Much ado about the location of a new Cranleigh Leisure Centre.

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Since ‘Your Waverley’s commitment to spend £12.7million on a new leisure centre – there has been much talk about where it should go? Should the Village Way centre be demolished and rebuilt, or refurbished and improved?

Rumours are rife about re-siting it on the proposed new private nursing home site in Knowle Lane now there is to be no replacement village hospital – or building it on the Snoxhall Playing fields?

Neither is an option as the Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust has tied up the former parish-owned land for a private nursing home development and the parish council which has been shafted by the charity, has tied up all the remainder of the parish land it owns into a Community Land Trust, to ensure it doesn’t happen again! This was prompted by the scurrilous behind the scenes dealings of a former parish council chairman who wanted to build on the nearby Beryl Harvey field donated to the village by the late Gordon Harvey, in memory of his wife. The benefactor’s son kiboshed the bid, with villagers backing, at a public meeting, and the plan to build houses on the allotment/conservation area in Knowle Lane was subsequently scrapped. 

We are reliably informed by villagers in the East, that as with the “replacement cottage hospital,” which will not now go ahead, local fundraising also paid for the creation of the original Cranleigh Leisure Centre, so villagers believe they are entitled to have their say?

We had hoped to bring you a  link to all the possible plans for the Village Way site – which should be open for consultation to allow Cranleigh residents to decide! But it has been removed by Waverley Council!

After 6 months of the details of all Waverley’s leisure improvements being online, the council took down the presentation after residents started to discuss it on Facebook. They realised it contained figures to be paid to a third party before a deal had been done.
Luckily residents here in Godalming had started sharing screenshots.

Don’t click on the link because it won’t work – a bit like Waverley Borough Council!

https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/documents/s19759/Options%20Presentation%20for%20OS%2020.11.17.pdf

 

Thank heaven there are a few councillors left at Waverley that care about – the new town they have dubbed – ‘Poor Old Cranleigh.”

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Just a handful of councillors – abstained – from supporting the layout and landscaping of Miller Homes consented application to build 120 three and four storey homes on the former Hewitts Industrial Estate in Elmbridge Road – why didn’t they vote against it is anyone’s guess? Do they get to feel Betty’s Appealing Boot if they dare oppose a scheme which was described by a string of councillors as:

“AWFUL” “THE WORST DESIGN I HAVE EVER SEEN,” “FOUR STOREY BLOCKS LIKE LINES OF CARAVANS.’ ‘MONOCHROME,’ ” A DESIGN THAT IS SO UNIMAGINATIVE IT IS RIDICULOUS.” ‘DIDN’T THINK IN WAVERLEY WE WOULD BE BUILDING IDENTIKIT HOMES,” ‘HOMES THAT LOOK LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF THE HOBITT.’ “NEVER SEEN ANYTHING SO UNINSPIRING.” 

Here’s `Kevin Deanus Councillor for Alfold.

 

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However, Waverley was between a rock and a hard place after a Government Inspector over-ruled its refusal and allowed the application to turn the former light industrial estate into a housing estate! But surely with a bit of negotiation, they could have persuaded the developer to provide something more suitable?

Even Elizabeth Townsend – Chairman of Cranleigh Parish Council appeared unperturbed that the former industrial estate, which will further urbanise the once rural area of west Cranleigh, and change it beyond recognition. But she did voice her concerns about landscaping near the entrance, the treatment of the ancient woodland, and the possible overlooking of cottages nearby by such large buildings.

However, 17 members of the Joint Planning Committee granted the reserved matters with four abstentions – so life goes on over there as another set of bulldozers and HGV’s roll into -“Poor Old Cranleigh!”

Here’s the village’s design statement for what it’s worth! And – here’s a decent Alfold Councillor Kevin Deanus telling the planners exactly what he thinks of the plan!

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COULD DINOSAURS COME BACK TO CRANLEIGH?

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Screams the headline on the Cranleigh edition of the Sorry Advertiser. How we all love the silly season – particularly when some of the WW is away lounging on sunbeds in the Scilly Isles!

Unlikely, says the Waverley Web … because they’re alive and well, chewing the fat of the land in Alfold, Chiddingfold, Dunsfold & Hascombe. They lurk behind hedges in their million-pound mansions and they wouldn’t dream of slumming it in the emerging New Town that Waverley Councillors now refer to as Poor-Old-Cranleigh!

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These Dinosaurs, who evolved from Stop Dunsfold Park New Town into Protect our Waverley (all in the interests of self-preservation you understand) have fought tooth-and-nail for the past 10 years to preserve their own villages in aspic, at the expense of the rest of the Borough – Cranleigh  Godalming, and Farnham in particular.

On a serious note, Fossils Galore (no, we didn’t make that up, but we might well pinch it as our new sobriquet for PoW!) are hoping to secure support for a dedicated museum and activity centre following the discovery of the full skeleton of an Iguanodon dinosaur at the Wienerberger factory in Ewhurst last year. Didn’t they know most of the old fossils are already sitting in the Natural History Museum in London?

The Waverley Web thinks it’s a great idea but strongly recommends Fossils Galore waits on the results of PoW’s Judicial Review because, if unsuccessful, they could find themselves with a cartload of prehistoric beasts to add to their collection:

• Pride of Place in the exhibition could be given to the Velociraptur – otherwise, know as ‘Crap-Peddler-in-Chief’ Bob Lies
• Tyrannosaurus – otherwise known as Tyrant-in-Chief Peppa-Pig, who hasn’t got a good word – let alone a nice one to say for anyone! Anyone for a chipolata?
• Spinosaurus – Spinmeisters-in-Chief Chris Britton & Sarah Sullivan

Clearly, it’s the Silly Season in the sticks!

Were Cranleigh firefighters around to fight this blaze near woodland?

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The car ablaze adjacent to woodland near Keepers Cottage, Cranleigh!

Because most of the time Cranleigh’s single pump machine has been seen racing around the Surrey countryside attempting to cover for other stations that are either unmanned or are running an overtime ban!

Of course, for Surrey County Council, paying part-time (retained) firemen to stand-by in other parts of the county isn’t cheap. It costs shedloads of money to take firefighters out of area! In addition, they are then unavailable to cover their own areas so if an incident occurs in Cranleigh firemen then travel from Dorking travel home again and then trouser even more cash. If the waste of taxpayer’s money wasn’t so serious it would be funny?

You couldn’t make it up?

But then why would Dumb & Dumber at County Towers give a damn. They’re too busy putting the cold steel of council budget cuts right through the heart of our vital emergency services. So much so Surrey’s head honcho in the brigade has been kicked into touch because he’s not prepared to put his name to cuts that he believes will impact on manpower and put Surry’s residents lives at risk. So his loyal staff have banned overtime! 

You can read it here: Dumb and Dumber do it again?

Want to learn more about Cranleigh’s proposed new private nursing home – then rock up to the parish council meeting tonight.

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There were villagers over there in the east believing that they were to get the new ‘village hospital’ they have  eagerly awaited for the past 20 years – and then up pops a weasel!

What’s more it isn’t half a pound of tuppeny rice that is about to buy Cranleigh and the surrounding villages a proposed 60-bed  private nursing home, ten social care beds and ten community beds – it was millions of pounds of their money following  two-decades of local fundraising.

Decades ago the parish council was duped into handing over a former recreation ground owned by the parish  to local charity – Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust – in return for land swapped  by a man villagers now describe as a ‘local benefucter.’ Self-same benefucter who has trousered millions for a huge development of 265 homes in Elm Bridge Road.

The CVH Trust  was going to build a replacement hospital plus a day hospital and 14 beds following the closure of one of the oldest cottage hospitals in the country on theparish land.  Now same trust is going to present its cunning plans to the council  to build a nursing home for A-One, a countrywide private care company. It will tell how it will  – solve the county council’s social care bed crisis with 10 beds, allowing it to sell off the defunct Long Fields nursing home site in Ewhurst Road.  Before its closure three years ago it boasted  50+ beds,. Now thanks to the ‘Charity’ it can trouser the cash from the sale of land to help fill the big black hole at Surrey county towers! This leaves Cranleigh with minus 40 social care beds, but 60 private commercial rate beds costing?

Now there’s a question – how much?

The ten beds community beds are for…? Wait for it, yes, you guessed patients from among the 25 GP practices that make up the Guildford & Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group! So much for localism? 

We should also mention that the private for profit THREE-STOREY nursing home, built on valuable parish land also comes with a 26 block of residential flats and… two access – one from Knowle Lane immediateky alongside Whisker Drive the other along the parish owned road to the Snoxhall Playing Fields! What does the parish council get out of this? Pop along and you may find out? 

You can read past posts here:

Cranleigh’s proposed new private nursing home is provoking a local storm.

When is a hospital not a hospital? When it’s in “poor old Cranleigh? – whose residents appear to have been SHAFTED by a charity!

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 12.15.17Angry of Cranleigh wrote to us here at the Waverley Web, saying he had just spotted on the parish  noticeboard that ‘THE TRUSTWORTHY TRUST,’ as it was depicted in a local magazine recently, is to present its plans to the parish council, tonight Thursday at 7p.m. Council Offices, Village Way.

Perhaps our little spider sould be climbing up said parish council office wall- because when villagers get to hear where their treacle has gone – they may want to climb a few walls too?

Cranleigh gets more like Farnham every day – in a word SHAFTED!

 

 

Here we go Looby Loo! Here we go Looby Lie!

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Cranleigh Civic Society could be justly proud of itself last night. On one of the hottest days of the year, it inveigled enough concerned Cranleigh residents to abandon their deck chairs, G&Ts and BBQs and totter down to the Band Room where it was standing room only.

The room was bursting at the seams, it even attracted Godalming Lib Dem Borough Councillor Paul Follows, strange that Cranleigh’s own Borough Councillors – The Stennette Duo and Pat Ellis (soon to seek re-election) didn’t drop in?

The problem was, on taking a closer look, our Cranleigh Correspondent reported that, sadly, there wasn’t a face under fifty in the room! Where have all the young people gone? Oops! We forgot! Silly us! They’ve all moved down the road to Horsham because they can’t afford to live in Cranleigh anymore!

But it was hardly surprising villagers heeded the clarion call from the Civic Society when one looked at the BIG RED SHOUTY CAPITALS that were emblazoned across the Cranleigh Society’s apocalyptic flyer and it’s new Chairman’s presentation material:

DANGERS FOR CRANLEIGH

• POPULATION EXPLODING BY ONE THIRD

• 1,700 EXTRA HOUSES + 2,600 AT DUNSFOLD

• A281 TOTALLY CLOGGED

• NO PARKING PLACES IN FUTURE

• DRINKING WATER PIPES CARRY BLUE ASBESTOS

• SEWAGE PLANT INADEQUATE

• CRANLEIGH NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN CONTAINS EXTRA HOUSES

It read like a trailer for every disaster movie Hollywood has never made! No wonder the citizens of Cranleigh – all those not on the 19:30 London Waterloo to Guildford that is – abandoned their BBQs in their droves and flooded into the Band Room.

Terry Stewart, Cranleigh Civic Society’s newly elected Chair, has parachuted into the village from Dorset and, keen to blow his own trumpet, has boasted of his position as former Chair, then President of Dorset CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England).

Indeed, according to Mr Stewart, Cranleigh Civic Society ‘has been strengthened and energised to fight the growing avalanche of proposed housing’ following his appointment.’ No false modesty there then! And, having spent eight years leading a team of six villages and communities in their fight to see off the threat of house building throughout Poole and Bournemouth, he’s now landed in Cranleigh and, with the determination of a committed CPRE zealot, wants to do for Cranleigh what he did for Dorset.

We can’t help wondering why he didn’t get to Cranleigh  earlier – shutting door after  horse has bolted comes to mind! 

STAND BY YOUR BEDS, CRANLEIGH! Mr Stewart has littered the Cranleigh Society website with photos of his former campaigns as a small taster of what he has in store for its members – a demonstration outside Parliament and a procession to Downing Street to present a petition to the Prime Minister. But what the Waverley Web wants to know is why, having fought so frigging hard to prevent plans for a new village at Lytchett Minster, he didn’t hang around to enjoy the fruits of his labour?

Instead, with the bit firmly between his teeth, he appears to have cast around for another borough in need of saving and has brought his fire and brimstone to the village dubbed by Waverley councillors as ‘Poor Old Cranleigh.’ According to a fellow Committee member, who shall be nameless to spare his blushes, Cranleigh Civic Society now bears more than a passing resemblance to the SAS … In their fantasies! More like Dad’s Army if last night’s line up was anything to go by!

Now, we should explain here that the Waverley Web is a firm supporter of the CCS’s efforts – particularly as Cranleigh people have been sleepwalking into a development disaster for years. Quite unlike our Farnham residents. You only have to read the Farnham Herald Letters Pages to see how vocal we can be. However, we are sorry to say Mr Stewart has revealed himself to be a scaremonger who’s not above telling a few porky-pies in order to rabble rouse. Taking his inspiration from Project Fear (and look how that turned out!) during the course of his presentation, Mr Stewart alleged, amongst other things:

  • I met with the highway authority (SCC) today and they are considering widening the Shere Road. (Does he mean over the Surrey Hills – Nelson will get his eye back first!)
  • In our meeting with WBC Leader Julia Potts and CEO Tom Horwood,  they said they are going to build a multi-story car park in Village Way.
  • They are going to knock down Stocklund Square and build another underground car park under flats and shops.
  • Just between you and me, I’ve heard talk of 6,000 houses at Dunsfold!  They’re already building factory units at Dunsfold which are pushing more traffic onto OUR roads!
  •  Why isn’t Dunsfold Park paying any CIL [Community Infrastructure Levy]?
  • In Dunsfold Town, the developer will be building all the houses BEFORE they build any retail outlets! So where are all those new residents going to be coming to shop? Cranleigh! Clogging up the roads into our village and taking up the already limited parking spaces!  Has he stopped to wonder how the hard-press Cranleigh traders feel about him publically objecting to more footfall through their stores?
  •  Crest Nicolson has planning permission for two phases [of development] and is about to put in for a third!

Seriously, folks, this was a rampant scaremongering, half-truths and self-serving propaganda! and it doesn’t serve the interests of the good people of Cranleigh. If you had a passing interest in buying a home over there  you would be running for the Surrey Hills – oops (perhaps not.)

And, not unnaturally, it did what Mr Stewart intended.  There was much huffing and puffing from the audience and it wasn’t anything to do with the lack of air conditioning! People were concerned about what they were hearing. It was apocalyptic stuff. 

Thankfully, It was left to Liz Townsend, a founding member of the Cranleigh Civic Society, Parish and Borough Councillor, to introduce a reality check and tell it like it is, like it really, really is. In measured but cheerful tones Mrs. Townsend corrected many of The Stewards (sic) messages – and in some cases his hugely distorted – pronouncements: She said:

• There is currently permission to build 1,800 homes at Dunsfold with the potential to increase that number to 2,600 and possibly as many as 3,400.

However, even the existing consent for 1,800 homes is under threat as CPRE, and Mr Stewart’s new besties, POW, have launched a Judicial Review to challenge Waverley’s housing allocation and development at Dunsfold Park respectively.

For her part, Mrs Townsend said she very much hoped the JR did not succeed because if CPRE scuppered Waverley’s Local Plan, Cranleigh would be left without any protection whatsoever! Cranleigh was, in her opinion, better off with a Local Plan. Without one it would be virtually impossible to fight off proposals to develop Ruffold Farm, Nottcutts, and Crest Nicolson’s Phase III.

Mrs Townsend admitted she wasn’t completely au fait with the small print surrounding Section 106 Agreements (S106) -v- Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) but she did know that it wasn’t possible to levy CIL unless a local authority had an adopted Local Plan – something Waverley simply did not have when it granted consent for 1800 homes at Dunsfold Park. And, on a positive note, the big advantage, for Cranleigh and other surrounding villages, of Dunsfold Park paying S106 monies instead of CIL was that CIL could be called upon and distributed borough-wide whereas S106 could be retained and spent locally to mitigate the impact of a development on the surrounding area.

And the really good news was that Waverley was just about to spend another douche bag of Council Tax Payer’s hard-earned cash employing a Section 106 Officer! Yes, that’s right folks, you read it here first! Waverley BC has just appointed a Section 106 Officer so now they’ll be no excuse for POW or the Civic Society or any other Tom, Dick, and Harriet bleating that they don’t understand which developers are shelling out what and where because they’ll all be able to pick up the phone and ask the Section 106 Officer. Apologies in advance to the newly appointed officer who will now, no doubt, be inundated with calls about Dunsfold Park’s financial largesse. But, look on the bright side, at least we’ve given the newby a heads-up. After all, we know all new recruits at The Burys are told to log onto the Waverley Web if they want to know what’s going on at the Council!

Suffice to say the Civic Society, which was founded with such good intentions by Liz Townsend et al, appears to be fracturing under the new leadership of Terry Stewart. The people of Cranleigh want FACTS, not FICTION, Mr Stewart! 

And facts are what some residents wanted  in relation to what is going on with the long-awaited Cranleigh Village Hospital? And then another argument was narrowly avoided as Trevor Dale and Liz Townsend clashed over their understanding of …, well …, not to put too fine a point on it, what’s NOT happening at Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust! Strange that one of its Trustees never opened his mouth?

But that, dear readers, is a whole other post; yet another tale of scandal and skulduggery in leafy, lettuce strewn Cranleigh!

What can we say except: Watch this space!

More Gypsies and Travellers could​ be on their way to Farnham Dunsfold and Cranleigh if the Local Plan part 2 is approved.

Part 2 of Waverley’s Local Plan is presently out to Consultation.

Consultation on the preferred options will end in June. There will be a pre-submission consultation from October until December this year with the Plan being submitted in February 2019 for adoption later in the year.

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Will Dunsfold Aerodrome become home to 6,000 – yes really, six thousand, new homes?

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That’s what the Chairman of Cranleigh Civic Society predicted when he urged its members to be vigilant and sign up to fight for Cranleigh through the organisation he now leads. 

Although the CCS chairman claimed that consent had already been granted for 1,800 homes  WW believes he meant that Waverley planners had granted consent.  A final decision by the Secretary of State for Communities is expected next week  29th March. The Local Plan includes a figure of 2,600.

Over here in Farnham, we learned from our Cranleigh followers that concern is growing for the new town that nestles in the Surrey Hills! So much so, that with 1,357  homes already consented,  there are fears that with many more to come, both there, and in the surrounding villages, the local infrastructure will not cope!

CRANLEIGH”S RECENT FLOOD FORUM NEWS.

MP Anne Milton and her Flood Forum team which including representatives from Thames Water, Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council responded to questions which had been sent to her in advance, including those from the Cranleigh Civic Society. She said she, and concerned villagers,  now wanted some answers.

She urged the public to look at Cranleigh Parish Council’s website for news. http://www.cranleighpc.org/_VirDir/CoreContents/News/Display.aspx?id=11210

Around 60 people, including a handful of borough/or parish councillors heard from the ‘experts’ of any progress made since the last meeting.

Present: The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP (Chair); Waverley Borough Council (WBC): William Gibb, Planning Enforcement; Nick Laker, Engineer; Beverley Bell, Clerk, Cranleigh Parish Council; Sarah Coleby, Office of Anne Milton MP; Nishad Sowky, Thames Water; Paul Hudson, Environment Agency (EA);  Tor Peebles, Surrey County Council (SCC); Parish Councillors –  Brian Freeston; Angela Richardson; and borough councillor Patricia Ellis.

MISCONNECTIONS TO THE MAINS

Nishad Sowky, Thames Water said this was an ongoing battle and his organisation relied heavily upon intelligence provided by the public.   A specialist engineer had been appointed and action planned. However, he stressed, TW couldn’t enforce any action required only Waverley Borough Council was permitted to do this. It was suggested homeowners should be required to provide evidence of approval if it was believed illegal connections had been made. 

It was revealed that Cranleigh’s foul sewer was inundated with surface water or ingress from groundwater.  With more housing, it was suggested that 12 times dry weather flow may be required, and a total upgrade was required to accommodate both current housing and the large-scale development now approved.

Database:

Cllr Townsend had previously requested a hotspot database be provided as she believed that residents local knowledge was crucial in identifying problems. These should be reported to the Parish Council, in addition to the relevant agencies, e.g. Thames Water/WBC’s Environmental Health/Environment Agency as appropriate.

Cranleigh Waters:  Thames Water confirmed that the wet weather flow is 10 times the dry weather flow – whereas tank capacity is 6 times dry weather flow.

PLANNING

Waverley planners reported that the Local Plan includes a general policy on avoiding pollution and included measures for mitigating flooding.  

It was stressed that flooding occurred less when the EA maintained the river, and that annual maintenance was vital.  The importance of Riparian owners honouring their responsibilities was stressed, but the EA should move any obstructions whenever a  specific flood risk existed.

Commenting on a decision made by Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee described as ‘awful’ by the CCS  for 55 homes on a flood plain in Elmbridge Road, where Thakeham Homes scheme for  55 homes was granted despite huge local opposition,  Tor Peebles (SCC) suggested that Waverley councillors who granted such schemes would benefit from improved knowledge of drainage issues! He believed councillors would benefit from extra training.

William Gibb, Planning Enforcement Waverley, suggested that some junior planning officers also lacked sufficient knowledge of drainage issues.

Mr Peebles also reiterated his claim that the National Standard for Sustainable Urban Drainage Schemes (SUDS) were not fit for purpose and gave as an example of a development on the river Test in Hampshire, where (SUDS) provided for new properties had now flooded! After receiving his letter on SUDS standards, the MP said she would take his concerns to a Government Minister.

LOCAL ISSUES

Cranleigh Waters: Thames Water confirmed it had written to the owner of West Cranleigh Nurseries who, it is alleged, had illegally dredged the river. He said Waverley planners were aware of the breach and conditions would be imposed when its detailed planning application for the first phase of 265 homes was considered!

 Planning Applications: The Cranleigh Society remained concerned about developments granted planning permission with no apparent objection by the EA, SCC or Thames Water, particularly the Thakeham Homes development.

Residents said it was ‘a disgrace’ that planners and the EA preferred to accept a developers evidence over anecdotal and photographic evidence provided by residents.  Work was carried out by Adrian Clarke (Cranleigh Society) and Doug Hill (SCC) in 2015 to map the floodplain, including collecting and providing photographic evidence. They claimed this had not been properly considered and taken into account by SCC as the lead Flood Authority.

The MP said she would seek a meeting with Thakeham Homes and Cranleigh representatives. 

DRINKING WATER CONCERNS

Thames Water claimed blue asbestos found in Cranleigh’s pipes were not a danger to public health. as there was a very low concentration. However, 3.38 km of water pipes would be replaced. This includes Mapledrakes Road, Godalming Road; Satchel Court Road; Barhatch Lane, Sapte Close, and Cromwell Road.

It was pointed out to the TW representative that most of the roads mentioned weren’t actually in Cranleigh but in other towns and villages including Alfold, Godalming and Ewhurst! And… if only 3.8 km of pipework was being replaced… this was a very small proportion of the work required! 

The meeting heard that a response from The World Health Organisation through The Drinking Water Inspectorate (Sue Pennison) was still awaited. Residents commented that New Zealand and Australia were not waiting for the WHO’s decision,  but had begun a huge replacement programme! 

 

Bridge over troubled waters.

Love Your River! Village Hall meeting 26 March 7pm

Love Your River! Cranleigh Village Hall Meeting Monday 26th March 7 till 9 pm Can you spread the word about this important meeting please – Cranleigh.

 LOVE YOUR RIVER! Monday 26th March 7 – 9 pm Cranleigh village Hall RSVP emma.berry@surreywt.org.uk

JOIN US TO CELEBRATE THE PARTNERSHIP WORK TO IMPROVE CRANLEIGH WATERS Discover how … Continue reading Love Your River! Village Hall meeting 26 March 7pm

 

 

Virgin caring for Farnham…just! But… what do the changes mean for Cranleigh?

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Virgin Care is to continue providing adult community services in one corner of Surrey after winning a contract extension.

Under the deal –  agreed recently – Virgin Care will continue to provide services to Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group’s population, plus those living in and around Farnham for another year.

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 09.29.31Q So where does this leave the new private nursing home proposed for Cranleigh?

    Q  And exactly who will have access to the community beds Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust has been promising the town for over 20 years?  

Virgin Care provided services to the whole of western Surrey until last April. At that point, CSH Surrey took on services in the North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area. From next month services in Guildford and Waverley will pass from Virgin Care to a consortium of the Royal Surrey County Hospital Foundation Trust and local GP’s.

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So, £328,000 was extracted from our health economy because the powers that be couldn’t conduct its procurement process properly!

This left  Virgin Care covering just the 95,000 Surrey Heath population and the area around Farnham, a town of 40,000 people.

Governing body papers for North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG for January show local leaders had been concerned that the much-reduced contract would not be attractive for Virgin Care because of the loss of economies of scale and that the company might serve notice on the CCG.

But in a joint statement, Surrey Heath and North East Hampshire and Farnham CCGs said a £10.8m contract had been agreed with Virgin Care to continue for another year, based on the previous year’s spend but with a small uplift for inflation.

It said: “Both localities are fully developing plans for community services in light of the North East Hampshire and Farnham vanguard and Surrey Heath new model of care, and continue to do so within the Frimley integrated care system. Our intention is to ensure the market is engaged when appropriate as part of this process,” 

Ten of the Virgin Care-run inpatient beds at Farnham Community Hospital are used by patients from the Guildford and Waverley CCG area, including some requiring rehabilitation after stroke.

 So exactly where does this leave Cranleigh’s long-held hopes and dreams?… And why is the town, that raised millions of pounds for community beds,  still waiting for a planning application promised in 2017?