Guess what ‘Your Waverley” has been meeting Developers – to determine why the bricks aren’t being laid fast enough!

Funny really – we thought the bricks were being laid faster than the manufacturers could deliver them and HGV grab lorries over there in the East are enough to make By-Pass Byham want to build a Bramley By-Pass! Of course it’s the same over here -but Farnham has a By-Pass!

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These are the developers/officers/councillors who didn’t turn up to hear Council Leader Gone to Potts deliver her sermon on Mount Waverley. Not sure who did!


 Councillor Brian Adams – Waverley BC, Peter Hall – Surrey CC, Peter Tanner – Renaissance Group, Tim Johns – Hewitts, Mark Russell – MMC Real Estates, Ross Samuel, Andrew Rinaldi, Taylor Wimpey, David Guilcus – Berkeley Homes.

Agenda and draft minutes take from the council’s website complete with mistakes.

Developers Group    Agenda  Introductions and purpose of Meeting

Cllr Julia Potts, Leader and Chair of the meeting, welcomed everyone to the first Developers’ Meeting. She outlined to developers the purpose of the meeting and that today she wanted to hear directly from them about what the barriers to development were and how processes could be improved at Waverley to help them from submitting a planning application to obtaining planning permission.

Cllr Potts explained that everyone in the room was at different stages of development and this was an information gathering meeting where she wanted, without prejudice, free and open discussion of developers’ views. There was a lot of pressure on local authorities to build and where planning permissions had been granted officers would like an understanding of why these sites were not yet being developed and explore what the barriers were. Notes would be taken and circulated following the meeting as well as be placed on the website so that this was an open and transparent process and to make it clear that any matters discussed and views expressed did not bind officers or members to any course of action. The discussions were completely without prejudice to the Council’s position on any planning decisions/Appeals going forward.

Round Table discussion

The Chairman opened up the meeting to those present to outlining the issues they had experienced and the barriers to development within Waverley. Below is a note of the main key points:

Utility Companies
Difficulty was expressed in moving development forward because utility companies did not forward plan. They were reactive rather than proactive so once an application was approved developers could not progress the development as the utility companies were not in the financial position to move forward.

There had also been difficulty with the Environment Agency who took a significant amount of time to make decisions on submitted impact studies further delaying the process.

· Statutory Consultees
When an application was submitted it took some time for responses on the applications from statutory consultees. This has resulted occasionally in applications not being able to come to committee as Officers had to wait until these had been received so they could be reported on.

A developer advised that Horsham had a regular meeting with key consultees to discuss sites and this had proven particularly useful to ensure everyone was engaged and there was forward planning for all involved.

· Public speaking arrangements
It was noted that at meetings, developers found it difficult to reply to inaccuracies once the Committee debated the application. Surrey Heath, Croydon and Reading all had public speaking schemes which allowed the applicants/agents to come back towards the end of the debate to answer questions/clarify any factual points which couldn’t always be answered (or on behalf of) them.

· Pre-Application process/Communications
The Developers expressed their willingness to work with Officers, Towns and Parishes, Ward Councillors and local residents. If they could meet with all parties at the same time, rather than on separate occasions, there could be common understanding from the start about the application and the issues to be resolved. Solving these at an earlier stage would help developers in moving forward more quickly. It was noted that resources were tight with all Local Authorities but would like to receive communications in a more timely manner from officers so that applications could be revised sooner.

· Decision Making
Concern was expressed about the time it took between an outline permission being granted and moving onto reserved matters. Furthermore, this involved seeking a further committee date and, therefore, a further delay. Officers advised that the council diary was very full with meetings taking place most evenings and previously they had one meeting an evening. However, they would be looking at planning for holding an outline application and a reserved matters application (for a different site) to happen on the same evening as the latter did not normally tend to be as contentious as the former. Developers stressed their keenness in delivering a quality product and to use quality materials and recognised that this was crucial for many Members, hence their wish to engage further at this stage with ward members and Town and Parish Councils.

It was suggested that at future developers meetings that the Chairs and … view the full minutes text for item 3.
A number of issues had been identified at the meeting which are outlined in these minutes. The Leader and Chairman of the Group thanked everyone for attending and officers would look into these points and a meeting would be arranged in due course.


“Your Waverley” doesn’t trust its staff and we don’t trust “some” of our councillors – Happy days are here again!

Well at least councillors are trying to get on the right side of their officers – they have just awarded them a 1% increase in their salaries and have thrown in a few perks – like loans for cars and new bikes… might be an idea if some Officers  got onto them and peddled into oblivion…?


WORKING relationships and attitudes between Waverley borough councillors and officers need improving, an independent report has found.
Cratus Communications management consultants was commissioned by Waverley to undertake a strategic review with recommendations on how the borough council could develop a “more ambitious” strategic vision and improve its working practices.

Well – not before time – say WWebbers!
The review found that “attitudes and working relationships between members and officers was not always as it should be” and there was “insufficient dialogue” between elected members and office leadership teams.
“This results in a feeling of mistrust on both sides, some confrontational experiences and a feeling that officers are inappropriately blocking implementation of member decisions,”

the review found…
“The failure as yet to appoint to the new scrutiny post, which was agreed by the Executive in July 2016 and with no interim solution in place, is perceived, rightly or wrongly, as officers blocking member decisions.”

Ah well that’s been done now, and the new Scrutiny Officer is in post and then no doubt the council will employ someone to scrutinise the Scrutiny Officer to scrutinise the unscrupulous goings on at ‘Your Waverley?
The review noted several elected members were concerned planning services and HR departments were finding it hard to cope with the increased workload due to “recent losses of experienced staff”.

Well we can agree with that, because we hear from them from time to time – brave souls happy to dish the dirty swept under Waverley’s carpets!

Four key priorities were identified:

  • Firstly, directors heading Waverley’s service areas, should lead a “programme of cultural change” with a focus on strategic rather than operational matters;
  • secondly, the council’s strategic ambitions should focus more on “place-shaping, economic development and income generation”;

Certainly got hat one of to a brilliant start! Grab a few leases from the elderly of the parishes – including Cranleigh,  Farncombe – and Haslemere! Breach planning rules, and then give themselves retrospective planning permission at the Farnham Memorial Hall. We could go on… and on…! Do as much business as they can invoking Procedural Rule 20 of The Local Government Act 1972 – whenever possible and go behind:meetinginprogress  

To make decisions which they don’t want the voting fodder to know anything about!

  • thirdly, the council should develop a new medium-term economic strategy and a series of town centre master plans;

Watch out over there in the East- some councillors says they would like to “redesign Cranleigh” and there were we thinking they already had!!

  • and fourthly, the council should strengthen its partnerships for the benefit of Waverley’s residents.

gonetopottsWaverley leader Farnham councillor Julia Potts, who chairs the Executive, said: “This is a detailed action plan with a number of recommendations. One of the major influences is cultural change and I am very keen we embrace that. This is ultimately for the good of residents who we are here to serve.”

Haslemere councillor Jim Edwards said: This is something we have needed for a long time. The review has identified areas we need to improve. It’s a dynamic process. What has been addressed are a lot of concerns that residents have raised over the past few years.”

LATEST UPDATE ON : THE GRAB A LEASE SCANDAL. The tail is about to wag the dog again – In Secret – behind Waverley’s closed doors to prise an asset away from the town councillors have dubbed, “poor old Cranleigh’?

The townsfolk of Cranleigh – a bit like Farnham – are  quite familiar with their assets being stripped. So it should come as no surprise to them that ‘Your Waverley’ is about to trouser a 99 year-lease ( of which 84 years remain)  on the Rowlys Centre for old people and replace it with a 25 year-lease with five-year break clauses and increased rent! 

Not that Cranleigh folk will know anything about it – well, at least not until the dastardly deed is done by the council’s EXECUTIVE TONIGHT Tuesday. WHY WE WONDER – ARE THE RESIDENTS OF GODALMING WRITING TO NEWSPAPERS ABOUT THE MOVE and not the residents of Cranleigh? A copy of a letter we have received is printed below,Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 17.23.50.pngmeetinginprogress.png

How, you may ask – does  this ‘scurrilous blog’ know about the “secret” doings of ‘Your Waverley’?

Thankfully there are still some ‘half decent’ council employees prepared to blow the whistle – and not everyone connected with the centre is happy with the situation either. Apparently its Chairman has just been forced to apologise to its dedicated team of fundraisers for – demanding the money,  they raise, and they spend on the centre,which they refuse to do – and for accusing them of not accounting for the money properly! 

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We have also received an e-mail from a Cranleigh parish councillor who claims they have not been informed by their colleague Mrs Patricia Ellis – and want to know WHY?

Centre insiders  tell  us by e-mail, that there has been  ‘trouble at mill- since a new Board of Trustees took over the running of the centre after “Your Waverley” killed off Age Concern Waverley two years ago be withdrawing its funding!

It  appears, from e-mails we have received, that the Chairman – Brenda Hodson from Midhurst, in West Sussex,  and other Trustees, all of whom come from outside Cranleigh – are quite prepared to hand over, a valuable lease which runs until 2101 with a peppercorn pound lease. The  premises were built with money raised by Cranleigh people 30 years ago.

Tonight with the Board’s blessing the council will grant  a 25 year-lease with five year break clauses, and a £6,000 a year rent  increasing in line with RPI (Retail Price Index)  – upwards” every five years.  The centre – which raised £25,000 to provide new toilets, and has maintained and improved the premises over many years, will be prohibited from carrying out any future structural alterations to the building. 

The Waverley Web – cannot help wondering WHY? Has ‘Your Waverley’ got a cunning plan?

We hear from The Rowlys “Unhappiness brigade” that the cash strapped centre must decorate the building every five years, give-up car parking spaces to ‘Your Waverley’ in return for the council refurbishing an office/lounge uninhabited for years, and formerly part of the council’s sheltered units. It must also agree to Waverley taking back the building  if the centre  suffers any economic or functional reason or becomes unviable during the term of the lease! screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-18-07-56

No problem there then! Who funds Rowlys – yes you guessed – ‘YW – who funded Age Concern Waverley – yep you guessed – YW. – Who pulled all the funding from ACW – Yes –  Your Waverley! And…who is on the Board as the Waverley representative, and persuaded same Board not to include a Cranleigh Parish Council rep, – Councillor Patricia Ellis of ‘lots of secret meetings fame! When will the centre’s fate be sealed – at The Council Executive on Tuesday night – which has no Cranleigh representation …again        …..        BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

Where non of those elected to represent the interests of the people of Cranleigh can even raise an eyebrow – let alone oppose such a shocking, disgraceful and underhand  move. 


The tail wags the Waverley Dog again.. in Secret! Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 17.53.01.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-02 at 17.51.45.png

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Farnham Herald 05