Who exactly IS responsible for the Blightwells debacle?

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Here’s what one Farnham resident believes.

Sir,

— While feelings in Farnham, both among residents and the town’s many visitors, reflect a mixture of grief, anger and disbelief that we have allowed the catastrophe that is Brightwells to befall us, should we not reflect upon who exactly is responsible?

I don’t mean those that drew up the scheme in the first place since it was roundly and rightly rejected immediately by the Farnham public. But what about those that continue to support it now that it can be seen to be so completely outdated in concept and design and has proved to be a commercial flop before a single brick has been laid?

Latest in this group is Surrey County Council leader David Hodge, who has at the last minute committed £30 million of our money into dragging the scheme from the scrap heap where it belongs, having failed to raise any interest whatsoever from professional commercial investors?

In terms of council responsibility, it goes without saying that Waverley’s joint planning committee members cannot take all the blame since only eight of its current members actually live in Farnham against 38 that don’t (such is local democracy in our town these days), the latter presumably being only too pleased that schemes such as this don’t take place on their patch.

There are two local public servants, however, that do spring immediately to mind. The Right Hon Jeremy Hunt has maintained a complete and unforgivable silence on what is by far the most massive development ever to take place in Farnham, right in the heart of his constituency, arousing many querulous inquiries as to his motives. Then there is Julia Potts, leader of Waverley Council, who has remained pugnaciously opposed to any criticism of the scheme and immune to the deafening public outcry against it.

For Crest Nicholson’s part. a name familiar to those that attended the 2013 meeting to approve the compulsory purchase and closure of The Marlborough Head pub will be Chris Tinker, the company’s major projects chairman. His evidence’of commercial funding about to be confirmed for the project tipped the Government Inspector in favour of the purchase so allowing the project to proceed, a promise that evaporated as quickly as it had appeared.

Then finally there is Pam Alexander CBE. Ms Alexander is chairman of something called Design Council CABE whose raison d’être is to ensure that developers provide us with decent, appropriate, popular and well-designed schemes. CABE’s website states that “crucial to inclusive design is consultation with user groups, putting people who represent a diversity of age, ability, gender and community at the heart of the design process” and that “the effect (that such schemes) will have on the surrounding landscape and its distinctive historical and cultural context has to be evaluated as do the implications for the area’s circulation patterns, neighbouring activities and property uses. The views and sensitivities of the surrounding community should also be given weight”.

It is impossible to imagine a scheme less in line with the stated aims of CABE or with the needs and aspirations of a community such as Farnham than Crest Nicholson’s monstrous and destructive Brightwells development. One is led to wonder what convinced Ms Alexander to keep her eyes and ears so firmly closed with regard to the scheme during the six-year period to January this year while she was employed by Crest Nicholson as a non executive director on a ‘fee’ of 50,000 per annum, so making a mockery of her position at CABE.

So there we have it, my list of the wanted. Would it not be appropriate to spend the £100,000 pounds promised by Waverley and Crest on ‘public art’ for their scheme on a fitting monument of some kind to these people? Suggestions welcome. For starters, what about an edition of ‘Wanted’ posters to decorate the new East Farnham Wall that now surrounds the site …?

Andrew Jones, Fox Yard, Farnham

 

 

Do we really need Surrey County Council, because it would appear it is sinking fast?​

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surreyproperty

Surrey County Council will not have sufficient reserves to meet its funding gap in 2019-20 unless it acts now, accountants have warned in a report.

The Conservative-run  County Council, operating in the second richest borough in the country was accused last year of agreeing an alleged “sweetheart” funding deal with the government after it planned a 15% council tax hike.

However, perhaps the Waverly Borough Cllr for Hambledon had his facts right when he dropped this little bombshell into a recent council meeting of Waverley Council? Maybe, just maybe, we are watching the beginning of the death throes of county towers? Perhaps local government final salary pensions should be finally ditched to get our local authorities back in the black, instead of slashing and burning our services?

Listen here to a clip which has sent shivers down the back of doomed Surrey County Council.

Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?.

The new report says this year’s £36m funding gap could rise to £94m by 2021. Probably even further if it continues with Leader David Hodge’s present economic strategy. But fear not Surrey taxpayers, he said Surrey was “taking all the right steps”.

Finance warnings have been issued at other councils across the country, with East Sussex planning to strip services to the “legal minimum” and Northamptonshire warning of “radical” service cuts.

In a report commissioned by the council, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) said Surrey’s gross expenditure was expected to increase by 6.5% over four years, but funding would rise by “only 2.4%” over the same period.

It warned this would lead to a funding gap of £36m in 2018-19, rising to £86m by March 2020 and to £94m by March 2021.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey Chris Botten said:

“The CIPFA report says Surrey’s finance function is not fit for purpose. It is “too passive” and cannot provide the leadership required to address the current financial pressures in Surrey. 

The CEO Joanna Killian called in CIPFA because she was concerned to ensure that the finance function was strong enough and on the evidence of the report has taken the appropriate steps to put things right. 

The trouble is, it is seven years too late. Because the quality of financial reporting has been poor, and because of the reported “passivity” residents will face more sudden, deeper cutting service reductions because SCC didn’t start addressing the changing funding regime until a couple of years ago. The wasted years will leave a legacy of much-reduced services which will genuinely shock residents.

A classic case of too little, too late.”


Further Reading:
11.05.18 – Surrey Advertiser – What do councillors cost ratepayers per year copy

10.05.18 – Haslemere Herald – Councillors claim nearly £2m in expenseshttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-england-surrey-45552324

 

Dumb and Dumber do it again?

THIS IS A SERIOUS FIRE SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT. FOR GODALMING AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS. STAINES FIRE STATION IS CLOSED YET AGAIN TONIGHT FROM 18.00 – 0.900 DUE TO HAVING INSUFFICIENT FIREFIGHTERS, THE SAME APPLIES TO BANSTEAD – CLOSED.

GUILDFORD, WOKING & CAMBERLEY ALL DOWN 50%.

LET’S ALL HOPE THAT THIS HEATWAVE DOESN’T PRODUCE HEATH FIRES!!DUMBANDDUMBER.jpg

Surrey’s chief fire officer Russell Pearson, a man who wears his honours for “dedicated service to the emergency services” with pride has been thrown out of the service after resisting budget cuts.

That’s the claim of Fire Brigade Union’s after the highly respected chief officer who was featured in this year’s New Year’s Honours was ousted, just seven months later,  from his job! Why? Because he warned that reducing fire cover would leave the county’s Fire & Rescue Services unable to protect US, the public.

Well done Dumb – you never let us down – you prefer to fritter away over £50m of Surrey taxpayer’s money on an unpopular retail development in Farnham that commercial backers wouldn’t touch with a bargepole – to compromise our safety wouldn’t you?

Perhaps you haven’t heard Dumber that more than 30,000 store chains in this country are in crisis? Facing such financial stress meaning many more businesses will follow the wave of store closures that are sweeping through our towns and cities – including wealthy Surrey! The very same stores in which you invested OUR money, preferring instead to put our lives at risk?

Recently you asked Surrey residents what their priorities were: We here at the Waverley Web believe – keeping us safe – is a  top priority along with caring for the elderly and vulnerable children. 

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Mr Pearson joined SFRS in 1992 and has served as the county’s chief fire officer since 2007.

The FBU released a statement saying that Mr Pearson will no longer hold his 11-year position and the union fears he was “ousted” due to his stance on further service savings.

A Surrey County Council (SCC) spokesman said in response: “We cannot comment on speculation about individuals.”

  • Fire service close to ‘decimation’
  • Fire cover ‘halved’ in Camberley
  • Woking cover cut six times

Funding cuts

“I am in no doubt that the only reason SCC would replace Russell Pearson is so they can get someone in to do a hatchet job, solely to make cuts without any regard to public or firefighter safety,” claims Richard Jones, executive council member for the FBU for the south-east.

“With emergency response times in Surrey at their slowest since 1996, the number of fires we attend and rescues we make increasing year on year since 2015, further cuts are absolutely absurd and show SCC is  prioritising monetary savings ahead of public safety.”

In June last year firefighters and union members declared a motion of no confidence and one year on, this motion is still in place.

The FBU says that since 2010 more than £20 million has been saved from SFRS budget, and an additional £661,000 is expected to be saved this year alone.

According to SCC’s Medium Term Financial Plan, savings of £4.075 million and £1.8 million are expected in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

According to the FBU chairman Lee Belsten the service is now “dangerously close to the mark” and its frontline response and emergency control resources will be “decimated” if funding cuts continue.

He argued that staff shortages, as well as reduced resources, means all of Surrey’s fire stations are currently below 20 firefighters, response time remains up to 10% under target, on-call crew are 40% deficient and emergency control staff are up to 50% short.

Overall, the number of firefighters in Surrey have plummeted by 40%, claimed the FBU, resulting in numerous fire appliances being left unavailable in times of emergency because there are not enough firefighters to crew them.

However, a SCC spokesman says: “we have carried out a recruitment campaign and are making a significant investment to our new fire stations, equipment and vehicles to meet the needs of a modern fire service”.

Surrey is now the county with the lowest number of fire service staff per headcount of population

‘Fire service on its knees’

Following the FBU statement on Mr Pearson, an anonymous firefighter said Russell has been doing an amazing job fighting the cuts, there’s the suspicion that because he is not willing to support the cuts that’s one reason he’s been pushed to the side.

“He’s the right man for the job, he’s passionate about the fire service and doesn’t want to see it get any smaller. The fire service is on its knees, if they bring in any more cuts it will be a case of which station will they close next.

“They are relying on the goodwill of firefighters to come in on their days off. We don’t want the public thinking that we are letting them down, we just don’t have the resources.”

Another firefighter, who also did not wish to give their name, said:“I think the whole thing is disgusting, Russell has done nothing but work hard for the fire service.“If they’ve got rid of him because he doesn’t do what they want him to do, then that seems like an awful way to do things. He’s been pushing back against the cuts and, speaking from the front line, there’s nothing more that the fire service can give.”

Put your teeth in Mr Hodge!

 

Any politician who starts a diatribe with … “I’ve always been clear” is a guarantee that what he is about to say is anything but… and resembles MUD!

Here’s David ‘Autocue’ Hodge reading a statement about the launch of Surrey County Council’s new vision – it’s only a draft vision he hastens to add – because what he really wants is YOUR VISION! What should Surrey look like by 2030?
Well, you know what to do then – read about it here and complete the survey here.

The Waverley Web puts up the WANTED sign and guess what? Up pops a Povey on the BBC!

There we were thinking that  Cranleigh & Ewhurst’s Surrey County Councillor Andrew Povey had gone missing so we put out the WANTED poster on the link below.

Have you seen this man?

No sooner said than done. What do they say about … hell having no fury like a BLOKE… scorned! 

Now, with his feet now firmly gazunder County Hall’s tables, than..Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 22.15.42.png !

as Councillor Andrew Povey – attempts to scratch the eyeballs out of the bloke who snatched the Leader’s mantle from him after the 2011 coup when the Deputy Dog. Bodge and his fellow Tory Tossers took a Vote of No Confidence in him and forced him to resign!

Following his resignation, his immortal words still ring in our ears! He said:

“I came to a crossroads in my life.”

It wasn’t a crossroads you arrived at Councillor ~Povey – it was the end of the road, for one of the most ambitious, unscrupulous, double-dealing, opportunist politicians, it has been our misfortune to come across! And, because Guildford Conservative Association scraped the bottom of the barrel and persuaded the voting fodder of Cranleigh & Ewhurst to put you right back where they believed you belonged, claiming  you were a better bet than your running mate Alan Young, you can now continue your long-held ambition to…

bbc-surrey-logoDislodge the Bodge!

Watch out Hodge there’s a Weasel breathing down your neck aiming to dislodge you!  Povey has been biding his time for almost 10 years to poke you one in the eye for booting him out of his hot seat.

Who says .. what goes around…! Who needs an opposition when you have a Povey in your midst?
Listen to the interview here – starting 2hours 7 mins in.

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Councillor Andrew Povey:

The former leader of Surrey County Council (SCC) criticised the current leader David Hodge, over financial difficulties SCC now face as a result of a  £100 million funding crisis, council tax set to increase by 6%, cuts of £66 million and the council forced to dip into its reserves. Dr  Povey, who led SCC until 2011 said: “They [SCC] had a report from CIPFA, a professional institute for accountants, … in September 2016, and at that time the leader was very much pushing the idea of a 15% [council tax rise] referendum in Surrey, which was really a complete non-starter and this report told him that in history no one has ever won a referendum like this… and that there was an absence of any credible cost reduction plan.
“So in September 2016 that’s when he [Hodge] should have started to make savings because those savings would then have been made in 2016, they would have continued through into ’17 and ’18 so we would now be in a much better position than we are…”

Cllr David Hodge – v- Povey.
Povey and Hodge fell out in 2011. Povey resigned following the resignation of Hodge, his deputy at the time, and Hodge took over as the leader.
At the time Povey said: “It is my intention to stand down as leader of Surrey County Council… so I can develop my business interests.” He also said “It got to the point where we were seeing things differently… we have a different style, are very different people – that can be a strength, but I think it got to the point where it was going the other way.”
Andrew Povey also stood down as a councillor but, after a four-year break, made a surprising comeback in last year’s county council election when, with the approval of Anne Milton MP, he stood as the Conservative candidate for the Cranleigh & Ewhurst division, following the controversial deselection of the incumbent, Alan Young. Since then the local Cranleigh/Ewhurst branch has been in complete disarray with Anne Milton’s new lady-in-waiting Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 14.54.10.pngalso working tirelessly behind the scenes to unseat the present Chairman of  Cranleigh Parish Council – Mary Foryszewski, and to take her seat at Waverley in 2019!
Now, some observers are questioning whether Povey’s public criticism of his leader too, is the first sign of a new leadership bid.

What do they say about – “rats altogether in a sack.”

Cllr Hazel Watson
Cllr Hazel Watson, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said yesterday: “I am pleased that Cllr Povey agrees with what the Liberal Democrats and I have been saying about Surrey County Council’s finances over the last 18 months.
“He is right to draw attention to the criticisms of the county council contained within CIPFA’s report Financial Resilience Review – Surrey County Council. This report was commissioned by the current leader of the council and was kept hidden from county councillors for months.
“He is correct in his judgment of the folly of the leader in pursuing a doomed policy of a 15% council tax rise which was subsequently abandoned. The CIPFA report clearly stated that such a referendum was unwinnable but the leader of the council refused to act on their advice.
“Instead of blaming the government for lack of funding and backing an unwinnable referendum, the Conservative administration should have been working on identifying sensible efficiencies and a realistic level of deliverable savings without cutting services. It should also have acted much earlier on the many empty buildings it owns across the county, which have cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds each year to maintain.
“Surrey County Council is in a poor financial position with no clear plan to improve the situation. Unless a solution is found, then we only have to look to Northamptonshire County Council to see the consequences of when the money eventually runs out.”

THE PLOT THICKENS…!

Hodge the Bodge won’t budge!

Of course David Hodge has survived a Vote of No Confidence Motion- but then, why wouldn’t he?

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Tory controlled Surrey County Council has passed  a motion of confidence in their Leader David Hodge despite his very public row with the Government that brought assurances that it “DID NOT” Do any “Secret Deal” with ‘Your Surrey’ County Council to head  off a 15% council tax increase.

Despite Prime Minister Theresa May’s  insistence that there was NO ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ between David Hodge and the Government  and… despite the fact that Surrey’s Budget is now unravelling at the seams – all the Tory Tossers lined up behind their leader to enable him to hang onto Surrey’s reins and gallop towards, possibly  – Beechers Brook,  perhaps?

By 47 votes to eight  – all those sycophants – including all our Waverley Councillors – The Farnham Gal,  the Eastern Villages –  Alan AKA, (‘I’ve just been dropped’) Young,  and his wife the Queen Vic, – Farnham’s Riot Ramsdale & Farnham’s very own –  Touch of Frost, Peter Martin, David Harmer and Steve Cosser were among those who  ensured Hodge the Bodge was not ousted from  his very  hot seat … well at least not for the time being?

“Secret recordings” made by one of his ‘colleagues’ and sent to the BBC caused a furore, but  Hodge is sticking to his guns in the ‘Truth, Dare, Promise or Opinion’ board game now being played out between him and the  Government.

That threat of a Referendum might even have been a good ruse if he could have pulled it off!   But will Surrey taxpayers be the ones clutching  the mucky end of the stick he has now provided his Tory masters to  beat us with?

The Prime Minister visibly squirmed when she said: ‘No deal has been made with Surrey that has not been made available to other councils’ so to extract themselves from the mucky brown stuff we can see a different “deal/gentleman’s agreement/stitch up, being worked up in the darkest corners of Government to keep the local elections on track.”  

After all – this little debacle won’t damage the reputation of Surrey Council or the  Government,  because  Surrey’s   voting fodder will be out in their droves in a few weeks time to ensure we get more of the same – despite  someone  being economical with the truth? 

After all – the Tory Tossers are supremely confident that when the  Elections take place on  May 4th the results will reveal the voter’s verdict on this unedifying spectacle!

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But if you would like to hear  on Radio 4 how ‘Your Surrey’ has already lost £1.1  million  running its property company so far – listen here. 

Oh! and by the way Farnham followers – Le Gal won’t be among those seeking re-election – she’s  had an uplift – to scramble up that other TT’s  greasy power pole!  – The next step for an ambitious  career politician up from – Borough to  County…  onto the pinnacle of success she has striven for – Parliament. Bye-bye Farnham hello ?? – please let it be Blackpool !! 

NOW… POST – ELECTION stress disorder epidemic hits Ewhurst and Cranleigh.

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BE AFRAID – BE VERY AFRAID!!

Forget Nightmare on Elm Street – it’s Nightmare on Cranleigh High Street!! 

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Just when you thought it was safe to heave a huge sigh of relief, Povey-Power is about to be inflicted all over again on the East of the Borough!
In a classic case of Hobson’s Choice: the Tory-Tossers had to choose between Uriah Heep (AKA Alan Young) & Fagin (Andrew Povey). Some choice!


We told you all about the Pre-Election Stress Disorder phenomenon that struck the East of the borough just a few weeks ago.

Now, hang onto your blue rosettes, because Post Election Stress Disorder is about to hit the High Street as ‘The Comeback Kid’ ricochets back onto the Cranleigh / Ewhurst scene! No doubt The Surrey Ad has swopped its allegiance now its usual Kodak Kid  has been ditched in four of its NBF (New best friend) – Kodak Povey!

“If you are out there Rosaleen Egan – get your Rebocks on and hit the Cranleigh / Ewhurst pavements because Jesus Mary and the Joseph – AKA Guildford Conservative Associations – has just answered all your prayers!

Pre – Election Stress Disorder hits Ewhurst and Cranleigh.

Now, take a deep breath and readers of a sensitive disposition look away, because this news comes with a Waverley Web health warning! Who’s soon going to be pulling ‘Your Surrey’s’ county council strings?

Sadly the new broom many over there in the East had hoped would sweep County Hall clean and restore faith in local politics – Phillip Townsend – has not been selected to stand. No! we hear you cry! NO, surely it cannot be?

Here’s your candidates: it’s called HOBSONS CHOICE.

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Here you have Andrew Povey – disgraced former `leader of Surrey County Council, who with a knockout blow, beat off the competition.

It really is quite extraordinary that with a population of over 300 hundred million people the USA could only dredge up two totally unsuitable people to compete for the Presidency – Clinton and Trump?

Likewise, in the whole of Eastern Waverley – with a population of 12/13,000 soon to be nearer 20,000! – the Tory Tossers were reduced to sending in the disgraced former leader Gotta-pick-a-pocket-or-two-or-three – none other than Dr (as he likes to be known!) Andrew Povey.

Want to read more about the disgraced former Leader of Surrey County Council, whose colleagues took a vote of no confidence in him, and yet is now predicted to be Surrey County Council’s very own Comeback Kid? Bet David Hodge & Co can hardly wait?!?! Even some of them will be registering in Cranleigh and voting UKIP!

http://waverleyweb.org/2016/03/07/ever-heard-the-one-about-the-no-confidence-vote-in-the-leader-of-surrey-county-council

Really makes you wonder doesn’t it? The man pictured above by our own staff photographer,  is the very same man who introduced Politics with a great big capital P into the village council chamber over 20 years ago, abandoned it for his race up Surrey County Council’s greasy pole, reaching the top only to slide down it faster than Usain Bolt on speed ! Now  selected to  take over the reins of Uriah Young (AKA Alan Young) . But when we look at who they’ve replaced him with we can’t help wondering why they bothered?cllralanyoungcopperfield.jpg

GOING, GOING GONE…YOUNG!
It cannot be true – can it?

Has Hodge the Bodge received promises from the Government of more money for ‘Your Surrey’ – or hasn’t he?

DEAL OR NO DEAL?

What sort of Fu**wit tells A Chamber full of Councillors – let’s face it they don’t come any more indiscreet – to keep SCHTUM about  “a secret deal with the Government for EXTRA money to kill off a Referendum for  a 15%  council tax hike!

Want to hear it for yourselves – listen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-39198308

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Lord Nelson is more likely to get his eye back than   councillors are to keep a secret. They regularly let slip more leaks than a colander, and now with technology available to  record discussion  it’s a daily doddle for leakers. The tape sent to the BBC  being a perfect  fine example. 

Now ‘Referendumleak’ has landed Surrey County Council’s Executive into heavy duty dog do! All of them – David Hodge, Peter Martin (also a Waverley councillor) and Helen Clack, you can also hear Denise Le Gal (another Waverley wally) asking if he has “done a deal.” Well if anyone knows about deals it’s the Farnham Gal! Ask the East Street campaigners?

So exactly who is telling the truth about ‘Referendumgate’ – The Government or Councillor Hodge CBE. Well our money, – not that the Waverley Web has much, – is on Hodge! Why – because the last place The Government want an embarrassing  upset is – SURREY – with the lucrative fringe on top, whose great and ‘good’ fund MP’s Jeremy Hunt – perhaps not he has just trousered £15m – Anne Milton and all the other TT’s , which includes half the Cabinet and the Conservative Party!

 Do we now get the scent of a Merger coming on in a bid to save money now this year’s Referendum has been sent to the shredder? Or will The Chancellor of the Exchequer do another “SECRET’ Deal with ‘Your Surrey” to keep it out of the proverbial S*1T it has got itself into. Let’s have your view on things please!

Because The Government has said in no uncertain terms – “There is no special deal for Surrey County Council and they will not receive any extra funding,  than  would not  otherwise be  provided.”

Oh dear – Another fine mess they’ve all got themselves into?

So the wholesale lies and duplicity that is ‘Your Waverley” has become a contagion  and now everyone is at it. The Tory Tossers seem incapable of telling the truth either locally or nationally. So who will  actually suffer?

The young, the old and the vulnerable – that’s who

But you know what? it wouldn’t matter what our masters voice said or did in Surrey! – The voting fodder will put  every single tainted one of them back in with a blue rosette up their Tory ar**s! at the forthcoming May county council elections – won’t they?

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