PAUL FOLLOWS – Godalming’s new man on the council​ block plays a blinder in support of the town’s schoolchildren.

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Here’s his message to townsfolk,  which was forwarded to us here at the Waverley Web by a follower. In his message, Councillor Follows did not include a picture of himself. 

 

Paul Follows - Lib Dem GodalmingTonight I attended the public meeting in Godalming regarding the exam question ‘Should Green Oak school be closed’ – to an earth-shattering ‘No’ from the assembled electors of the town.
Fantastic democratic expression and I was proud to be a part of it.

I was also proud to introduce my guest, Mrs Lou Anderson of the Castle Hill Academy Trust to challenge the utterly false notion that there are no options and to put forward, to the town – proposals and future discussion points.

The diocese and others clearly object to councillors such as myself stepping into the search for a MAT. But if the people who should be looking, aren’t – and I have little confidence they have tried – I will step in for the good of the community (as an elected representative of that community) and do what I feel needs to be done. This is what I did today – and I will be working with the reps of the diocese and the proposed MAT to try to work through some of the more difficult issues to be addressed.

I have really tried to resist being too party-political during the campaign to save the school – but I say this last comment to a number of conservative councillors who decided to utter some unhelpful comments to us following the meeting –

I will work with anyone I need to in order to help get this done – but put in the work in the real world and not just when someone gets a camera out. Real cuts across the board from your party are a HUGE contributor to where we are today, and especially in communities like Ockford And Aaron’s Hill. Take responsibility for that too in the same way you take Party money and logo when you stand for election.

Finally, I want to say a massive well done to the parents, especially Karen, Nicole, Claire and Pete (and everyone else who spoke and asked extremely sensible and relevant questions). I would also highlight that MATs getting in touch with us only happened due to the massive publicity and social media presence generated by parents and Liberal Democrat councillors so a shared ‘well done’ all around.

Onward and upward. Tonight opened up new paths and opportunities to explore!

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When is someone, somewhere, going to stand up and tell Waverley Council it is no longer fit for purpose​!

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A COMEDY OF ERRORS.

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The residents of Farnham deserve better than to watch this for the first 15 minutes of Waverley most senior planning committee as they debated the details of a major – 120 housing scheme on the old Hopfields that affects the residents of Crondall Lane in Farnham!

You guessed – that webcast that was flogged on E-Bay wasn’t working… again…!

The system is not for purpose and neither is the council!!

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BLANKETY, BLANK!

They also deserve better than the muddled, confusing, misleading, and according to many councillors the “gobsmacking” apologies for errors, inaccuracies, misinformation and the revelations provided by planning officers. The joint planning committee heard with incredulity last night, that a major developer’s infrastructure contribution for a circa £150/120m development of 120 homes at Crondall Lane, had dropped from an amazing £914,000 at the outline stage of the scheme – to £514,000 at the detailed stage. 

Oh! and guess what – Surrey County Council couldn’t come up with a project for provision of the necessary primary school for the children from those 120 homes, so they just let the developer get away with contributing, – yes, you guessed, nothing! Is that the same county council that has just put up our council tax by 6% because it is strapped for cash!

Suffice to say a member of the public Stewart Edge, raised a shedload of issues; but of course, we couldn’t actually see him! Farnham Residents councillor Jerry Hyman raised another shedload and whenever he bowled a googly at the so-called ‘experts’ he was either fed a fair amount of the stuff we put on our roses or was shut-up by Chairman Peter I tell residents ‘what I think of them only when the mike is off’ Isherwood! And his side-kick Carole Cockburn said, – we are where we are – ‘though I am a bit concerned for the residents of Beavers Close and Beavers Road’ (in other words ignore all the mistakes) and then she said – let’s approve it!

Just as we all just got to the point when Councillor Jerry proposed that the application be deferred – following cries from others of –

the committee was misled at the outline stage” – “Why weren’t we told there was to be a £300,000 reduction in the Infrastructure contributions,” “why have certain conditions been excluded, others are not tight enough.” “Why can’t `I understand the report,” Why aren’t the pages numbered – it is so confusing.” What if our decision here tonight brings on another legal challenge?  And from non-other than councillor Brian Adams the former Portfolio Holder for planning – I am astonished at the scale of the changes,” and so it went on and on… and on!

The Betty BIZ said: “The mitigation agreed remains sound, it is not appropriate to revisit that.”

However, Jerry Hyman said the council’s lawyer Dan Lucas told the Joint Planning Committee  IN APRIL 2017 that the “catchall principle does apply to habitat applications and so the principle of development can be reviewed and, in fact, must be reviewed if an error was made!

And then just as it got really interesting … the WEBcast finally gave up the ghost and died!!

Probably because ‘Your Waverley’ has just cocked up again!

SO HAS EVERYONE  VOTED FOR THIS FLAWED TAYLOR WIMPEY SCHEME  WHO HAS OFFERED UP A PIECE OF LAND IN CROOKHAM PARK AT THE QUEEN ELIZABETH BARRACKS PARK NEAR FLEET IN HAMPSHIRE. A  SITE  THREE MILES AWAY AS  MITIGATION FOR THE LOSS OF LAND IN CRONDALL? 

PERHAPS SOMEONE SOMEWHERE WILL  TELL US ALL WHAT THE DECISION WAS AND IF IT WAS DEFERRED?

We are putting our bets on with Bet Fred for another Tory whitewash!

Here’s the link to the webcast that starts at 1 hr 25 mins.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIsaHhaW-Hc

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 20.27.29.pngWe have the answer from one of our followers:

 Councillors have granted full planning permission for 120 homes on the Beavers Rd ‘hop fields’ in Farnham – despite a dramatic £380,000 cut in Taylor Wimpey‘s infrastructure contributions for the long-mooted scheme. Full story in this Thursday’s Herald.

Waverley/Surrey Conservatives missed £380,000 from Developers on Hopfields!
Local Liberal Democrat Stewart Edge has slammed Waverley and Surrey Councils for giving up £380,000 of available infrastructure development money from the Hopfields development – leaving no contribution for additional primary school places required for children living there.
At the final Hopfields planning meeting, Stewart asked why the proposed ‘Section 106’ infrastructure contribution totalled only £534,152 when the total had been £894,518 at the meeting in 2015 when outline permission was granted.
The startling answer was that Waverley and Surrey’s Conservative Councils between them had failed to specify specific projects that the rules said were needed to claim the full amounts.
So they signed contracts which fixed the contributions demanded from the developers £380,000 lower than available – and in the final planning meeting said they could do nothing legally to increase these now.
What a disaster! £380,000 less for public services; £380,000 more for developer profits.

Green Oaks School closure prompts emergency Town Meeting tonight.

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green_oaks_JH2There is outrage in Godalming today as local MP Jeremy Hunt (who once opened the Forest School at Green Oaks above*), now sends commiserations for its closureeven though no decision has been made!! Remember we are in the middle of a Surrey County Council consultation (or have you and your mate – and Godalming SCC Cllr Peter Martin already made all the decisions behind the scenes?)

Feelings can be summed up by this local resident’s post:

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One of the key questions of the meeting is whether a religious education is more important than having a school at all. The Diocese who run Green Oaks seem to be prepared to close the school rather than let a non Christian Academy take it over.
Jeremy Hunt put his support of the school closure down to “these difficult financial times” no doubt he’s referring to the  austerity measures created by the Conservatives? 

In the meantime local Councillors and parents have even taken the fight to the Department of Education no less, in a search for a Multi Academy Trust to take on the school. Impressive stuff:

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One of those Councillors was new boy Paul Follows, who wrote an update here. Who will turn up at this meeting to face the parents? Lets hope they get some answers this time, although we aren’t holding our breath!

*so proud was our Jeremy he put the photo on his own website.

What will it take to persuade Waverley councillors they’ve got it wrong over the redevelopment​ of Farnham’s East Street?

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Since the Waverley Web was founded we have watched the chequered story of the Redgrave Theatre – its closure and the controversy that has raged since the whole Brightwells site has become a town eyesore.

As the retail situation seems to be worsening (now Prezzo is going and probably others too) the prospect for new retail and new restaurants seems decidedly rocky. Who would invest in such ventures now?

How can Surrey County Council, which is cutting children’s services, restricting care for the elderly to only those in ‘acute need,’ as well as leaving some of our roads impassable, believe it wise to invest over £50 million of taxpayers monies in such a risky venture?  

Isn’t it time ‘Your Waverley’ re-thought its strategy and maybe ….finally…realise that the only draw that will bring in the public is based on a cultural experience.  A theatre and perhaps a three screen cinema with a shared auditorium would do the trick.

Most residents recognise that Julie Potts, the present leader was landed with a done-deal, and inherited a stack of past mistakes made by Chief Executives Christine Pointer and Mrs Mopp – (Mary Orton-Pett.) But surely there no good reason to keep piling mistake upon mistake? It’s never too late to learn, but it would take a brave man/woman to do a volte-face.

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There will shortly be a by-election in Farnham. 

While Farnham man rejoiced, Milford Man WAS BUSY TRYING TO SCUPPER THAT DAMNED PLAN!

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While ‘Your Waverley’ held its breath, hoping and praying its Local Plan would pass the dreaded deadline for a Judicial Review – up popped not one, not even two but three challenges!

Nightmare on Waverley Street? Here’s  WW’s post – first with the news…again!

Here’s just one of them – Milford Man Tim House, who has 30 years experience ‘litigating and resolving complex disputes!’ Oh dear! Do we see even more of our money going down that great big legal drain?? Now a man familiar with resolving disputes is creating one! Because he doesn’t want homes built on Milford Golf Course in his back/front garden!

Well -we have heard from the NIMBY”S (Not in my backyard) and from the NIMFY’S (not in my front yard) and now from the bloody BANANA’S (BUILD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ANYWHERE NEAR ANYONE.)

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‘Not in my backyard Britton’ tells the BBC the fight to stop development at Dunsfold isn’t over yet!

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Worth a listen here:
http://powcampaign.org/bbc-surrey-interview-chris-britton-pow

Just when you thought it was all over bar the shouting – now Waverley’s Local Plan could get Daft again!! Let the shouting begin?

Those scourge of developers – the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and Protect our little corner of Waverley (PoW) – have reared their ugly heads again and a Milford couple who don’t want to overlook 180 homes near a railway station at Milford Golf Course, – have joined in!

Whilst the rest of us were busy hunting Easter Eggs and tucking into roast lamb,  the indefatigable mob above were busy finessing their latest objections to development in Waverley by preparing legal challenges to halt the Local Plan.

The doors to developers open?

Just what is it that makes these people think their little corner of the country should be exempt from the need to build more housing countrywide? Seriously, folks, they need to pause, take a deep breath and accept defeat with grace before, in their desperation to stop the Local Plan (a blueprint for development for the next 15 years) in its tracks, they throw open the doors to the borough to each and every developer with an eye to the main chance! Those who won’t hesitate to take advantage of Waverley’s weakness if it doesn’t have a Local Plan in place to protect it!

There can be little doubt in anyone’s mind that whilst the primary aim of CPRE, PoW and Co, is to undermine the housing numbers set out in the Local Plan there is a sub-plot here to undermine the recent decision in respect of Dunsfold Park. No one is in any doubt that politics lay behind the decision by the Secretary of State to call in the Dunsfold Aerodrome application – after all, Mistress Milton was shouting from the roof-tops that she’d whipped Javid into doing her bidding – but, for once, it seems that Party Politics was placed above Local Politics. 

Moaning Milton-moans on…and on.. “I want a huge industrial estate at Dunsfold.”

Fortunately, SJ didn’t, ultimately, do what Moaning-Milton wanted. Instead he acted impartially, weighing the contradictory evidence submitted by the Dunsfold Developer and the Rule Six Parties (AKA PoW and the Parishes) and concluded in the memorable words of the Dunsfold Developer’s QC, Christopher Katkowski, that PoW and the Parishes were a bunch of ‘hypocrites’, who, when one got down to brass tacks, were objecting to the fact that those who would eventually live in the proposed new village would be living more sustainably than they themselves are living!

Seriously, folks, perverting the course of the Local Plan should be made a civil offence. Without going into all the gory details – yet again – there can be little doubt that its attempted persecution is maliciously motivated and if they succeed in finding a legal loophole in the Local Plan, once it’s been torn up and cast to the four winds, lets hope CPRE and PoW  ask the people of Cranleigh, Ewhurst and all the other villages in the East how they feel about their fields and gardens being built on?

‘Your Waverley’ is being dragged through the Courts, for the sin of obeying the Government’s ruling –  to build homes the country needs. If they don’t do it – then the Government will find someone who will!!

Meanwhile, those who can afford these vexatious challenges will be contemplating packing their suitcases and moving to greener pastures, because they can.

Whilst for those of us left behind the ordeal is far from over …

P.S

Councillor ‘By-Pass Brmley’Byham is helping out the Bramley Neighbourhood Plan. The village on the A281 has allocated sites on the Green Belt for building, but he is moaning to the locals that Waverley officers won’t let them. 

Bet we have a pretty good idea where that Green Belt site is! Bet Fred, it belongs to one of his mates  – like the last one he supported in his village!

What is it with the Sorry Advertiser and its vendetta against Dunsfold Aerodrome?

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Firstly we apologise for the rotten picture quality – but the Sorry Advertiser has – rotten picture quality! 

Secondly, if Cranleigh with approximately 15,000 inhabitants and several thousand to come is a village,  how come Dunsfold with 1,800 homes producing possibly three or four thousand residents – is a town?

Thirdly: We don’t know the Flying Scotsman, and we doubt he reads our blog because he stubbornly refuses to respond to any of our requests for comments!! But, if we were he, we would stop buying the paper, just like most of the rest of Surrey. 

Last, but not least! It couldn’t have anything to do with one of Trinity Mirrors senior directors living on the perimeter of the aerodrome, could it?

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P.S. Now legal challenges To Waverley’s Local Plan have been set in motion – perhaps it just won’t happen and the onward march of developers across the borough’s green fields will continue unabated. Perhaps Annie Milton will have her fervent wish granted? That the largest brownfield site in Waverley becomes the largest Industrial Estate in the borough?

Oh! and just as a little local joke. She has told her followers, who have told us. She wants to see Guildford’s brownfield sites built upon – particularly Wisley Airfield!!

Nightmare on Waverley Street?

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The WW believes that the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England ( better known as – Build on Brownfield sites across Britain but not at Dunsfold Aerodrome!)  And, the Protect Our Waverley Group of NIMBY’s  (the build anywhere except at Dunsfold gang) have thrown a hand-grenade at Waverley’s Local Plan by seeking  Judicial Review/s  in the High Court!

and… you wouldn’t Adam and Eve it – but a Cranleigh and Shamley Green Councillor; Mike – known locally as, ‘Rubber’ Band, is Waverley’s representative on the  Surrey Hills Board which also includes representatives of the CPRE!

… and there could be more – including wealthy lawyer Tim House who doesn’t want 180 homes built at the bottom of his very large garden overlooking Milford Golf Course. Looks like a threesome! 

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Not exactly a good news week for Waverley Borough Council – and it isn’t an April Fool, or is it?

nightmareonwaverleystreet.jpgSo shell-shocked is the council, that senior officers and ‘the chosen few’  are scurrying around ‘YW’s’ corridors of power like demented gnats, according to our insider informants, some of whom were themselves involved in the preparation of the Local Plan. The rest of the ‘back bench’ councillors will no doubt, read about it here on the Waverley Web at the same time WBC issues a Press Release! 

Ah well! It’s an ill-wind that blows no good as they say at the Meteorological Office!  Developers will soon be crawling all over the borough dropping their surveyors down on ropes to hover over our green fields measuring them up for even more suits of houses made out of ticky tacky?

Another shedload of taxpayer’s money going into our everflowing drains?

Build on all brownfield sites across the country other than Dunsfold!

Former Godalming Town Mayor​ charged with sex offences.

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The former Mayor of Godalming and a Conservative Waverley Borough Councillor for the town has been charged with a number of criminal offences of,  ‘a sexual nature,’ and appeared before Guildford Magistrates today. 

Mr Thornton of Abraham Way, who is a Godalming butcher, faces 23 charges, including one count each of rape of a girl under the age of 13 years, voyeurism, assault of a girl under the age of 13 and paying a girl for sexual services.

He also faces two counts of making indecent photographs of a  child, 11 counts of engaging in penetrative sexual activity with a girl aged between 13 and 15 and six counts of taking an indecent image of a child.

The case has been referred to the Crown Court for a hearing fixed for May 8.

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Godalming Mayor Simon Thornton stepped down from the mayoral role, as well as relinquishing his roles as the Conservative Town and Waverley Borough councillor for Ockford & Eashing Ward in October 2017.

Mr Thornton, who became the town’s mayor in May 2017, cited personal reasons for his decision to resign. Both seats have now gone to Liberal Democrat Paul Follows following a by-election.

Mr Thornton was first elected to the town council in 2011 when he was also elected as a Waverley borough councillor.

As a Waverley councillor, he was a member of the powerful executive from 2014-2016 with portfolio responsibility for leisure, culture, parks and the countryside.

At an extraordinary meeting of Godalming Town Council shortly after Mr Thornton’s resignation members elected Holloway ward councillor Anne Bott as mayor for the rest of the year. Mrs Bott previously served as mayor in 2015. Her husband and fellow Holloway councillor, Steve Bott, will be her consort. Current deputy mayor Nick Williams will continue in his role.

 

Could ‘Your Waverley’ earn the title this year?

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All of us here at the Waverley Web wonder if anyone, yes anyone, will be held responsible?

Based on ‘Your Waverley’s track record for concealing/covering up or ignoring its mistakes…. don’t hold your breath. Or on second thoughts if you live or shop here in Farnham, perhaps holding your breath could be a lifesaver!

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This article is taken from our great local newspaper The Farnham Herald.