Did Surrey County Council celebrate National Pothole Day?

Featured

The residents of Waverley need no prompting to vilify Surrey County Council for the state of many of our borough’s roads. In fact, it is driving many of us around the bend!

However, with election fever now building in the county, now might be the right time to remind our sitting councillors of just how bad some of our roads are? Or perhaps ask some of the wannabe councillors to take action on this highway curse – that is getting worse!

Pothole pic Hold on Jack

Gather around your nearest road crater and make a wish.

Here’s one pothole filled in by workmen in Cranleigh High Street!

The UK’s road quality ranks 37th in the world, closely followed by Rwanda in 39th place. Our potholed roads are now becoming a national obsession and a national disgrace.

Potholes have become a blight, and even worse, a very real danger – as playing dodgems is the latest sport of many a motorist. Lorry, car drivers, cycle and motorcyclists regularly weave their way around huge potholes, putting both their lives and the safety of oncoming traffic at risk. 

During the pandemic, we were encouraged to get on our bikes and 1.3million of us did just that. However, some cyclists are dying in the attempt to get fit on our potholed roads – not just the bumps, broken limbs, scrapes and life-changing injuries but in the past five years, 250 of us have died as a direct result of potholes!

We have heard from many of our followers that the A281 Horsham to Guildford Road in the east of the borough is an absolute disgrace. it says something about the state of Britain’s roads that we now have a special day dedicated just for potholes on the Nation’s calendar every year!

Are you aware in the Budget last year Rishi Sunak pledge £1.6 billion to fix potholes?

With the pandemic forcing people to stay at home and fewer cars on the roads, Surrey has the perfect opportunity to crack on with repairs.

While we’re all paying our taxes, taxes set to increase and now we are staying indoors as much possible, councils must do everything they can to annihilate these pothole atrocities and save our lives and our money?

So what can be done? As well as scheduled inspections, local authorities accept reports of defects from the public. If there’s a particular pothole you have a gripe with, we thoroughly recommend logging on to Surrey County Council’s website and report it. However, we did – having lost yet another tyre, but received no compensation whatsoever, as the pothole had not been previously reported. 

 

 

 

A message from Mark at ‘Your Waverley’

A £5 Council Tax increase but a freeze on parking charges are some of the Waverley Executive’s 2021/22 budget proposals to be considered by the Value for Money and Customer Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday 25 January.

 

Councillors

Mark Merryweather  Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services. 

Councillor Mark Merryweather, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services at Waverley Borough Council, said:

“This has been a period like no other, both for the council and for our residents​, and it’s not over yet. The pandemic has had devastating consequences for many in our community and placed extreme strain on council finances, which were already under pressure from government funding cuts.

“We have proposed raising Council Tax by ​£5 which, at 2.7%, is equivalent to 10p a week for an average Band D property. ​I know that many residents are struggling financially and ​of course we would prefer not to have to do this if at all possible: but we ​have not received enough of the support we need and were promised by Central Government and so we have no alternative in order to maintain our community facilities and protect service levels for our residents.”

While the council’s proposals include ​a further £1.3m of identified efficiency savings, the draft budget still shows a projected deficit of almost £1.2m, due to the additional costs and loss of revenue resulting from the COVID pandemic. This will need to be met by ​exceptional ​one-off drawdown​s on the council’s reserves.

Despite the cost pressures, funding for the voluntary sector will be maintained, in view of the vital work they are doing to protect local communities during the pandemic. There are no proposed increases to parking charges, however, fees for many of the council’s chargeable services will rise, for example, in the areas of planning services and building control.

The committee may choose to make suggestions to the proposed budget before it is sent to the Executive Committee and Full Council to review and agree.

“We have produced a budget that we believe is fair, with no increase in parking tariffs, which maintains our grants to voluntary sector partners, and which focuses on protecting vital services and the most vulnerable in our communities.

“We look forward to receiving feedback from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.”

To view, the Overview and Scrutiny papers visit: https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=327&MId=3489

Following the Overview and Scrutiny Committee review, the proposed budget, in its current form, may change subject to any suggestions that are put forward by the committee.

The final budget is due to be agreed at the Full Council meeting on Tuesday 23 February.

Dr Povey prepares for Surrey elections by sprinkling stardust.

Featured

When times are hard – a little faith, trust and pixie dust are always welcome – and the county councillor for Cranleigh & Ewhurst has just discovered his wand.

The councillor – who has neither been seen nor heard for most of the past four years has suddenly emerged. Just in time to slide back into the seat, he intends to reclaim at the May county council elections?
He recently positioned himself outside the Cranleigh recycling centre. A centre that has been closed most of the year, and which now opens only a couple of days each week. A move that has sent residents of the eastern villages schlepping over to the Witley Recycling Centre.

Then he began trumpeting the Surrey county council community fund.  A  £100 million Surrey County Council giveaway, or should it be called bribe? 

You can read all about it here:

He then did a run – presumably his usual morning run, along the Downslink checking the fallen trees. 
“As a result of recent high winds, a number of trees were blown down and blocking the Downslink. I ran down the section from Cranleigh to Baynards Station this morning and pleased to see the Surrey County Council Countryside Access Team have cleared this section. It was a beautiful sunny morning for a run but it is very muddy in places.”

Here’s what Cranleigh’s Little Povey says:

The Surrey County Council community fund (your money) is now live on the SCC website. This is a large capital fund for community projects that residents can suggest. You can comment on the suggestions that are put up. There are two that have been suggested so far for Cranleigh, a Biodiversity and Sustainability Education Centre and a Mentoring Programme. Please take a look. Suggestions can be made in outline first and a full business case can follow later.

So what’s his next giveaway? Don’t hold your breath… 

In the caption below County Cllr Andrew Povey reveals the electric charging points that villagers won’t be plugging in to – and asks to hear residents’ views?

Views? Nil Point – comes to mind. Is it time to move over Dr Povey?

The electric charging points that Cranleigh & Villages – won’t be plugging in to!

Come on Waverley residents? Pile in to help Haslemere.

Featured

The public consultation exercise on ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan Part 2 ends on January 29th – just nine days time.
Included in the plan are sites allocated for development in the borough – some highly controversial – others not so. It also includes a section on Gipsy & Traveller sites – where these should be situated and the number of pitches. 
Residents in Haslemere are claiming that ‘Your Waverley’ has acted on other Neighbourhood Plans in the borough except Haslemere’s by including the controversial ‘Red Court’ – pictured above –  in their allocation of sites. Residents claim by doing this they are ignoring the wishes of both the Haslemere Town Council and the local community.
So with time running out the people of Haslemere are asking everyone to ensure their voice is heard before January 29 – when the consultation closes.
Last night at Waverley’s Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee – head of planning Zac Ellwood told members the response to the consultation – so far – had been light with very few responses. However, he expected a rush of comments in the days leading up to its closure.
Outlining the timetable, after responses had been logged and reviewed, in April/May the final plan, which could include minor modifications, would go to the Secretary of State for examination in public by an Inspector. If sound it would become law between November and February 2022.  However, there could be further delays of several months if there were major issues around certain allocated sites.
I am not second guessing, but there has been a lot of debate in Haslemere about sites put forward, and we have to look carefully at the evidence.”
Many residents of Haslemere are up in arms at the proposed loss of this an important green space in their town and have been campaigning for several years to stop development there. Coming to a greenfield in Haslemere soon?
Mr Ellwood said Neighbourhood Plans for other areas including Chiddingfold and Dunsfold was progressing. However, Cranleigh’s Plan had been delayed as a site which it had relied upon would not now come forward for development, so its plan was at a different stage in its progress.
Officers faced a huge amount of work over the coming months, and this was the “calm before the storm.” Staff would need to move fast to meet the time-scale – stressing the adoption of Local Plan Part 2 was vital to show that Waverley had a 5-year land supply.
Developers want to build a phased development (50 homes in phase 1) of 180 homes on The Red Court site off Scotland Lane. Developers Redwood plans to build many more if/when it gets the go-ahead in an Area of Great Landscape Value and Outstanding Natural Beauty on the edge of the South Downs National Park Scotland Lane/Red Court, (AGLV/bordering AONB land, part of the biodiversity-rich Wealden Heath.)
They claim Waverley would be acting in blatant contravention of its own NFFP Government policy. Over 500 objection have been made – however, the Waverley Web wonders if these have been directed at the Consultation on LP2? Hence the call to make their voices heard NOW before it is too late!
Despite 89% of residents being opposed to the plan – three Tory Conservative councillors voted for the Red Court site to be included in LP2.

 

Have trolley – will travel for ‘Your Waverley.’

Featured

You could trawl through Waverley Council’s  Overview & Scrutiny Value for Money Committee Agenda for its meeting this week – however, you could lose the will to live! So here at the Waverley Web one of our blokes with nothing better to do trawled through until he got to page 190 where he found this?  So there you have it – we, the ratepayers bought a supermarket on 1st December – just in time for Christmas. ‘ Your Waverley’ has won the Supermarket Sweep.

I

I’ve been shopping – says ‘Your Waverley’s Deputy Leader Paul Follows.

 

However, thankfully we have this information posted on the Waverley Web comments page from Deputy `Leader ~Paul Follows – who is as good as his word about being “transparent honest and open with us” – the voting fodder.

Here’s what he had to say:

‘So let’s try and answer some of the questions:’

1) We (WBC) own the freehold;
2) the tenant is M&S in West Wickham (specifically an M&S Food)
3) we have factored in their plans when the current lease is up for renewal.

More detail now available in the public domain, please see the VfM reports pack on the WBC website for the meeting of that committee next week.

So our sticking a pin in the map wasn’t far wrong – though our guys first thought the supermarket was in Hampshire, but then Kent.

Reading other reports of meetings to be held this week it is quite obvious that unless councils make investments like these to generate further income – in a few years time they will go BUST! It would appear this year it gets NO Government grant. So we’re home alone folks!

 This is due to central government’s year by year plan, to strip local authorities  (especially Borough and district councils) of proper funding.

 There is no doubt that some councils – including several in Surrey – have overstepped the bounds of prudent housekeeping, but Waverley has restrained itself with the exception of Brighwells which is funded by circa £53m of Surrey County Council’s pension-fund money. A move which scared the previous conservative administration witless, but which, despite many warnings, it carried on regardless. Only time will tell if Farnham’s Brightwells is a big golden egg or a big white elephant? It hopes to open the development in July – with the Reel Cinema opening in August.

The new administration with Mark Merryweather at the helm as Portfolio Holder for Finance has struck a different tone completely with open and honest accounting. The supermarket investment mentioned is a four-year contract to generate funds to balance the books that have been stripped by the pandemic (HM Government is not keeping its promises to cover losses of revenue due to the lockdowns, despite pledges to the contrary) Communities Minister Robert Jenrick promises councils will not be out of pocket by Covid-19. But ‘ Your Waverley’ is not so sure.

‘Your Waverley’ has won the Supermarket Sweep.

Featured

 The residents here on planet Waverley are now the proud owners of a circa £7million pound supermarket.

Yipee! Guess we have always wanted to own one rather than playing dodge the unmasked customer in a bid to outwit COVID! 

We know not where said supermarket actually is? So here at the Waverley Web, we stuck a pin in a map of the Waverley environs and it landed somewhere in the middle of Kent. We wonder  – is that county in Waverley’s area of “economic influence?” 
Working from home for our team is no fun – so pinning the tail on the supermarket – sounded like a great new board game. Came in handy whilst home-schooling the kids!
Neither do we know who the supermarket retailer is?  – Could be Tesco ‘every little helps’ or ‘Live Well for Less and  Taste the Difference at Sainsbury’s?’ Or perhaps we could “Live a Lidl – because every Lidl helps?’ Maybe, it is Morrisons or Azda – but our money is on – ‘It’s not just Food its M & S Food’  because Waverley loves the brand as it is pinning all its hopes on the brand as its key stakeholder in Farnham’s Blightwells project?

When ‘Your Waverley’s’  Special Executive met in November – (we have included a link so you can hear it for yourselves.) Or, perhaps to be more precise, we should say, you can hear the bit “YW’ wants you to hear – the remainder was in private. Not everyone was entirely convinced that entering the supermarket stakes with cash straight out of the council till – was a good idea.

Here’s a link to that debate, including a bit of a rant by Godalming Cllr Steve Cosser who outlined his numerous concerns.

Could ‘ Your Waverley’ be entering the Supermarket sweep?

He was surprised the Executive had even considered spending £7m + £400,000 in fees to acquire a supermarket out of town? Even more, so that it came from internal borrowing. How could a council that was pleading poverty consider finding such a large sum of money – and how much more was buried in its accounts?

He claimed the proposal was an abandonment of the council’s strategy to only invest in an “area of economic influence,”

We have heard from a few residents that are not entirely delighted with the prospect of pushing the trolley full of public money out into – we know not where. Perhaps someone soon will tell us where the Supermarket is – so we can shop there, once the lock-down is lifted of course, so we can boost our own investment income?
You can listen to the debate here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE3hoJ0UXco&t=2011s&fbclid=IwAR3024rjVLVU_nXMNSHNlcuY14ihWXjmVBkmf5VQHCPq70zC1jyAa_Kk8Yg

Here’s what one of our followers wants to know?

Special Executive Meeting on the 20th Nov 2020 approximately 21 mins into the meeting. Councillor Steve Cosser quotes on record to the proposed purchase of a supermarket (not local) at a cost of £7 million pounds and fees of £.4 million. Why would the remaining councillors attending the same meeting as Councillor Cosser not object after his good argument of funds being used elsewhere? Everything about this deal is suspicious use of public funds is it not?

My questions would be?
1. Who advised them?
2. Who is proposing to do the legal work and who is connected to who (good work if you can get it?)
3. Do they think the taxpaying residents would be happy with the decision made by the councillors?
4. Could this be pensions pocketing exercise rather than the needs of the inhabitants?
5. Who in the council has ever paid more in legal fees and costs for an asset (their homes?)

 

Don’t despair – there’s help out there in ‘Your Waverley.’

Featured

NEWSFLASH – Vaccinations began today at CRANLEIGH VILLAGE HALL.

Paul Follow.  Deputy Leader of ‘Your Waverley- ‘Keeping in Touch.’

COVID & GENERAL UPDATE 
Good morning everyone.
💉 VACCINATION
The vaccination programme is clearly progressing, albeit a bit slower than I think we all want it to be. My understanding is that there is a shortage of storage/vials/needles etc and this is as much of an issue as the vaccine itself (but that this is also being addressed).
I am receiving regular updates from Public Health England, the Royal Surrey and a number of local GP’s.
📍VACCINATION CENTRES
Lots of issues about travel for vaccines. Waverley BC has made numerous suggestions on this – but this is almost wholly being managed by Central Government.
I would urge our MP to encourage Central Gov. to let Local Gov. help with this. It is far better placed to advise on suitability (these will be unknown places on a map to most MP’s and civil servants).
♻️ WASTE COLLECTION
I want to thank residents for their response to the waste collection issues and temporary suspension of the green waste collection and for their fantastic comments about the staff.
🛂 ENFORCEMENT
Despite all the regulations – COVID enforcement powers are not the clearest in law.
For residents, a basic golden rule is this: police can enforce people, borough environmental health can enforce premises.
🏞 EXERCISE AND PARKS
Please keep local and use common sense. I won’t say any more than that on exercise.
The government did not mandate the closure of parks. The borough can do this – but, like many residents, there is a very real debate about the mental health and wellbeing of children. If you are using the parks, again – please use caution and keep to the published guidance.
THANK YOU
Just to finish, thank you to all residents, key workers and our council staff for everything you are doing.
I will continue to update as more information comes my way.
Please also see below a list of useful contacts ⤵️
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
Leader, Godalming Town Council
Paul.Follows@waverley.gov.uk

 

 

Subsidised school meals – v- subsidised MP’s meals?

Featured

Which would you choose?

Actually yes Sir! But possibly this for the next five days?

Perhaps a highly-paid final salary pensioned bureaucrat will tell the Surrey children who receive these lunch parcels, how they split that banana and the orange into five? And who eats a baked potato of that size for lunch? Really, – you couldn’t make it up? Here at the WW, we have calculated that the food in this picture – which we understand includes bottled water – what’s wrong with the tap – comes to around £8 with careful shopping – the remaining £7 of the £15 provided by us, the taxpayer, goes in – yes, you guessed – administrative costs.  However, we should point out that parents we have spoken to, do not wish to appear ungrateful, saying ‘every little helps,’ and there is ‘no taste to nothing!’

However, having watched the television coverage, we find it difficult to understand why some of the mothers who are bitterly complaining are also sporting acrylic nails at thirty pounds a time – plus 2/3 week weekly infills at £15! Parents too have a responsibility to recognise that feeding their families must be their top priority.

On 21st October 2020, MPs voted down Marcus Rashford’s bid to extend free school meals over half term.

The general sentiment was that:

“Conservative ideas of a small state, individual responsibility and upholding the value in the institution of the family should be maintained”

i.e. the state (taxpayers) should not fund these meals and families should be held responsible.

If this is the case, is it not hypocritical to expect the state to subsidise MPs meals in parliamentary canteens? Surely, if they cannot afford meals on their generous salaries, their family should help to pay for them?  Or perhaps we should be funding similar sized food parcels?

Perhaps Surrey County Council’s Press Office will explain how they account – to the last penny – for these meagre rations. Please, Sirs, we want more?

Paul Follows, The Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council, is seeking an explanation from the county council and would like to hear from anyone affected at Paul.Follows@Waverley.gov.uk 

 

 

NEWSFLASH! The Hon Angie has dumped TWITTER!

Featured

 

CRIPES!

How on earth will we all manage without Guildford Cranleigh & Village MP Angela Richardson’s daily Tweets now she has turned her back on us? 

Our Cranleigh correspondent reports he almost choked on his cornflakes and needed a double espresso to calm the tightening in his chest when he heard Angie’s love affair with Twitter had ended today – and all because of Trump.

Damn the man!  Just goes to show when an elephant flaps its ears in Mar -a-Lago, the ripple effect across the pond and all that …  Yeah, we know it’s all about a butterfly’s wing but, seriously, who can liken Trump to a butterfly?!

Anyway, we digress, now the Hon Angie has thrown all her toys out of the pram to defend The Donald’s right to Tweet. She has long been a fan of the man, believing that her first love – The Boris – and The US President had many of the same qualities. A while back she stood up for The Dom – and now it’s for The Don!

Any friend of Boris is a friend of mine?

Ah well – we will all just have to grin and bear it – which certainly beats sucking it up!  As for the long-suffering residents of the eastern villages’ MP, they will just have to make do with our very own sanctimonious Jeremy from now on – yeah, that’s the one, the man who, after what felt like a lifetime in charge of our NHS, left us so ill-prepared for a pandemic, our NHS heroes and heroines were reduced to wearing bin-liners whilst they waited on imports of PPE, sourced at vast expense offshore!  We hear from our moles over there in the east that the Hon Angie was getting a good deal of grief on Twitter – some calling her “hapless and inefficient,” so dumping it was a relief.

 So how on earth will we all manage without  Angie’s daily Tweets? Not that we have read much about her job as PPS to the hapless education chief Gavin Williamson – so no loss there then? 

Lib Dem former PMC for Guildford & Villages – who is still Tweeting!

But fear, not folks, Zoe Franklin her Lib Dem running-mate for the top job says she will still be there to inform you and answer any questions you may have about all things, Guildford & Cranleigh villages.

Here’s the response you will get: Don’t write to the Hon Angie – ring Annie Milton?

And there are lots more criticising Angie for her lack of information. Here are just a few of the excruciating Tweets we will all miss. Mainly congratulating colleagues, the PM and the Downing Street Cat.

So there you have it. One of our Waverley MP’s spends most of her time ‘ congratulating’ anyone and everyone – while the other one…

Marshals needed to aid the vaccination centres.

Featured

In the link below are the latest COVID infection rates for ‘Your Waverley.’ Village by village town by town. There is also an opportunity to volunteer as a marshal this week at COVID vaccination centres.

But here’s what many people believe Boris should be telling the Nation.

“So, here we go again”! I’m on your TV telling you things are going to be shi* for a while and yes that’s what I’m doing.
I’m stopping you from going out, from seeing your friends and loved ones. Do you think that makes me a bad person? Do you know what?…. this job isn’t easy. All I’m doing is trying to please you lot and stop you all dying at the same time.
I give you rules, you break them, ease things a bit, you take the pi**. You are all a bunch of ungrateful, selfish human beings and I’m now at the point where I’m only inflicting more rules because you idiots are putting ridiculous pressure on the NHS, by ignoring the things I have asked you nicely to do.
You all think you are scientists, doctors and experts? You are not & neither am I. But I AM taking advice from the best in this country and doing my best to please you all.
So stop being so bloody selfish…. yes it’s boring, it’s getting old, but it won’t go away if you all continue to throw your toys out of the pram.
Grow up, take some responsibility for yourself and your so-called loved ones and do as you are asked!!

 

Even if you don’t give a damn about yourself or others. Let’s give this poor man a break?

Vaccination Centres at Glive in Guildford and Cranleigh Village Hall are going live from Tuesday.  They will be open 8am to 8pm seven days a week and need volunteers to act as marshals.  There will be a lot of people arriving for appointments at 5 minute intervals throughout the day so marshals are needed to make everything run smoothly.
Please share this link with anybody you think might be willing to help.  Any furloughed friends getting bored for instance. The link enables people to sign up to the shifts they want to do straight away – they just have to check a box saying they will abide by the volunteer agreement.
  There are 168 volunteer shifts a week so that’s a lot of people needed. 
Thanks
Carol Dunnett
Chief Officer
Direct Dial 01483 957020
Voluntary Action South West Surrey
Supporting the voluntary & community sector in Guildford and Waverley
39 Castle Street | Guildford | Surrey | GU1 3UQ | 01483 504626
Registered Charity Number: 1116293 | Registered Company Number: 05841344 | Registered Office: 39 Castle Street | Guildford | GU1 3UQ
Here’s the volunteer agreement.Volunteer Marshall Job Description
Find out how your town or village is affected.