Will the residents of the Frensham, Dockenfield and Tilford Ward say – take me to my leader?

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Giving up the seat for Farnham’s Upper Hale Ward was a wrench for ‘Your Waverley’s council leader Julia Potts. She leaves the ward she has represented at ‘Your Waverley’ for the past eight years with – “a heavy heart.”

Nothing to do with being fearful that she needed a much safer seat in True, blue Tory Tilford – no – of course not – and the Waverley Web’s true identity is Mary Poppins! And Protect Our Waverley wants to stop development in the borough, and not just at Dunsfold Park!

She also says in the Herald’s new tabloid edition that she is giving up her Farnham Town Council seat so that she can concentrate on with being Leader of Waverley Borough Council? The typical arrogance we have come to expect. A little more humility would not come amiss Potty One.

If you were so confident of your popularity then why not stay loyal to the residents of Upper Hale? 

Let’s hope you get the soft landing you are so confident of receiving from the residents of your new hunting ground?

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Julia Potts getting ready to land in her newly acquired ward. Others too are being shuffled and set down like early Spring cuckoos in other ward’s nests. The bid to keep control of ‘Your Waverley’ is on.

 

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Is it a bird? Is it a bee? No, it’s Potty parachuting into Tilford.

The cold war is over – now the heat is on in ‘Your Waverley.’

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As if we haven’t had enough fighting nationally – now we’re about to get it locally!

 

So Potty – put the kettle on?

The countdown to the May elections has begun.

For the first time for four years, voters have an opportunity to make a dent in one of the most arrogant and dominant Tory administrations this borough has ever had the misfortune to witness, (if the webcast is working.) 

It has seen off two plumply salaried and well- compensated failing Chief Executives – numerous heads of services – including two chief planning officers – and more planning, senior officers and staff, than you could shake a stick at!

One of whom is standing for election as a Farnham Residents’ candidate. We wonder how many secrets she will be revealing to the electorate of the inner-workings of Waverley Towers? Maybe, she believes she can achieve more from the outside than within?

Suffice to say – morale among staff, some senior officers and councillors, has never been worse. Outside consultants, Cratus Communications, was brought in to delve into the Waverley swamp to investigate relationships between councillors and officers. It found ‘YW’ to be seriously wanting. 

 In its strategic review, Cratus found there needed to be a  – ‘change of culture at YW.’   The WW is well-known for its cynicism, but change a culture endemic and buried deeper than the Great Train robbers’ stolen dosh?  Difficult!

“Your Waverley” doesn’t trust its staff and we don’t trust “some” of our councillors – Happy days are here again!

In an ideal world, the ballot paper should not include any party affiliations. Every elected councillor is there to work on behalf of, and do their best for, everyone in the borough of Waverley. This applies to the Farnham and Hindhead councillors who have treated the more rural areas in the east of the borough with contempt. Those who they denigrate not only deserve but are entitled to respect!  

Politics and control, should not be the prime influence at parish or borough level. The council has been in the grip of the Tory party for far too long, 49 Tories, one Lib Dem,  six  Farnham Residents’, one vacancy.  No checks or balance is no basis for good government. Neither is the level of contempt to which this small group of ‘opposition’ members is held by their Tory masters.

The Conservatives have, with rat-like cunning and determination, held on with a vice-like grip, to power. Almost every chairmanship and role within the Cabinet is jealously guarded by the Tories. Ever reluctant to allow the minority groups even a minimum of influence. Often side-lining their own backbenchers and keeping them in the dark. Power corrupts – absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The Mayor must be a Conservative, regardless of whether a more suitable or longer serving candidate exists outside the confines of THE ruling party. Why? Harold and Elsie Denningberg Labour Councillors representing Godalming for many years were loved and admired by everyone in Waverley. As were Doreen & Bill Bellerby in Guildford. In days long gone when politics was not polarised and when the health and welfare of the boroughs were all the better for it.

The May local elections could herald a sea change in how business is carried out in future in Waverley.

Of the 57 seats available a total of 53 will be contested. Areas, where seats are uncontested, are unhealthy in a democracy. Candidates should be shlepping through the April showers to determine and learn about, and act on public concerns.

As for carpetbagging around the borough for a seat when you have made yourself so unpopular on home-ground that you are de-selected by your local party faithful is reprehensible. We hope Bramley residents will recognise this, and ask their Cranleigh neighbours – WHY?

Is it a bird? Is it a bee? No, it’s Potty parachuting into Tilford.

So too is parachuting from an unsafe Farnham seat into a safe Tory seat elsewhere to keep a stranglehold on leadership?

 In Hindhead,  Haslemere and  Godalming, there needs to be a fundamental change in the expectation of the service voters are entitled to expect from their elected representatives. Cllrs Turning up for 20% of meetings, not turning up at all, or not having the good manners to resign, or explain long absences whilst collecting allowances, should be given the yellow card, put in the SIN BIN, be given the red card – and kicked off the pitch. Not hoicked around the borough in the hope that it will go unnoticed!

So will May 2019 herald a new beginning? 

Or will it be business as usual?

2019 Residents Alliance Plan A – By Area

 

 

Is it a bird? Is it a bee? No,​ it’s Potty parachuting into Tilford.

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Things are getting a bit too hot to handle in Farnham’s Hale ward for ‘Your Waverley’s’ Leader.’ So she’s off to find a softer landing elsewhere in the borough.

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And if you think she is alone – think again. Others are carpetbagging around the borough looking for greener grass too! 

Here at the Waverley Web, we liked how dainty she looks, landing on tippy toes into the green green grass of her new ward of Tilford. Her newly adopted home where she can be guaranteed a safe seat so she can slip seamlessly back into her leader’s role at ‘Your Waverley’ in the May polls for four more years? 

Has the Farnham Residents’ Group’s rising popularity put her in panic mode?

 

Is Waverley’s Umming Bird looking for a new nesting site?

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Word on the street suggests that Waverley’s Leader might be taking flight, or do we mean fright?

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Despite succeeding where her predecessors have failed – in almost getting a LOCAL PLAN past the finish line, getting the Blightwells development under-way – and pushing up Waverley’s housing numbers – and the council tax – Leader Julia may be taking flight from her “safe” Tory seat in Farnham Upper Hale.

Waverley Borough Council’s Julia Potts, who is prone to a bit of umming and ahhing, is considering becoming a little more decisive in the lead-up to the May elections. She believes she may have difficulty hanging on to her seat as Farnham people are getting angry, very angry.

Some Farnham residents are even suggesting that it is time to break away from Waverley Borough Council altogether. But hasn’t Farnham already tried that with a petition to the Queen? Last we heard that petition was buried under a pile of dust and cobwebs, a bit like us here at the Waverley Web. Is it in a Government department vault, or has it gone to THE TOWER?

Council tax going up and up!

So could the public-spirited the former Pi**ed off Portfolio for Planning (POPP) be handing over his far safer seat at Frensham, Dockenfield & Tilford to his Tory colleague? Only time will tell – not long now folks.

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Dunsfold and Waverley’s Local​ Plan get the​ go-ahead​​ in the High Court today​.

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Remember – you heard it here first. This post will be updated throughout the day.

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Dunsfold Deja-vu. The WW has been saying this for a very long time.

IT AIN’T  OVER UNTIL…

 

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And she is singing at the top of her voice. 

Sadly we have not yet received an official comment from Protect Our Waverley or the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England – so instead we have used this as it might just sum up their feelings. Or, of course, they could all be heading for The Supreme Court or The Pope…?

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But never mind- we (POW) cost the Waverley taxpayers a small fortune in legal costs with the total support of all those generous parish councils. – Particular thanks from POW goes to our Bankers at Alfold Parish Council.

 

A full report of the Judge’s decision will follow. Including her ruling on whether or not Protect Our Waverley has been awarded a limit on its costs to just £10,000 under the Aarhus Convention legislation – (People for Justice). 

LATEST NEWS

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (or some parts of it!) has been refused Leave to Appeal by the Judge. It will have to pay £10,000 in costs as it had Aarhus protection. 

However, POW has not been quite so fortunate. Its cap on costs was increased by the Judge from £10,000 to £30,000. This still leaves US the Waverley taxpayers with a big hole in their pockets!

Here’s Waverley’s Press Release. Julia Potts.

LATEST NEWS – THEY AIN’T GIVING UP UNTIL EVEN MORE OF THE TAXPAYERS’ MONEY GOES DOWN THE PAN!! But surely someone somewhere is going to have these people up for vexation litigation. Even the Judge knows nothing now!

Here’s Pow’s Press Release. http://powcampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Press-release-POW-Nov-5.pdf

Has Mr Angry of Haslemere finally picked up his phone to his Waverley councillor?

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Why else would Waverley scramble to pull the Local Plan Part 2 meeting with only two days notice, in order to…

“consult further?”

Councillor Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “This item is being deferred as councillors want the council to have more time to engage with the local community about some of the content of the draft LPP2 before it is published, including further work on site allocations and gaining further feedback from key stakeholders such as Thames Water and local clinical commissioning groups.”

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A comment from the Waverley Web? No – a comment from Godalming Councillor Paul Follows.

“Well frankly I should think so too – so unbelievably rushed through and I can’t think of a single parish, town or area in Waverley that diPdn’t have some issue with this document or feel that more consultation was needed.
I had a huge feeling I was going to be one of very few councillors that were going to vote against this for exactly this reason.
Very sensibly postponed otherwise we would once again be paying lip service to localism.”

 

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

 

 

Round Two has been won but the protracted fight to defend Waverley’s Local Plan goes on… and on!

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Here we go again!

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Unless of course, it happens to be in the borough of Waverley?

 

The Court of Appeal has thrown out The Protect Our Waverley and the CPRE’s latest challenge to overturn High Court decisions made in July. These challenges affect the Dunsfold Aerodrome development and Waverley’s  Local Plan. 

Obviously, the anti-Dunsfold brigade have very deep pockets? Because although their costs MAY BE limited to £10,000 under Access to Justice Legislation called (Aarhus) they will be paying shedloads of dosh for the Rumpoles who represent them!

The appeals, lodged by POW Campaign Ltd and CPRE Surrey, followed a High Court’s decision on 12 July 2018 to dismiss significant elements of challenges to the Council’s Local Plan and the Secretary of State’s Dunsfold Park decision.

The rejected appeals sought to challenge the High Court’s decision to refuse permission to go to a full hearing in respect of the following grounds: In other words, the locals aren’t giving up until the fat lady sings?

  • · that the council and the Local Plan Inspector failed to consider environmental constraints (in the context of calculating Waverley’s objectively assessed need)

 

  • · that both the council and the Inspector did not correctly apply the two-stage test as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Councillor Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “I am pleased the appeals against the High Court judge’s decision have been refused.

“This is a small victory for us but we will still need to defend the council’s position in the challenge to Woking’s unmet housing need allocation in Waverley’s Local Plan.

“We didn’t bring these legal challenges and don’t want to be in this situation. I believe our Local Plan is the best plan for the borough and we have a duty to defend it; having a sound Local Plan means we can defend and protect the borough from inappropriate development. That’s why, after careful consideration, we think it’s absolutely the right thing to set aside funds to be able to defend the legal challenges.

“We will continue to defend our Local Plan and to use it to guide planning decisions.”

The Council and other parties will be attending a full Judicial Review hearing on 9 and 10 October 2018, which will consider challenges from POW Campaign Ltd and CPRE Surrey to Waverley’s Local Plan, relating to Woking’s unmet need allocation, and a challenge from POWCampaign Ltd to the grant of planning permission in respect of Dunsfold Park. Just a little thought on Woking’s unmet need straight from our sun lounger?

When  POW and CPRE  square up for Round Three at the High Court in October they will challenge both the legality of Waverley Borough Council’s approval of their Local Plan and the Secretary of State’s decision to approve development at Dunsfold Park (1,800 homes consented).

If this is thrown out then presumably His Holiness The Pope will be called in to rule and then if that fails The Almighty himself – the omnipotent one will be asked to make the final judgment no doubt?

A Judge decided at an oral hearing in July that parts of the POW and CPRE’s case had merit, but other grounds did not. (not entirely accurate)

POW and CPRE say they appealed on the rejected grounds and this week that appeal was dismissed. The principal grounds for the forthcoming cases remain – primarily the question of the burden of a housing quota for Woking’s unmet being placed on Waverley Borough. This will be heard in the High Court where Waverley will have to account for their actions. At the same court, hearing POW is also challenging the legal basis for the SoS’s decision to approve Dunsfold Airfield development.

Bob Lees, Chairman of POW said:

The situation is the same as when the High Court judge approved our case in July to go to full court in October. Waverley don’t need to defend the case – if POW and CPRE win this case they would seek a remedy of a reduction in the quota for housing – that will relieve some of the burden on the Borough of Waverley and Waverley Borough Council. This is not about the Local Plan failing. As for Waverley sending their legal team to attend the Secretary of State’s court case – that is their choice but is that really the best use of council tax payer’s money where the primary beneficiary of the SoS winning is a wealthy developer?”

WW. Which of course, what this whole very expensive exercise is all about?

The statement continues: “We have repeatedly asked WBC’s CEO to justify the council’s reasons for not considering a “do nothing” approach to the Court cases – I have yet to be re-assured they considered every option. Separately we have not received any justification from WBC for them spending £100,000 where they are not the defendant – they are merely an interested party in the SoS’s defence of the legal basis for approving a £1.1bn development of Dunsfold Airfield.”

What a hypocrite! Capt’n Bob and his motley crew don’t give a damn about the rest of the Borough. All they care about is stopping Dunsfold Park building on a brownfield site, adjacent to a major A-road. Where were Protect our Waverley when applications were submitted and approved for development on greenfields in Alfold, Cranleigh and Farnham what are they saying about plans to build on the green belt in Godalming?? Sitting around the kitchen table plotting their next move in the downfall of the Dunsfold Developer. They’re oblivious to what’s going on in the rest of the borough because they’re single-mindedly committed to stopping development on the one site that is crying out to be developed. What’s that old saying: there’s none so blind as them that can’t see …

If you can bear to read more: Does ‘Your Waverley’ have to manage a crisis now the High Court has allowed challenges to the Local Plan to be heard at a Judicial Review?

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Waverley Brightwells sticker book launched!

Waverley Web has launched the Blightwells Sticker Book – inspired by the recent article by Julia Potts in ‘Your Waverley’. We’ll keep the book updated every time a store is announced! Isn’t Sainsbury’s already there? And isn’t ASK closing restaurants? 

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We here at WW were inspired by David Quick and his desire to get an answer from Julia Potts following the publication of ‘Your Waverley’ the borough’s very own newsletter – once called ‘Making Waves’ which underwent a makeover as the name was considered inappropriate as it sounded too confrontational!

Because he couldn’t get a pip or a squeak out of Julia Potts he was forced to turn to contact the developer Crest Nicholson direct. So let’s crowdsource the sticker book so we can keep the good people of Farnham updated!

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The Potty one is “so excited” that the redevelopment at Blightwells has begun.

 

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I’m so excited – I almost Pirates of Penzance.

 

We nearly fell off our Web with helpless laughter as we hung suspended in a dark and dusty corner of Farnham this week – and we could hear the chuckles reverberating through the town.

Are we – Waverley taxpayers’ paying good money in council tax for this drivel to be printed by ‘Your Waverley’s’ spin machine called – ‘Your Waverley.’

Because if it was OUR Waverley ‘Your Waverley’ would be listening to the opposition that is rearing its head ever higher to us with the “vibrant new scene”  about to land in our midst!

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• Bridge over the River Wey

Trees have been cleared along the A31 to make way for a new bridge across the River Wey, which will take construction traffic away from the town during the main works starting in 2019. Hoarding will go up around the site in August and there will be traffic management measures on the A3l, reducing to one lane and reducing the speed limit from 50 to 44 miles an hour until Christmas.

• Walk this Wey

To make way for the scheme there are also some planned footpath closures. The footpath that runs behind Dogflud Car Park, between South Street and the Leisure Centre is closed and re-routed. From 6 August until March 2019, Borelli Walk will close so the bridge can be built. New access schemes will be created within the completed scheme.

• New Wey in

Dogflud Car Park will be closed during the construction phase and will be upgraded, along with South Street Car Park, to provide modern accessible and safe parking. Other benefits include an additional £l.4 million to improve traffic flows at key junctions in the town centre, a new park and stride scheme and upgraded public transport infrastructure.

The leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Brightwells. Councillor Julia Potts, was so excited she put on her best bonnet and said:

“I am so excited that work has now started to progress the scheme and residents can see that things are happening. Once the hoarding is up and the bridge starts to get built there will be some disruption but I hope that people will see that it will be worth it in the long term. Farnham is desperate for a cinema, new homes and a retail offer”.

What a load of drivel.