “place an unfair and unnecessary burden on families, patients and NHS staff”. 

Drivers are currently charged £4 for the first two hours and £9.50 for the day. They can also buy a weekly parking pass for £20.50, while blue badge holders receive a discount.

Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust increased the charges in 2016 after it decided to invest £10m in building a four-storey car park. Now, they are set to rise… again!

The decision was reached after it secured permission for 173 new temporary parking spaces on the set, and finalised plans for a £10m four-store car park boasting more than 600 spaces.

No-one is denying the spaces are desperately needed, but why do patients have to pay for them? When the new charging regime comes int force on January 4, it will be free to park for 20 mins, but parking for up to two hours goes up from £3 to £3.50. The hospital is complaining that patients are turning up unnecessarily early for out-patient appointments, in order to secure a parking place. No, surprise there!

Neighbours, are fed up with employees, and visitors  jamming up the residential roads around, and it is hoped the hospital’s efforts to secure extra parking will address some of those concerns.

In the meantime it will be up to the public to pay more! Those wanting to park for six hours will pay £7, a 24 hour ticket will go up from £8 to £9, a weekly ticket by another £5 and an oncology day ticket from £3 to £3.50.

A spokesman said: ‘Car parking charges are an unfortunate necessity and the revenue manages and maintains our car parks, directing traffic,  lighting CCTV etc. Any additional revenue goes towards patient care or is used towards projects such as the proposed muti storey car park.’