Is a Godalming Tory jumping on the local residents’ bandwagon​?

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Have the residents of Godalming bounced the Tory-dominated town council into objecting to a planning application it would have preferred to see approved? 

Is one of the Tories now smoothing the way for the Tory-dominated borough planners to give it the go-ahead? 

You will see from the letter below that Godalming Town Council has registered its objection to a development of 262 dwellings on land between New Way & Aarons Hill, Godalming.

No surprise there then after more than 70 people turned up and another 170 registered their objection to development in the GREEN BELT that would join Godalming to Guildford Godalming Town Council backs residents’ fight – plans just not good enough for green belt site.

Or bearing in mind the Waverley Web’s post yesterday – perhaps that would be just what the new Unitary Authority would want? Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?

Councillor Andrew Bolton reminds residents on Facebook that – it is Waverley Council that will determine the application, NOT the Town Council. No doubt, just in case residents dare to think their very vocal opposition is going to make one jot of difference at Waverley Towers. 

Please, Councillor Bolton, don’t treat the voting fodder like idiots! They know full well that it is the borough council’s function to refuse or permit planning applications. Residents aim of turning out in force was to register their opposition, to their town councillors, the people they elected to represent their views. Because like the residents in the East of the borough they know that if it doesn’t move, Waverley officers will recommend developing it, and unless councillors break the habit of a lifetime Tory councillors will follow their lead! Neither were residents asking you to predetermine an application. But just giving you a gentle reminder that it is your function as a Godalming Town Councillor to not only listen but HEAR and act on the concerns. You ignore the mood of Godalming people at your peril. 

To remind them of the lack of funds for Green Oaks and then mention that the developers’ twenty pieces of silver – or as you describe it as 106 monies for infrastructure, could provide “substantial support for Green Oaks School” and that it may not survive without it was not only disingenuous but a disgraceful veiled threat.  Dare we suggest you were more than a little put out that a motion to object came from the opposition? An opposition that is proving itself to be very effective?

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Don’t forget the changes to the Guildford Local Plan for the other half of the field. Guildford’s consultation started on 11 September and will run until 23 October 2018. You can all comment on the proposed removal from the Green Belt here: https://www.guildford.gov.uk/newlocalplan/examination

 

Godalming Town Council backs residents’ fight – plans just not good enough for green belt site.

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Residents, backed by Waverley Councillor Paul Follows ensured that everyone was made aware of the threat of expansion into their treasured green belt countryside at Aarons Hill. 

Last night after a packed meeting Godalming Town Council heard some well-researched concerns and objections from residents and councillors alike. And the townsfolk were rewarded for their efforts getting the backing they had hoped for!

WW can’t help wondering why so many town councillors, who are also borough councillors backed a Local Plan that rolled back Godalming’s green belt in the first place? Could it be because they are Tories – one of whom later gave his Lib Dem colleague an ear-bashing!

A  resident told us that Tory “Town and borough Councillor, Comrade  Stefan  ” I voted for the Labour Party’ Reynolds’  interrupted his Lib Dem colleague after Councillor Follows claimed he was the only Waverley councillor in the room who didn’t vote for Waverley’s  Local Plan which included removing this site from the greenbelt! Following, Follows –    Comrade Reynold retorted – ‘well I didn’t!’ after which   – Councillor Follows was forced to remind him –  that was only because he DIDNT SHOW UP AT THE MEETING TO VOTE AT ALL!’

It seemed the Town Councillors had little choice but to represent their community, with only one abstention coming from the grumpy Steve Cosser (Con Charterhouse). Three Councillors were absent, including County Councillor for Aaron’s Hill Peter Martin. No surprise there then?

The upshot:

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Thanks to the efforts of the people of Godalming round one of the battle to preserve the town from becoming part of greater Guildford has been won. But the war with Waverley planners is to follow.

Godalming town council supported Paul Follows’s proposal to object formally to the development on Aarons Hill. A  formal letter will  be released by the council today (Friday)

Here’s how the Waverley Web has covered the tumultuous events of the past few days.

Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt should be done.

Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt should be done.

 

Godawfulming’s Town Council forced into action by its residents.

Feelings are running so high over the threatened closure of Green Oak School, that the Town Council was forced into calling an EXTRAORDINARY TOWN MEETING – the first in its history.

But the Tory-controlled council – that has more than just a few skeletons in its council cupboards – was at pains to point out to its  Surrey County Council masters that pressure from residents forced into such an unprecedented step.

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Hark! Is that criticism of their fellow Tory colleagues that we hear… no surely not! 

In the second par – in Godalming Town Council’s letter, an extract of which appears above and the full text in the attachment below – it speaks of the electors’ frustration!

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http://godalming-tc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SCC-Green-Oak-School-Consultation-Closure-of-Green-Oak-School-Letter-from-The-Council-13-April-2018-Web-Version.pdf

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Former Godalming Town Mayor​ charged with sex offences.

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.

 

WW sees trouble ahead?

How refreshing to see Godalming’s new boy on Waverley’s block speaking up on our behalf, and asking questions.  However, watch out boyo, we foresee trouble ahead – ask Farnham Residents’ councillor Jerry Hyman, who we understand from an officer, has been brought before the standards board on more than one occasion for asking too many questions? 

Despite being outnumbered, outflanked by heavyweight tories unused to being Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 19.45.34.pngchallenged, and a rather intimidating veiled rebuke from Mistress Betsy at the Joint Planning Committee meeting last week, Paul Follows the Liberal Democrat Councillor for (Godalming Central & Ockford) didn’t turn a hair of his meticulously coiffed young head as he challenged the  council’s decision-making process. He wanted to know why the controversial Blightwells redevelopment wasn’t getting anywhere! A scheme – which was,  “going on when I was at secondary school”.  Did anyone laugh? No way Jose!

Confidence exudes from this young man, and long may it be so, – here’s his profile for the by-election just before Christmas Ding, Dong the fight’s begun to win Godalming’s By-Election. Part 1.Lib Dems.

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Wow! his work covers standards, legal compliance, and ethical conduct! If that’s the case then he’s in for a field day at ‘Your Waverley’ and we hate to think what he might uncover when he digs into the latest shenanigans in his new role  at Godalming Town Council!   Dare we suggest he starts looking into why the Clerk left?  How much she was actually paid?  Not quite the £30,000  which appears in the annual accounts?  

No surprise to us here at the Waverley Web to hear that some parish clerks around the borough are being bullied – except of course the ‘crystal tips’ clerk of most of the councils in the East – Dunsfold/Hascombe/Alfold/Loxwood who appears to run the show on councillors’ behalf! 

Perhaps  Councillor Follows will delve into why Councillor Anne Bott (now Town Mayor following the sudden resignation of Mayor Simon Thornton) is allowed a conflict of interest as she is employed by The Surrey & Sussex Association of Local Councils) funded, in part, by Godalming Town Council. Of course, most of us realise parish councils are no longer the autonomous parochial bodies they once were! They are now controlled by Conservative dominated Waverley, which is, in turn, controlled by South West Surrey and Guildford and Cranleigh Conservative Association.

So, Councillor Paul Follows,  we look forward with some trepidation to watching your progress over the coming year. But, be warned, if you rattle their cages too often your opponents will stack everything up against you next May!  But then you don’t appear to be a guy who scares easily!

 

Lib Dem Gain in Godalming

Waverley Tories lose a seat

Congratulations to Lib Dem Paul Follows who takes both Waverley Borough Council and Godalming Town Council seats.
Godalming Town Council result: Lib Dem 294 Conservatives 252: Labour 162

Paul said: “It’s clear that the people of Godalming have spoken and that they want fresh voices and real change. I am honoured to be elected to begin that change.”

Paul Follows - Lib Dem Godalming

At last Farnham Residents – the ‘official opposition to the Conservative Party’ at Waverley will have another council member who will challenge decisions rather than rubber stamping them.

Could this be the first sign of things to come?

Why was this By-Election called in the first place?

Stay tuned! Waverley Web is pleased to see a fresh faced youth elected to the Councils, and one that at least has a grasp of communicating on social media. We recommend you all Follow the Follows for future lobbying!

 

Part 4 of Ding, Dong the By-Election is on!

Or…why are we waiting?

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In our efforts to cover the Godalming By-Election, which takes place on Wednesday, we have waited patiently for a response to our request for information from the Conservative Party.  

And we are not the only ones! Here’s a few comments from the Godalming Noticeboard.

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The Conservatives are  fielding one candidate for the Waverley Borough Council seat and one for the Town Council.

Maybe Councillor Stella Andersen Payne’s Stellar performance as a former Waverley Councillor for Farnham, has convinced voters in  Godalming that she needs no introduction. So  there is no need for her to respond to our requests? But, maybe Graham Bennewith will get in touch – there’s still time.

So far, the only comments we can find from Godalming folk on Ms Anderson Payne’s go along these lines…

  • – By not appearing on the Godalming Community Board Facebook she is either  out of touch, or not interested, in her ward?
    – concerned that when she was Waverley Councillor for Dockenfield she almost caused a by-election due to non-attendance.
    – a Tory paper candidate that will do nothing for the town

But they may feel differently if she lets everyone know, other than on the doorstep, how she hopes to represent them?

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According to some of our Farnham followers when Ms Andersen-Payne represented the Dockenfield Ward at ‘YW,’ she ‘rarely bothered to turn up,’  Still, we are sure she will do better this time – won’t she? 

Here are posts on the other candidates.

Part 3 of… Ding,Dong the fight’s begun!

Ding,Dong the fight’s begun!Part 2 of Ding Dong the battle has begun to win the Godalming By-Election.

Ding, Dong the fight’s begun to win Godalming’s By-Election. Part 1.Lib Dems.

Part 3 of… Ding,Dong the fight’s begun!

Ding, Dong the fight’s begun to win Godalming’s By-Election. Part 1.Lib Dems.

Part 2 of Ding Dong the battle has begun to win the Godalming By-Election.

Waverleyweb_election

This election was prompted by the sudden resignation of Godalming Town Council Mayor, and Tory Waverley Borough Councillor Simon Thornton for undisclosed ‘personal reasons.’ Reasons, that the whole town is talking about!

In our efforts to ensure you know who you are voting for … some, despite our  repeated attempts, haven’t so far provided information… we are featuring here Lewis Curtis  the Labour man standing for the Godalming Town Council seat.

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Lewis,  who has  lived in the Godalming area his whole life, says:

‘I am committed to doing everything in my power to making sure everyone has a voice in our community. 

I have lived in a council house for most of my life, so I understand the importance of social housing, and investing in it. I will make sure the people have someone to fight for them on this issue.

I am a blue badge holder as I was born with a physical disability, and I understand the importance of this scheme. Blue badges allow people to live independent, active lives and to access the community and its facilities. Having a disability has a financial impact on day to day life which can be costly, and free parking is an essential, not a luxury. 

It will be an honour to be elected as your local councillor.’

Mr Lewis might be interested in reading our blogs on the disabled parking charges that have been imposed and  the problems faced by the disabled in flashing their cash in the borough’s car parks!

 

 

lewis@swsurreylabour.org.uk

 

 

Part 2 of Ding Dong the battle has begun to win the Godalming By-Election.

Waverleyweb_election

The election  was prompted by the sudden resignation of Godalming Town Council Mayor, and Tory Waverley Borough Councillor Simon Thornton for, undisclosed ‘personal reasons’. Reasons, that the whole town is talking about!

The Waverley Web is  keen to inform Godalming residents of  the reasons why the men and women  featured want to represent them in the Central & Ockford seat for the remaining two years left in the life of both councils.  Although we have managed to contact some prospective candidates – who  replied moments after receiving our requests – others have not been quite so forthcoming! 

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Richard Ashworth  is standing as the Labour candidate for the Waverley Borough Council seat. Richard has lived in the Ockford ward for seven years and in Godalming for 30 years.  Both his children and now his grandchildren have attended local schools including Green Lane where he was a representative on the Parent Teachers’ Association.  Most weeks he says he can be found early in the morning swimming at Broadwater Leisure Centre.

‘I am passionate about fairness, especially for young people saddled with debt and little chance of climbing the mortgage ladder. More social and affordable housing is urgently needed, especially for the young, as well as better rent control and more help for those with mental health issues’.

It is time that Waverley Council represented all of its constituents and I will do my best to make sure this happens’.

richardashworth.labour@gmail.com

 

Ding, Dong the fight’s begun to win Godalming’s By-Election. Part 1.Lib Dems.

The emergency, emergency at Godawfulming is over? Isn’t it?

If you have been on holiday – or have been busy rummaging in the loft looking for the Christmas decorations, you may have missed the fact that a By-Election is about to take place in Godalming during the busiest week of the year. 

This was prompted by the sudden resignation of Godalming Town Council Mayor, and Tory Waverley Borough Councillor Simon Thornton for/ undisclosed ‘personal reasons’. Reasons, that the whole town is talking about!

As you will see from this link:  The emergency, emergency at Godawfulming is over? Isn’t it? Godalming Town Councillor Anne Bott has taken over the Mayoral role, but it would appear that despite wishing to join the chain-gang she’s not quite so eager to jump into the local butcher’s boots at ‘Your Waverley’! Wonder why?

Here at the Waverley Web we are  keen to inform Godalming residents of  the reasons why the men and women  want to represent them in the Central & Ockford seat for the remaining two years left of the life of both councils. Although we have managed to contact some prospective candidates – who replied moments after receiving our requests – others have not been quite so forthcoming! No prizes for guessing who!

So over the coming days we will give you a brief run down of those who have thrown their hats into the Waverley/Godalming  rings.
Waverleyweb_election.jpgIn no particular order – as they say on Strictly Come Dancing – we have  Paul Follows the Liberal Democrat candidate who is standing for both the Godalming Town council and Waverley Borough Council seats.image1.jpeg This Godalming man’s   main motivation for standing is quite simple:

 ‘The utter lack of opposition to the Tories in Godalming’.

The 31  year-old former university of Surrey student  now works for BAe Systems Applied Intelligence. He and his Lib Dem colleagues have wasted no time in speaking to as many people as they possibly can before the election on  December 13. They say they want to fully understand residents’ concerns. 

Paul has lived in Godalming for several years and  commutes to Guildford for work at the Surrey Research Park where his work covers standards, legal compliance and ethical conduct. He enjoys cricket and ice hockey and is a tenor in the Guildford Choral Society.

He says, ‘another motivation for my getting into politics has been my parents. My father is a retired soldier and my mother is an HLTA at a school in Guildford. Both have had cancer in the last 5 years and survived – largely due to fantastic staff – and so access to these services and providing for health services locally is a big deal for me personally. Equally an affinity for the teaching and defence professions is something built into me.’

‘Over the past few weeks we have been all over the ward canvassing, handing out leaflets and talking people. I just wanted to use this opportunity to feedback on some of the issues people have raised with me time and again on the doorstep’.

  •  Affordable housing which is balanced with the needs of the people living within their communities. People are really concerned that new houses without new infrastructure to support  them will cause big problems;
  • The speed and weight of traffic through residential areas (particularly near schools);
  • The total absence of any other voice at Waverley borough council, other than that of Farnham residents and the Tories. The impact of austerity measures and the frustration with  an unchallenged council  that  repeatedly fails to deliver.

Asked by the Waverley Web, what he seeks to achieve between now and 2019?

 ‘To me that is clear. Local residents have given me a list of issues they would like  investigated,  and, if electors give me the mandate,  I  hope to make progress on those. In addition I want to be that voice of opposition and scrutiny (hopefully the first of many) and essentially be the conscience that our Tory dominated councils desperately need when it comes to further austerity measures.

I want everyone to know I will be accessible during the campaign –  on a stall next Saturday (9th) in the heart of the town if anyone wants to come and have a chat.

Many thanks and I hope to see many of you on polling day. Paul.

https://m.facebook.com/paulfollowsGodalming/