A message from one of our followers across the pond in Canada.


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As we have mentioned several times in the past our readers come from all over the world, and a few weeks ago  we heard from a gentleman living in Calgary,  Alberta.

Like so many people living abroad, they are avid watchers of television programmes concerning the property market like ‘Escape to the Country’ and ‘Love It Or List it.’ In fact, they often learn more about our beautiful country in 30 mins, than in a visit to our shores. 

Dear Editors:

Tonight my wife and I were binge-watching Love It or List It UK. 
An episode from 2016 involved residents of Cranleigh. We spotted a business on the High Street called The Lemon Tree. Looking up this business revealed development controversy that your publication covered in 2018. You reported due to changes in local policy more homes were going to be built in the village; that many businesses on the High Street would close as a result.
I am curious, as this is 2020, what became of that issue? Did as predicted all these businesses reported as going, going, gone pick up and leave? Did developing the brownfield parcels come about as they were supposed to be? Did the addition of these homes (~3K?) change the quiet nature of Cranleigh?
As they say, this enquiring mind wants to know, and hear back from you. Take care, stay healthy.
Darryl Darwent
Calgary, Alberta
Dear Darryl,
Greetings from lock-down Britain, where the virus is sprouting up faster than the daffodils at present and life is anything but normal. However, our spirits are high and we live in hope and dream about the day when normal service will be resumed and we can get on with life again.
Some of us think that life will never be quite the same, and we may have to do things differently in future. Perhaps this was a lesson we all needed to learn – about the planet and the way we live with it, and not just on it?

Thank you for contacting us here at the Waverley Web – and we are doing a considerable amount of research at present to answer all your questions about life in Cranleigh following all the development.

Glad to hear that your enquiring mind prompted you to write to us, it is always good to hear from readers abroad.  Please do not hesitate to contact us, and perhaps if you have the time!!!! tell us how life and the virus are affecting your lives over there.

Waverley Web

 To answer your question, which did require quite a bit of research.
  • The Lemon Tree, which was a very popular small gift shop, has sadly CLOSED. But another retailer selling Eco goods has sprouted up in its place – and despite the Lock-down is one of the few shops open for business.
  • What will happen to the other shops, is anyone’s guess. We hear that some have already put up the CLOSED signs, for good.
  • Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan for the borough of Waverley, which includes Cranleigh was passed, and development has forged ahead with another 1,500 homes consented – approximately 250 of which have now been constructed.
  • As you will no doubt have heard, we have been enduring some unprecedented times here on our side of the pond, and as we write well over 33,000 of our citizens have sadly died from the Coronavirus, which is casting its vicious net world-wide.
  • Yes, the brownfield sites you mentioned were agreed by local and Central Government including a garden village of some 2,600 homes on Dunsfold Airfield. (Which by the way is the home of Top Gear) and, yes, we believe all these homes when finally built will almost certainly change the quiet nature of the once rural character of the village of Cranleigh. Whether that change is for the better – we rest our case!

Dear William,

Sorry for such a late reply. It has been 60 days since I was told our office would be shutting down due to COVID-19 concerns. I am a federal government worker; an administrative assistant in the tax department. Since then my wife and I have been isolating in our house in northwest Calgary. Overall we have fared very well. My pay continues to come in.
We have been buying groceries online, and the store delivers them. We deferred our mortgage for three months. We had a person who was renting some basement space at the time the restrictions came into being; we stressed we would like her to stay home (both my wife and I have existing medical conditions). She being younger than us, and single felt we were imposing on her. After about forty-five days she decided to move out. Since then my wife and I have been enjoying our time together. We have never been bored. There is plenty to watch on TV; we have lots of books to read; we have music; we have each other. My wife sews. The “honey-do list” is fairly long. The only thing about that last item is that I have discovered my ability to procrastinate is just as strong as when I did not have enough time to do the work. Ha ha.
Initially, I took on the attitude that the government was paying me to stay at home. Thus, I was going to master that task. Other than the short walk to the mailbox, I was achieving that goal. On the few really nice sunny days we would sit at the top of our driveway to enjoy the warmth and speak to neighbours passing by. I recognise now that I should have put a priority on being active (i.e., walking or using an exercise bike). I had lost weight after New Year’s. Unfortunately, it has come back onto my bones. Last week we drove out to the surrounding countryside. Both of us are hobby photographers. As Spring is upon us here we thought the trip would be inspiring; that we could witness some wildlife returning after a cold winter.  It was a great experience. We limited our contact with others by staying in our vehicle.
This week I have started to work from home.  I had to go to the office last week and on Tuesday to pick up some computer equipment. It is all set up in my basement. I am tuned in to the needs of my managers. It has been a bit slow to begin with, still, it’s nice to have some purpose. After twenty years in my position, I am hoping this experience will be a catalyst to show my employer that I can do this job from home. Before restrictions were put in place I was commuting an average of two hours a day on transit. This often meant leaving home at seven in the morning and coming home at six o’clock. Immediately I’d make supper, clean up the dishes, then decide what to do with the next ninety minutes afterwards before going to bed. I don’t like a rushed life. I value spending time with my spouse and/or the time to go somewhere in the evening. I have 6-7 years left in my federal career before I retire. The ability to work from home would be good for us to see what that might be like, and create a plan for when that time arrives.
Life at home has been good. We hope for a better society to come out of this crisis. So we pray.
I wish you good health.
PS. As I mentioned in my first email we have been enjoying videos/shows produced in your country.
I know that Britain has had a real bad time with COVID-19. I hope that you personally haven’t been touched by this tragedy. From what we have been viewing we think you Brits are a great bunch of people. We hope someday to travel and tour the U.K.
Sincerely yours,
Darryl Darwent
Calgary, Alberta

Oh! for the luxury of a basement!

Who gets the Waverley Web’s award for cheek of the week?


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 The lawns and flowers have long since been replaced with rubble and construction waste – and it now seems the garden’s trees are destined for the same fate, after developer Crest Nicholson applied for yet another ‘non-material amendment’ to its Brightwells regeneration scheme.

The FTSE 100 developer’s plans – to chop down a copper beech, cedar and London plane adorning the grounds of the Grade II-listed Brightwell House – are in direct conflict with its 2016 planning agreement with Waverley Borough Council.


BECAUSE… Crest Nicholson claims…” the copper beech “will not adjust to the changes around it”, the cedar “is of a species that is fragile”, and that if these trees are removed, the London plane “will be incongruous in the new setting”.

Because the people of Farnham have kicked up such a stink Waverley Planners have been forced to consider the so called ‘ non material amendment’ before a planning committee.

Godalming’s Deputy (Paul Follows) and Farnham’s Leader (John Ward) called on officers to bring the matter before the planners, rather than it being considered by officers under powers delegated to them behind closed doors. It will now go before a ‘virtual’ planning committee on Zoom.

Crest’s application follows a succession of controversial revisions to its mixed-use development scheme in East Street, first granted planning permission in 2012, which the Farnham Society claim have all been made “to the economic benefit of the developer and to the detriment of Farnham”.

These include removing the Brightwell bowling club and later the Brightwells Gostrey Centre from the development site, removing the scheme’s social rented and affordable housing, and reducing the land value Crest was to pay Waverley from a reported £20 million in 2003 to just £3.19m.

In its own letter of objection, the Farnham Society gave no fewer than 18 grounds for refusal, concluding:

“The impact that the loss of the trees would have on the residents of Farnham is untold.

“It is the committee’s view that, although not a planning consideration, all confidence would be lost in the council as well as the planning department who are already held in very low esteem.”

Farnham Residents councillor Mr Ward said: “There is considerable concern over the Crest application to Fell some more trees including the large copper beech at Brightwells.

“Just to re-assure residents that it will not be an officer delegated decision as I have organised for this to be done transparently and openly by coming to the planning committee so that councillors can make the decision publicly.”

The Waverley Web has been told that this meeting is likely to take place in June, giving the council time to buy in the necessary hardware and update its own computer systems to enable ’virtual’ meetings to be screened online. The first virtual EXECUTIVE meeting was held successfully on Tuesday.



At last, Public Health England has published some really local data for Coronavirus incidents, including those in ‘Your Waverley.’ But this makes very little sense to us here at the Waverley Web.

Is it really a fact that there are only 275 ‘confirmed cases’ among Waverley’s population who have tested positive for Covid-19?

No mention of how many deaths? Even the Royal Surrey Hospital’s Chief Executive could not, or would not, give a figure for the death toll when she was interviewed recently.

At last night’s Waverley virtual Executive meeting, councillors said they had NO information on the extent of the virus in the borough. WW asks – WHY NOT? We are not mushrooms to be kept in the dark, we are grown-ups and need to know the facts. How can we, or our borough council begin to know what it is up against if it doesn’t have the data on which to base its response?

Waverley’s population was (121,572 in the 2011 census, now, of course it has many more. So going by Surrey County Council’s statistics, provided by Public Health England, just .23% of our borough’s residents have been infected by COVID-19.

No mention how many people have died? Why not? How can anyone take the lock-down measures seriously when so little factual information is available.

The WW has first-hand personal information of more than half-a-dozen people who have died, mainly in Waverley’s nursing homes. And our thoughts and sympathy go to those families who have lost their loved ones. We also know of numerous others who have suffered from the virus but have never been offered a test by their GP’s.

Guildford Borough has had 343 confirmed cases of Covid-19 to (May 7).

The table below gives the number of confirmed cases in each of Surrey’s lower-tier authorities, including the Borough of WAVERLEY. Previously figures were only given for upper-tier authorities, mainly of county size.

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Also included, is the number of Coronavirus infections per 100,000 of the population which allows a comparison of infection rates in different authority areas.

Guildford’s rate of 232 infections per 100,000 people is about average compared with other neighbouring and nearby Surrey boroughs and districts. Waverley’s along with  Woking to the north has the lowest.

Only confirmed cases, following laboratory testing, are shown. It is not known if, or when, cases discovered at the new testing centre at the Onslow Park & Ride will be included. It is generally agreed by experts that there will be many other Covid-19 cases where symptoms have been unnoticed, mild, or did not require hospital treatment.

The new data release coincides with criticism from scientific experts of redactions made to a report criticising government lockdown proposals.

In a Guardian article Stephen Reicher, a professor of social psychology at the University of St Andrews is quoted as saying: “Personally, I am more bemused than furious. The greatest asset we have in this crisis is the trust and adherence of the public. You want to trust? You need to be open with people. This isn’t open. It is reminiscent of Stalinist Russia. Not a good look.”

Useful Information.

On education specifically, there are at least four documents. They are:
The Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy has produced eight separate guides on how to keep employees safe in the different workplace environment. You can find links to all eight here.
And now, this morning, the Department for Transport has produced transport guidance. There are two main documents:

New maternity hubs open in Farnham and Cranleigh.


What better way to celebrate International Nurses’ & Midwife Day? Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday.

New Royal Surrey maternity hubs opened in Farnham and Cranleigh

MUMS-TO-BE will now be able to receive improved and fully-integrated maternity care, in a first for NHS trusts in the area thanks to the launch of two new maternity hubs for women local to Farnham and Cranleigh.

“We are very excited to launch our new hubs – they will be a fantastic resource for the women and babies of Surrey,” said Amy Stubbs, deputy director of midwifery for Royal Surrey.”

Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust is leading the way in implementing a fully evidence-based ‘continuity of carer’ approach to maternity services that improve health outcomes by providing a patient with a small group of the same midwives and clinicians they can get to know and trust.

The new hubs will provide women with ante-natal and post-natal support, with one of the local maternity teams being present for their birth.

This integrated approach to care, an approach first mooted in the 1980’s, will mean the women will already know their midwife before giving birth. This facilitates greater positive birth experiences and improves the health wellbeing of mother and child.

The hub in Farnham will be midwifery-led, while the Cranleigh hub, based in the Cranleigh Village Hospital, one of the oldest cottage hospital’s in the country, will be supported by midwives, obstetricians and consultant paediatricians. This comes as a welcome extension to the other new services now on offer in Cranleigh.

A new X-Ray department was opened a year ago thanks to £500,000 supplied by the Cranleigh League of Friends. The League, which is supported by residents of Cranleigh and the surrounding villages has a healthy bank balance and it also supports end of life care there.

Amy continued: “We hope this new integrated service and environment will give local women the added confidence and peace of mind in a time that can be very scary and anxious for them.”

Jo Mountjoy, the chief nurse for the trust, recently visited the Cranleigh hub and commented:

“This is absolutely brilliant for local mothers and will make a huge difference to how supported they feel during their pregnancy, birth, and postnatally.

“We have seen how continuity of carer can mean fewer interventions and fewer preterm births and it is just lovely to be able to provide this holistic care to women in the community.

“We would also like to say thank you to the Cranleigh League of Friends who donated the funds for the refurbishment and equipment at the Cranleigh Hub, it is greatly appreciated.”

Women who would like to enquire about registering at either hub should go to the Royal Surrey Maternity website www.royalsurrey.nhs.uk/maternity and complete a referral form.

The Prime Minister’s announcement could have the phones ringing at Your Waverley’s CAB?


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Will Waverley’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau, based in Godalming will be putting its advisors on a crash course on the Employment Rights Act following Boris Johnson’s announcement last night?

They can be contacted here: Citizens Advice Waverley

Here’s Waverley’s Deputy Leader Paul Follows take, so far….

Following the announcements tonight I have already had residents ask me if they are going to be forced to go into work tomorrow or soon even if it isn’t safe?

All asking if could they be fired or their pay cut if they do not come in when they are told to.

Let’s just look at the law:

➡️ Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides employees with the right not to suffer a detriment or be dismissed for refusing to work in circumstances where they believe they would be in serious and imminent danger. It provides employees with the ‘right’ to withdraw from and to refuse to return to a workplace that is unsafe. Employees are entitled to remain away from the workplace (e.g. stay at home) if — in their opinion — the prevailing circumstances represent a real risk of serious and imminent danger which they could not be expected to avert.

Safety needs to come before profit but CLARITY needs to come before even that.

Please don’t panic.

Lots of this messaging from government was clearly a bit last minute tonight and as soon as I have the guidance and the detail (that surely has to come with this) I can comment further.

We know from past announcements that we will now get several days of ‘clarification’. I would advise local business to wait for that too. Let’s hope we get that?

Work – (if you can’t work from home) and only if it is safe to do so (and also safe to get to) was the one bit I did (sort of) get from this. Who defines what ‘safe’ is and how that is policed are but two of my questions.

The statement was also (in my opinion) detached from the reality of life for most low-income workers regarding how people travel to and from work and their employment situation in general. Many will also have members of their families who are shielded.

Please let me know if you have any concerns about this, and especially if you have concerns about your working arrangements. I know Waverley Citizens Advice will be a good place to call too on this one.

STAYING HOME and staying safe is still the mantra I will be following for as long as I can. I am also not entirely sure how I can stay any more ‘alert’ than I am. Diluting that message at this stage (in my personal view) is putting the economy over peoples’ lives.

Further updates to come when (and if) we get that much needed clarity.

Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council

📧 Paul.follows@waverley.gov.uk


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A message from a man who knows how to keep in touch with his residents.





Paul Follows, Deputy Leader of ‘Your Waverley’ Councillor Paul Follows.  Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save the NHS – because it is still working around the clock.

📌 WBC services and contacts over Early May Bank Holiday 📧☎️

➡️ http://socsi.in/pG30V


📌 Council services over Early May Bank Holiday:

WBC will be closed from 5.15pm on Thursday 7 May, and services will resume on Monday 11 May.

Some officers will be working over the weekend to support vulnerable people who are self-isolating.

For more details about:
➡️ Help for vulnerable people
➡️ Bins and recycling
➡️ Emergency contacts

Visit the website 👉 socsi.in/pG30V

♻️ This weekend the Surrey Recycling Centres reopen too – please see my previous post on that, here : ➡️ https://bit.ly/SurreyCCRecycle

SOME of Waverley’s recycling centres open on Monday.

And of course, if you need me I am available on here or at 📧Paul.follows@waverley.gov.uk

Cllr Paul Follows
Leader, Godalming Town Council
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council

SOME of Waverley’s recycling centres open on Monday.


The phased re-opening of Community reycling centres begins next Monday.  

However, if you live in the east of the borough get your bikes out, pack your green waste and black back in your saddle-bags and get cycling 20 miles over to the Witley dump.

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Because Cranleigh’s Nanhurst Recycling Centre has been dumped for the time being along with other smaller CRC’s in Surrey. So Surrey County Council has pulled the plug on Crnleigh once again.

Due to the fewer number of people who can safely be on site and the impact of potential queuing on surrounding roads, although Witley and Farnham will be open smaller sites in Cranleigh, Bagshot, Caterham Dorking and Warlingham will remain closed.

This is due to the fewer numbers of people who can safely be on site and the impact of potential queuing on surrounding roads.

When opening hours were reduced at the Cranleigh site last year, huge traffic queues built up and the Elmbridge Road was gridlocked. the county council feared the same would happen due to the lock-down due to the Coronavirus. This impacted on the dangerous A281 Nanhurst Crossroads.

 Restrictions will be in place to ensure that each facility can operate in line with Public Health England guidelines to protect the safety of staff and residents.

The number of people allowed on site at one time will be limited and there will be revised opening hours and changes to what materials are accepted. During the first reopening phase only black bag waste and garden waste will be accepted. Residents should only use the CRCs if they absolutely need to, and must check for the latest information before they travel, as these arrangements are subject to change. 

No vans, pick-ups or trailers will be allowed into the CRCs during the initial phases of re-opening, this is to limit the amount of waste brought in at any one time.

As outlined in DEFRA guidance, journeys to waste sites are only allowed under the lockdown restrictions if the waste materials cannot be stored at home without causing risk of injury or harm to health.

Instead of clapping let’s use our energies to keep our NHS public?


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Thanks to the Godalming branch of The Compass Group the Waverley Web joined a Webinar presented by
 Keep Our NHS Public and Health Campaigns Together.

We heard from expert analysts, frontline NHS workers and the producer of Under The Knife (feature documentary on the covert dismantling of the NHS) to hear about how, aggravated by Government callousness and incompetency in the early stages of the Coronavirus outbreak, the NHS has already been defunded, understaffed and privatised to such an extent that its preparedness for the current emergency has been severely undermined and has needlessly cost lives.

Speakers included:
Neena Modi – Professor of Neonatal Medicine, Consultant at Imperial College London and Chelsea & Westminster Hospital; President, Medical Women’ Federation; Immediate Past-President, Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health; Director, Neonatal Data Analysis Unit
Professor Allyson Pollock – Consultant in public health and director of Newcastle University Centre for Excellence in Regulatory Science
Dr John Lister – editor of Health Campaigns Together, co-editor Lowdownnhs.info,
Dr Sonia Adesara – Junior Doctor and member of KONP’s NHS Staff Voices
Pam Kleinot – Producer of Under The Knife

It is worth remembering that health is not a commodity and healthcare is not a business and we must not allow all those who have died from the Coronavirus, to have died in vain.

 Speakers relayed to a large following some of the catastrophic mistakes made by the Government since the Coronavirus hit our shores. They highlighted the years of mismanagement leading to us becoming THE worst country in Europe for deaths or long-term damage as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic.

But there were more worrying concerns as Health Secretary, following in the footsteps of our SW Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt continues the onward march towards privatisation.

Speakers outlined the cumulative impact of 20 years of ineptitude and privatisation that has led to a much-weakened NHS that has been de-stabilised now resulting in a Crisis in Social Care.

Screen Shot 2020-05-05 at 21.21.38Why has the Government brought in new super labs, affectively shutting off NHS labs for testing?

Why are 40per cent of  NHS beds closed to patients, urgently needing medical attention while doctors stand by helpless, under-utilised and frustrated?

Speakers called for a full investigation – not another public inquiry which would take years – but determine now why thousands of elderly people have died needlessly in Care Homes, leaving families and carers devastated and traumatised. This includes care homes in the borough of Waverley? In one home  – rated by The Care Quality Commission  as – OUTSTANDING  – five residents died in just one night!

And, where is the local data? Where are the figures for deaths of Waverley residents?

The tragedy on the old the length and breadth of the country will undoubtedly come back to haunt the Tory Party membership. Many of whose members are among the vulnerable elderly,  some of whom have been left to die in homes without protection, testing and with conflicting information. Where GP’s were prevented from visiting.

Why did the Government stop tracking and tracing in mid-March? Why has local government been side-lined – why haven’t all local environmental health officers been utilised to track and trace? And why has a private company, alleged to be an associate  of Government advisor Dominic Cummins, been awarded  a £250m contract, without any public scrutiny, or debate, to introduce an NHS app to the Isle of Wight – a place where most are elderly and many of whom probably don’t even own a SmartPhone?

Claims The government is using the coronavirus pandemic to transfer key public health duties from the NHS and other state bodies to the private sector without proper scrutiny, were raised during the Webinar, during which participants could add questions and comments.

Doctors, campaign groups, academics and MPs raised the concerns about a “power grab” after it emerged on Monday that Serco was in pole position to win a deal to supply 15,000 call-handlers for the government’s tracking and tracing operation.  

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 19.51.56.pngThey said the health secretary, Matt Hancock, had “accelerated” the dismantling of state healthcare and that the duty to keep the public safe was being “outsourced” to the private sector.

In recent weeks, ministers have used special powers to bypass normal tendering and award a string of contracts to private companies and management consultants without open competition.

Deloitte, KPMG, Serco, Sodexo, Mitie, Boots and the US data-mining group Palantir have secured taxpayer-funded commissions to manage Covid-19 drive-in testing centres, the purchasing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the building of Nightingale Hospitals. 

We heard, that the Department of Healthhas written to NHS trusts instructing them to stop buying any of their own PPE and ventilators.

Questions from the public, including the Waverley Web came thick and fast about the 31 testing centres. They asked why care workers living in Norfolk were offered testing in Glasgow and Aberdeen? Said speaker John Lester – in a word, “Bizarre.”

He said 13 separate contracts had been awarded to private companies, which were completely dysfunctional, the army was brought in – then a Government Tzar who managed the Olympics.

The group called for the Health & Social Care Act, currently suspended, to be dumped once the crisis is over. Investigation held into why The Nightingale Hospitals referred to as ‘Dead White Elephants’  were not used to treat non-Covid patients rather than paying private hospitals millions of pounds  to carry out a few elective operations for NHS patients.  Hospitals which are only able to deal with minor cases, as most have few experienced staff, no emergency departments and no Intensive Care facilities.

  • In the system – there were 10,000 Private Care Beds – Empty
  • Thousands of Nightingale Beds –  Empty
  • and Thousands of NHS beds –  Empty

Speakers and the public agreed: It just doesn’t make sense!

Said Neena Modi – “There is a substantial amount of public funds going into private sector pockets.” People do have hearts of gold, clapping and donating to the NHS – but the NHS is a publicly funded organisation and they should instead use that money to clamour for much-needed change. To keep the NHS PUBLIC”

Speakers want the public reassured that the NHS is a public service and in common with the Health Service Journal (HSJ) believed former Strategic Health Authorities would have been better placed to deal with the crisis.

The non-politically aligned organisation is considering public protests when the crisis has passed – believing that when the clapping stops the public must be mobilised to stop creeping privatisation of OUR health services. It wanted infection and disease control put back into local hands. through a better financed local government, which once had the expertise and more important, strong local knowledge to deal with a track and racing during a pandemic.

Lack of space prevents us from reporting speakers’ concerns on the Cinderella Service of Mental Health, the service needed to deal with the Sunami of patient and health workers predicted to follow the pandemic. Also the effect of the pandemic  on both maternal and child health which will be affected for many years to come.

For more information: nationaladmin@keepournhspublic.com.

You can watch the webinar video on Facebook. at keepournhspublic.

This video by Professor Allyson Pollock – Consultant in public health and director of Newcastle University Centre for Excellence in Regulatory Science  narrated by Alison Steadman is well worth watching. It will be available until Sunday 10th May https://vimeo.com/360850524

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Is Surrey’s PCC a bit of a hypocrite?


You couldn’t make it up – really you couldn’t. What a very short memory Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner possesses?  

Munroe gets th boot

Munro gets the boot from the Guildford Conservative Association


The man who has had his tenure extended for a further year due to the postponement of this month’s PCC election is now calling for more traveller sites!

WWeb thinks the man doth protest too much. Twas he of the two-faced variety that persistently resisted  any gypsy sites becoming established on land near Dunsfold airfield when he was a Tory councillor at ‘Your Waverley.’ 

Research by the WW reveals this protracted planning saga concerned private land bought by an elderly Romany named Lydia. The battle between the gypsies and ‘Your Waverley’ spanned a decade and appeals went through five public inquiries – costing many hundreds of thousands of pounds. It was finally consented by a Government Inspector, as he argued the council had not provided its share of traveller sites in its area.  

 ‘Your Waverley’ under its former Tory administration then extended the New Acres transit site in Stovolds  Hill by another 37 pitches. The planners have recently allowed another site to become established near Lydia Park in Stovolds Hill. So there are now four sites within spitting distance of Dunsfold’s proposed new Government-backed Garden Village.

Are Waverley’s eastern​ villages under siege​?​ From up, down, and all-around​?

Mr Munro who was adamantly opposed to gypsy sites in Waverley during his term at Waverley and then again at Surrey County Council now does a complete volte-face and says he wants temporary sites set up in Surrey – as a “matter of urgency.” He says the Government  – should take on greater responsibility by compelling local authorities to provide sites.” Really, Mr Munro – really?  

Here is an article from the Guildford Dragon.

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Communities Minister Robert Jenrick promises councils will not be out of pocket by Covid-19. But ‘Your Waverley’ is not so sure.


On the BBC Today programme Communities Minister Robert ‘Covid rules are not meant for me’ –  Jenrick, made a pledge.

He said beleaguered local authorities faced with dramatically reduced revenue – from such services as leisure, car parks etc, would not be disadvantaged by the Covid-19 epidemic. He said £16 billion had already been handed to the country’s local authorities to handle the crisis. He gave assurances that local councils would not be left short of funds. the link below is not from yesterday’s TODAY programme. This is one he made earlier.


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The big black hole at the Godalming Town Council Zoom meeting is the Waverley Web. The WWeb Zooms in on Godalming Town Council.

But when Waverley’s Deputy leader spoke at Godalming Town Council Cllr Paul Follows said he had grave doubts about receiving further funding in future.  He also registered his, and his Executive’s concern, at the Government’s directive that planning services should continue – recently through planning officers’ delegated powers. Though two combined planning meetings for either side of the borough would go ahead when technology was available.

He said the government had handed out two significant tranches of cash to both the county and borough authorities. But said:

“It simply will not be enough.”

He explained the Government was funding only the direct costs of the Covid-19 epidemic, but this did not include the loss of revenue – such as venue hire, leisure centre income, car parks and more. He said it would be prudent for the town, parish and the borough councils to prepare for losses until at least October. The Government’s help does not include any town or parish councils. However, Waverley’s Executive was proposing to write to every town and parish council asking for their combined costs associated with the current emergency in an attempt to seek Government compensation.

He said: “They must be compensated for all their good work during these difficult times, but I very much doubt this will be available, and I expect councils will all be in the same place next year?”

Councillors Steve Cosser and Peter Martin both agreed that further funding to compensate local authorities either at Waverley or the county council would be unlikely to be forthcoming.

Councillor Steve Williams said that whilst the Town Council’s focus must be on supporting the community it would be …

‘It is utterly obscene if the Government doesn’t compensate us all for the additional expenditure and loss of revenue that will eminate from this crisis.  By the time the lockdown is lifted we don’t want the local community to be   battered and bruised because of additional costs because that won’t help the economic recovery.’

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