Green Oaks School closure prompts emergency Town Meeting tonight.

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.

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.

 

Let’s all help save Green Oak Primary School, in Godalming?

“Should Green Oak C of E Primary School and Nursery be closed?”

Because If it does, it will impact on every other school in Godalming.

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Did you know you can organise a Parish referendum on an issue?
http://www.iniref.org/local-referendum.html

Well! The angry parents of Godalming have: Because they are absolutely determined that the honchos at Surrey County Council who believed they could just tick a box marked CONSULTATION and then close their school, have decided to fight for it to continue!
http://godalming-tc.gov.uk/notice-of-an-extraordinary-town-meeting/

Only five minutes after snatching former Tory-held Godalming Town and Borough Council seats at a recent By-Election, Lib Dem Councillor Paul Follows says:

“A significant lack of transparency, or opportunity to ask questions and debate the issue openly as part of the official consultation has generated a wonderful bit of local democracy in action today – to quote the press release:

Parishioners in Godalming are exercising their right in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12, Part III to call an Extraordinary Town Meeting on Monday, 9 April 2018 at 7.30pm to be held at the Wilfrid Noyce Centre. The meeting has been called for the purpose of debating the following question: “Should Green Oak C of E Primary School and Nursery be closed?”
So that’s Monday 9th April at 7:30 pm! I will certainly be there.
This issue impacts many local schools as a consequence so I am personally expecting this to draw residents from across Godalming.”

You can read our last post here.

Surrey County Council’s sham consultation to close Godalming School.

Surrey County Council’s sham consultation to close Godalming School.

Anxious parents and supporters lined up to demand answers about the future of Green Oaks School in Ockford Ridge, Godalming.

 Surrey County Council announced a consultation to close the school due to falling numbers, difficult Ofsteads and the inability to find an Academy to take it under its wing.

 

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Anxious parents filled the hall to learn what the future holds for Godalming youngsters. 

“Plenty of questions – but no answers!”

Said, one observer: 

“I’ve been to a lot of public meetings over the years but tonight’s about the future of Green Oak school was by some distance the worst I’ve ever sat through. Shockingly poor performance by Surrey County Council and the Diocese of Guildford. Pretty much a total failure to answer any of the excellent questions from a  hall packed with anxious parents, teachers and well-wishers. It was quite obvious that this was a box-ticking exercise and that as Surrey has failed to find a suitable Academy, in just in 9 months time – (July)- Green Oaks will be forced to close! 

They had the brass-neck to stand up and assure parents that there were 100 places in local schools, whilst refusing to name a single one. They cited declining pupil numbers as a contributory factor, but failed to acknowledge that they themselves blocked the school from taking admissions last year.

This is looking at best like government policy designed to punish children or at worst a nasty cynical little stitch-up. Why weren’t the people who know what is going on present?  It was evident, within minutes, that their robots were malfunctioning and could answer next to nothing.”

 Waverley’s new Councillor Paul Follows – the school is in his ward, who was there to witness the proceedings, said:

“What we all faced was a wall. A wall of law, a wall put up by people not present at the meeting and most of all a wall of unanswered questions – which considering a similar meeting took place in Ripley last night and many people had sent questions in preparation, I found it both frustrating and utterly inexcusable.

Whatever your view on the potential closure of the school and it’s history, making the consultation real and based on transparency and facts is extremely important.  I intend to assist parents in getting a meeting with the Regional Education Commissioner so we can try to get some answers.”

County Councillor Penny Rivers (Lib Dem) reported the meeting on her blog here.

She said: “It was standing room only. Parents and teachers and members of the community asked questions of the SCC officers and the Diocesan representative. I think it would be fair to say that people did not think their questions were answered. But then these Officers were just doing their job while the decision makers, Council Leader, David Hodge, and the Bishop and the Regional Schools Commissioner must have had something better to do because they were absent!”

My question was, “This room is packed full of people who care about their children, this school and this community. But, the shame is the absence of those who make the decisions. Were they invited? Would they have come?” My question was not answered.”

The meeting was packed with local Conservative Councillors – but not a single one either spoke or asked a question. Shame on them! With both Milford and Loseley Field schools full, just where will these children go?

What can you do? Start by  signing this petition:

https://www.change.org/p/surrey-county-council-keep-green-oak-school-open

The official Surrey County Council consultation is here.

 

THERE’S NO CIL BILL!

Godalming - River Wey under Bridge Street

 

It’s all water under Godalming Town’s bridge – but there will be no infrastructure monies to help alleviate flooding

 

There is no hope – there is no CIL.

The Cranleigh Civic Society’s concerns which the Waverley Web highlighted yesterday are being shared by other parts of the borough – including Godalming.

A bitter pill to swallow over CIL?

Godalming Town Council admits the same dilemma. It will meet its housing target before September 2018 so there will be no Community Infrastructure Levy to spend.

Here’s an extract from a recent Godalming Town Council minutes!

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A Touch of Frost nips the ankles of Godalming’s new boy!

A little outburst about the adoption of ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan by Councillor Paul Follows brought a moment of theatre to The Towers when a council veteran waded in to rebuke the new boy on the block after he received a round of applause!

 

Never one to be outdone – The Frosty one, poked Councillor Paul in the eyes, with her increasingly blunt stick – in the hope that the voting fodder would actually believe that the past Local Plan failures, were of course, not the fault of Tory Tossers, but the Liberal Democrats!

touchoffrostIs that chattering the sound of icicles forming on the Frosty one’s lips that we hear? Is she fearful of losing yet another of her Farnham seats? Pat Frost lost her county council seat to her Farnham Residents rival, Councillor Andy McLeod last year.

We say bring those 2019 elections on!

 

A better class of political graffiti in South West Surrey..

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The above picture was taken on a Sunday when the Farncombe Post Office was closed. We applaud the gorilla tactics of our local residents in photocopying articles and pasting them up for all to see! Here at the Waverley Web, we feel it is our public duty to continue to spread the word!
They were highlighting both the issue of the NHS march on Saturday that was hardly reported, that happened whilst our MP and Health Secretary was snoozing at a Hampshire spa after a 2-hour massage.

Jeremy Hunt is also in the sights of the Farncombe community for doing nothing to intervene in the ‘Horizon’ dispute between Post Masters and the Post Office. This dispute has lead to the Post Office suspending the licence of hundreds of Post Masters, meaning the Farncombe Post Office – with its essential cashpoint – is out of action whilst it is resolved.

Farncombe residents are also disgusted at having to traipse into Godalming to queue out the door in their tiny new high street shop.

Come on Jeremy – Wake Up and pull your finger out! Because your donors and your members are leaving you in their droves!

Does ‘Godawfulming’ have its own Bermuda Triangle?

Could it be that the town dubbed ‘Godawfulming,’ due to shop and business  closures, may have its very own Bermuda Triangle?

If you sneeze there’s sleaze all around us at present!  So the resignation of the Town Clerk in April, the decision not to hold  planning meetings and now the sudden resignation of Godalming’s  Mayor, and Waverley Borough Councillor, Simon Thornton has everyone wondering WHAT’S GOING ON?

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Going Going Godalming

Build more homes say The Conservatives! Build more homes on Brownfield land says the Government! Convert empty offices into flats without planning permission says the Government! Brilliant – instant housing numbers say the Conservatives!

The unintended consequences of converting town centre offices to flats means naturally – there are no places to work in our towns. And to afford a town centre flat (starting at £350k), you’ll naturally need to commute to London. And you’ll be so busy working, you’ll need to rely on Amazon Prime and Ocado online to deliver your internet shopping. Visit the high street? Don’t have time – except for maybe a cheeky Saturday stroll around a Farmers Market.

The consequences of all this are there are no office workers to buy sandwiches and eat out during the day, and everybody is so tired or poor, they can’t afford to eat out in the evening. Hence Godalming’s failing high street:

 

Photos from Huw Price on the Community Board.
In addition the franchisee of Subway has handed back the lease, and independent Bar Coretto have shut down completely. Alan Paine Knitwear has gone, and next door to them the Scats/Mole Countryside store has shuttered. Opposite them the English Chain company are rumoured to be developing their offices works for flats too.
You can’t even spend a penny in Godalming High Street, since Waverley shut the toilets in Crown Court – although we understand the local councillors are so fed up of being pissed upon by Waverley that the Town Council will be investing in new bog roll very soon.

OH DEAR! What can the matter be?

Sing-along…

‘Three of our towns won’t have any lavatories, they’ll have nothing from Monday till Saturday, nobody knows to pee where..?

Haslemere,  Godalming and Farncombe won’t have a pot to pi** in thanks to ‘Your Waverley.’

In other words the borough has, literally Gone to Potts!

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Let’s all pee in Julia’s Potty!

How about this for a sorry tale of woe if ever there was one. Spending a penny, just became a whole lot more difficult for the folk in three  of our beleaguered towns.

In its bid to save pounds, spending a penny in the three town’s public conveniences is about to become a Hurculean task. Because they are about to: Close; shut; taet; dicht; fermer; preto; in der Nahe; chiudere; közel; preto; a prop; gar….

Get the picture? SHUT.

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WW found the bit about the “Acting Town Clerk” Andy Jeffery interesting! In fact we could find the reason for the sudden departure of The Town Clerk … very interesting. WWethinks we need to start spinning that web!

Here’s Haslemere’s WC which is about to be slashed to make for more parking spaces! It tells the WW…

Haslemere Town Council is very concerned that Waverley Borough Council is intending to close the public toilets in the High St carpark to make way for more parking spaces.

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We are currently making representations to WBC to try and keep this well used facility open on behalf of local residents but we need your help. Although we know they are well used and vital to many residents, by signing this petition you give further weight to our fight by clicking on the link at the bottom of the post.

Thankfully over there in the East of the borough all the developers over there are flushed with their own success. They are busy building their very own poo pits now the Grampian Conditions drafted by ‘Your Waverley’ aren’t worth the toilet paper they were written on and the sewage treatment works cannot cope! 

Sign Haslemere’s petition to stop the slashing of services! https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-haslemeres-public-toilets