Will ‘Your Waverley’ take a first step, or a giant leap to merge with Guildford Borough Council?

That is the question facing every councillor, regardless of their political persuasion at a crucial Council Meeting next Tuesday 6 July?

 Dream Team – Councillors Paul Follows and Joss Bigmore.  working to save money, create opportunities and protect vital services in guildford and waverley?

See our previous post – Will Waverley soon join Guildford?

Swingeing cuts in Government funding combined with the effects of the COVID pandemic have produced a perfect storm for councils the length and breadth of the country. This coupled with the threat of a behemoth single County Unitary Authority being imposed upon them from on high has led to a call for action.

Some residents believe change is long overdue? 

Doing nothing is not an option if councils are to ‘close the gap’ in their finances and avoid falling into a black hole!

Therefore Waverley’s Executive is seeking closer ties with Guildford Borough, with whom it already collaborates. ‘YW’  now proposes, after discussions with GBC, to seek a new Joint Chief Executive and Senior Management Team to run both authorities.  The present proposals assume that both councils will remain – separate democratic entities.

Early savings are predicted to be in the region of £1.4m. However, future collaboration could produce further savings on – leisure services, property and more.

When Waverley’s Value for Money Overview & Scrutiny Committee considered the proposals last night – numerous concerns were raised, including:

  • Lack of detailed data, including the possible cost of making savings.
  • The unseemly haste in making such an important decision.
  • The Lack of a Business Plan, Risk Analysis, and more.

Most councillors recognised that the proposed method of working had been introduced and had worked successfully in other councils, and the financial pressures they faced demanded change.

Tory Leader Stephen Mulliner was concerned that Waverley was “taking the jump” without full knowledge of both councils finances.

There was some confusion around the appointment of a joint Chief Executive. Some believed it should be one of the two current incumbents – to maintain staff morale.  Others argued an external appointment  was a legal requirement and the post must be advertised. This will be made clear by South Eastern Employers, who are assisting both councils on the employment process.

 Leader Paul Follows promised that by Friday every councillor would have as much information as possible on the subject to read over the weekend. He wanted everyone fully prepared for the full council meeting on Tuesday. It is then – that the first important step would be taken.

Responding to questions concerning “significant redundancy costs’  he cautioned against councillors creating undue worry among the staff. Monitoring Officer Robin Taylor, responding to concerns that Waverley officers and councillors did not have the necessary skills to make the change, said:

“We have the skills, and if and  we need to add to them, they will be sought.”

Following the Government’s extension of the social distancing restrictions until at least 19 July, officers have been exploring alternative venues other than Waverley Towers for the Council meeting. This would then enable all Councillors to participate safely in the meeting.

Instead it will be held at The Great Hall, Farnham Maltings, Bridge Square, Farnham, GU9 7QR at 6.00pm

The Great Hall is believed large enough to accommodate all Councillors with social distancing in place.  Officers are working on securing furniture and equipment.

It will not be possible to observe this meeting on Zoom though there will be some restricted seating for members of the public and press.  Officers are looking at options for recording the meeting and uploading it to the Council’s YouTube channel after the event.

Here’s what has brought the two councils to the same table.

Will Godalming​ get the traffic​ chaos and Guildford get the bunce?


Last night Guildford Borough Council decided to forge ahead with its plans to join Guildford with Godalming putting almost 500 homes on the boroughs’ borders at Aaron’s Hill.


You can read the complete report that was considered by Guildford BC’s Executive when it agreed to waive the call-in procedure and agree to the inclusion in the Local Plan to allow Ashill to build 200+ homes adjacent to the 263+ planned by ‘Your Waverley’ on the green belt boundary between the towns “immediately.’

But new Liberal Democrat Councillor Paul Follows questioned the Guildford Executive’s decision asking how the extra burden of traffic and services on Godalming would be dealt with? It’s the same field – but half the residents would not get ANY services from Godalming!!!! Guildford will provide!

WW wonders why the Conservative councillors, supposedly serving their electors in Godalming are silent on the subject? Surely such an important strategic green belt site in the countryside that is now ‘an urban extension to Godalming’, must be of some concern to them too?

WW has heard that other than Councillor Follows and residents of his ward NOBODY, yes, NOBODY from Waverley attended. Not attending another boroughs executive when it’s this important? 

Also, Cllr Tony Rooth, IND (former Tory, Pilgrims Ward) had a crack at suggesting that the Aaron’s Hill bit be shelved but he was immediately trodden on from a great height by Guildford BC’s chairperson and his successor as leader. But full marks to him for having a go.

 The ‘masterplanning’ bit was obviously a total nonsense. Clearly, a full site plan exists.

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Let’s read that second answer from Guildford again: “We do not envisage that these homes will rely on services provided by Waverley Borough Council, which Guildford Borough Council would normally provide” And presumably not rely on any services from Godalming Town Council either?
• Will they be banned from the Wilfrid Noyce?
• Will they be excluded from the Godalming cemetery next door?
• Will they be uninvited to Godalming Farmers markets?!
• Will all the residents be shopping and parking in Shackleford (whose Parish they are now in)?!

It’s not as easy as Guildford Councillors are suggesting! What’s more, they know it, Waverley planners know it, and WE KNOW KNOW IT DON”T WE? Because more and more people are reading the Waverley Web!

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

GBC Questions: Supplementary Information Sheet

Godalming Ashill Development is getting the bumsrush from residents.

Godalming residents are waking up and smelling the concrete that could be about to cover part of the town’s once protective green belt.

If recent planning officer recommendations are anything to go by its a given. The mantra in ‘Your Waverley’s ‘ planning department is – if it doesn’t move grant permission!’

Last night at Western Planning officers were quite happy to convert a shed into a house near Farnham Castle’s Conservation Area!!

Residents are beginning to question why farmland should be removed from the Green Belt to provide more housing in Eashing Lane. Some residents are posting videos on the Godalming Community Board generating over a 100 comments in the GREAT GODALMING GREEN BELT DEBATE

  • What do they get in return for 262 houses?
  • A mystery Community Building and a footpath into an existing field they are calling a ‘new Country Park’ – (as it’s too steep to build houses on!)
  • More traffic?
  • Services under stress?

Meanwhile, the developers have released a “Community Update Newsletter” ahead of the Planning Application consultation closing this week.


Here is the link to download the newsletter.

Respond NOW! here to Waverley by Friday 31st August for WA/2018/1239

One resident and video poster Nina M has also started a petition, which we would like to bring to your attention, seeking toAsk Waverley BC to rethink housebuilding & reject Ashill development on greenfield land”

Good Luck – We’ve seen how the  East of the Borough, has been treated without the area benefitting from  Green Belt protection! As councillors sat with their hands in the air consenting development after development even on floodplains, they called it ‘Poor Old Cranleigh.”

No doubt they will stick their hands in the air and call our town – “Poor Old Godawfulming!’

Not a single Conservative Councillor has responded as to WHY they took this land out of Green Belt, as opposed to any other space, given the very narrow roads into Godalming or the bottleneck that is the A3 to Guildford.

Perhaps they will break the habit of a lifetime and write to us here at contact@waverleyweb.org

Boom – Boom – another 200 houses in Paul Follows’ lap?

Guildford has recently allocated Green Belt for another 200+ houses at Aaron’s Hill/ Eashing Lane.

The Planning Inspector took away the Green Belt on the edge of Godalming at Aaron’s Hill, and due to an overlap of boundaries, one half of this field is in Guildford.
So does Godalming get all the traffic, and Guildford get all the cash??


A few more of Waverley’s green fields bit the dust!

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